Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Spring Gardening Time for your eyeballs

After winter I am in the garden almost everyday planting, mulching, composting, sowing, smelling, tasting and harvesting!

Last year we planted a little verge garden filled with spinach, rainbow chard, strawberries and herbs which are freely available for anyone to pick. Not a lot of people do yet, but many people stop and look and ask me about different plants.
I painted up some little plant labels using acrylic paint pens and sprayed them with sealant.
My 3 year old garden is booming. There are a few small trees mostly on the west side as the wind whips fiercely down the street from there.
One of my favourites is this Native frangipani. Not related to the tropical frangipanis, this is a Hymenospermum. Known as a native frangipani because it smells just like the tropical one. It's intoxicating!
I've popped a bird bath and tray with wild bird seed right outside my bedroom window as that's 8Tracks favourite window to watch birds.
Soz dude. No outside for you... You'll get skin cancer. And kill stuff.
I'm quite excited about this modest little hydrangea. It's the first time I've been able to get one to thrive. This spot in the garden is the only place that gets the right amount of light and shade. 

There's a path in there somewhere but it's overgrown with Japanese Windflower plants and sweet peas. I didn't plant the sweet peas here. I'm not sure where they came from but it popped up last spring. Yep, a year ago. And really didn't do much. They also didn't flower at all so I figured they'd die off in autumn as they usually do. But they were still there through winter and in August started growing again. Now they sprawl over the little pathway.
I try and go out every day or 2nd day to pick every single sweet pea to keep the plants blooming and blooming! 
Now we're out the back under the pergola. The pergola is a mess and filled with all sorts of crap, so no big wide shots here! Just sweet little close ups of pots that give the false impression of green and tidy.
My pop grew the most luscious and massive zygocactuses (zygocacti?) so the fact I haven't killed this yet and it's about to flower is a minor win!
I'm also really chuffed that this maidenhair is happily thriving.
However I am guilty of committing several acts of Singapore orchid manslaughter.
Here is one of my baby plant nurseries on top of Jerry Halls hutch. Jerry is protected from the elements, while the baby plants have a nice warm spot under some perspex. At the moment I have zinnias, cornflowers, romanesco broccoli, fuscias and gloriosa lily seeds (which don't seem to want to sprout).
At some stage I will need to find space for them in here.
Vegies, fruit and perennials all crowd in beds and pots together. I don't differentiate unless I know one plant might have a toxicity that affects the edibles.
This area is the 'official' vegie garden. Yeah. I know what you're thinking. I need more garden space, don't I. I keep telling Bear that. But he wants his turf. 
We're literally never short of parsley.
Soon I'll have to come out and place little netting bags over each of these plums or the birds will eat them all! They won't really 'eat' them. They'll punch little nasty holes in them so the whole plum is scratched and ruined. On the other hand so far there have been 2 cute little Silvereyes who have been fluttering around eating all the bugs so maybe I'll leave a few uncovered for them. As a thank you treat.

This messy patch down the end is actually filled mostly with edibles gone wild. A lemon tree, spinach and rainbow chard, nasturtiums, and an edible fuscia. I have also planted a bouganvillea which isn't edible but it needed a home so I squashed it in here to grow over the fence. I come to this garden every evening to pick spinach for us and some for Jerry, and pick nasturtiums for salad.
We compost as much as possible. And these 3 composts are not enough but they're all we have space for. I'd love a compost system like those made up with pallets. The old silver washing machine drum holds potatoes. We have a couple of big, black, plastic bins for potatoes as well.
And finally my favourite tree. A 3 year old flowering crabapple. It always starts flowering on my birthday in the beginning of October and flowers for a month.



Cheers Spring! I bloody luvs ya.  What's happening in your garden right now?
Louise


Red Haired Amazona

Thursday, 7 October 2021

How I spent my birthday

🍰🍧🌼Yesterday was my birthday 🌻🍓🍰
We're still in lockdown so there are limits to what we can do but it was a lovely day anyway.
I picked flowers in the morning. Any day in Spring that I can pick flowers is awesome.
So far this Spring my garden is just straight up bragging at me.
I mean check out this foxglove below. Not only is it bragging at me about how frigging gorgeous it is, it's bragging at me about how tall it is. It's now taller than me. Show off.
These pelargoniums look like frilly underskirts of Can Can girls from the Moulin Rouge. If these flower petals were a skirt, I'd wear it.
Have you got that kicking Can Can music in your head now? I do. The old fashioned kind but I'm trying to remember the cool rocked up version from the movie Moulin Rouge with our girl Nic. I quite like that movie until she died. Then I wanted to kick Baz Luhrmann in the kneecaps. Crikey dude, can't you have one movie with a happy ending?
These snapdragons were on the discount table at the local hardware shop a few months ago. They were wilted and small. I bought 4 pots for 50c each. 
Heck yeah, Salvias! And the frizzy green fennel leaves remind me of Kylie Minogue the absinthe fairy...
I went for a walk with the Blonde Bombshell the Divine Miss Emma and her little sprogget. We walked around Cherry Lake. The ground was blanketed in parts with this beautiful native succulent.

The diet was blown when we found a Mr Whippy van parked there. The Divine Miss Em treated us both to the most calorific soft serve cones. On a scale of 1 to Amazing, this was orgasmic! I chose choc dipped with nuts. The chocolate wasn't a cheap, thin runny chocolate. It was thick Cadbury tasting chocolate that was a solid respectable layer of 'HOLY HIPS, YOU IS WOBBLING NOW!'  

But by the end of the day I had actually hit 11,500ish steps so I regret nothing. 

