Showing posts with label Melbourne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Melbourne. Show all posts

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

I don't hate August anymore.

I normally ignore August.
It's still technically Winter. It has a grandiose sounding name (AUGUST!) but I spend so much time yearning for Spring which starts in September, that I don't really pay much attention to August. Poor August.
But the early blossoming trees are doing their funky thing.
So this year I stopped whinging about the sleety, cold rain and horrid winds that charge through our city and paid closer attention to August.
I realised August isn't really Winter. It's 'pre-Spring'.  It's just as fed up with Winter as us humans are, and is trying to shed the bad rap.
The days are trying to be a little bit longer at a rate of about 2 minutes per day. Sounds like a snails' pace but after losing sun at around 5-5.30pm, by the end of August, there will still be a lighter sky around 6.15-6.30! Reminding us that long Summer days aren't far away.
We have prepared the vegie garden for the summer crops. Turned in bags of horse poo and I set up a Snow Pea Teepee complete with fairy lights!

The Earlicheer Jonquil lives up to its' name with flower heads so fat, they keep falling over.
This rose had a nice sheltered spot through Winter, so kept flowering but needs a hard cutback as all its' flowers come out slightly fasciated.
After a couple of years of poor tulip performance, I kept this batch in the spare bar fridge for about 6 weeks before planting.
And they are looking beautiful!



I also planted Ranunculus in random spots throughout the garden and in some pots. It's been fun seeing where they have popped up because I usually forget where I plant bulbs.
I planted more shallots. We love them in salads and stir-fries!

I made a sweet Lalylala lady bird from a free pattern that was included in a magazine, I think it was Inside Crochet? All the good crochet and craft magazines come from the UK & the US but we get them 6 weeks after they are sold there. It feels very 1950s waiting such a long time for stuff like that when I can order something from the UK direct and get it in 7-10 days.
Like this!!!
I literally squealed at the courier when he arrived with these 2 big bundles. Like girlie/ psycho squealed. He looked kind of freaked out. A 40 something woman with her hair in a towel, no makeup (and not in one of those Instagram- worthy casual glam ways. But haggard, real life, 'where the f*** did my youth go' ways).
I was lucky enough to have a little tax refund after I lodged my return this year. I could have saved it. I could have put it towards bills. Sure! That would be the responsible, grown up thing to do. And because paying bills and saving are grown up, adulty things, I immediately spent it.
Deramores UK were having a nice sale of Stylecraft DK and Scheepjes cottons. With free postage on international orders over I think $75.
I thought to myself, "Hmm, it would be okay if I bought $75 worth of yarn!  That's a nice splurge."
I bloody blew that limit out of the water!
But here's the thing...
Our local craft stores have double knit acrylics but the colour range of Stylecraft is gorgeous. I prefer to use small local yarn shops but they tend to stock very expensive boutique yarns. Stylecraft yarns aren't sold in Australia and if someone does sell them here, they are horrifically expensive. So I bought a nice batch for super cheap from Deramores, but I could have bought 2 or 3 of every single colour and I think they have more than 80?
I also chose a pretty armful of cute little Scheepjes Catona. 
And these 7 skeins of Scheepjes Sweet Treats. Aren't they sooooo delicious!

Just before I received my lovely big bundles, the Mothership and the Fatherdom came to Melbourne for a visit and brought along a present for me.

This is a wooden suitcase which I made in woodwork class when I was 16. Nearly 30 years ago! For ages (probably nearly 30 years) the parentals have used it to store irrigation sprinklers in the back shed. They cleaned it up, painted it cream (it was plain pine) and vajazzled it.
Now it has a new job!

Holding all my old and new cottons!
The delicious colours of the Scheepjes Catona and Sweet Treat has inspired me to go back to making something that I used to love crocheting.
Birds...
This little sweet bird above was the first of a new type I am making. He is a kind of plain green here as this was Prototype No.1!  He isn't wonky, I placed his beak and eyes so it looks like he is looking to the side. Kind of being coy!
He has some way to go before I'm happy with the end design but he was made with the Scheepjes Sweet Treat colours.

I'm in the middle of making this one below using the same design but with Scheepjes Catona!
It has colourful pins for eyes and a beak at the moment while I sew the wings on. Then I have to make certain facial decisions!
Phew! There were a lot of photos in this post. Thanks for visiting!

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

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