Showing posts with label spring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spring. Show all posts

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Pink Flowers & Glow

November hasn't been all about Peony Watch 2020. Well yes, it's mostly been about Peony Watch 2020. 
I mentioned a couple of posts ago that my oldest peony (this one in the middle blue pot) had popped out some buds for the first time. This plant has been in this pot for 3 years. Apparently there's an old saying about Peonies: 1st year they sleep, 2nd year they creep, 3rd year they leap. My 3 pots below demonstrate this marvelously. Guess which one is the 1 year old, the 2 year old and the 3 year old?
I have been ridiculously obsessed. And it's been so long since I bought the plant that I had long since lost the label and couldn't remember what cultivar this one was. 

Every morning I would go out to check on my peonies. Particularly Mr Anonymous Bud Guy here.  

Every day I would make sure they weren't getting too much wind, I'd check whether they needed water with my little moisture meter, and every couple of weeks I'd give them a weak solution of Seasol.
The buds grew larger and started to do this.
From their size, I figured they wouldn't be big, fat extravagant double blooms. Maybe a single or semi double variety. I carefully staked their stems as they started to droop from the weight of the buds.
And then the first bud opened!

The perfume was delightful. Not strong and heady, but light and distinctly peony-like!

On this day it was predicted to be a hot day. I actually picked up that heavy ceramic pot and brought it into the house. I knew the hot weather would make these soft petals wilt and crumple.

They were so bright and beautiful. Do you know what variety this is? I haven't quite been able to figure it out.
And they shone in Peony Gorgeousness.
For about 3 days. 
November has notoriously fickle weather here.
After the hot day cooled and the wind dropped, the next day I took the plant back outside but still in the cooler pergola area next to a large potted Daphne that is protected from the elements.

But weather reared it's ugly head. We had another hot, windy blast which kicked in while I was out shopping a couple of days later.  

And despite being under the pergola, I came home to this...
I'm ok. Maybe I just kept my dignity, sighed and got over it. Maybe I had a wailing, ugly faced cry. No one will ever know except me and the tissue box.
I was definitely disappointed but I now know I can look forward to their blooms again next year. And hopefully the next younger sibling will leap as well!

I decided that 2020 has been such an asshat that I should give us a nice extended Chrismassy feeling.
So our tree went up on November 1st.
I know! SCANDALOUS!!!!

Elf on a shelf even made an early appearance by being extra friendly with our John McLane Christmas Tree angel...
Out came the Xmas lights. All the outside lights are solar powered.
You can tell that I kind of didn't realise one set was 'golden light' and the other set is 'white light'. But it still looks magical!

My latest addition is this ridiculously divine 'Uni-Llama'! I love her SOOOO MUCH!!

If you have any ideas on what variety my peony is, please let me know! I'd love to stick a name on it! 

Thanks for visiting!
Louise
Red Haired Amazona






 


Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Everything is growing in October!

Howdy! I've spent the last couple of months living in the city with the harshest lockdown laws in the world. And do you know what? It's totally been ok! It really has. At the start of our lockdown we were getting over 700 cases per day just here in the city of Melbourne. And today it was announced that we had 1 case. 


One. 
And they aren't quite sure it really is a case as apparently the person had covid a few months ago and may have tested positive as they shed dead virus cells or something something medical etc.

I don't know about you but I think that's freaking fantastic. More than 700 per day down to 1.

So to all those dickheads overseas protesting because their governments are thinking of closing the pub at 10pm because you have thousands of cases a day I say shut the truck up you silly twat. 

8Track continues to dominate the house. 

His favourite day is bag day. AKA Shopping day. 
He likes to sit in front of the screen when I'm watching my current favourite garden show Gardeners World from the UK. There's something about Monty wielding his secateurs! He really is the gardening womans sex symbol...

And he has the smoothest, most honeyed voice. Seriously, this guy needs to do readings for Kindle!
Watching an hour of GW inspires me to run out and work in my garden. Because I've had to work from home I can go outside and potter around in my lunch breaks and immediately after i finish work. It's so therapeutic don't you think?
Even the pets benefit from it. They all munch on a basket of cat grass I have growing in the pergola...
Have you ever had someone take a photo of you when you were partway through a mouthful of food? It always looks hideous! So I took a photo of Chuck Norris while he was eating cat grass...
I grew these purple runner beans from seed. Now they are a good foot taller than they were in this photo.
Bijoux managed to escape before I could take her photo of eating cat grass, but deigned to let me photograph her stretched out on the warm concrete.
This rather weedy, unattractive mass is one single borage plant that's gone rogue. I have let it continue to grow for now because it is always covered in bees.
I have never had so many bees in the garden before. If I have to let the borage stay to support the bees, then I am happy to sacrifice the space!
Not having access to a garden centre has meant that for a couple of months i was receiving regular packages of bulbs and seeds. I even had some live plants delivered in the form of 2 Clematis. Despite the delays of a lot of mail, the live plants arrived within 2 days and were really well packaged.




