About cassmob

I'm a Queenslander by birth and after nearly 20 years in the Northern Territory I've returned to my home state. I've been researching my Queensland ancestors for nearly 30 years and like most Aussies I'm a typical "mongrel" with English, Irish, Scottish and German ancestry.

Friday Flowers: Pansies and memories

As you know I photograph flowers whenever I travel and in Salt Lake recently, that was pansies..they were in large pots along the footpaths. The poor little things couldn’t quite decide if they should be out, and at times looked a little frost-bitten and scraggly despite the unseasonally warm weather.

Pansies always remind me of my mother, who grew them in her garden before her move to the retirement home. They are also a reminder of Mum’s aunt, who loved pansies and also gave me little teacups with pansy patterns.

So here are my frosty Salt Lake City pansies.


Just checking if you noticed. These tulips were in Harmon’s grocery for $5 so I indulged in a bunch for my hotel room…it’s not often I’m in one place long enough when travelling to buy flowers.

DSC_2789 DSC_2790 DSC_2801 DSC_2803 DSC_2819 DSC_2821 DSC_2827 DSC_2828Which is your favourite? Mine is the last one…but then I’m a purple obsessive.

I hope these gorgeous flowers have brought sunshine and happiness to your day.



Friday Flowers: Return to the past

A couple of years ago I posted this story and as it has such vibrant tropical flowers I thought I’d share it again.DSC_0064

Back in 2012 I planned to upload 365 photos over the year, with each image as a stand-alone “event”. In the end I posted on 173 days, but uploaded 466 photos, and couldn’t resist adding commentary to most. DSC_0033

This post included some of the photos we took on our 2012 trip back to Papua New Guinea when we mainly visited Alotau and Samarai. We wondered how many of these magnificent hibiscus were descendants of my mother-in-law’s 1960s hibiscus collection, some sourced from as far away as Hawaii.

Red Hibiscus at Samarai

Red Hibiscus at Samarai

And to place them in context, this is the view from the house the family lived in on Samarai. Sadly the house is no more. If you want to read more about our experiences on this sentimental return voyage, you can read them on this link to my other blog, Family History Across the Seas.

81 In front of Cass place

I hope these gorgeous flowers have brought sunshine and happiness to your day.


Friday Flowers: Florists’ delights

I don’t know about you but when I am travelling I love looking in florists’ windows to see flowers which aren’t seen in Darwin. One my favourites is a florist called The Sculpted Leaf in Maroochydore, where I’m often found (however briefly) while in Queensland. Last September (Spring) I snapped these gorgeous flowers in the footpath display…I especially love the fragility of the poppies and their varied colours. The sweet peas remind me of my parents’ garden.

If you find yourselves in Maroochydore, do check this florist out…they have lovely flowers and displays. Unfortunately when travelling it’s rare that I can buy flowers but one day….DSC_2312DSC_2315

I hope these gorgeous flowers have brought sunshine and happiness to your day.

Friday Flowers: By the pool

Today’s Friday Flowers is another from Darwin’s Open Garden scheme, now sadly defunct.

This garden was one of our favourites in 2014, with its hidden corners and plants, and this idyllic spot by the pool. Who wouldn’t enjoy “chilling” by the pool with a flowered cup of tea, scones and multi-coloured flowers on the table.DSC_1973

For us a winning Open Garden was one which let us see great landscaping, wonderful plants, and somewhere to enjoy the view with a cuppa and cake. This one certainly hit the spot!

I hope today’s Friday Flowers bring sunshine to whichever day you view them.


Friday Flowers: Lilac Loveliness

Lilacs and purples are among my favourite shades, so join me in celebrating these flowers’ lilac loveliness.

The delicacy of a purple poppy appeals to bees as well as humans.

The delicacy of a purple poppy appeals to bees as well as humans.

Among the last of the Iris blooming in Giverny in early May 2014.

Among the last of the Iris blooming in Giverny in early May 2014.

Not sure what this one is?

Not sure what this one is? And is it pink or lilac?

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PARIS 6 224

I hope these gorgeous flowers have brought sunshine and happiness to you this Friday.

Friday Flowers: Aussie Gardens

On Monday Aussies are celebrating their national day…in the way they love best…with a long weekend. To celebrate I thought I’d be a little lateral in my approach to Friday Flowers and focus on Aussie gardens and revisit aspects of my earlier posts. Most of these photos have been used before either in my A to Z Series in 2013 or my 365 Project in 2012.

As a welcome to today’s post, we’ll walk through the gates of an Open Garden from a few years ago. As with many Darwin gardens the Balinese influences are apparent.

Welcome to the garden.

Welcome to the garden.


Kayaks lillies and shadows_edited-1From Balinese influences to a typical Territory bush scene of another Open Garden...paper bark (melaleuca) trees through a billabong decorated with waterlilies.

