Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia

Sunday, March 20, 2011


This weekend we were invited to visit Ben and Lyn's house on the Gold Coast. Ben and Bill have been friends since before they migrated from Switzerland together in 1967. They both married Aussie girls and we have remained friends. We enjoy playing Jass, a Swiss card game. Ben and Lyn have a small but beautiful tropical garden. They have just recently acquired a new plant.......
A Bat Plant (tacca integrifolia) a native of Malaysia. The flower arrangement is a metre long on a spike also a metre long.

The bracts are white but can be purple or purple and white. The true flowers are purple hanging under the bracts.
I've never seen anything like it. It was exotic to say the least.

It was very relaxing having morning tea on the back patio surrounded by the tropical lushness. Notice it is still raining in Queensland.

The fish pond

Lyn has a huge assortment of African Violets.

Other tropical beauties.
We had a great weekend chatting, playing cards, and eating. We went to breakfast at the Main Beach Surf Lifesaving Club overlooking the rolling surf covered by a grey showery sky. It was still beautiful. We walked around a new park and the Rock Pools, a water park for children and then returned to the house for another round of cards before coming home. I hate to say it but the Swiss boys beat the Aussie girls 4 games to 3.


  1. i had no idea these tropical plants would grow in your country. these are all in our Selby gardens, and i have a few beautiful shots of the bat plant, but have never been able to find the name of it. thanks for the info. what a wonderful place to sit on that patio. i am looking forward to finding out more about austrailia. the only things I know are from the Crocodile dundee films which I love.

  2. All I can say is Paradise! Never saw such a gorgeous plant! Your photographs are stunning....

  3. What incredible plants and lushness. The only place you get to see those kinds of plants here is indoors!

  4. Never seen the Bat Plant until now, and what a capture :) well done.

  5. I've never seen a Bat Plant before -- it's absolutely fantastic. It must be wonderful to live in the midst of such a tropical paradise.
    I'm sorry to hear that it is still raining in Queensland. I would imagine that you've had enough rain for a while.

  6. No, I'd never seen, or even heard of, a Bat Plant, until today...right here on your blog! It's a beauty, Diane! Thank you so much for sharing it with us :)

    It was also a treat getting this peek at your friends' lovely garden. A miniature tropical haven, for sure. I love the pond and those violets are gorgeous. Are they also being grown 'outdoors'?

    You two girls will need to get together on the sly to practise ahead of your next 'meet' so you can put the guys in their place! Imagine allowing them to beat you on 'home territory' !!!

    Can't you work on sending some of that rain our way, now, PLEASE!!!

  7. Wow--what a beautiful tropical garden, Diane. I have never seen a Bat Plant before --but it is gorgeous... I also love the African violets... My Mom used to grow them --but I've never had much luck.

    Glad you had a great time with your special friends.

  8. Lovely photos of a beautiful garden. The Bat plant is amazing.

    Best wishes,

  9. What a nice gathering of friends in a beautiful setting. Your new camera has captured the beauty of their tropical garden. thanks for the glimpse of the Bat plant. It's really unbelievable.

  10. Gorgeous place. The plant sure is unusal. In my 30+ years in Malaysia, I've never come across this one. I bet my botanist sis-in-law would know this though...

  11. I've never seen or heard of a Bat Plant; it's really different.
    What a lovely, lush garden, the Violets are beautiful.
    Wish I had a green thumb!
    ☼ Sunny

  12. Oh I have been hankering for a bat plant - they are so stunning, and I have just the right spot for one..... are those african violets out where they can get their leaves wet? I would not have though they would like that - I like the look of them with wet leaves. maybe I should move mine outside....

  13. Yes, the African Violets are outside under other plants in the shade but the rain is falling on the leaves.

  14. Intriguing plant and the whole garden is enchanting. It looks so fun sitting on the covered patio amidst that tropical lushness.

    A perfect weekend (well at least for the guys -- so sorry you lost at cards ;>)

  15. Yes, we beat you, but only just. You forgot to mention that you were leading 3 games to 2 on Saturday night before we went to bed, giving Ben and me sleepless nights.

  16. What a lovely place to relax! That is such an interesting plant. Makes me think of a cat with it's whiskers. :-)

  17. Bill
    Did you cheat? Did you offer the two fair damsels some VODKA and told them it was water????
    Now be honest!
    Pity about the rain for the weekend, but what's new these days.
    How are your lessons progressing on the duck language? Very difficult for little old me.
    That plant is quite amazing.
    Quacker Col

  18. Your friends have a wonderful, lush garden. How nice it must have been sitting on their patio. You gals were probably distracted by the beautiful blooms!

  19. What an exotic plant! Is it a type of orchid? I saw so many orchids this weekend my head is full of

    It looks like you had awonderful and relaxing weekend with good friends!

  20. I want one! Heck, I want DOZENS!

    How lovely their garden grows. All the gardens over here are dying of thirst. The week coming is going to be another scorcher - friday & Saturday 36 apiece and Sun & Mon cooling down to 35!!!

  21. I have never seen a flower like that ! and what a beautiful garden !

  22. Beautiful flowers. What a wonderful creation of nature. Great post.

  23. Stunning bat flower - quite unusual too!
    You answered my question about the african violets too.
    Everything looks so healthy.
    No wonder you were happily snapping away - a beautiful collection of photos :D)

  24. I like the very exotic looking bat plant.
    A very lucious looking garden enhanced with the rain.

  25. So glad I saw this, yes I've seen Bat plants when I was in Malaysia last year but never knew what they were called.
    Your flower photos are wonderful.

  26. I have never seen a bat plant before, exotic it is. Lovely luncheon, I am beginning to go out to lunch again lol Thank you for sharing as always find your writings and images uplifting.