I did a little bit of crochet.  I am contemplating making some smaller versions of some of my amigurumi birds such as Stevie Bird below for the Xmas tree this year. Each Christmas I contemplate a theme. This year it might be birds. I say 'contemplate' because I contemplate it, then as I'm decorating I realise I love all my decorations and use all of them and any idea of 'theme' goes out the window.
My other lovely sister-friend Wren's Place popped by for a 'socially distanced curbside drive-by' to wish me HB and surprised me with Ursula the Unicorn. She is amazing and huge!
I have hung her from the ceiling of my craft room. She's hanging above me right now as I type.
AND a magical munchy cupcake. I decided to save it for today after yesterdays calorie explosion. It tastes like a unicorn kissed a rainbow in my mouth. Fortunately as we are both trying to be healthy (she is being so much more successful than me!) she also gifted me a beautiful folk art fruit bowl filled with... fruit! And half of it has been eaten already!
In the afternoon I worked on some plant labels I started on the weekend. We have planted a verge garden filled with herbs which we are hoping our neighbours want to use as well. They need labels as many of the people I have chatted with in the street mention they don't know some of the plants. I started doing some with some basic paints I had leftover from when the boys did craft. I then ordered some acrylic paint pens online which arrived yesterday. So much more precise than 10 year old $2 shop paint brushes!
The 2 stakes below were with paint and brushes.
This one was done with the acrylic paint pens. I still have a few more to go. I was getting a few phone calls from friends and relatives, so I spent the afternoon chatting on the phone handsfree while doodling little plant stakes.
Once they are all finished they will get a few coats of some sort of sealant.

I ended the day with a book that I picked up a few months ago. I honestly can't remember where I found it. But after finishing a trashy pirate romance novel, Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon and The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams, I have finally started The Good Wife of Bath by Karen Brooks. 
It's a retelling of the Tale of the Good Wife of Bath by Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales. 
I did read the Canterbury Tales decades ago and am a fan of middle English stories. I had to make myself put this down last night well after midnight as I was really enjoying it.
As I rang in each year in my 20s at the clubs with a G&T in one hand and a delicious young man in the other I never would have thought picking flowers, walking, painting and reading would be considered a top class quality birthday in my late 40s. But here I am dear occasional readers. Soaking it up and living large (but really hating the extra wrinkles).

Thanks for visiting!

Louise


Red Haired Amazona








Saturday, 2 October 2021

What a wonderful, rumbly time we're having down under!

 

We had a little bit of excitement down under the other week.

As you can tell from my mildly confused black cat and wiggly hanging plants that something is kind of happening. 

Full disclosure: I was in the shower. Not a care in the world when all of a sudden I felt a bit woozy. You know that light headed kind of feeling when you might faint and everything seems like you're on a boat?

That was me. I gripped the shower rail and my first thought as the earth moved under me was, "Oh shit. I'm butt naked in the shower and I'm having a stroke. The kids won't notice I'm gone for hours and when they're hungry they'll come looking for me. They'll hear the shower running and not bother checking. Then the Bear will come home this afternoon and walk in and find my dead, fat, naked, waterlogged carcass on the floor in the shower that's been running for 6 hours and there'll be a huge waterbill."

And then I realised I had felt this once before over 20 years ago in Indonesia and looked at the chain hanging down from the roller blinds to see it swinging. Phew! I was relieved it was an earthquake.

That previous experience was in Lombok, Indonesia. I was sitting eating noodles in my bungalow when all of a sudden it felt like the whole bungalow was moving on waves like the ocean. You feel a little whoozy as your head can't comprehend that the ground is moving this way. I later found my best friend and travel buddy and asked her if she felt the earthquake but apparently she was stoned in a hammock on her bungalow verandah and missed the whole thing.

As I hopped out of the shower (my thought processes spun from "can't be found naked and dead from a stroke in the shower or naked and crushed in an earthquake faultline like Lois Lane in Superman 1 so I better quickly get some clothes on") my phone was ringing. It was the Bear who was at work. They had experienced lots of crazy rocking and shaking over there so he wanted to see if it hit at home as well. 

There have apparently been aftershocks but I haven't felt any. I kind of wish I could because I feel like I didn't have time to really absorb what was happening in that last one. 

We've been out enjoying some beautiful weather over the past few days.

We've made a couple of visits to different parts of the Werribee River Trail. I had never been despite it being just 15 minutes from home. This section is right next to the central hub of Werribee but is just lovely. There are landscaped native gardens, adventure playlands for people with littlies, and this big mildly ugly but kind of cool pedestrian bridge over the river.
I went walking with my super lovely friend and our kids on one day ( 2 double vaxxed adults can meet outdoors now!!) and a few days later I dragged the Bear with me for an early Sunday morning cappuccino & walk. He grumbled a little about 'having jobs to do' until I reminded him that having a coffee and ramble date with the missus was more important.




I didn't see any platypus but it's nice to know they're around.

I have made further progress on the Sonofagun Blanket. I'm now up to 25 squares. I think I may need to have 64 squares before I can start edging. That should just be double bed sized.
I'm getting ridiculously bored with blues, browns and reds but when I look at the different squares together I really like the overall style. I've started added a few feature squares so the blanket can tell a little story about who he is at this time. I know I'm being bold about posting them here but I'm fairly confident a 20 year old fella does not read his mother craft blog!
I also recently pulled out my large hexagon blanket which I finished maybe 9 or 10 years ago? I can't remember how old it is. It has been stored carefully away in a plastic ziplocked bag under the bed. I gave it a wash and a good airing out.
Someone found it a rather fun hiding spot.

When his eyes are like this I know to be careful.
It's the 8Track equivalent of Bruce from Finding Nemo. He's smelt blood in the water.
I used a pen to lift the blanket for good reason.

Louise


Red Haired Amazona