Category Archives: gardening

rampant runaway


I’m not entirely sure I planted the mignonette in that precise location, but I did at least put it in that garden bed

And while we’re talking about gardening, the mignonette – properly alyssum – is also flourishing. The seedlings I planted in the bed with the agapanthus are cheerfully escaping and growing through cracks in the paving. R-i-g-h-t. I can just about deal with that, because the violets are every bit as riotous. There’s no stopping them or getting them to do what Dr B wants them to. When he was rebuilding the pergola, he asked me to transplant violets at the other end of the bed, to stop them getting trampled. I tried, but they all died. The ones that are now growing profusely at the other end of the garden bed are leftovers from long ago: totally irrepressible and growing where they want, not where Dr B wants. The cheeky things.

I also grew some mignonette I grew from seeds – yea, verily, seeds stuck into the ground, not already thriving seedlings. They are part of the garden along the back wall, the one where I transplanted all those irises. And, uuh, yeah. They’ve escaped. It hasn’t been entirely gardening weather, and there are days at a stretch where I’m really only outside for a quick dash up to the cabin and/or for laundry purposes, often early in the day or quite late. Either way, I’m focused on where I’m putting my feet and not looking around at much else in what are generally low-light conditions.

Partly because of water restrictions, but also to encourage good runner growth on our lawn varieties, Dr B hasn’t been mowing as frequently as you might think he should. Well. This is what I noticed the other day when I was attending to some laundry during a sunny spell. The mignonette is thriving, thank you for asking!


This is what happens when they’re left to their own devices: they spill out of the bed and end up all over the lawn ๐Ÿ˜€

May your garden adventures also be rewardingly riotous, or even riotously rewarding ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on May 5, 2020 in gardening


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hug a plant


You’d swear it’s been growing near the Entwash, because my record of killing even plastic plants wouldn’t usually promote such vigorous growth ๐Ÿ˜€

Although WFH is a fine thing, there are days when it is so difficult – whether because of technology playing up, inadequate and conflicting work instructions, or lack of focus on my part – that I need to go and hug the geranium bush. That might sound silly, but it’s a variety whose lemon scent I find refreshing and invigorating. Hugging it releases all those wonderful perfumes. On rainy days, I might opt instead to add geranium oil to my diffuser mix, rather than risking pneumonia. In present circumstances, that would be idiotic beyond belief.

May you, too, find a huggable plant to help you through the difficult days.



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a post in somewhat poor taste


The deceased feline might not be in this one, but its twin

There’s a meme doing the rounds that talks about how our bins are going out more than we are. Fair point. This week, our green bin goes out. There’s a dead cat in it! No, that’s not a joke. The other day, when YoungB and I were out catching some sunshine while there still was and is some, we made the rather grisly discovery of a feline body under one of our bushes. It was distinctly dead and certainly not ours. We scooped up the stiff and put it in the green bin.

Our lighthearted discussion has since revolved around whether that’s organic enough for the organics bin. The list of “allowables” includes pet waste, although not waste pets; and it also includes meat and bones. I think that covers it all, don’t you?

May your gardening discoveries be less gruesome, if equally as green ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on April 21, 2020 in gardening, Health


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Sunday arvo in the burbs


Everything at my fingertips, and that waiting square now done ๐Ÿ™‚

Big mug of jasmine tea, good book, phone (in case anyone calls), (slowly) growing pile of granny squares, excellent daylight for ease of both crocheting and sewing (increasing number of squares with ends tidied), pleasant temperature… what more could you want for an afternoon’s relaxing?

Dr B seemed to think I was having not merely a relaxing afternoon, but a lovely, relaxing day doing nothing at all but read a good book and crochet some more squares for the baby rug. Obviously it must have looked that way to him. But by the time he said that – patting my shoulder as he passed my chair – I’d dealt with three loads of laundry and chivvied YoungB into doing a load for himself. Believe me, if Dr B had dealt with all of that, you’d probably still be hearing about it wherever you are! No matter.

He spent at least half his day with his guitar, working on Classical Gas. He did a spot of bike maintenance (both pushbike and motorbike). He did a spot of gardening (pulled up three weeds, I think). He hunter-gathered for us so that we didn’t starve (a most unlikely outcome). That is, he generally took things a bit easy so that he’s refreshed for tomorrow’s pushbike ride.

YoungB was out on Friday night: first at soccer with a gaggle of friends, then a Fringe gig with an expanded gaggle, before staying overnight with one of them and coming home late, then rushing into town for a family lunch and later a catch-up with another mate. It was a busy day and he was exhausted by the end of it, so looking for a quieter day today. He did a load of laundry (see above) and a bit of pushbike prep for the week, but that was about the limit of his exertion.

I hope your weekend has also been pleasant and productive ๐Ÿ™‚



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question answered


It turns out that the geranium bears a small, variegated blossom. Is it pinkish purple, or purplish pink?!


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Posted by on October 19, 2019 in gardening


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back in business


Nothing to do with specs or books, but look at this beautiful iris, which somehow escaped transplanting ๐Ÿ™‚

Mending the existing specs frame proved impossible. However, by great good fortune, there was a frame in stock that was the right design and size, and whatever colour it is (slightly different from the original, I think, but I don’t much care because once the specs are my face I don’t see them). I was delighted to find such a low-cost solution and am once again restored to reasonable vision after what were a fairly rough couple of days.

