121/366: stumps as pot stands

Once the conifers were lopped and mulched, I set about beautifying the area. See day 117/366: a blank canvas for the bare “before” look.

The stumps actually made good stands for pots that I gathered from other places in the garden. That is one great thing about growing in pots – transportability. They can fill in gaps while other plants establish themselves, and then can be moved to a new location. I do a lot of rearranging like that in my garden. Funny, I love rearranging furniture inside, too.

120/366: daffodil discovery

Today, when I finally planted the daffodil bulbs I dug up from the front garden over a month ago (see day 74/366: let’s lift bulbs), I made a discovery.

Preparing the garden bed, I removed weeds and some tubers from a nearby vigorous variegated plant. While immersed in the proceedings, my hand suddenly felt something soft. It gave me a fright, so I was quite glad I was wearing protective gardening gloves.

I felt a little like an archaeologist, uncovering a fascinating object from the past, although this was a living thing. Dusting him off very gently, I tried to take a better shot, as he was camouflaged quite well.

I returned to my task and next time I looked he had hopped away. Shortly he disappeared; a frog without a pond.

Then I returned to ready the bulbs for planting. As I had dug over the soil very well, this was not an arduous task. Looking forward to the outcome,  the phrase “.. a host of golden daffodils” was brought to mind, a line from Wordsworth’s poem.

In Spring I hope to have a display of daffodils, although I’m not sure whether they may need a year to settle into their new surroundings before flowering. By September my question will be answered.

119/366: bird on a wire

The other day I was sitting inside at my laptop, probably working on my blog, when a flash of colour flew past the window and alighted on one of the wires coming to our house.

It was an attractive bird with red on its head and chest, with blue on its wings, cheeks and tail feathers, which I have now identified as a crimson rosella. Taking a photograph through glass is never as successful as being out in the fresh air, but at least I managed this shot before it flew away.

Since we had a bleak week weatherwise, it was a pleasant and colourful change to see.

118/366: time travel

Posting a blog about my garden every day for the Project 365 WordPress Challenge is a little like time travel. I have always loved this genre in novels and movies, and suddenly I find myself skipping back and forward through the years in my garden.

I may not have a flux capacitor in a Delorean, but I do have photographs and memories. Why did I suddenly just think of Jim Croce? (great song by the way).

Of course, while looking at photos of projects before and after, the amount of time, effort, expense and labour is not always evident, except to the people actually involved. As well as my personal satisfaction in creating this blog, if I can help inspire someone with an idea, or make someone smile, then I have succeeded in my goals. Happy reading and gardening!

117/366: a blank canvas

With the demise of the six Castewallen Gold conifers between the middle and lower tier of the back garden, another blank canvas presented itself.

We had left the stumps in place, due to the extreme cost of getting them removed. I decided pots and ornaments could rest on these bases, and eventually the garden would grow and disguise them anyway.

The privacy that had been created between the tiers was gone, but that was a small trade-off to gain some good garden potential and a lot more light.

A couple of purchases of a golden diosma and a greenstead magnificent (whose fated story takes place on day 92/366: greenstead not so magnificent), some small english box plants, a few other plants plus some cuttings, filled the garden fairly quickly.

116/366: castewallen crisis

The beautiful row of Castewallen Gold conifers between the bottom and middle tiers of the back yard finally reached such unwieldy proportions that we had to call in Toplop to remove them.

Who would have believed that those little plants could grow that large? See day 61/366: wish they could stay that size. They were also featured in the foreground of day 111/366: it’s a frameup.

From the middle tier, the shed and rose arbour can be seen to be miniature-sized in relation to the huge conifers.

The bases needed to be cleared to provide a working area.

Going up the trunk, it looks like he is abseiling. He is in fact, working.

He almost disappeared into the heavens.

Light began to shine through the spaces created.

One lonely conifer on the eastern side of the block gets ready to meet its doom.

At the end of these proceedings, my cat Shadow looked around, bewildered.

115/366: spot the difference

Look at the picture below:

Now cover up the picture and look closely at the picture below. See if you can spot the difference.

How observant were you? Considering there is a glaring great gap where one of the main branches used to be, I hope it was relatively easy for you to work out that we hired someone to get rid of the top of the Evergreen Alder, which had succumbed to the drought and died. Well, perhaps you couldn’t work out all that information, but at least notice that a branch had disappeared. You could also add that the cloud formations are different.

Peek-a-boo! Better him than me; I don’t think I’d like to be up that tree, which is why we paid someone else to do the job. Because the ivy looked pretty on the trunk, we decided to leave that as some greenery to obscure the fence and provide contrast to the variegated pittosporum situated next to it.

114/366: sun is setting

Last night, I looked out the window to see a yellowish-orange tinge to the light outside, so I raced outside with my camera.

Once in the garden, I was amazed at the eerie colours around me.  The bird house is actually a creamy colour.

They say “Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight”, so I am hoping for a lovely day today. Though not as vivid as some sunsets I have witnessed, it was still photo-worthy.

113/366: kaffir lime

In 2008 we went to Thailand. In Patong, at Pum’s Cooking School, my husband and I learned how to make some delicious Thai dishes.  Used in Thai Green Chicken Curry (gaeng kheo wan gai), kaffir lime leaves impart a lovely flavour, along with coconut milk and green curry paste.

A year or so later we bought a tree so that we would have these leaves ready to go at a moment’s notice. There are now a number of limes on the tree too, which I haven’t utilised yet. Apparently, though not particularly juicy, the limes are useful for recipes requiring grated lime rind. In the meantime, it is an attractive tree.

Next time I go grocery shopping I think chicken thigh fillets are on the list, as I have suddenly developed a hankering for the dish.

112/366: nice nerines

My nerines are flowering. One of the things I love about bulbs is that they almost appear out of nowhere, and can be an unexpected delight.

I recently found an old magazine article about nerines, which originated from South Africa, and learned some interesting facts. You may already know that when they flower there is no foliage. They can be placed in light shade or sun, but make sure the soil is well-drained. Apparently in very rich soil flowering can be delayed because they concentrate on building themselves up into a clump before displaying blooms.

After flowering is when the foliage appears. I just learnt that it is advisable to keep them dry during their summer dormancy, to prevent rain breaking their little hibernation period, thus spoiling the sequence and having no autumn flowers. One way to prevent this occurrence is to plant them in pots so they can be readily moved to sheltered position for their summer sleep.

There are thirty species of nerines, but I only have these pink ones, which make a lovely display of colour in early autumn.