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Category Archives: gardening

what a year can do

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The relocated irises, looking sparse.

By happy coincidence, the above photo popped up on some reminder this morning. So today, I whipped out my phone and took the photo below.

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A year later, here’s what’s happening with the irises. Blooming and all 🙂

If ever there were a lesson in the value of leaving things to their own devices and being able to pretend you’re a gardener, this would come close. For a splash of closer colour, here’s the true beauty of a blooming iris.

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In spite of the cold, in spite of the neglect, in spite of battling with thistles and soursobs, there they are: blooming happily 🙂

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Posted by on July 8, 2018 in gardening

 

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and is it really nearly midwinter already?

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Recent flurry of floral activity in the garden

I think we all know the answer to that.

Knitting progress? Not quit nil, but very slow. Crochet progress? Minus – that is to say, I’ve had to unpick the little I’ve managed. Sewing? Nil. Surviving? Yep, we’re managing that in the face of some serious setbacks. We might not be the creators we once were – I couldn’t tell you how long it is since any of us was involved in a live performance – but I think we could safely claim that we are survivors.

It hasn’t all been horrible. YoungB graduated. Yeah!! That’s not his afternoon ceremony, but one from the following morning. I thought you might like a glimpse of the lovely (nowhere near as old as you might think) hall in which Adelaide University graduations take place (as did Youngest Aunt’s in the late 1970s and Dr B’s in the early 1980s). Eldest Aunt (who graduated interstate) and Youngest Aunt attended the ceremony too, so we made plenty of noise when YoungB’s name was only slightly mispronounced – the small matter of a gender change with his middle name! – and he was presented with his two testamurs.

We had some time to kill between the end of the ceremony and our dinner booking. So we dodged downpours to consume coffee at the nearby Art Gallery cafe, then tramped up side streets to a trendy, inner-city bar with wondrous heating, for more refreshments. Youngest Uncle joined us at the celebratory dinner here, where our attentive waiter plied us with some spectacular wines. It was a long and tiring day, but a most worthwhile celebration. Well done, YoungB. That was a long half-decade, but you did it.

But it is true that matters medical, matters of family history, matters of world uproar and domestic repercussions, matters of friends and some of their woes have all tried to tip us off the planet this year. All the same, here we are. And in a delightful twist, a visiting cousin’s recent – joking – insistence on needing a splayd to eat his slice of orange-and-almond cake was met with provision of the requisite implement; a set of which had been a wedding gift from his parents. Impressive stuff. Right? Dr B was actually more impressed by the fact that I knew precisely where to go to locate the splayds. Plainly, there’s a great deal of chaos but it hasn’t yet overwhelmed us.

May your world still be wobbling on the usual orbit, and remember that fingernails don’t have to be talons to enable you to hang on. 😉

 

 

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stash-busting ongoing and a spot of gardening

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Happy little heterozygous plants 🙂

My so-called commuter crochet project is already too large to be taken on the bus. That’s because I’m just going round and round my not-quite-square and have rounded too many corners. I’m no longer able to roll it up small enough for my project bag. I can truthfully admit there’s no pattern or plan. I seemed to have an enormous number of balls of barely-dented – or dented by about half – 8-ply acrylics, so I have them in a bag next to me and I don’t really worry too much what comes out next. Having said that, I’m doing a bit of mixing and matching in terms of variegated and plain, in the sense that I’ll do a few rows of variegated, then a few rows of plain (that might or might not work with the variegated). I calculate that that mitigates some of the wilder colour changes, because if it’s to go out into the world – whether as a knee rug at work or as a picnic rug – then it had better not look too silly. Right?!

As stash-busting, it’s going well. I’ve had a couple of moments of wondering if I’d get to the end of the row. So far, I’ve managed without mishap and have had no real call to think I’m playing yarn chicken. I happened to see the WIP bundled up on my chair a little while ago – waiting for me to introduce a new colour – and I can truthfully say that it is bright and colourful (and therefore probably cheerful). It was a good piece of distraction during a few days when I was unwell and at home. I made the effort to get up and get dressed rather than stay in bed and feel sorry for myself. The feeling sorry for myself was mitigated somewhat only because YoungB was also unwell and sounded worse than I did; each of us with head on point of explosion and both coughing to point of exhaustion. But slowly improving 🙂

Even so, the stash-busting continues. One day I made a point of sitting in the sunshine for a little while, doing my best lizard impersonation out under the apricot tree that has now burst into leaf. Spring is here, and the allergies with it. And, zounds, my garden? It’s looking fabulous. That is to say, the couple of garden beds that I’m tending have flowers that are a testament to spring and hardiness in about equal measure. The lavender in pots – two different varieties – is going along well. The one that Dr B accidentally nudged with the whipper-snipper is going, if perhaps a little less well than the other two. The snails made short work of a couple of the petunias that I planted, but half a dozen or so have already bloomed The irises  flowered remarkably well. it’s unlikely they will ever all flower at the same time, but we had about eight or nine blooming simultaneously, which provided a gorgeous burst of dark purple.

