Back Yards and Balconies

2301 Arthur & Molly’s Flowering Cactus

Arthur and Molly report,

This cactus flowered last night with the moon in almost full light.

What a beauty……

2210 Kays Orchids

Kay has sent in some photos of her orchids. She has had orchids since she was 13 yrs. old. They have been so great this year. Some are in pots some in the garden & a couple of indoor ones. Some other people in the village also have some lovely orchids.

2203 The Phantom Goes Global

(Here is an unusual story from a backyard far, far away…)

Alloura Retirement Village residents will recall that last year, during our Covid lock down period, things became quite boring for us. To relieve that boredom and to spread a little bit of needed cheer there were several initiatives taken by residents. One such initiative resulted in all residents waking up one morning to discover that, overnight, a rock inscribed with a cheerful message had mysteriously been delivered to their homes. The perpetrators identity remained a mystery for a long time and eventually he (or she) became widely referred to as;

“The Phantom of the Alloura”.

It can now be reported that the work of “The Phantom…” has gone global. Samples of his/her work have suddenly appeared in a backyard garden on the other side of the world, in fact not far from Bristol in the UK.

The backyard in question near Bristol, UK..

And here are the items in place;

Do they look familiar??…..  And yes, they have been verified as genuine works originating from our village in Davistown.

The locals are delighted……

(Thanks Ted)


2202 Bazz’s Smelly Bells

They are back again and pongier than ever..(is that even a word??)

2201 Bazz’s Cactus

These flowers are on the big cactus in my front garden. There are about ten flowers on it.
They come out at night and you have to be up early to get a photo before they

2110 Wes’s Orchids

Wes has sent in this photo of his orchid… Well done Wes..

2110 Jochems Bonzai work

And here is a submission from Jochem..
(Confession: Jochem sent this in a few weeks ago but your webmaster mislaid it)

2110 Margarets Backyard

Spring has truly sprung and Margaret is enjoying her backyard which is looking great…


2109 Judes Cactus

Judes cactus now has babies


2109 Bevs Clivias

Jim & Bev are very proud of their balcony Clivias…

2109 Backyard Ballerina

Our Staff Gardener, Jo, sculpted this Ballerina in Jochems back yard….

2109 Phantom of the Alloura

We have all heard of the Phantom of the Opera.. well now we have the;

Phantom of the Alloura

Our Phantom has been sneaking around the village in the night and dropping off rocks with all sorts of messages painted on them.
But our Phantom is a nice person and the messages are intended to brighten us up during these times of boring lockdowns. So who is this myserious fellow????

Here are just a few examples of the Phantoms work. If you havnt yet received a rock then just be patient, he moves very slowly.


2109-  Jochems backyard

Jochem is very proud of his gardening prowess…

A paela a la Jochem

2101 – And some more from Barbara

“Sunlight on my Hoya. So pretty…. love this. Barbara”


2012 – More from Barry

Barry has been busy with his camera again.. here are some more beauties from his garden… one complete with bees hard at work..

2012 – Barry

Barry sent in his own photo this time… But what is it called?????

Clare says….”Zulu giant (among other names 🙂 ). Ceropegia gigantea”

Jessy says….”Stapelia leendertziae Succulent (Black Bells)”

Susan says…I agree with Jessy I think it is Stapelia leendertziae (Black bells).

Jill also agrees with Jessy……

Heather, a keen gardeners says..”To me it looks like some sort of cactus but I dont know”

Clare says…

“A bell shape flower displays in its growing season (summer) and like other Stapelias, carries with it a strong rotting meat smell. The bell like flowers are dark purple and grow up to 12.5cm wide. …Apr 9, 2019
If you Google what does Stapelia leendertzia succulent Black Bells look like, you can locate a picture which I believe Barrys’ plant to be after looking at the picture. It came with the above description and says along the way that it would not be very nice at your back door. Yuck.”

It seems that Stapelia has the majority vote..

2011 – Nannete

Barry sent in this photo with the permission of Nannete , he reports that the scent is lovely.

2011 –  Robins pride

Gloria and Robin thought these flowers in Robins garden were worth an entry online….. and indeed they are…

2010 – Barbaras Bougainvillias

Barbara sent in this pic of her prize Bougainvillias…  Our gardens are looking really great at this time of the year..