From there to the unfurling of a bat plant in my own garden. Sadly I’ve since had to move the plant as a large tree, which provided shade, had to be removed. Since then it’s become a shadow of its former self.

what am I day 2

batplant maturing

Yet another Top End Open Garden, the Mosaic House, revealed its Balinese flavour with an almost Spanish influence. The shades of cool green offer a counter-balance to the tropical humidity.

Open Garden, Mosaic House, Parap, Northern Territory

Open Garden, Mosaic House, Parap, Northern Territory

For many Darwinites, a trip to the Parap markets is a Saturday morning activity involving the purchase of weekly tropical flowers for about $7 a bunch.

Buy a bunch of tropical flowers for under $10.

Buy a bunch of tropical flowers for under $10.

In trips to the billabongs and waterways of Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage Area, the colour from lotus flowers adds a vibrant zing to the day, not to be counterbalanced by the threat of saltwater crocs lurking in the same waterways.


DSC_1099And of course what are gardens and parks without a little avian interest? Above we see one of my favourite birds, the rainbow bee eater – it’s iridescent beauty is best seen as it flits through the air chasing its snacks of insects.

Did I give him indigestion?

I think I gave him indigestion, chasing him for his picture.

And there’s the cheeky cockies (cockatoos) which are seen everywhere at this time of the year. This fellow was photographed on Australia Day 2012, snacking on a berry from a palm.

On that same Australia Day we had huge storms and winds which salt-encrusted the trees along the beach-line, turning them brown for months. There really wasn’t much need for the sunscreen, hat or umbrella but the bug spray was handy.

Not much need for the sunscreen or the NT News giggle hat but the bug spray was handy today.

Not much need for the sunscreen or the NT News giggle hat but the bug spray was handy today.

Starting with a Balinese influence, we end with one as well. I love the vibrancy of the colours against the tropical sky at another of Darwin’s Open Gardens.

Bali vibe in Darwin

Bali vibe in Darwin

Happy Australia Day to all my genimates. I hope this week’s flowers and gardens have brought colour and sunshine to your day and the week ahead. 



Friday Flowers: Pretty in Pink

For today’s flowers I’ve chosen some of my pink images to cheer our day. Hot pinks, pale pinks interspersed with lilac, that Monet knew a thing or two about presentation! More photos from Giverny in Spring 2014.

PARIS 6 007PARIS 6 010PARIS 6 024PARIS 6 037PARIS 6 104

PARIS 6 233I hope these gorgeous flowers have brought sunshine and happiness to your Friday.


Happy New Year: Great Gardens

One of the magnets on my fridge quotes Cicero “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need” – a sentiment with which I concur most heartily. And so, today, to start the new year I’m bringing you photos of a couple of renowned world gardens: Sissinghurst in the Autumn and Giverny in the Spring.


Sissinghurst in Autumn is more austere but still beautiful.

Sissinghurst in Autumn is more austere but still beautiful.


Autumn flowers: Dahlias.

Autumn flowers: Dahlias.


The white garden would be spectacular in Spring but then just think of the crowds.

I would love to see Sissinghurst‘s White Garden in Spring, but then again, it would be critical to be there super-early.

Monet’s GIVERNY had been on my bucket list for a long time. It definitely lived up to expectations and I was so thrilled that the peonies were still flowering in the first week of June.

Beautiful Giverny

Beautiful Giverny

PARIS 6 053PARIS 6 056And while not as well known as these two, we loved Great Dixter‘s garden when we visited in Autumn 2010, just after we’d been to Sissinghurst.

The entry to the Great Dixter house...not open when we visited in October 2010.

The entry to the Great Dixter house…not open when we visited in October 2010.

I hope these beautiful gardens and flowers have brought sunshine to you today, wherever you are in the world. I’d like to wish my readers good health, happiness and adventures in 2015, with lots of gardens to visits and flowers to smell.


Friday Flowers: Boxing Day Grevilleas

Well, Christmas Day is over for another year, at least it is Down Under. For those still in the throes of presents, wrapping and food, I hope you’re having a great time.

It’s the Boxing Day holiday in Australia and it’s traditional for people to be at the beach on holidays, or watching the start of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race or the Boxing Day Test cricket. Our family on the other hand will just be hanging out and eating left-overs. Here in the Top End of Oz we’ve reached the Wet Season with mammoth storms, lightning and thunder…and a merciful drop in humidity. Today’s grevillea flowers are Australian natives, some seen in the bush, some cultivars, but uniquely different.



DSC_2523DSC_0363DSC00360And just so you get an idea of what the rest of Australia might be doing here’s a sunny beach scene from Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.


I hope these gorgeous flowers have brought sunshine to you this Friday.

Friday Flowers: Happy Christmas & Splendid Brachychitons

This magnificent tree is a Brachychiton which I photographed in Brisbane in early October. 

Wishing all my readers, wherever you are in the world, a very happy Christmas from the Top End of Down Under.19