The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. ~ Alfred Austin

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Where do I start.......

Hello, once again I have neglected this blog for quite sometime. It's funny I have been missing from here for such a long time now, that I don't even know where to start. Lots of different things have been happening but nothing in particular to keep me away from here, just the longer I left it, the harder it became to log in and start typing again. Although I've been gone for a long time, I have missed blogging, so am going to give it another go :)

I will start with a few photos from a garden tour that Mum and I went on last October to the Hunter Valley, Blue Mountains and Canberra. It was a fantastic trip and the gardens were amazing and the scenery pretty spectacular.

The above three photos are from the Hunter Valley Gardens which we spent a good part of the day wandering around and taking many many photos.

The next three photos are from the Blue Mountains. Wow. I knew I would enjoy visiting there, it's somewhere I have always wanted to visit. But what I wasn't expecting was for the Blue Mountains to steal my heart! I instantly fell in love with the place and didn't want to leave! I can't wait to visit again. It is so breathtakingly beautiful.

Next up was Canberra, where we visited Floriade, The Australian War Memorial, The National Museum, Tulip Top Gardens and Cockington Green. It was a fantastic trip and these few photos are just a few of the thousands I took. I'm thinking once I have them sorted and organised I will do another blog post but do one post on each area that we visited.

Now for a few photos from around the garden.

Our first watermelon.
We had a great harvest of onions, the best yet. This is just some of the bunches
hanging under the shed lean-to. About to use some of them later today
when I make a caramelised onion and tomato tart.

We are picking lots of cherry tomatoes and eagerly awaiting the bigger toms
to start ripening.

The gorgeous smelling Philadelphius.

The passionfruit vine is growing at rate of knots now it has finally settled in and we have quite a few flowers, looking forward to some yummy passionfruit.

It's another very hot day here and I need to go and finish off some of the watering so will leave it here for now, until next time, have a great weekend.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


Hello, it's been quite some time since I was last here, nine months in fact! Time certainly flies these days, it's hard to believe we are already in the middle of May and almost the end of Autumn.  I have missed taking photos and putting together a bit of a story to go with them. Time to do a bit of a catch up I think!

In October Mum and I had a week's holiday to beautiful Cairns, somewhere I have long wanted to visit.

This was the view from our hotel room. My photos don't do the scenery justice it was
so breathtaking, I love mountains and could have sat on the balcony and looked
at this view all day long.

This view was taken from our gondola going up the mountain to Kuranda.

View of the Barron River from our gondola.

The beautiful Cairns Birdwing butterfly

Another beautiful butterfly we saw

This was very special! Seeing this Jabiru with her chicks in a nest very high up off the
ground. You can't tell from this photo but the nest was huge. This photo was taken at
the Port Douglas Wildlife Sanctuary and it was awesome being able to witness a
part of nature you wouldn't normally see.

Also in October this handsome boy joined our family!
His name is Arrow and he is an Arab, he will be 18 
in a few months time but you wouldn't know it!
It is so lovely having a horse to care for and look
after once again after not having horses for a number
of years now. He is my daughter's horse, but as she has
moved out of home I'm the one that feeds and cares for him
on a daily basis, and I really do enjoy it :)

Then on the 10th February we had a lot of rain and flooded.
By evening the water had subsided quite a bit and by early afternoon
on the 11th we were flooded again after more heavy rain. The levels didn't get quite as high
but almost. We lost two lots of fencing, all the horse feed, the chooks had to camp on our
verandah for seven days until their yard wasn't such a boggy mess. I lost lots of plants from the garden and just a general big mess to clean up. We fared so much much better than further out to the east. Given our shire is in the wrong and we shouldn't have flooded to anywhere near the extent we did.....well that's a story for another day.

Summer was pretty uneventful for tomatoes! This was the first time growing
Tigerella. The only tomatoes I picked were the ones above plus the one in the
basket in the photo below. I also grew some cherry tomatoes which were a dismal
failure. I haven't had much luck with tomatoes for a few years now.

Watermelons on the other hand were a huge success!! We picked very close to
100kgs of beautiful full of flavour watermelons! We didn't get to eat and share all of 
them as the last half dozen or so had been sitting in the flood waters and even though
they have a hard skin there was no way I wanted anyone eating them. The chooks thought
that was just it as they devoured them. Capsicums have been another success and at the end
of Autumn we are still picking capsicums almost daily.

In April Cody celebrated his 11th birthday, he has been part of our family
for not quite two years now and celebrated with his favourite sorry second
favourite thing after a walk, a car ride. And special dog treats!

So that's a bit of a catch up of the last nine months. Have been busy in the garden so will be back soon with some pictures of what is growing in the garden in the lead up to winter.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

A cold weekend and new trees

Hello, what a cold and blustery weekend it is here. It's currently sitting on 9 degrees Celsius at lunch time. Too cold to be out in the garden so the following photos are ones I took a few days ago. This post isn't really much of anything but more just because I want to keep up the habit of posting regularly. Yesterday we received 15mm of rain which the garden enjoyed and a bit more for the rainwater tanks.

