Thursday, 29 September 2011

Very happy hippies

There is a blaze of red along our front fence-line. The hippeastrums have come to life.

For much of the year they are simply clumps of green leaves. Then in winter they die back and disappear completely. But when they re-appear they make sure they are noticed.


We began (a few years ago) with one plant and each year the bulbs multiply. It wouldn't be possible to count how many we have now. Many bulbs have been given away as well and hopefully will be putting on the same show in other gardens at the moment.
These plants receive no attention - except when they flower. They survive on rain water only and reward us year after year with a great display.

 Clumps of Dietes are interspersed behind and between. They flower for much longer and are also an easy care plant that multiplies each year. When I saw them thriving in traffic islands along the motorway, I knew they would be the perfect plant for this area of the garden.
Gradually we are acquiring more as the seeds germinate. The clumps can be dug up and divided but I'm in no hurry. I just keep an eye out for any volunteer plants that come up and transplant them to where I want a new clump.

Some people have fairies at the bottom of their garden. I have hippies.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The A to Z of Me

Laura at Our Wee Farm did an A to Z of Me which I thought was so great I'm being a copycat. I haven't written this much for the blog in ages.

A=Age; (Ouch) 55 - Smack in the middle of middle age.

B=Bed size; Queen

C=Chore that you hate; I would much prefer to work in the garden than the house. But if I have to pick  the ONE I hate the most – vacuuming. No wait – ironing or maybe cleaning windows.

D=Dogs; Missy, of course! But I’m not so sure she considers herself a dog.

E=Essential start to your day; Coffee. I can’t do anything until the caffeine kicks in.

F= Favourite colour; I don’t have a favourite colour as such. My favourite colour changes with my mood and the situation. In the garden I like red and white because they look so good with green.

G=Gold or silver; I’m really not a jewellery person. I like it and would never say no to something sparkly as a gift, but I rarely wear it or buy it and don’t really have a preference.

H= Height; 5ft 7in, 169cm and I’ve been that tall since I was about 12 which made me a whizz at netball when I was at school.

I= Instruments you play; As a child I learnt piano but haven’t played for many years. Don’t think I could now. I can tune a car radio though.

J=Job title; Manager – Injury Management Services. I head a team of health professionals who make sure people who are injured at work get the treatment and rehabilitation they need to recover and get back to work safely.

K-Kids; I have a son and a daughter and John has a son and two daughters, so between us – 5 (all adults) and we have 5 adorable grandchildren.

L=Live; I have lived in Queensland all my life – much of it in North Queensland but currently in the South East corner.

M=Mother's name; Ada

N=Nickname; Never had one. (Well, not that I know of)

O=Overnight hospital stays; When my children were born we stayed in hospital for 5-7 days, not like now when they send you home almost immediately. They’ve been my longest hospital stays.

P=Pet peeves; Ever seen the “Grumpy Old Women” shows – well I don’t want to seem like one of them - however – Rudeness in all it’s forms would be my pet peeve.

Q=Quotes from a film; The Castle has a quote for (almost) every occasion

“This is going straight to the pool room”,
“Tell him he’s dreaming”,
“How’s the serenity” and my all time favourite,
“I dug a hole”.

R=Right or left handed; Right handed totally and absolutely.

S= Siblings; One brother who is seven years younger than me. I used to call him my little brother until he grew to 6ft 2in.

T=Time you wake up; I wake up when the sun gets up – like the chooks. Early in Summer, late in Winter.

U=Underwear; With age comes an appreciation of comfy undies.

V=Vegetable I hate: I confess. I don’t like pumpkin. It’s one of the very few foods I avoid.

W=What makes you run late; Traffic jams. I try very hard to never be late. I will leave for an appointment half an hour early to avoid being a couple of minutes late. I think it’s rude to keep others that took the effort to be on time waiting, but when the traffic comes to a halt..... that's it....I'm not going anywhere.

X=Xrays you've had; Most bits of me have been X-rayed at one time or another. Not that I’m clumsy.

Y=Yummy food that you make; I love preparing celebration food – for birthdays, Christmas, family gatherings.

Z=Zoo animals; All animals have their own charm. I have recently rediscovered zoos with my grandchildren. I would hate to see an animal caged but the zoos I’ve been to aren’t like that. They really try to replicate their natural homes and make life as comfortable as possible for their animals.
The boys love the snakes and lizards as much as the furry animals.

Monday, 26 September 2011

My Holiday

I've been off to Cairns again to play with my grandsons.

