Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

All of the Tulips! Floriade Canberra

It's no secret that I love Spring and all of the flowers!
In April I planted dozens of tulip and daffodil bulbs in the gardens. They were mixed packs of early and late flowering ones.

This gorgeous double pink frilled tulip below was my favourite!
This year the Bear and I planned a trip to Canberra for our year 10 high school 30th reunion. I was one of the organisers so kind of maybe scheduled the reunion event to coincide with Floriade.

Floriade is the largest flower festival in the Southern Hemisphere and is held every year in my home town of Canberra. I hadn't been to Floriade in around 15 years so have really wanted to go back.

So the Bear, Sonofagun No.2 and I jumped in the car super early and drove 7 hours up to Canberra.

We arrived at lunchtime and decided to sample the local beverage. Choc mint milk named after the local football team.


We stopped by our old high school. See that class room inside the yellow dots? 

31 years ago we met in that classroom. Year 9 English class!


We had a few hours to kill before the reunion, so we stopped by Old Parliament House to visit an old friend from school who worked there. We took the opportunity to look around.

So totally NOT my photo. It was raining on the day so I was too wussy to go out and take a pic of the front of the building. Pinched from www.anao.gov.au
Old Parliament House is now used to show a stack of ever changing art exhibitions.  The image above is from Behind the Lines. An exhibition of political cartoons.
This years' theme is Alice in Wonderland inspired 'Curiouser and curiouser'...


Much to my absolute joy there was a Craftivism exhibition!

The piece below was designed by artist Hiromi Tango. She makes large installations of yarn and found fabric scraps as a way to deal with her anxiety. There's so much info these days supporting what we already know: craft is great for our wellbeing and mental health.

I'm super sorry this is blurry!

The two pieces below are by artist Kate Just. She has an series of knitted images called Feminist Fan. These two below are dedicated to Pussy Riot.  Using knitting to create works like these just freaking BLOW ME AWAY!!!!

Love, LOVE LOVE! So inspiring.
This installation called Archiloom was amazing. The artists Chaco Kato and Dylan Martorell invite people to come in and tie stuff on, move stuff around as Archiloom resists a state of completion. It encourages people to take time to produce, assemble and experience creativity.
So Bear and Sonofagun No.2 got their creative on!
We then wandered through the rest of the building until we found the Prime Ministers Suite.

Still looking very authentic 1980s with typewriters, ashtrays and clunky little TVs.
 

The last guy to sit behind this desk was good old Hawkie... The Honorable Robert J. Hawke....

Our high school reunion was fantastic! So many gorgeous faces, most of whom we hadn't seen in 30 years!
Much drinking, chatting and hugs happened.
The next morning with a teensy bit of a hangover, I dragged the Bear out to the place I had wanted to visit this whole time.....
 

 
Floriade takes place every year at Commonwealth Park in Canberra.
Are you ready for some pure, unadulterated FLOWER PORN????    (I use that word desperately hoping Google search bots don't associate my page with the wrong thing leading a whole bunch of horny teenagers here hoping for boob pics....)
Yeah baby, show me them sexy stamens....


Just a small selection of entrants in the Garden Gnome decorating competition.

The Parental Units joined us so the Mothership and I decided to twin out with matching hats.
More flower lurve...
Many years ago when I was as a horticulturist, I worked in a local Canberra garden centre.

And I loved to give my customers the talk about the birds and the bees...
They'd come in and say, "Why is my blah-blah plant looking spindly? It had heaps of flowers, and now it looks yellowy and a bit thinned out!"

"Ah-ha!" said I!
My favourite audience was the little old ladies from a nearby retirement village because they loved it when I said the next bit:

"It's just had lots of SEX!" 

"OOOhhhh! You're funny!" and they'd give a scandalous little giggle...

"Yep, that whole plant has just had lots of glorious colourful flowery SEX!  Now it's lying back slurping the dregs of a glass of wine, sucking back a ciggie and feeling a bit worn out. BUT VERY HAPPY!"

And they'd giggle again. Then I'd tell them to buy a bag of fertiliser to replenish the poor bush after all of the plant sex, so it can get ready for the next season of plant sex.
My manager hated me telling that story. He was a bit of a prude. 
But it turns out sex sells fertiliser. 
So he let me keep telling it.
Close your petals Poppy! We can see your anthers...

These creamy double tulips look like vanilla ice cream!
What really makes the colours in these tulips pop are the underplantings of pansies, violas, english daisies and polyanthus. Really beautiful and clever landscaping...
 Whoever designs the beds each year does amazing things with colour.

I had never seen this gorgeous yellow and red double tulip before.