Last week we had a couple of very cold nights down to -2 and the frost has burnt all the green shoots on the mulberry tree.

The mandarins are nice, but the poor tree is under attack from sooty mould. I have been trying to get rid of it for quite some time now but don't seem to be having much success.

The Casuarina or she-oak trees indigenous to this area from a distance all look like they are dying.
It's only when you get up close, you realise what looks brown and dead from a distance is actually
the trees covered in pollen.

Close-up of the Casuarina pollen ............  ah-choo!
Obviously taken a few days ago when we had blue skies
nothing but grey skies this weekend.

Back at the very start of winter I planted three Silver Birch trees.
Looking forward to seeing them covered in their summer green leaves, then changing
into a soft buttery yellow in Autumn before becoming skeletons again in the winter with
their silvery white trunks.

I've never really been a big fan of succulents but a few of them are growing on me.
This one in particular 'Jellybean' is a cute little plant.

I don't know the name of this native plant, it was a cutting from Mum's garden
and it has tiny little white flowers in spring and summer.
It seems to like this spot quite well and does a good job of softening up the tin wall behind it.

Shorty my parents dog has gone home about an hour ago. Mum and Dad have arrived back home to the freezing cold after their holiday overseas in the heat and humidity. I was planning on cooking a roast dinner tonight for them thinking they would enjoy a home cooked meal after being away for a couple of weeks, but they have both come home with food poisoning. We will still have our roast tonight as it will be the first one in ages that eldest teen will be home to sit down at the table and eat with us, as she is generally working a double shift on a Sunday. Hopefully Mum and Dad will be over it soon enough and I will cook dinner for them and we can go through the photos of their latest trip. :)

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Early tomatoes and a different kind of blueberry

This photo was taken sometime in May. I had noticed these tomato seedlings about a week or so beforehand and kept thinking to myself I need to do something about them, or as the weather cools down heading into winter they won't survive. A couple of weeks later I got around to digging them up and putting them into pots and put them temporarily on the workbench in the shed until I cleaned the greenhouse out.

Well they stayed on the bench and grew and grew and grew! It has turned out to be a perfect spot for growing tomatoes over winter. My workbench sits underneath a window that faces north and these three tomato seedlings have lapped up any sunshine streaming through that window.

And now all three are in flower!! The last two weeks we have had a couple of reasonably nice days where the icy cold winds that have been blowing all winter have taken a momentary break and I have put the seedlings outside in the hope that the bees might find them. Only time will tell if we might be lucky enough to have some early tomatoes this year :)

'Blueberry Ruffles' 
The newest addition to the garden.
This is a short compact lavender, looking forward to seeing it fully in bloom.

Another new lavender 'The Princess'

These stocks have been in the garden for a few years now and are quite scraggy
and I'm always going to pull them out, but the bees absolutely adore them.

These two always tag along on drives, the little short one goes home in a few days
when my parents get home from their trip. They would hate to think they are missing out on anything!

I'm making a late start on sowing seeds for the spring/summer garden but am hoping that by putting the seed trays on the workbench next to the tomato seedlings, they too will soon be growing and growing. :)

Monday, 22 August 2016

The garden late winter

Late winter already, where has the time gone? I kept thinking I need to take some photos and put on the blog but they just never seemed to happen. For about the last month I have been trying every day to get things back on track. Life seemed to fall apart and nothing was getting done except  for the absolute basics. I've steadily been back out in the garden, but making sure I only do so much then come inside and do a bit and then go back outside for some more gardening. If I stay outside too long I end up in a lot of pain with my shoulders. I figured even small amounts daily is a lot better than no gardening at all which is what had been happening.

That also goes for inside the house I have been breaking things down into smaller jobs and at last I can see a bit of progress. I have this weeks' meals planned in advance which is something that hasn't happened for an extremely long time. I have also been de-cluttering and clearing things out and it feels good to be getting rid of some stuff.

Apricot blossom

The bees are loving the flowers on the almond tree

Lots of promise on the apricot tree

English spinach

Some of the greens in the veggie patch


Red lettuce

The flowers on the white hardenbergia are starting to fade but have brightened the back fence all winter

The purple hardenbergia is still going strong

Tulips which I haven't grown for a few years now, nice to have some again

Plum blossom, really looking forward to fresh plums straight off the tree

Both blueberry bushes are loaded with flowers, can't wait for fresh blueberries either!

Long anticipated flower bud on the kangaroo paw. Have lost count how many seedlings I have planted in the ground and none of them survived. The last lot I planted into a large pot and bingo I have a couple of buds now!!

What we are eating from the garden at the moment: 
  • Lettuce
  • English spinach
  • Kale
  • Snow Peas
  • Parsley
  • Mandarins
  • Washington Navel oranges
Not much at all but considering how neglected the garden has been its still nice to be able to pick something. I'm hoping we will have some broccoli to harvest in the not too distant future, but I think the cabbages and cauliflowers were planted way too late.

It's nice to be back but I can see my photo taking and blog writing need some improvement, I had better not leave it so long in-between posts again :)