Sunday, 26 July 2015

One Last Look at Missy's Garden

Since we've left Missy's garden, I've looked back through a number of my blog posts. I am missing the garden quite a bit. So as a final goodbye, I want to quickly revisit it for one last time, before asking you to join me on my new blog -

Checking out progress with the building of the house on a very large and empty block of land back in 2005.
The area was originally cleared for farming many years ago. Various neighbours had told us they grew small crops, watermelons and various vegetable, so we hoped the soil was OK, but it had been many years since it was a farm. 
Planting our rainforest trees

The first thing we did, after moving in was to plant trees in the front corner of the block to create a mini-rainforest. Most of the trees were sourced from the local Council or native plant nurseries. I wanted trees that were indigenous to the area and would not require pampering. I also wanted trees that would attract birds and wildlife so a bit of research went into the choosing of the trees.

It looks like original bushland now but it was carefully planned and nurtured in the early days.  All sorts of birds and creatures visit or live there so I did achieve my aim.

As everyone knows, Missy has always been the overseer. No matter what went on in the garden she kept an eye on us to make sure it was done properly.

 Helping to feed the chickens
Our visitors
the king parrots

This was a real highlight. We wondered what was happening to our sunflowers but when we discovered the culprits we were delighted. Over time they continued to visit the garden and after a while ignored our presence.
The cannas in full bloom

This was one of Missy's favourite toys - Purple Pig. It was carted around the garden once too often, left out in the rain and became brown and mouldy pig, so it went in the bin. Don't worry though, she has lots of other toys.

We loved our vegie patch but Missy loved it too. There were often lizards or bugs to chase and the ground was soft to bury bones. Plus it got a lot of sun and was a great place to take a nap.

She hated to lawn mower though. It needed barking at to keep it in line.

Sometimes the plants were bigger than the dog.
The chickens loved the vegie patch as well
favourite ginger
Missy showing her visitor around the garden

There are new dogs (and their people) looking after Missy's garden now -- She has a new garden to start and adventures to discover.

Come and visit at the new place whenever you like.
You're always welcome.

Over the Bridge

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Big Move

Four weeks after moving we finally have internet and phone connected. Apparently that is the standard time it takes Telstra to connect a new service. It's lucky the electricity suppliers aren't as slow.
Enough of the whinging -- The move went smoothly enough and most of the boxes have been unpacked now, although we still can't get our cars in the garage.

I don't think I'll ever get sick of the view. 

We brought quite a few plants with us for the new garden. Two trailer loads and some in the back of the car. There were so many I would love to have brought but I had to prioritise the space available.

I don't feel too bad about leaving them though. The people who bought the house love plants and gardening so I know that Missy's Garden is in good hands.

Currently everything is tucked along the side fence where they can get watered but be out of the sun and wind. I'm just hoping I can keep them alive until we can plant them out.

We have basically decided on a plan for the layout of the garden but haven't got very far yet. There's been quite a deal of rain which would be great for the garden (if we had one) but not particularly good for moving dirt around to create a garden.

In our neighbourhood, all of the houses are newly built so everyone is at various stages of building, moving in or creating their garden.  We compare notes on where to buy dirt, who to get to build fences, etc.

Oh, and most importantly..... Missy is quite comfortable with the move. She has a much smaller kingdom to reign over and guard, but it seems to suit her - being a very small dog and not as energetic as she once was. She can survey her yard and watch out for potential villains from the patio where her food bowls and day bed is kept. .

Monday, 4 May 2015


Our house sold very quickly - in only a few days. We had a great real estate agent. She recommended viewings by appointment rather than an open house - A lot more work for her but better for us. The first viewing was for 3 couples, two of whom wanted to come back for a second look. The next day she made 2 more appointments for viewings later that week. Then the next day she called to say someone had made an offer (which we accepted).  Now two weeks later the sale has become official and Missy’s garden will soon have new people to care of it and enjoy it.

