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Google URL Shortener


If you’re a Twitter user or use a similar type of Blogging platform, you will know that it can be difficult to fit large URLs into 140 characters or less. Google has now created a URL shortener application. URL shorteners are certainly not new and there are plenty about, but if you already use Google a lot (like me), it is very convenient to have Google do this for also.

Have a look at:

http://goo.gl/

Indian Hawthorns are in Full Bloom


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Another sign that spring is here is that the Indian Hawthorns (Rhaphiolepis indica) are in full bloom and looking spectacular in the Tea Gardens Grange gardens. We have a large number of these plants with some planted in mass plantings and others in hedges.

The Indian Hawthorn is an evergreen shrub that usually grows 2-3m tall x 2m wide. There are several cultivars, with one having completely pink flowers. The flowers are generally followed by a black to blue berry. Flowers appear mainly in spring, though there can be some flowers at other times. There is a slight perfume, but I barely notice it.

Indian Hawthorns can be used as specimen plants, tub plants, hedges, in drifts and in coastal areas (salt tolerant).

Indian Hawthorns are best grown in full sun (though they tolerate semi-shaded positions in hot climates) with reasonably fertile, well-drained soil. They will respond well to regular shaping, including the use of hedging machinery.

Plants can be propagated by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer.

For more Indian Hawthorn pictures visit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmatthews/sets/72157622203247845/

ONE OF OUR PONDS


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Spring has sprung at Tea Gardens Grange where I work – not that this particular photo shows that really. This photo is a picture of just one of the many ponds we have around the village. There is also a large central artificial lake.

This particular pond is one that requires very little maintenance and that is probably because of the lower light levels, which means fewer aquatic weeds and plant life are able to become established. This is largely due to the many tea trees that surround the pond.

It would be my favourite pond in the village.

More Spring photos at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmatthews/sets/72157622203247845/