There has been some crochet. I also finally finished my granny square vest which I'll post about later. 
Some of my plants are absolutely covered in flowers because they have had a regular and thorough deadheading. When we are all recalled back into the office, I will strenuously argue against going back in because I will fall behind on my deadheading.
This is Hymenosporum flavum or the Native Frangipani. It grows into a super tall tree and the flowers smell like frangipanis. It's delicious!
I cleared an overgrown and unproductive fuscia out of this front garden. I cut it back and potted it elsewhere but have planted in a mixture of foxgloves, cosmos and hollyhocks as well as a hydrangea. I hope they look massive and blousey when they grow up!
This next bit is super exciting for me. Peonies. They tend to prefer cold winters. And Melbourne doesn't really have cold winters, This winter was actually quite sunny and warm. I have never been able to get any to flower. I usually kill them with too much love. But I have persevered. Apparently the old saying is: 1 year they sleep, 2nd year they creep, 3rd year they leap.
So these are my 3 peonies. The one on the left is 1 year old, the middle one is 3 years old and the blue potted one on the right is 2 years old.

And now the 3 year old peony has given me a batch of these!
Tomato and Forget me not seedlings that have been potted up.
I took the garden arch that supported last years tomatoes in the Lemon garden, and moved it to the vegie garden for a grand entrance. On one side is a blackberry plant, and a passionfruit vine on the other. We are also trialling growing potatoes in those black bins. We cut the bottoms out and planted Kennebec potatoes.


Sonofagun No.2 finally returned to school a couple of weeks ago after 106 days of 'remote learning' at home. 106 days! And that doesn't include the time spent at home for the 1st lockdown. One of the last art projects he had to do before going back was to create a piece of street art that incorporates something about Covid. We put our heads together and he came up with Surgical Mask Stuart  who lived in front of our house for a few weeks until it rained and his eyes fell off.

 So mask up, wash your hands, stay at home and stay safe and healthy!

Louise
Red Haired Amazona

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Lockdown, lanterns and horny security guards

 We're currently in Stage 4 lockdown.

Just as we thought we almost had this thing licked, a security guard working at a hotel in the Melbourne CBD where people were staying to quarantine after returning from overseas decided it was an ok idea to bonk one of them. 

And caught covid. Then passed it on to his work colleagues, family, friends. You know the drill.

I mean I'm usually as happy as the next person for a bit of a shag, but even at my horniest I'd make pretty damn sure the other person wasn't potentially carrying the 21st century version of the plague. 

A classic Covidiot.

On the plus side we're at the tail end of a delightfully mild winter. There's only 3 weeks left until Spring but the violets, daphne and hyacinths fill the air out in the back yard with perfume.

It's almost glorious enough for me to forget about the stupid, horny security guard who spread a virus around into every corner of the city. Most especially into my corner. 

Oh yes. My postcode is now known as a 'hotspot'. Doesn't that sound exciting boys and girls!

I just LOVE wearing a mask everywhere and fearing for mine and my families health.


8 Track the kitten has become a dominant force in the house.


He's super adorable BUT he thinks jumping up onto the kitchen bench is the most marvelous idea. He also has a nasty habit of teasing Bijoux and Chuck. We are trying to discourage him with a spray bottle of water everytime he does something he shouldn't.

At his most atrocious he can end up becoming soaking wet.
And then he gives us these beautiful blue eyed looks.
We've had quite a few days that were as warm as 15- 17c. I wheeled the tomatoes out for some direct sunlight on the weekend. I was also hoping to attract some bugs in to pollinate the tomato flowers. Stick their little proboscis' in to dab around some pollen. Perhaps I should track down that security guard. 
The guinea pig ladies have a brand new hutch. There's a big square piece of glass on top as it was supposed to rain later and we haven't fashioned a proper covering yet.
It's a sign of the times when a girl has to crochet a basket to hold the family face mask collection!

Under Stage 4 we are allowed to leave our homes for a maximum of 1 hour each day to exercise within a 5km distance from our home.
The Bear and I took Chuck for a lovely walk on Sunday. The wattle are starting to flower. 
One of my favourite bloggers Teresa Kasner made mention in one of her recent posts of a beautiful crocheted lamp pattern she had found online. I followed the link from her blog and was so inspired by the designer Elealinda's lamps that I bought the pattern (which can be found here!)

Here is a picture from the Elealinda Etsy page. Aren't they absolutely beautiful?


I think I could have figured it out from the photos but i really wanted to support the designer. We put days, weeks and months into designing things. Sometimes just paying for the pattern, even if you think you can work it out is a way of telling that clever person that you love what they do and find them inspiring!

I picked a bunch of 4ply cottons from my collection.

I had a couple of metal hoops i purchased in summer for macrame. They were bigger than what was stated in the pattern but i cracked out the trusty google calculator to alter the stitch count...

I cracked on with it.

And by the next day, (which was actually this arvo) I had finished.
I have a ridiculous amount of beads.
It was so quick and easy to make!
I'm going to jump online and order some more hoops. 
I was taking this photo below when Bijoux made a rare appearance for a drink from the fish bowl.

The lantern is wider than the ones pictured in the pattern as the hoops are alot wider. I did insert a few rows with no increase or decreases. I think I could have made more but I realised that once you know how the pattern works, you can adjust to make a range of different sizes!




All these little side projects have taken me away from finishing my Granny Square vest. I really should get back to that. So close to finishing it. But I've also started a blanket. And some placemats. And a new cushion cover....
How many WIPs have you got on the go?

Louise
Red Haired Amazona