Thursday, 21 September 2017

Hellllllo from the U.S.A.

Just a quick note to say I'm here!
We've had a whirlwind week in New York. And are now seeing the sights of Washington D.C.


I've been able to tick one key thing off my bucket list...
Squirrels at the Capitol Building!!
Squirrels in Central Park N.Y.

 So stayed tuned for when I return to Kangarooland for tales of my adventures!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Grown Up Gardens & Baby Gardens


Now we are getting little glimpses of Spring, I have been hankering to get my gardening gloves on. Since Bear and I moved in together in July, I've been longing to get started in our first ever 'Garden That We Can Put Real Plants and Trees In'.  Because this Garden is not a rental that you can only plant a few vegies and annuals in. A real garden of our very own that we can landscape which I'm super excited about!

For a teensy bit of inspiration, I went for a walk around nearby Werribee Park.


I had never seen a yellow flowering butterfly bush. Always purple. Doesn't it look glorious? And the nectar smelled delicious!


The kids loved running around the lawns.




I always thought Radiata Pines were the rudest trees.


Every single branch is giving me the bird.


Fortunately I'm not easily offended, so we continued around through the arboretum.  I just love all these huge trees.


These Camellia were glorious. They reminded me how much I wanted to plant camellias in our garden.




All this walking was making me thirsty.


The boys and I indulged in hot chocolates (cappuccino for me) and an assortment of little Danish pastries.


Now owned and managed by Parks Victoria, there are still some of the original glasshouses left. 



 


After our sun soaked jaunt around the mansion, I had some inspiration. My little garden is way too small for such large plantings, but seeing the camellias was one of those ZING moments where I said to myself, "OMG YES! I gots to get me some of those!"

Some more Spring-ness was to be found at Sonofagun No 2's school.

Here is Sonofagun No.2 dressed up as Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid for the Book Week Parade.


The school has some gorgeous flower and vegie gardens as well as heaps of fruit trees which are in bloom.


Like this nectarine tree.  The kids work on the gardens.


Check out all this broccoli! I actually took this photo to show Bear as he planted one little broccoli plant in our vegie garden. I think we need more like this! 


So here I am in my own little patch ready for action.


We planted 2 cherry tomato plants against a large trellis.  One produces red cherry tomatoes, the other produces orange cherry tomatoes!


My sweet peas which I planted in April are now shooting up quickly.


 
And in edible pea news, we also have sugar snap peas which are already showing signs of wanting to flower.


 These potatoes were given to us by one of our lovely neighbours.


In this patch under the olive tree, are strawberries and rainbow spinach.


We bought some premium mix, mulch and a modest selection of plants from the garden centre to start. 
Such as this little pot of pink violets. PINK VIOLETS!! I love violets!  There were some white violets growing in the front yard as well. Bear has been given strict instructions to not pull them up!

This bird bath was a present from the Mothership and Fatherdom a few years ago. Bear found a solar powered mini fountain hiding in his garage.

We call this little installation the Bellagio.


The Mariposa Plum was a gift from a friend last Christmas. The poor thing has been stuck in a pot until now. I think it was so happy to find its' feet in soil it flowered with joy. Or relief.

I sowed some dahlia and cucumber seeds which popped up in just 1 week!

I have this nifty ikea glasshouse shelf in which I have been growing fig tree and begonia cuttings, ferns, dahlia, cucumber and sunflower seeds. It's in a nice bright spot in the back living area and everything is going crazy in there.


My beautiful friend Robby gave me this gorgeous Camellia x williamsii E.G. Waterhouse.  I planted  it in the front yard today. The flowers are going to be exquisite!


Unfortunately after all the wonderful planting and growing, one plant had to meet its' maker AKA the mulch machine.

A medium sized gum in the front yard was subject to what Bear calls '4WD gardening' as the whole tree had a serious 45 degree lean towards the house. If it grew bigger, a big wind would end up blowing it over onto the house.

Can you see my tiny little Camellia planted in front of the white pillar? Fortunately this side of the house is mostly shady as it is south facing so it won't get too hot in summer.


Now I just need to find a suitable replacement. I'm inclined to go hard or go home. A mother-truckin massive Elm or Oak tree. Unfortunately that may take too long.

Perhaps stay true to the local environment and get another eucalypt or a snazzy orange blossomed Corymbia. Do you have any recommendations? I'd love a medium large tree wide a generous canopy that grows quickly. Any ideas?

And in 9 days I finally travel overseas on my little trip. I haven't been OS in about 14 years.  I'm nervous and excited and won't believe it's happening until I land and see all the big amazing things I've only ever seen on the tv in this faraway place.

xox
 
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona