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

Monday, 27 April 2020

Hanging Around Home in Autumn

 Our trees are now doing this.
And for the first time in 7 months I'm wearing socks.
 Chuck Norris occasionally needs to wear a jumper when we go out for our daily walks.
Doesn't he look sweet and happy in this photo?
Mr Norris is actually a bit of an asshole on his walks.
Yep. Asshole. 
As we approach the park he starts barking his head off to announce his arrival to everyone and starts pulling very strongly forward. So we do the proper training thing where we give a little tug on his leash and say, "No!" to let him know it's not good behaviour.
But he now does this nasty little trick where he barks, and pulls so he makes an awful choking sound. He does it! Not us! He bloody does it to manipulate everyone else into believing we're horrible, mean dog parents who choke our poor sweet Pugalier when all he wants to do is to get to the park as quickly as possible.
 Asshole.
So now we detour through a few random boring streets before heading to the park so he becomes a little worn out to be bothered trying his assholery on us.
 When we walk, we can sort of forget that there's this coronavirus drama in the world. Until we see some others out walking wearing facemasks.

There's a random assortment of water birds who live in the muddy puddle called a lake at our local park.
 All jackets came off as the sun came out, the kilometres passed by and we warmed up.
Hey there sexy man! You've got a cute bum!
 These small native flowers smelt sweet enough to be reminiscent of spring wattle.
 The trees aren't big enough to have hollow trunks yet, so the council built nesting boxes for local honeyeaters or ring tailed possums.
A council built torture device.
I've been crocheting basic granny squares to make a blanket in yummy, warm colours.

They're just 5 rounds of doubles, then one round of single crochet in a different colour. I'm still not sure if I love it yet? 
 Autumn means Autumn gardening!  I started planting daffodil, Bluebell, Tulip and Hyacinth bulbs along with some pansies, violas and primulas.
Those two maaaa-hoosive tomato plants have finally died back. They gave us kilos and kilos of tiny toms! Now they're just 2 stringy dead vines. I have left them as there are still tomatoes green on the vines. They will continue to ripen. Then I can clear everything from around the lemon tree, give it some fertiliser and a good layer of mulch.
 About 6 weeks ago I threw a few generous handfuls of sulphate of potash around the blackberries. They gave a gorgeous 2nd flush of flowers and now we're getting more blackberries than we had back in January. And they're also much bigger!
 I threw them into this choc drop muffin batter.  Yeah, I know. I baked! A rare event. Very rare indeed. But I was trying to get Sonofagun NO.2 to come and help bake. 
He initially said, "Yeah sure, I'll bake muffins and stuff."
Then after I got everything bakey out of dusty cupboards and announced it was time to bake, he looked at me and said, "Oh, you were serious? Yeah, nah I'm not baking."
Takes after his mother.
 They were alright. Very unattractive for a muffin though. I used to bake muffins ALOT when Sonofagun No.1 was a toddler and I always remember the muffin mixes being wetter. This recipe I found online was kind of dry. I added extra milk. However they tasted delicious and the whole batch of 18 muffins were gone by lunchtime the next day.
We have also like other families across Victoria commenced 'Remote & Flexible Learning'.
Our teachers have worked extremely hard to deliver lessons to the kids every day. Sonofagun No.2s teacher provides us with a PDF every day with a structured lesson plan filled with videos, exercise sheets and links to online resources. It's awesome. 

Here is his efforts for art. He had to draw a face shape, then using grid lines (shown in a video) sketch out the details of the face. He went further than he was supposed to and did the body and a scene around. Then spent more time on the scene when all he was supposed to draw was a face. 
He told me he had never drawn a person before and said he did better than he thought. This person is his favourite Youtuber.
How are you spending your lockdown? I hope you're all safe and healthy! 
Louise
Red Haired Amazona

Sunday, 29 March 2020

My Summer Obsession: Macrame!

Over summer I found a new hobby.

I became kind of obsessed with macrame.

I watched a couple of Youtube videos to get an idea of the basics and smashed out these 2 wobbly beauties!
I then got a little bit fancy and started using coloured cotton cord. 
I found a clever Macrame lady called Jo with the Instabrag page Retro Craft Revival . She has amazing macrame items in her feed and was kind enough to email some tutorials to me including this lovely plaited style one.
 It's difficult to photograph the whole hanger in one photo as it is quite long.
I wanted to do something a bit MORE for my next hanger. This one was a birthday present for the Mothership.
I first made a basic hanger for this terracotta pot.

  
I then crocheted a range of flowers. Check out these adorable pansies! Sure I made them but the pattern was written by Little Monkey Crochet. They are so beautiful and this is such an easy, delightful pattern that I really wish I designed it myself. But I didn't. Pop over and check out this pattern and make some. You could make so many colour combinations!
I experimented with making some lily type flowers. I didn't end up using them on this hanger. I crocheted a whole lot of leaves and some random pink 5 petalled flowers, and a length of green chain.
 And voila!


My most recent hanger was a more modest, smaller one I made by following a Youtube video by Gray Wonders. I sewed on some leftover leaves and flowers made earlier.

I really loved this one with the different sections of knots!

 It wouldn't be a stretch of the truth to say there's a growing collection of hangers under the pergola now!
I'm thinking of trying to make one of those 70s style macrame owls next! 
Thanks for visiting!

Louise
Red Haired Amazona

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Gardening for the Soul


Hello luvs.
 The world has changed a little bit since we last chatted!


The pollution levels in major cities around the world has dropped to record lows.
The water in the canals of Venice have cleared up due to the decreased boat activity.
People have started spending more quality time together, planting and digging in their gardens, playing board games and taking time to teach their kids life skills.

Some people have stopped eating little animals that they shouldn't be eating. Like bats and pangolins.

We all know why. But let's not talk about the awful reason why. It's rather shit. And I've heard enough shit news over the past couple of months.

Let's just chat about nice stuff here. 

It's Autumn. I don't mind Autumn. The sun still shines warm most days at the moment and we have ALL THE TOMATOES IN THE WORLD!!!
I haven't been online very much as we have been out in the garden and enjoying our own fruit and vegies.
Below is a basket of 8.5kg of freshly dug potatoes, fresh cut dahlias, asters and roses, red shallots, and the colander of tomatoes, cucumbers, and a button squash. 
And Chuck.
 Lebanese cucumbers growing on a bamboo pyramid.
 Two tomato plants have grown over an arch and are tumbling through it. One the left hand side are  a mini tomato called 'Rapunzle' and 'Black Russian Cherry' tomatoes on the right.
 Basil.
 They look like bunches of grapes. In fact these are Black Russian cherry tomatoes.
 Mariposa plums and strawberries harvested in late January.

We are pulling out some summer veg such as yellow button squash, throwing in more cow poo and mulching up.

I planted a punnet of broccoli. 

I wanted to plant some lettuce and silverbeet, but our local garden centre has completely sold out of all vegie seedlings and seeds!

On one hand I was supremely cranky at nutbags buying up as if the apocalypse was upon us and they're all going to grow these things so they don't have to go to the supermarket.
But I realised that I was being a hormonal grouch and this is a wonderful opportunity to get people into the garden and gardening! Non-gardeners can discover what the rest of us already know! Growing your own food is so therapeutic and rewarding!
So get out there! If you only have a balcony or sunny windowsill then use that! Just having a little pot of mint is awesome. 

Here in Melbourne it's time to start planting broccoli, onions, garlic, peas, broad beans and the leafys such as lettuce, rainbow chard, kale and spinach. You could also plant brussel sprouts but they take so long to grow. Watch our for those pretty white butterflies as they will make lots of little babies in the form of green caterpillars which will eat EVERYTHING!!!
Although I couldn't buy any vegies, I bought my spring bulbs and extra sweet peas seeds in case we progress to more severe lockdown restrictions. The sweet pea seeds can be planted now, the daffodil, tulip, hyacinth and Scilla bulbs are going straight into the fridge until after Easter.

In February I flew down to Hobart in Tasmania for my cousins wedding.  I had never been to Tasmania before. It is so beautiful!


In the weeks leading up to it I was watching a murder mystery series on Stan called The Gloaming which was filmed in Hobart. So I had an idea of what the city looked like. It's such a unique town as it was settled in colonial times.
There are loads of original colonial buildings and houses. Green, lush parks and peoples front gardens are overflowing with roses and vegies together!

I travelled down with the Parental Units.
We were extremely excited to visit the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) in Hobart.
Would you like to take a walk with us?







 This little guy is a bandicoot! Some bandicoot species are striped. This guy isn't. He was running around on one of the lawns. 
The wonderful thing about where we were travelling around Hobart is the unique Australian wildlife which aren't easily found on the mainland. I had never seen one before!
 An archway of Pierre De Ronsard climbing roses.
The gardens were established over 200 years ago.
Below you'll see a honeybee and a bumblebee. Mainland Australia does not have bumblebees.
Not a single one.
Tasmania has bumblebees. This totally blew our minds!
Bumblebees are super gorgeous and so.freaking.HUGE!!!!
Mum and I spent 20 mins right here photographing them and filming videos of them to show people back home.

 
"...language Mother!"
Apparently the reason why Tassie has them is because some naughty codger smuggled some over from New Zealand in the 1990s. They are considered a pest as they have had a negative impact on native bee populations.
There are no obvious bumblebees in the next photos.

Every Friday night after dinner, I sit down with my crochet and watch a tv show called Gardening Australia. There is a presenter for most of the states of Australia. For many years one of the most popular presenters was Peter Cundall who filmed some of his gardening segments about vegies in the vegetable garden plots at the RTBG in Hobart. This area is called 'Petes Garden'. Now that he has retired from presenting, Tino Carnavale has taken over the Tasmania bit and also films his vegie gardening tips in Petes Garden. Mum, Dad and I loved walking through this section...



 The Fathership kindly stands in to show how freaking massive the sunflowers were.
 Kiwi fruit on massive trellises...



I hope you stay healthy and safe. If you are healthy, safe and are able, plant something. Or plant many things. You can plant one seed in any container. Or you can dig a garden bed. Plant flowering things, edible things, or just green things that you like to look at. It will be good for your soul.


Louise
Red Haired Amazona