213/366: the succulent edge

In the front garden there is a succulent ground cover that is prolific. My plan is to slowly take over the area with slower growing plants to save trimming the edge of the path as often.

To this end I took six pots of those little cabbage-type succulents and planned where they would go.

Using a planter as a template, I trimmed semi-circles in which to plant them.

Eventually these should multiply and provide a nice, neat, low-maintenance border.

212/366: yuccas are not yukky

Once again I am the recipient of someone’s spare plants. A friend had many yucca plants, and created some new ones that I am looking forward to putting in my garden.

Here is a sneak look at them before they find a new home.

They have nice firm leaves with an elegant line….

Shock, horror! I decided to google yucca plant pictures, and it led me to ASPCA (Animal Poison Control Center) and I found out that these plants are toxic to cats and dogs, causing vomiting and diarrhoea.

Now, knowing this, do I plant them or not? So maybe they are yukky after all.

211/366: silhouette collaborative project #3

This is the third and final in the series of silhouettes.

Click on the links if you would like to see the other two:

silhouette project #1

silhouette project #2

As with the first week, this is a silhouette taken with the sun rising, of a majestic old oak. The phrase great oaks from little acorns grow springs to mind. You can still see a few leaves with their distinctive shape, the remnants of the autumn shedding of a deciduous tree.

210/366: a breath of spring

Although we are just at the tailend of July, two thirds of the way through winter in Australia, daffodils have started to bloom, bringing the promise of spring with their beautiful sunshiney blooms.

On an otherwise bleak day, I was very lucky to have snapped these photos just before a downpour in which I could easily have been drenched.

209/366: albino asparagus fern

The asparagus fern growing on the eastern side of the backyard originally came through under the fence from the neighbour’s garden. I like the delicate lacy fronds, although the thorns it carries are a dramatic contrast.

It grew well, particularly because we didn’t plant it ourselves. It crept up into the trusses of the pergola, which necessitated cutting it back. One piece that I didn’t pull down has now dried and faded to a beautiful creamy colour, hence the albino title, which complements the colour of the shadecloth and timber it is surrounded by.

208/366: over varnish

While the weather has been bleak I have been busy inside, painting and varnishing.

Can you over varnish? In my case, the answer is yes, as I am a little over varnish at the moment. However, the sewing room desks and bay window all look very glossy and new.

I also took the opportunity to have my overlocker and sewing machine both serviced while I was busy working in that room, which served a dual purpose: somewhere to store the machines, and also they will have a fresh start when I get around to doing a little sewing, or rather, alterations.

207/366: leave me alone, lily

These lilies are funny, because the flowers bloomed in February, and now here towards the end of July the green leaves are lush. I guess this pattern of growth makes them useful for more than just an occasional flowering, as they are a nice rich green, providing a border to my recently pruned flower carpet roses.

206/366: a new use for blu-tack

I love Blu-Tack, and find it very handy for attaching things and securing frames on the wall so they don’t slip and slide, but today I think I came up with a new use for it.

Having just bought a new dustpan and brush, I peeled the label off. Usually I would immediately rush to the Eucalyptus Oil to get any sticky residue off, but somehow I was moved to take an old piece of Blu-Tack that I had recently removed from a wall, and use it as an eraser on the handle. And it worked!

I think my brain jumped over itself in a dramatic feat of lateral thinking. Part of me was remembering that Eucalyptus Oil helps get rid of chewing gum that is stuck somewhere, so I made a quantum leap into suddenly wondering if Blu-Tack would be useful. The link is tenuous at best, but isn’t that one of the ways new things get discovered, or at least new uses for old things?

205/366: stoned in the backyard

With the sun actually shining, I spent some time in the garden, this time quietly getting stoned. Not how it sounds, just wanted to grab your attention.

The path around the utility side kept getting mulch and leaves on it, partly due to the wind, but also the cats and possibly birds.

Putting some of these stones down to edge the path should hopefully alleviate this problem.

204/366: silhouette collaborative project #2

For my next photo in the silhouette collaborative project, I have chosen a bell theme.

I backlit the bell by putting it in front of my round lamp, which always reminds me of either a crystal ball or a full moon, turned the flash off, and took the photo with my Canon IXUS 120 IS.

The third bell was too large for this treatment, which is why you cannot see a silhouette of the last one. Pictured below are the bells in colour.