Had a wonderful time.

 Came home feeling refreshed and enlivened - ready to tackle many of the gardening jobs that have been neglected or just can't be done over Winter.
Two weeks holiday - one in Cairns and one in the garden.
In Cairns, I went to the Zoo, to the beach, to Kindy and generally enjoyed being Grandma.
In the garden, I cleared out and replanted a couple of garden beds, did lots of weeding, divided bromeliads, planted some corn and beans (thanks Hazel for the tip). For many people this wouldn't seem like much of a holiday, but I loved it and I'm looking forward to doing lots more in the garden now the days are longer.
John has put a sprinkler system in the greenhouse, so propogating will be happening over the next couple of weeks. Many of the plants in our garden grow from cuttings and I'm hoping to have lots of new plants ready to give away and to fill spaces in the garden in a couple of months. Hopefully I'll remember to get some photos as I do them. I've been rather slack lately with the blog.

Oh ... and I also gave Missy a haircut.

Silkie Terriers have hair that just keeps growing. Show dogs have hair that reaches almost to the ground and gets brushed daily, but Missy's definitely not a show dog. Over Winter Missy's long hair keeps her warm, but as the weather gets warmer she needs to have short hair. When I first do it, it takes a while for us to get used to the much smaller dog with the skinny legs. Luckily, she's not a vain dog or doesn't have access to a mirror because I'm not a great hairdresser. A professional dog groomer would do a much better job but costs a heap.
She doesn't like having it done but she just sits and lets me do it - such a good dog.
She looks impressed doesn't she?

Monday, 12 September 2011

Millie's Garden

This is my friend Millie. Isn't she cute?
She has a keen interest in gardening like me. She has people who do most of the work for her as all dogs do. She's very proud of her garden - and so she should be.
During the floods in January the water washed away the grass and topsoil from a large part of her back garden. Her people (Marie and Baz) have had to work very hard to restore the garden - with quite a deal of encouragement from their dog of course.
They decided, rather than replace the topsoil and lay turf, they would reinvent the garden.
 Rocks and pavers have replaced the washed away lawn.
 They have a great collection of succulents and bromeliads, so the new look compliments their plants perfectly.
I love this little man.

Out of the chaos they've created a new garden room.
What a great place to hide out with a good book and a cool drink.

Millie tells me it was all her idea. She had to constantly supervise to make sure Marie and Baz got it right. Isn't she a talented garden designer?

Saturday, 10 September 2011

What a rip-off!!!

Where has Spring gone. I feel like we've been robbed. We had beautiful Spring weather during the week while I was at work and then I woke up this morning to freezing cold winds.

The garden has been showing definite signs of Spring. The wisteria has started to bloom.

The strawberries are fruiting.

Tiny daisies are appearing.

Spring is a wonderful season. It's a pleasure to be in the garden in Spring and I was looking forward to spending the weekend getting dirt under my fingernails and the sun on my back.
I had sown trays of seed and they were being nurtured ready for planting in the vegie patch.  - Capsicum, several varieties of chilli, yellow pear tomatoes, rosella, corn, cucumber, beetroot and bok choy. This weekend the plan was to dig compost through the garden beds to refresh them ready for the new seedlings. BUT - I woke this morning to cold and windy - definitely a day to stay inside.

I did a few loads of washing but hadn't even ventured outside to hang it up. I was hoping somehow that the wind would ease. When I did eventually go outside this is what I found...
It looks more like a coffin than a greenhouse and that's exactly what it is. All of the seed trays have been up-ended. Nothing could be saved. I had it weighed down with bricks across the bottom shelf - obviously not enough. Oh well, guess what I'll be doing when the wind dies down. This time I think I'll tie it to the post as well as weighing it down.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Winter is over!

What will I miss about Winter?
With today being the first day of Spring, surely there was something about Winter that was great....mmm trying to think.

The frost burnt plants? NO!

The coughs, sniffles, sneezes and wheezes? Not a chance!

Wearing winter woolies, the shorter days and getting up on cold mornings? Definitely NOT!

The misty mornings? Maybe

Winter vegies. Yes.
I’ll miss growing peas and spinach and big fat tomatoes. We are lucky to be able to grow a much wider range of vegies during winter, but now it's time to plant new crops and welcome Spring.

All around the garden there are signs of new life. The garden loves Spring.

Lots of buds on the little magnolia.

Welcome Spring - we love you!!!


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