Tag Archives: gardening

Love is Blind

After gardening I notice some annoying bumps on the back of my hand. My first instinct is to worry in case they are warts.

Next day, at breakfast, I observe the rash appears less inflamed; it must be the result of something I’ve touched in the garden.

I say to Joe, ‘Feel this, what do you think it is?’

‘Braille, it says, “I Love You”, but it’s missing the comma.’

‘But ‘I Love You,’ doesn’t need a comma.’

‘Then it says, ‘immensely and deeply!’

How can I worry about a few bumps after such an interpretation?

Autumnal pursuits:

Christopher Pyett : ideas for paintings

Christopher Pyett : ideas for paintings

Autumn is a time for hunkering down. My daughter rang to say her gutters have been replaced and a dangerous chimney taken care of.
We’ve decided to remove two large palm trees that drop thousands of seeds and sprout everywhere. I love their height, but the other trees will soon fill the space left behind.

General garden maintenance is a fulfilling task. Removing spent tomato plants, culling the raspberries and tying the new canes makes the garden feel ready for winter. Pruning everything is something that needs to be rationed according to the recycling bins. We now have two brown bins, for garden waste that I don’t want to compost. Our six compost bins are fully utilized. So the garden is in need of constant attention, which fits in with writing.

I’d like to work half days at each, writing and gardening, so that I’m not sitting in front of the computer all day. This healthy option seldom works out, but I shall continue to aim for this ideal.

My computer is fine apart from the iphotos, which won’t allow me access. I shall really have to learn to use my new laptop, which is another thing I’ve been resisting. So for the moment, no photos of the garden.

Summer Shade house:




25mm Saddles with screws, self tappers 10Gx25mm

This week has seen the construction of our shade house. Chris has planned it all, and slowly, slowly it is emerging. We bought the poly-pipe when the watering system was installed, some months ago.

Large 50mm irrigation pipe was cut and loops were formed by putting them onto star pickets. White 25mm PVC water pipes have been added to made the whole thing more stable. (ends have been capped.) These details are added for any of you who are thinking of constructing one for yourselves. Forecasts for our Australian summer are for hot and dry weather. We’ll get the shade cloth over this construction, after I get the whole area planted and sorted. One end will be just for the raspberries, the other end for asparagus, and the centre area for other vegetables.

Daily life:


The day begins with sleeping in,

unless of course, there’s something on.

Snuggled up beneath feathers warm,

the winter’s day looks all forlorn.

Till fragments flit of last nights dream,

I rush to capture it on screen.

Memories scarper down the drain,

Temptation lurks, though from bed refrain.IMG_2573

Showering is a time of bliss,

Fruit, toast, prepared with coffee hiss.


Feed the fish and walk the dog,

Begin to think about my blog.

Write and read till hunger calls,

A sugo swift and pasta boils.

Again we start our meal with fruit,IMG_2574

keeps us primed and well to boot.

Weather fine, the garden calls.

Millie the dog brings her balls.


Weed and trim and plant some seeds

Epsom salts satiate citrus trees.

This belated autumn choreIMG_2576

brings fruit a plenty we adore.

Time has become an illusive thing,

as memory fades, fancies bring,

The mind plays tricks, that can be fun,

the day is gone before it’s begun.


Rare Medium: Describe a typical day in your life but do it in a medium you rarely use… Ben Huberman





Return to the garden:


Brugmansia (Solanaceae) Angel’s trumpet making a show in a narrow arched area, where it will be covered mostly in creepers.


Children’s cubby house at the back of the garden


Virginia creeper on our water tank. March 2014

Autumn is upon us; a relief after the hot weather. As you can see the leaves are beginning to turn. The vegetable plot has done its dash, with a few eggplants still to come. Tomatoes have almost completed their task. Now it is time to make relish and chutney.

I painted the cubby the colour of the changing leaves. I enjoy looking at it hiding under the trees. It is ready for our next grandchild, the first grand daughter, to be born in April. Our two grandsons who live not far away, are a little old for it now, as they prefer to play other things. It’s good to think there are little ones still to play with it. Our young grandsons from Canberra will come down during the year, so it must be ready for them.