YoungB is fascinated by the snapdragons, which he tells me are heterozygous because their blooms are red-and-yellow (as you can see in the photo). I’m surprised he’s able to distinguish the colours, but impressed by his scientific know-how. They flowered not long after I planted them, and are now flowering again. That makes them a pretty addition to the greenery of the agapanthus at the back of the bed.

Whatever you’re up to, I hope your in better health than our household currently seems to be! But if it’s spring where you are, may it be a colourful one.

 

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soaking up some sunshine

There’s much to be said for hardy garden plants. If they can survive even my ministrations, they’re winners 🙂

Today Dr B went on his weekly Sunday motorcycle jaunt up through the Hills and I visited Youngest Aunt. We had a lovely lunch out under her back verandah – making the most of the warmth and sunshine before the spring weather turns chilly again – and then raided her garden for all sorts of goodies. I came home with asparagus and a bunch of mixed herbs, as well as some freshly baked muffins of varying flavours and sizes (some sweet, some savoury).

My contribution to the day was some punnets of petunias for planting out, which I’d bought from a nursery en route We divided them equally, and I planted mine when I arrived home. Dr B was mowing the lawn. YoungB was studying. It wasn’t an energetic day for any of us, but it was enjoyable.

I am extremely pleased to report that transplanting the irises not only didn’t kill them – they are, in fact, looking strong and putting out lots of new growth – but also didn’t deter them from flowering, as I’d feared might be the case. There are some buds about to open.

I took my crochet with me to Youngest  Aunt’s, but we were so busy chatting and then admiring the garden that it didn’t get a look in. Never mind, there’s no deadline.

I hope your day has been equally sunny and undemanding.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2017 in gardening

 

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if that was the beanie, that was it

Morning cheer, with snapdragons already adding a splash of colour.

That bit of knitting I showed you last time? That’s all you’re ever going to see of that beanie, because it flew off my needles and onto the recipient’s head fairly urgently around an emergency hospital admission. Dr B wore it for a day to block it! Life gets a bit like that sometimes. The friend – who was certainly in a bad way – has been discharged, I’m relieved to say, and while he’ll never be back to full health, he has improved remarkably.

In gardening news, I’m delighted to report that not only have all the lifted and transplanted rhizomes and bulbs bounced back to a state of flourishing, the geranium is well on its way to thriving. Mission accomplished. The seedlings are settling well and some have already flowered. The mystery bulbs are shooting and close to flowering, but I still have no idea what they are! It’s cheering to step outside and see everything looking so bright.

And in commuting news, I’ve started crocheting a (deliberately) just-off-square granny-square knee rug for use at work, or as a throw rug, or for picnics. It’s mainly something to keep me occupied on the bus or while I half-watch TV, and it’s an effort to use some of my cheap but cheerfully coloruful (or that might be colourfully cheerful) stash. So far doing well on both counts.

I hope your endeavours are all meeting with success 🙂

 

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diversification

Replanted and still alive

I dug up a clump of agapanthus. The wisdom has it you should thin them every five years. We’ve been here more than three times that and I haven’t done it once. It likely hadn’t been done for a while before, either. So it was a big clump. I managed to divide it and replant about 60, The green bin was full. I also dug up and replanted lots of irises. There might not have been 60 of those, but they’re so prolific when given a chance that there might be that many next year. I also replanted a geranium of which the best you could say was that it was alive. The aim with relocation is that it now might thrive. I’m not a gardener, and have been known to kill plastic plants, so this will be an interesting journey. There’s also a tub of mysterious bulbs. I’ve no idea what they are, because they’d been so choked by the agapanthus that they never bloomed.

In other news, I have knitted a blue beanie. Dark colours and plain fabric don’t photograph well, but I think you get the general idea.It’s meant to have been my commute knitting, but more often ended up as my lunchtime knitting. No matter. This is a progress shot from a previous, rainy weekend. Yarn is Bendigo Woollen Mills’ Classic 8 ply, colour Ensign. Knitted on UK 10s, I think, because they were readily to hand. There wasn’t much science in this one, it simply happened to be all I could find when I was desperately looking for something to knit 🙂

Actually finished knitting this today. I have only to sew the back seam and block it, then it will be ready for its recipient 🙂

 
 

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