Monday, 24 February 2014

A couple of paintings

Thought I'd show you a couple of paintings I've been working on lately.

I'm happy enough with the wave, but the strelitzia painting needs a bit more work.

This is what I like to do when it's too hot or too wet to garden

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Plants for a smaller garden?

I've been looking around Missy's Garden trying to decide what to plant in our new garden. It will definitely be tropical but much much smaller than this one so I have to be selective.

 Some of the gingers and heliconias are flowering. It's nice to see splashes of colour throughout the green foliage. If you want your garden to have a tropical feel, these are a must.
 Choosing which ones will be the hard part.

The beehive ginger flower reliably each year. The new beehive ginger plants I bought last year (red, chocolate and yellow) haven't flowered yet.  I will have to decide what to do with them - leave them behind, dig them up and take them or give them away. Our future garden will be so much smaller I will need to choose carefully what to take with us. There won't be room for everything. That's the problem with collecting so many plants that you love I suppose.

These heliconia psittacorum grow to only a meter or so in height but can spread to fill as large a space as you let them. Kept under control, they would be fine in a small garden.  If you are wondering what the strange garden ornament on the lawn is, It's a sprinkler sitting on a block of wood.

The yellow strelitzia has it's first flower. It's a much smaller plant than it's cousins so doesn't need as much room. Perfect maybe for a smaller garden.

Bamboo definitely will not be on my list. I love our bamboo grove. They are taller than the house and each clump is now about 2 meters diameter.

I'm sure quite a few bromeliads will find their way to the new garden but those that are established in trees will be staying where they are. That's a passionfruit vine self-seeded from the compost growing through them. I must pull it out before it gets too big.

I have nothing against passionfruit. In fact I think they are a staple in any Queensland garden. Beautiful flowers plus beautiful fruit - what more can you ask.

I haven't decided about the Brazilian Red Cloak yet. I'm pretty sure it will grow from a cutting but it can grow into quite a large bush. It is attractive though, with glossy green leaves and large red flowers into autumn and winter. maybe I'll strike a few cutting as see what happens.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Missy's going to the dentist

Although Missy may look (and occasionally act) like a young puppy she will turn 14 in July.
Over the past year or so she has begun to feel her age. We add joint rejuvenating powder to her meals to help her arthritis (a mixture of glucosamine and fish oil). She has a tablet every morning and night to stop seizures which started about a year ago, then at her latest check-up, we were told she needs to have some dental work done.
She needs to have two teeth extracted under a GA tomorrow.

Age is catching up with her. She still brings squeaky toys to us to play "throw and chase" and shakes the life out of them when she's in the mood, but after two or three throws she now hides the toy and has a rest. She still takes note of neighbourhood dogs barking, but instead of racing to the fence to join in, she growls and looks at me like an old lady complaining about rowdy children. There's more sleeping on the job now than supervision as well. Sometimes she can't even be bothered going out into the garden so just supervises from the back door. (especially on hot days or on rainy days)

Waiting patiently for dinner
She has cataracts so her vision is not as clear as it once was and she often misses my car come up the driveway when I get home from work, so we think maybe her hearing is not what it was either - but she still greets me with the same enthusiasm (when she realises I'm home) and demands "up for cuddles and tummy rubs". One sense hasn't diminished. Her sense of smell is still as keen as ever. Her poor starving dog act whenever bacon, chorizo or chicken (or any meat for that matter) is detected could still win an Oscar.
So, Miss Dog, I hope the doggy dentist doesn't hurt too much and you're feeling much better with those decayed teeth gone. She'll need lots and lots of cuddles afterwards.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Looking for a new home

We've spent a fair bit of time looking at display homes and house plans lately trying to decide on which house to have built. I took lots of photos as memory joggers - they all tend to blend together after a while.

 All the houses are beautifully decorated and landscaped but I want to be able to imaging US living there with our furniture and garden  Some were too small. Some were too big. Some had one or two rooms we liked but not others.

This house had the most enormous bedroom with a huge and luxurious ensuite, and entire wall of windows at the front of the house..... not for us.
 Reminds me of Goldilocks and the Three Bears - This one's too hot/cold/big/small...
We do think we've now found one that's just right though. The main bedroom is at the rear of the house with sliding glass doors to the garden. The entire living area has doors opening into the garden.
There's enough room but not too much. I can picture us living there.  


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