Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Brown is fur and feather, skin and hair. Brown to run your fingers through. Brown are eyes to get lost in. Brown are our rivers, turbid waters hiding secrets. Brown is soil, mud, mulch and manure. Brown is timber and mushrooms in many hues. Brown are seeds, bark, and dried leaves. Brown is a dead plant to mourn over. Brown is a sun baked lawn and a long hot summer.

Brown is baking, and chocolate, coffee and freshly cooked toast. Brown are wondrous spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, cumin, coriander.
Brown is a joy to wrap your lips around. 
How now brown cow?

Visit Sister Sun for for more reflections on brown.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Suitcase Rummage


A rare moment - clothes drying on the line this week. Hallelujah to sunny days.
Getting goods prepared for:

What: Suitcase Rummage
When: Sunday July 29, 11am - 5pm (highly civilised)
Where: Thornbury Theatre 859 High Street, Thornbury, Melbourne (indoors!)


My first ever market stall - and the first time this market has ever been held in Melbourne.

Stalls are booked out so there should be suitcases aplenty.

Wish me luck! It will be fun checking out this beautiful Theatre.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Living in the Cave

 Apparently I've been living in a cave.
This is the only shades of grey in my life.
 Not that I don't like books.
What I have been reading in the cave.  I've been rediscovering the library of late. The only problem is I haven't wanted to return the books I borrow. Kitchen Gardens of Australia, is my sort of eye candy.

An absolute favourite was this one a friend lent me, I had to go and get my own copy I liked it so much.
 How good is that title? feel like I can relate to Lowly.
Oh Jackie, such a garden guru.  She explains growing fruit trees from seed is fine (she knows from experience), and if you can create micro climates in your garden, you would be surprised what is possible.

 Vegetable titillation, far more exciting than any domination/submission novel. 
 Besides, I read the Story of O when I was 18 at Uni, and I'm not sure much would shock me after that.
Are you reading 50 Shades of Grey? I only heard of it two weeks ago.  Yep, apparently not getting out much.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Plant A Tree

"What shall we do today mummy? Shall we go on an adventure or do something in the garden"? Before I have a chance to respond the little Bowerbird has decided for me. "I think we should do something in the garden, maybe some planting". 

She's pulling on her gumboots and I'm quickly wracking my brains for a child friendly activity.  There is some space in a newly mulched bed, and a Correa we were given from a generous family, whose conservationist son died far too young. Such a beautiful gesture, giving out a plant at a funeral, life and death revolving.

I love Correas, they are so tough and reliable, and their little bell shaped flowers are adorable and very popular with our local Eastern Spinebills. We have at least half a dozen varieties in our garden - here is one flowering now, they flower almost year round, and are quite prolific through the winter.

Correa alba is a coastal plant, it's more open white flowers were very familiar to us when we lived on Phillip Island, and it is wonderful to have reminder of that beautiful place nearby.  Hopefully it will survive our cold winters, I've planted it in a sheltered spot to save it from the frost. There is a Sheoke we planted a couple of years ago (the only survivor of three) beside it that is taller than our youngest now.

We placed some spent potting mix in the hole to help with drainage and to lift the plant above the mulch, then filled our hole. I told the little Bowerbird how it might get bigger than her and where it might come up to on the fence. When it gets bigger we will try making a sweet tea from its leaves. The best bit for the little one was giving the plant a few cups of water from her teapot.

One shrub hadn't fulfilled the little Bowerbird's planting fervour, so we put some mystery bulbs in pots. We dug these bulbs up from a spot under a tree that we were mulching around - they were in full shade and in a very tough spot.  It will be interesting to see what they are after only watching their leaves emerge for 7 years. I imagine I will have to wait until next year after disturbing them this late in the season.

Around 6 years ago we planted this Eucalyptus (titled Silver Princess - a common name given to a few varieties of Eucalyptus) that was given to us as an anniversary gift. It's grown bigger than I expected (it's meant to be one of the smaller varieties) and is showing no sign of stopping any time soon. Another pot is waiting for a new home in the foreground.  We rent our house, and many would say all this gardening is a waste of time and money.  I could not imagine not gardening, it lures me in without reason, the joy of watching something grow never gets tired. 

This weekend it is National Tree Day, and schools all over Australia will be planting on Friday. I encourage you to plant a tree (or shrub or grass) or find a community planting day and join in.  It is so very satisfying to come back to a place you have helped plant trees in, and see the forest it has become.

If you're not convinced already, a great study by Planet Ark on the benefits of interacting with nature can be found here. It can even help your eyesight!

linking up with Squiggly Rainbow's

Monday, July 23, 2012


Black is night, shadows, silhouettes, a midnight cat. Black is Halloween and shiny shoes. Black is plastic and metal, all pervading in the modern world. Black is a soft coat to be patted and the deep dark forest to be explored. Black is sleep.

Paint it Black - Rolling Stones

Black Velvet

ACDC Back in Black

Ram Jam Black Betty

Black Beauty

Scary Black.

Seriously scary black. Evil Ballarat Black Swans, these guys will hunt you down, I kid you not.

Linking up with Sister Sun's colour meme delving into the world of black.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Frosts, Vegies and Gardening

We had vegie group at Catherine's house today.  It began with an excited young girl and a slice of delicious sponge. It ended with a short walk along a creek, and watching a male emu sitting on his eggs, he even stood up and showed off his enormous emerald treasures. Female emus really have it all worked out, them and those kooky seahorses.

In the middle, there was pruning of raspberries, rocket and fruit trees. Admiring of fat cauliflowers and abundant broccoli. Discussion of why the peas were still small, and the addition of some twine to their tee pee to provide something for their tendrils to grow on. There was shifting of soil into a new vegie patch, planting of some seedlings, and a temporary fence erected to protect newly planted blueberries from marauding chickens. Most importantly there was friends, a Friday ritual, and a wonderful sense of community.

When I got home a rare event was occurring, the sun was shining.  The birds were singing and frolicking in the garden, calling me to join them.

As Galahs plucked onion grass bulbs from the lawn, and kookaburras laughed, I shifted the magic pudding pile of sawdust. The little Bowerbird grabbed a bucket and helped build paths and stomp them into place. Here is the pile covered in frost, it is normally a lovely golden shade.

 Poor Sammy, those arthritic bones must be feeling the chill, frost on bare paws, ouch.

There has been a number of heavy frosts of late.

 The kale and garlic seems unworried by the icy hug.

The lemons, potatoes and passionfruit seem far less thrilled about a visit from Jack. I am most worried about the passionfruit, it took off with great excitement through spring and summer, but is now looking very bedraggled.  I may need to invent some sort of winter blanket for it. Andrea, from Harvest with Glee has installed some great frost covers in her patch.

 Doesn't look like that fence is going to be covered any time soon.

Broad beans don't mind the cold at all, here some forgotten seeds are emerging from the bedraggled potato patch.  

This year will be a big year for garlic, as long as they don't get too sodden and rot. Behind them is the rampant raspberries requiring their winter haircut. Quite a drastic trim is needed. 

My very densely planted carrots are crying out to be weeded and thinned.  There is always something to be done in the vegie patch.

A beautiful day in the garden. I even managed to drag the kids outside for afternoon tea and a spot of bird watching. Lots of New Holland Honey-Eaters and Eastern Spinebills flitting about our house at the moment. Unfortunately the little Bowerbird took some joy in chasing the Galahs and magpies away.

Tomorrow another garden to visit, a jungle to tame, good friends to hang out with, home cooked treats to devour, and a kind looking forecast. 

Linking up with Squiggly Rainbows Thursday Garden Journal. There can never be too much gardening.