We will be meeting the buyers tomorrow, but our agent said they want to keep the chickens and the fish and they love the garden. They sound like exactly the right sort of people for our house and garden. The chickens will be happy. I had found a potential new home for them, but now they don’t have to move which is better. Settling into a new flock can be rather traumatic until the pecking order is established.
Removalists have been arranged for 3 weeks’ time so we have started packing. It's going to be a busy time. There is still work to be done on the new house but it is ready to live in as is. Hopefully I'll be too busy to get too emotional at the thought of saying good-bye to the garden.
Another thing to consider is the future of Missy’s Garden (the blog). If I no longer have the garden there will be nothing much to blog about, but it is something I really enjoy. We will be starting a new garden from scratch (there's only dirt there at the moment) plus we will be discovering Bribie Island and whatever awaits us there. That should give me lots to write about
.......I think I might start a new blog for our new home.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

A wander around the garden

I took the camera for a wander around the garden this afternoon.
Lately I've been so busy working in the garden I haven't taken the time to just relax and appreciate it. I took so many photos I've collaged some of them... otherwise you would have been scrolling and scrolling.

It's looking so good at the moment it makes me very sad to be leaving.

For some comic relief, I just have to look at the chickens. They've lost most of the feathers poor things...but very funny.

Meanwhile, the greenhouse is packed to overflowing with plants I want to take with us to the new garden.

lots of broms (you may have noticed)

 Some succulents, orchids, cordylines, frangipanis and spider lilies as well.

It's going to be a small garden and I think I have far too many.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Missy's garden (and house) is listed for sale online
-- check out our ad

I think the photographer did a good job.
What do you think?

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Time flies

Time has been flying by lately. It's been two months since I posted anything. I have been busy with work and with getting Missy's garden and her house ready to sell.
The photographer is coming tomorrow to take photos for the internet advertisement so it is finally happening. Missy's Garden is for sale.

The lawn is lovely and green and there is so much in bloom around the garden at the moment.

With all the rain we've had recently there seems to be more flowers on the ground than on the trees.
The Brazilian Red Cloak and the Calliandra are both in flower at the moment.
Tibouchina (with chookies in the background)

I love their purple flowers.
 Just look at the Golden Penda Xanthostemon-Chrysanthus.
We have a few of these in the garden, in our rainforest area. The lorikeets are in parrot heaven. We wake to their squabbling each morning at the moment and when anyone ventures into that part of the garden they tell you off. I have reassured them I'm not going to steal their flowery feast.
The back patio area is the tidiest I've seen it in a long time. The table often doubles as a potting bench.

I spent the Easter break tidying up bromeliads and cleaning out the garden shed - plus replanting the vegie patch.

Usually I would start a few trays from seed but this time I just visited the big green shed and bought seedlings ready to plant. My reasoning - Who knows how long it will take to sell the house, and I don't want to go without my home-grown vegies in the meantime. Besides I'm sure whoever buys the house will use them if we do sell it quickly.

The builder has finished our new house, but there is still some things to be done - like floor coverings and a driveway, so it will still be a month or two before we could move in.

Here's a sneak peek at our new kitchen,

and our bathroom.

I forgot to take any photos of the front of the house.... Oh well, next time.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Progress report

The new house is coming along well. We haven't been up to see it since before Christmas but the builder has sent some progress photos.

 The outside is basically finished except for a few trims and the garage door.
 The kitchen benches are done - just waiting on the appliances and sink.
The tiling and bathroom fit-out is underway
John will be taking the light fittings up there on Wednesday so the electrical work will be finished soon too.
Over the past few weeks, getting our current house and Missy's garden ready for sale has been our priority. I'm still working full-time so there's only weekends to work at home, and since John's illness he can't do what he used to, so my son has spent much of his spare time lately working in the garden.  I don't know what we would have done without him - not much I guess. We really appreciate his help.
The main reason we decided to move was that John was unable to look after the garden anymore and with me at work five days a week it all started to become too hard. I love gardening but there's only so much you can do. We've been lucky that much of the garden looks after itself but there's been a lot of garden maintenance jobs that just didn't get done over the last year or so... but  they are done now thanks to Andrew.

Our house really only needs a bit of spiffing up." Presentation" they call it. It needs to look its best of course. I read somewhere “Buyers are not looking to buy property! What they’re really looking to buy is a better life (property just happens to be the way they’ll get it).”

I'm taking that advice and trying to highlight to prospective buyers the lifestyle that comes with living in our house surrounded by Missy's garden.... and it has been quite a wonderful life. I will miss it, but I'm sure we will discover many new and different things to enjoy. It will be a huge change.

