Friday, 25 October 2019

Out In My October Garden

Just a little over a week ago, our garden was as parched and listless as so many other gardens where we live. There'd been next to no rain over Winter and early Spring. The drought, that's had a firm grip on landscapes along our country's East, felt like it was beginning to bite in our pocket of suburbia. The view from my front verandah was hazy and dry, the grass underfoot brown and crunchy, the little creek bed empty and silent and the leaf drop from the trees was just incredible. Thankfully, storms have rolled through over the ridge here this week and brought with them replenishing rain. 

Homegrown Lebanese Cucumber.

In our garden now,  plants are beginning to bloom and starting to ripen. I'm most excited about the cucumbers. I'm growing salad veg, like lettuce and cherry tomatoes, in pots over the coming Summer as I expect it's going to be very hot and, despite this past week's rain,  very dry too. On a bit of a whim, I did plant a few cucumbers in the veg patch. Although they took quite a while to get growing, they've taken off now and the first little Lebanese cucumbers are forming. There is nothing like fresh, crunchy cucumbers straight from the garden! 

 One ripe and juicy strawberry with more yet to ripen.

A cluster of blueberries

 Little yellow tomatoes are starting to ripen.

Besides the cucumbers, there are strawberries, blueberries and little yellow cherry-like tomatoes deepening their colour as they ripen in their pots. Pick again lettuces and chives are growing together in pots too but up on our back verandah where I can move them out of scorching sun easily. Happily, and with abandon, flat-leaf Italian parsley and sweet basil have self-seeded too. Fresh herbs for free!

A fragrant Gardenia bloom beginning to open.

 The pretty pink flowers of Grevillea 'Dorothy Gordon'.

The deep blue centre of an African Daisy.

A pink gerbera beginning to bloom.

The first Gardenia bloom has begun to unfurl its creamy petals. The scent of these flowers is simply sublime. I can't wait to bring a little bunch of them inside when more open up. A new plant in the garden, an African Daisy (Osteospermum) which I grew from a cutting, has its first flower. I love its bright white petals and deep blue centre. So pretty! Another pretty plant blooming in my garden is a gerbera gifted to me by a friend. I love its light pink petals. The native grevillea, Dorothy Gordon, has burst into bloom in the back bottom corner of the garden. The birds are enjoying it very much.

 Supervisor extraordinaire! 

Someone else enjoying the garden is Sir Steve dog. He came out with me yesterday to 'supervise' the digging over of the soil where our poor avocado tree used to be. Needless to say, he did very little digging and opted to warm the soil with his tummy instead!

We've been fortunate to have rain here. There are many in Australia living through unprecedented and heartbreaking drought. I hope rain clouds gather above them soon and that nature brings the water they so desperately need. It makes such a difference.


Friday, 18 October 2019

Catching Up

Catching up ... like these two kookaburras meeting atop my back garden fence... there's a lot I could natter on about, a fair bit I could tell you with the tilt of my head and a hearty chortle at how life twists and turns out sometimes. Of course, as there is with kookaburras, there would be also that quiet lull of shared silence for things of more thought.

Kookaburras are regular visitors to our garden.

Life changed at the beginning of this year, as I returned to part-time work, then changed again when I left that role mid-year. It was both an easy and a difficult decision; for me a bit like jumping without a proverbial parachute. I felt this leap inevitable not long after I began working within a huge system again but certain things happened, including the ill health of a dearly loved one, that saw me taking that step earlier than I anticipated. I remain very grateful that I had a choice. While my time at home will again not be forever, I am going to relish it for however long it lasts. As Ghandi once wisely said,  "There is more to life than increasing its speed." 

 Mulberries ripening on our little tree. 

 An impossible pie made with spring onion, silverbeet and parsley from our garden.

 Homemade jam drops cooling in the kitchen.

The first tiny yellow tomatoes from our garden.

Here, behind our blue gates, life has slowed down again. While I am currently doing the odd relief teaching day, at a little school I love, I am enjoying the freedom that more time at home brings. My simple days are filled with much loving, parenting, housework, home cooking, gardening, reading and chatting with friends and neighbours and, of course, the highly anticipated daily walks with our elderly Sir Steve dog. I have taken to calling these strolls around our neighbourhood his la passeggiata for their leisurely pace and all the familiar folk we 'bump' into and chat to along the way. It's amazing how many free pats this wonderful Labrador elicits from everyone!

 My new top made from gifted & gorgeous fabric.

What I found disappeared completely when I returned to work, besides writing here that is,  was crafting. I managed to knit half a washcloth in half a year! While I am now almost finished that washcloth, I have recently and happily sewn a lovely top with a gorgeous fabric that was gifted to me by a fellow sewer and new friend. It's been a joy to make things again.  I missed it very much. 

What would you miss the most if it disappeared from your simple life?