Getting back into the garden is so therapeutic; we finally had some rain. Green instantly reappears bringing joy and enthusiasm to replant and get ready for winter. I do like to spread manure and freshly mulch every autumn and spring. Writing at every other opportunity; life was meant to be full….

Our Australian Front Garden

Our garden not only incorporates memories of people but also represents all of the continents of our planet. I like to think of it an anti-racist garden. Mixed plantings create an exciting garden, just as our multicultural country brings cultural diversity and enriches our lives. Learning from one another, sharing ideas, plants, recipes and blogging, enhances rather than depletes our lives. It’s not just from stamp collecting that we can learn about other countries!

On our Western frontage two Eucalyptus Gum trees adorn the nature strip. A delicate Fuchsia Gum, some Banksias and Gums brave the southern nature strip with a Callistemon that sports bright red stamens covered with tiny yellow dots in spring. A pink Lilly Pilly and a white festooned Boobialla shrub hug the Southern fence line, all Australian trees, along with a large South African Allamanda covering part of the fence. Several Kniphofa, Red Hot Pokers, also from South Africa keep the Allamanda company.

A new bed in front of the western fence has Anigozanthos, Kangaroo Paw, a Western Australian, a tall graceful velvety flower, that emerges from strong strappy leaves that withstand the heat of the day. Dietes from South Africa, often chosen by councils as a roadside plant due to its drought tolerance, follows the fence line. An African blue Agapanthus, Iris from Asia Minor and Japan, also hardy, needing little water, fill the bed. Each plant has its unique beauty.

Stepping into our garden the stoic Australian plants that withstand the severe seasonal changes and the western sun thrive. The Kunzea inside the gateway bares delicate orange stamens, similar to the Callistemon, gives a soft tactile welcome in late spring into summer.

Several Eastern Australian Palm Trees help shade the plants below and provide a grand entrance. There are roses originating from China in amongst Salvia from Mexico and an Australian Grevillea. The Grevilleas have delicate, quaintly shaped flowers, some small and some large. Their remarkable shapes are ideal for drawing as well as cut flowers for the vase.

A Crabapple tree is growing in the SW corner as a showpiece next to a Japanese Mt. Fuji, double white flowering, peach tree. Both these trees need water, so pipe has been dug into the ground to enable deep watering in summer. Beneath them are Australian Correas, Grevillea, Japanese Liliums and ground cover.

A Feijoa from Brazil shades the southern side of the house with several Palms and a Japanese Acer. Underneath the trees the Clivia from Natal and Australian Bird’s Nest ferns lift their strappy leaves and fronds to the sky. Underneath these, there are some cheeky woodland Cyclamen that remind me of my years in Italy.

Patches of violets enjoy the shade. Violets are multi-cultural in themselves, being from Europe, Africa and Asia. To pick bunches in spring, bringing the perfume inside, is well worth the effort.  Next there is the South American Alstroemeria, the red variety, from my mother in law’s garden. These long stemmed, vibrant flowers are perfect in late spring into summer, when flowers are scarce. They make perfect cut flowers at Christmas time.

Another Australian orange/pink Grevillea, not only attracts the birds, but, flowers for most of the year. It is partnered by some Correa varieties, where they catch the sun. Together they attract the birds. Towards the house, in the shade, is a Chinese Oak Leafed Hydrangea and some Hellebores, winter roses.

Outside our bedroom window, the large Japanese Acer over shadows the European/Asian Lilly of the Valley and some Japanese Azaleas. IMG_1502Again the Alstroemeria make a colourful backdrop as they grow up into and beneath another Grevillea. A self- sown avocado, from the compost, has decided to grow next to the South American Brugmansia that is covered in white angel’s trumpets, reminding me of those that have passed on.

Gardening is another hobby that can be as complex as putting a jig saw together or writing a story. Things either hang together or they don’t!