To wind up the week in pleasant style, last night Youngest Aunt and Uncle, Friend E, and Dr B and I attended a “meet the author” talk by Aussie crime writer Chris Hammer whose new title Silver was released earlier this year. The talk took place at a library that’s probably halfway between the others’ southern-suburban residences and our northern-suburban one, and a lovely walk out from the City for me after work, so it was a winner all round in that respect.

We have all been readers of pretty much anything from an early age, and Youngest Aunt and I freely admit to being lifelong whodunnit aficionados, so we didn’t need the added incentive of wine and sandwiches that were included in the ticket price… but they were very nice, and it’s always good to support local wines and wineries. And, you know, thanks to my new specs, I could see everything that was going on and what was in the sandwiches!

May all your literary events be equally as clear and delightful ๐Ÿ™‚


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Posted by on October 12, 2019 in Food, gardening, Reading


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now we wait for the flower


You can see that there’s a bud, but it’s still too early to hazard a guess at the flower colour.

Dr B mowed the lawn and weeded the flower beds the other day, and was looking for a bit of praise. I pointed out that, actually, I’d already weeded the geranium that he included in the general “aren’t I wonderful?” photoshoot! He agreed, and repeated his frequent query as to whether that really is a geranium? Well, yes, it is; although it’s not a variety that Nonna ever grew. I was inspecting the garden this morning and noticed that there’s a bud on said plant. Why don’t we wait for that to bloom fully and then discuss whether it’s a geranium?

I acknowledge, BTW, that there’s some confusion around whether any given plant is a geranium or a pelargonium. Even the experts agree that the plants are members of the same family, so I don’t want to muddy the waters. Either way, there are many varieties and this is certainly unlike those that Dr B’s Mum grew so well. This particular cutting came from Middle Aunt and I can’t remember what colour the blooms will be… but we may not have very long to wait before that is revealed.

This plant is potted, so I’m hoping that it will fare better than the climbing geranium I transplanted from the front garden to the back, relocating it to a spot recommended by Dr B… who, rather than relocate it again, proceeded to trample all over it during building. Yeah, right. Of course it died.


It was doing quite well for a while, even had a few flowers

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Posted by on October 6, 2019 in gardening


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just give in


Something cheerful, green and growing. Healthier than I presently am ๐Ÿ™‚

When you cannot get warm, you reach the end of the week feeling a great deal worse than you began it, and even many hours of sleep (Friday night through to Saturday lunchtime) don’t help a great deal, you should probably acknowledge that you’re genuinely unwell.

All of the above having been true, and a massive allergic reaction adding insult to injury, I finally decided that the cosmos was plainly sending me a message and stayed in bed all day.

May you be faring a great deal better with your seasonal change ๐Ÿ™‚




Posted by on September 30, 2019 in gardening, Health


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neighbourhood noises

If you don’t have your own barbie, or guest numbers exceed your backyard capacity, many local councils provide facilities such as these.

It’s the time of year when all the neighbourhood lawnmowers are kicking up a racket, and many of them are also throwing lots of grass cuttings into the air. Airborne bits of other highly allergenic plants mean that YoungB is utterly miserable with hay fever. I’m not far behind. But, you know, it’s warm enough that a load of laundry will dry on the outside line, which we both find gratifying because it means our work clobber is suddenly a great deal easier to manage and maintain.

Although the coming week is forecast to have cold nights, the days are definitely improving with regard to temperatures and we now have considerably longer daylight hours. It’s not warm enough to move meals entirely outdoors, but lunch is certainly a viable option for al fresco dining. I expect we’ll soon be stoking up the barbie on the weekend. As you’d doubtless agree, a BBQ can be as simple or complex as you like, but the drifting aroma of fried onion and those “scorched outside and half-cooked inside” sausages is an unmistakable part of the Aussie summer. It’s also far more enjoyable than the drifting grass.

But, hey, who could capture better what an Aussie BBQ is really about than the truly inimitable Eric Bogle? As you’ll see if you go to the link, that’s a 1982 recording. I can only say that, after all these years, I still get a laugh out of that song. I hope you, too, might enjoy Eric’s keen observations of what is a quintessential element of the Australian summer.

May all your sausages not taste like fried toothpaste ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on September 15, 2019 in Food, gardening, Singing


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it might look like nothing


At the end of a lot of calculation and measurement, cutting, sanding and painting, this is the present state of affairs with the refurb. It might not look much, but it’s been a huge amount of work. That’s Dr B just making a few notes in his project book.

Do you remember I mentioned that Dr B has been busy with a (re)construction project? It’s actually some overdue maintenance and upgrading of our pergola, and has involved, inter alia, removing and replacing rotten timbers and reinforcing the new, slightly narrower beams. The new work has all come together within a remarkably small error margin – we’re talking a few millimetres – so the doc is very happy. He reckons the next bit will be faster. I’m not entirely convinced, but it is probably true that the trickiest calculations are over and that the base for the rest of the work is now in place.

You’ll notice a couple of agapanthus flowers (really; you can clearly see one but believe me when I say there are two; and there’s a bud just beginning to show colour). There would normally be more blooms at this time of year, but I think the disruption to their micro-environment might have affected them. Or then again, who knows? They might just be late blooming this year because of the climatic disruption.

I’m finishing ends on a pile of face scrubbies, and am about to start another lot of crocheted string bags. Once again, I’m using Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton, and this time I hope I’ll remember to photograph the finished articles before I give them away. I’m much taken by this bag, but might have to pass on it for now, even though she explains very clearly with good visuals. I love the shape of the finished article.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re neither melting nor freezing and that both your DIY and crafting endeavours are bearing fruit ๐Ÿ™‚


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