October 2020 – Di’s Pride of Madeira with Flanders poppies

Di is enjoying the stunning display in her front garden and would like to share it.  It is Pride of Madeira with Flanders poppies. She says… “Not too many people walk around our little cul de sac so  I hope you can put it on the website for many to marvel….”.

Well we certainly can do that…

August 2020 -Barbara’s pink garden featuring Giant Protea & others

Yes, I think Spring is really on the way… Have a look at these beauties….

Come on all you keen gardeners, show us what you have got… just send those photos through to;

Further Easter Mysteries

Oh dear, it seems that there are further Easter mysteries  yet to be solved….. Jill writes;

“……...There is still an unsolved Easter Bunny mystery!  This very large rabbit “dropping” was delivered in the main village on Sunday.  The person who identifies the kind bunny will receive one of these scarce large droppings as a reward..….”

And what is this one all about????

“…….This one was discovered on my doorstep, but then simply disappeared, leaving the eggs….Jean….”

It is beginning to look as if we are being over run!!!!! Is this a new virus??????

Easter Bunny 2020

Now…  I have been told that some of you woke up on Easter Sunday 2020 and found a couple of easter eggs on your door steps.. Everyone began wondering what was behind this mysterious event.
After a very detailed investigation it has been revealed that the items on the door step were in fact rabbit droppings, but of a very special kind. We have been able to track down the culprit to the waterfront and he/she was caught redhanded and photographed with the incriminating evidence. The camera does not lie!!!!

Thanks Dianne!!!

Barbaras strange plants

Barbara says…”These strange plants are growing in my back garden. I assume they are a type of toadstool & look like poison!”
Does anyone know what they are???

UPDATE: Jill has identified the plant as a Stinkhorn Fungi (an appropriate name..) There is plenty of information online about this plant similar to the following;

“…….. These fungi produce a dark brown to black slime containing spores on their surface, which has an intense smell of rotting meat or sewage. They are very common on wood or bark-chip mulch in gardens, and on deep litter on the rainforest floor. There are a number of differently shaped species, but all are readily recognisable by the smell of the spore slime…Cases of human consumption are not known, but the smell is attractive to dogs, and possibly cats. Deaths of small dogs have occurred. The toxins are unknown, but are thought to develop during the enzymatic liquefaction of the spore slime. They are generally gastro-irritants…….” UUUGGHHH!!!

Jans Orange Flowering Gum

Another nice pic from Jans garden

Orange Flowering Gum


Robins Pink Orchid

It must be summer, the photos of gardens are rolling in. Gloria has sent in this one of Robins favourite orchid..

We certainly do have some lovely back yards!!!

Neil, October 2019

This beauty is a highlight of Neils backyard..

Do we have any others ????


Rebeca, September 2019

Rebeca has sent in some photos of her backyard orchids of which she is rightly proud….


Barbara A, September 2019

Husband, Peter, writes; Barbara is very proud of this Native Rock Orchid which she has tended faithfully over quite a few years and has finally rewarded her with a good display.

Mirabel, September 2019

Neil S writes; WOW….

He did not give any more detail nor history but perhaps the results speak for themselves.

Mirabel’s Dendrobian
Rebeca, August 2019

This is the national flower of Chile growing in my backyard.
Lapageria Rosea, commonly known as Chilean bellflower or Copihue,
grows in the forest in the southern part of Chile being part of the Valdivian
temperate rain forest flora.
Copihue is an evergreen climbing plant reaching over 10 m high among
shrubs and trees.
The vines twine counterclockwise in the Southern. Hemisphere and
Clockwise when grown in the Northern hemisphere due to the sun.
I am happy having this plant in my backyard.

Barbara, April 2019

Almost my last roses of summer. Pity I can’t email their perfume!!

Barrie, February 2019

Bazz’s Brom is called Felicia!!!! I think he might be a rightly proud owner….

Barbara, October 2017

Ah, it must be spring… The flowers are out and so are some proud people with their cameras…

This rose is called “Bonita”
A Vireya Rhododendron

Well done Barb.


Betty & Barrie, October 2017

Its been a long, long while since we have had a new entry for this page, but Betty & Barrie really stirred up interest with this question about a display on their fence at home;

What flower is this??????

Not being a whizz at answering such questions I put it to the masses and got many responses.