The black violas make the double pink tulips burst out.


The sign in the photo above showed the garden bed (below to represent Nordic knitting designs. Not all the tulips were out yet but hopefully you can see some of the blue and white from the design.
If you can't make to Floriade this year (it finishes on the 13th of October),mark it on your calendar for next year. It runs for a month and is completely free!
The next day we drove back to Melbourne where I got to enjoy my own very, very mini-Floriade.

Louise
Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Hello Autumn!


The long hot days of summer are disappearing and are replaced by the up and down temperatures of Autumn. Most days we are lucky as it still hangs in the low to mid 20s. Glorious, warm sunny days and cooler nights.
So far we have only had to light the fire once.

The garden is still producing vegies and flowers.  We even have two watermenlons growing. I planted the seedlings just after Christmas. I should have planted them a lot earlier in the season but I didn't really PLAN to plant watermelons. I saw them in the garden centre one day, and thought, "Hey, let's see what happens with these!"


The Lebanese zucchini keep on producing. But the Bear and I decided we mostly eat zucchini in our winter casseroles and curries, so we keep offering them to anyone who visits. Otherwise they don't get eaten.
 I've come to the realization that I'm a Dahlia fan. I'm not sure when or how this happened. One day I was rather kind of 'Meh' about Dahlias. The next thing I knew I had them all through my garden and I get ridiculously excited when they flower.
It's all very strange. Has that ever happened to you before?

But look at this gorgeous thing! I can't remember what it's name is, but I bought it from a dahlia bulb seller at a farming expo last April.

 This amazing one was also purchased from the same seller. This one is called 'Starsister'.  I thought I had planted it in a pot. Then that dahlia started flowering with plain little pink flowers and I was really cranky as I thought perhaps there was a mix up of the bulbs at the store. Then a few weeks later this popped up and started flowering in the garden bed. I had mixed the bulbs up when I was planting them out!

I just adore it!
 Here's the little pink one.

I love a good pompom dahlia, don't you?

Our tomato plants went nuts! They are still producing loads of fruit. Loads of little orange pear tomatoes and black cherry tomatoes. They are only 2 plants on this arch trellis but they have been branching everywhere.



Most evenings before dinner, I take my little harvest basket out into the garden and pick limes, tomatoes, herbs and strawberries.
We no longer live super close to the beach, but on my days off after school drop-off, Chuck Norris and I go to the beach.  It's an 'off- leash' beach for dogs. And he loves it.
He runs around and says hello to the other dogs, smells all the smells, pees on Pee Rock, and occasionally runs back over to me wagging his tail as if to say, "THIS IS THE BEST FREAKING DAY OF MY LIFE!!!"
So I started thinking that the cooler evenings mean Chuck might need something to keep him warm.
I'm new to the world of dog clothing. Chuck didn't come with his own wardrobe. But he is a short coated dog who will need some protection when it get cold.
I found this pattern for a striped crochet dog coat by Bernat yarns.

I chose rainbow colours because I am allergic to non-rainbow.

I really like the way the neck ribbing is created. The pattern is fairly easy to follow, but I did encounter a few issues which were answered by some of the comments left on the webpage.

I am using Stylecraft special DK whereas the pattern requires an aran weight yarn (Bernat Super Value).

So whilst Chuck would be a 'medium' size, I altered the stitches a little to crochet his jumper between a 'medium' and 'large' size.

It mostly fits well so far, except for the front leg holes which are a little tight. I think that's more the fault of my adjustments than the pattern.

I have a few more rows to go, then sew in the last ends and it's done!

Doesn't he look like a supermodel!

I have also been crocheting some jackets for a set of metal tealight holders which are kind of metal and naked looking (ie: ugly).
I'm using Scheepjes Catona. I love it's glossy colours.

I simply started by crocheting a flat circle. Then when the flat base was the same diameter as the tealight holder, I crocheted 1 round without increasing in the back loops. Then kept crocheting around without increasing.

This one below was inspired by the silk blue bag that it's sitting on.



This one below is a little experimental and as yet, unfinished. I love the art of French artist Nathalie Lete.
I have a few blank notebooks that are covered in her designs, such as this one.  For months I have played around with the idea of crocheting designs based on her paintings.


 It's not finished yet. I love the vibrant colours and quirky creatures she paints. I also absolutely ADORE, (or should I say 'j'adore') her Christmas decorations. Very expensive and hard to find in Australia.

They give off a lovely warm glow and the tealight holder is large enough that the cotton isn't close enough to catch the flame.

 And while many of you are watching your Spring bulbs pop up, soon I'll be planting mine!
Thanks for visiting!

 Louise
Red Haired Amazona