One of the challenges in downsizing to a smaller property is deciding what to keep, sell, give away or toss out. Luckily I'm not really a hoarder but we've still accumulated more than we need. I've been systematically going through each and every cupboard in every room. From photos and CDs to kitchen goods, linen and clothes, even furniture - I've been ruthless. If we don't love it or use it regularly it's not coming with us.

This sorting and deciding what to keep or not has been the most time-consuming. Sorting the photos took me a lot longer than anything else. Apart from the memories rediscovered, I found packets of photos from when we began the garden - so of course that got me thinking, before we go I must do some "Then and Now" posts. I've hardly taken any photos of the garden recently - but I will soon.

It's not long now. The house will go on sale in a couple of weeks and then we hope someone will want to buy it. The new house will be completed by the builder mid-March but we have a few things to do to it before we move in - like a driveway and floor coverings.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Better late than never

We have been very busy lately getting our house and garden ready for sale.
Amy at Crumbs asked me to participate in the Leibster Award for blogs quite a few weeks ago and I've only just found the time to post. (Sorry Amy)  I've been a slack blogger lately. The point of the exercise is to answer a series of questions and nominate more blogs to carry on the awards.

So these were the questions:

1) Why do you blog?
Missy’s Garden, the blog, started in 2007. It began to keep our family (spread far & wide) up to date with what was going on and to keep a record of our garden which began in 2006. Then, through blogging, I met some remarkable wonderful people from many corners of the world who also love to garden and find I spend much more time reading other blogs than writing my own these days. When I first started I thought it would be clever to write the blog from Missy’s point of view, but soon realised it wasn’t clever at all. There’s only so much a dog knows about gardening. So she only has the odd guest post these days.

 2) Do you have any pets? (Show and tell is encouraged!)

Missy is Numero Uno pet. Whoever said dogs have masters and cats have slaves never met Missy. She was born in July 2000 and quickly taught us what she needed to make her happy, and we’ve obliged ever since. She only weighs 5 kg but definitely owns the garden.
We also have chickens and fish but since they aren’t allowed in the house they aren’t officially pets, are they?.  
3) How did you come up with the name for your blog?

What else would it be called? It’s a blog about Missy and her garden. She’s been starting to feel her age lately. She still supervises all work done in the garden – sometimes from the backdoor mat nowadays… and she still keeps the garden safe.

Mostly now it’s by checking through the front window rather than patrolling the fence though.

It's quite a big area for a small dog to look after.
4) What's the average amount of time it takes you to create a post?

Depending on what’s happening I may take hours to work on a post or whip out one in a couple of minutes. Often I will take photos and write the post around the photos – but sometimes the reverse - I have something I want to talk about and take photos to illustrate the text.

5) What is your drink of choice?
This is going to make me sound very boring but my favourite drink is ice water, especially when working in the garden. I drink litres of it. Of course I won’t say No to a nice dry white or a red or even the odd friendly spirit, but I’ve even been known to choose water at parties as my drink of choice.

6) What's the best advice you ever received?
From my Mum -
“Love many, trust a few, but always paddle your own canoe”.
Be caring, be careful. Above all - Take responsibility and decide the direction of your life - your own fate.

7) What is your favourite season and why?
Definitely summer. Yes, I know it can get #%$* hot and it rains a lot but I like the heat and the rain. I lived in the tropics for a few years and loved it. Plants grow profusely and I feel more alive and energetic. I love the longer daylight hours too. I’m up at daylight in summer (5 am) but in Winter I hate getting out of bed.

8) What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Creating the garden ...... along with Missy and John of course.

9) What is your most prized possession?
I had to think a long time about this question. I discovered some time ago that possessions can come and go with very little impact on my happiness. Probably, at the moment, the garden is my most prized possession, but as you may know we are selling it.

….oh and the grandma coffee mug my grandson painted.

10) What is your favourite plant?
I have lots of favourites. It depends on the time of year and what's at it's peak. I have an addiction to bromeliads but when in flower, nothing can compare with a heliconia. I love ferns, but a frangipani in Summer ……. No, Sorry. Can’t pick just one.

11) What is your least favourite task in the garden?
I really enjoy the physical tasks of gardening. I like digging and pruning and watering. I love planting and propagating.  Weeding can be tiresome. It’s the job that never ends. When you think you've got every weed, you find one or two or three you’ve missed…. Or did they spring up just then to torment you?
If you look closely in photos of Missy's garden you'll often see weeds.


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