Robin:             The plant is an Epiphyllum cactus
Looks like a variety of SCHLUMBERGERA
John:               No idea, but what type is that frog on the fence behind the bloom??
Mirabel:          Zigo cactus
Clare:              Google it….
Heather:        A
 type of Zygocactus
Jan:                zygocactus
Rosemary:   Some form of cactus?
Vicky:              Let me now when you find out
Barb:              It could be a Zygo Cactus.
Louis:          This flower is called EPICACTUS. ‘Bridsmaid’

 But perhaps the safest answer comes from:

Carol:           A pretty one !!!!!!!!!!!!!


Barbara, December 2015

Babara is rightly very proud of this flower show produced from her garden… we certainly have some talented gardeners among our residents…

1512 Thomasflower

Hazel, November 2015

Hazel has submitted the following from her garden, looking good..

1511 Hazel Flowers

Robin, November 2015

Ah, Spring at last… and some of our backyards and balconies are starting to show a bit of colour after a rather dull winter…. Here are a couple of Robins favourites.. Anyone else got anything to show yet???

1511 Robin 3 1511 Robin 2 1511 Robin 1

1511 Robin 5 1511 Robin 4

Kay, July 2015
Kay Davis reports…….
I have been busy cutting some of my orchids to put in a vase as the wind is knocking them around. Just thought they might cheer up some garden lovers who find it too cold to go outside.
1507 Kays Garden1 1507 Kays Garden3 1507 Kays Garden4
And here is the finished product…
1507 Kays Garden5
Thanks Kay…..

OK, I know this page is titled Backyards and Balconies but I thought we could squeeze in some front yards as well..Particularly when Robbie McAlpine’s son, Andrew, has been hard at work and the results are to behold.

1503 Robbies Garden1
New soil, mulch & plants along the front path and under the window..
These will look even more amazing as they establish..
These will look even more amazing as they establish..

1503 Robbies Garden3

Well done Andrew, when do you start over in my area??


Reg and Pauline,

Here are a couple of interesting pictures from Reg and Paulines backyard..

1411 Gills flowers4

1411 Gills flowers1

When Pauline told me about this particular flower I thought she was having a joke… Burkes Backyard had this to say….

Brunfelsias are evergreen shrubs from tropical America. There are about 30 species, all with tubular flowers which change colour over successive days.”  Really??

1411 Gills flowers3

They sure do!!


Barry & Betty,

Barry and Betty sent in these 3 pics of their handiwork..

1411 Pickersgills flowers1

Great colour
Great colour
And more great colour
And more great colour

We certainly have some talented gardeners in our village


1410 Hazels flowers
I’ve attached a pic of my bowl of Jacobinia lilies, five of them, the best display so far.

Well done Hazel….



Clive an Gloria are very proud of these plants around their Unit…

Lobelia in flower
Lobelia in flower
Dizzy Lizzie
Dizzy Lizzie
Dizzy Lizzie
Dizzy Lizzie (closeup)
Clive's. Mint is simply the best
Clive’s mint is simply the best

HHHMMM… Looks really good…. I wonder how many knocks on the door they will get asking for some of Clives prime mint???


Martina has submitted this photograph of her backyard sanctuary…

1410 Martinas Sanctuary 1

Very nice……..



Peter reports…….. This is a photo of a freshly made spider web on our back patio. Its sticky threads attracted and held the rusty coloured gymnospores from the casuarina (“she-oak”) trees across Davistown Road, which our villa backs on to. The afternoon sunlight reveals the beautiful intricacy of the spider’s work.

1410 Peters web

By the next morning the web had gone. Obviously the spider decided that this was not a good site for a web – the dusty gymnospores had ‘killed’ the web’s stickiness.



Here is a photo of my hippeastrum plant in my back garden.

1409 Jills flowers



Wes has submitted the following photos of his orchids.. Well done Wes..

1409 Wes Orchids1 1409 Wes Orchids2

They would really brighten up any room….



Martina is the first to get her photographs onto our website. Here she has provided several photos of interesting items in her back yard.

Martinas flowers3 Martinas flowers2 Martinas flowers1 WOW.. Very exotic….



And here is Heather’s offering..

Heathers Flower2 Heathers Flower1

What a beauty eh???



Here are Robin’s Violas. They are grown in a pot.


Exif_JPEG_PICTUREIt is said that she is a real “greenfingers”.


2 thoughts on “Back Yards and Balconies

  1. I’m very impressed with the beautiful colourful arrangements that are around the village, amazing. Good photography. Brenda Jordan V/98

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