22/52: progress of the palms on the patio

Last year we planted a little batch of ferns and palms in the garden adjacent to the patio, which looked like this:

finishing touches cropped-troppo.jpg Silver Lady Blechnum Pteris Cretica Albo Lineata  Phoenix Robelinii Blechnum Spicant one palm and three fernsUnfortunately my laptop has crashed, so this post will have to continue in the next couple of days, with the photo update of this little corner of the garden. Thanks for your patience.


UPDATE: Thank goodness, the problem was fixed. As an aside, if your laptop will not turn on, remove the batteries and unplug it from the power source, press the on button for 15-30 seconds, reinsert the batteries and attach to power, turn it on and hopefully you will shout “hallelujah” as I did.

Now I am able to provide the update of photos, just over nine months since we planted out this area. I am happy with the lush, tropical progress. Hope you enjoy it too.

group of ferns and palm nine months after planting rocks, stones and foliage tropical foliage tropical foliage  (2) tropical foliage  (3)

21/52: boxing lessons for cats

As anyone with cats would know, show them a cardboard box and they will invariably climb into it. Perhaps it’s a return to the womb experience for them, being all cuddly and enclosed? Or just another way to look absolutely adorable.

Baby Barth in a boxAs you can see, Bartholomew loved boxes as much as he did as a kitten, right up until he was fourteen, with this photo taken before severe weight loss attributed to kidney failure, the cause of his ultimate demise.

Bartholomew in a box 1999

Bubble was with us until fifteen, and at age one, she enjoyed her own little boxing lessons.

Bubble climbing out of a box Bubble in a boxBarthy in a box 1999Ah, the look of contentment. Oh, to come back in life as one of my cats!


20/52: mothers’ day memorial garden

Although generally I am pretty good at grammar, I’m never sure whether to put the apostrophe before or after the “s” for this particular day, as it depends if you are talking singular or plural: Mother’s Day if you are only referring to your own mother, but Mothers’ Day for the general populous of female parents.

In this case I am going plural, as last weekend I enlisted my husband’s help to create a memorial garden bed for our mothers. Utilising bricks I had been given (hooray, finally finished clearing them off the path that had been their home for months), we, (meaning he: my design, his labour of love), made a circle for a cast iron birdbath to take pride of place in its centre.

Planning and preparing the area had to be done prior to the planting. My original plan of a three brick radius had to be modified to two, for the available space (and bricks).

initial planning

dig, level and measure

check levels

  ready for planting

hard at work on a labour of love

Then, five azaleas were placed around one side, making another attractive vista from our bedroom window. Three smaller Shirazz azaleas sit adjacent to the others.

Shirazz Azalea

The two white Aline azaleas, one in memory of my darling mother, Elaine, (d. 2001), and the other for my wonderful mother-in-law, (d. 2005), contrasting against the burgundy foliage of the Shirazz, should make a brilliant show in future years.

Aline Azalea

My own children were unavailable that weekend, with one holidaying in the USA and the other working in hospitality, but I know our ♥love♥ is strong. To compensate, I still had my furry boys Shadow and Zorro, and I so appreciate my husband’s labour of love on this project, so it was a lovely day, and a most fitting one to honour our mothers who brought us forth into life.

a fitting tribute to our mothers

P.S. As my own tribute, I decided to start another blog, based on families, relationships and human behaviour, which you can find at princesspoppsychology.wordpress.com.

19/52: signs of autumn

My three beautiful weeping japanese maples, Inaba shidare, continue to delight every autumn, with their vibrant burgundy tones.

They seem to all be at various stages of colour-changing, though unfortunately the photos do not do them justice.

weeping japanese maples in autumn (3)

weeping japanese maples in autumn (2)

weeping japanese maples in autumn (4)

Moving around the garden, there seems to be an abundance of the reddish and burgundy tones, including the delightful nandina.


Even some of the flowers are in an analogous colour range, such as the nerines and fuchsia.



Just when you thought they were all very similar, the marvellous marigolds stand out golden in their contrast.


marvellous marigolds

18/52: pumpkin project bears fruit

Some time ago I did a little artificial insemination to ensure fertilisation of a female pumpkin flower. I am delighted to show you the fine result of my interference:

 lovely rogue pumpkin


Unfortunately, some of the pumpkin eggs I tried to fertilise just died off. I am calling them eggs as if they are not mated with a male, there will be no pumpkin.

It is now late autumn and as I was just about to harvest the one pumpkin from that massive vine, and pull out the rest of the plant, what did I spy? Amazingly, both a male and female flower sitting side by side, making googly eyes at each other. I introduced them, and before long they were coupling, with a little help from the Artificial Inseminator. It may well be too late in the season but it’s worth a try. Happy honeymoon!

female and male pumpkin flowers