12/14: hi hibiscus and silverbeet sentinels

hibiscusAs we slip slowly into Autumn, the hibiscus seems to be telling me it likes this tropical weather. I love my plants, and if they have been a gift, when I look at them I always think of the person who gave them to me, bringing extra pleasure.

I cleaned up the area on the other side of the rose arbour, and was struck by the symmetry of nature. These two silverbeet plants self-seeded, and coincidentally are growing in the same location on each side of the path – couldn’t have planned it better myself! They stand like little soldier sentinels.

silverbeet sentinels

5/14: zorro misses mummy

We are currently cruising around New Zealand, while Shadow and Zorro are (hopefully) being looked after by our house and cat-sitters, (my sister and brother-in-law).

Although I took this photo before I left, Zorro seems to be looking at me with those “I miss you and love you, Mummy” eyes.

Zorro sprawled across the entrance hall

If you would like to read about our cruisin’, feel free to click on Travels with Princess and Quiquinou on the princessprattles header. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

4/14: annual path weeding

At the beginning of 2013, I undertook a large job up in the top tier of making some paths through the plum trees. To utilise the huge pile of mulch from the conifer lopping, I had to cut back a plethora of english ivy first.

A year later I have finished what I am now calling the annual path weed. Fortunately it did not take as much effort to refresh it as it did to create it, and being very thorough digging up the roots of the various weeds and ivy this time, the next annual weed should be much easier.

annual path weeding

52/52: wishing you a purr-fect Christmas






the place for the treeThis looks like a good place for the Christmas tree, where I can see it from the lounge, the kitchen, and also the patio/entertaining area.

the place for the tree (2)The stand goes first.

the place for the tree (3)Then the first third of the tree rests on the stand.

the place for the tree (4)The middle of the tree is next.

the place for the tree (5)The top of the tree finishes the basic silver tree. Next to come are approximately 300 decorations!

the place for the tree (6)Lastly, Shadow and Zorro wish you a very merry, purr-fect Christmas, as do I.

Love from Sandi Claws xxx

Shadow tries to be Christmassy (2)Zorro gets Christmassy (4)

51/52: red and green for the season

One little area that was overgrown with seaside daisies has had a re-vamp, just in time for Christmas. Erigeron is great for a cottage garden, spreading itself with wanton abandon. I have a number of plants in the garden that I am constantly trying to control.

Swaying between a casual, cottage garden and a more formal, trimmed and pruned look, I sometimes allow areas to become a little overgrown. Currently this garden bed has been allowed to go a little wild, and was more than ready for some timely revision.

overgrown with seaside daisiesWith that in mind, I dug up all the seaside daisies, Erigeron, and trimmed back the irises to little stalks, reminding myself to separate the bulbs and spread them across this garden bed next March, as two dozen in a clump is rather too much.

Meanwhile, I have planted mainly red bedding begonias , plus some Pratia, a small-leafed ground cover with tiny blue flowers. Hopefully this will eventually cover the entire area, and any Erigeron that sneaks through will be eradicated.

fitting for the seasonred and green makeover for ChristmasThe result is rather festive, just in time for Christmas, but will be lovely on a continuing basis, particularly when the ratio of plants to mulch is greater than at present.

50/52: it’s a baby blueberry

Having discovered an enjoyment of baking with blueberries, I decided it was time last year to add a couple of blueberry plants to our mini orchard. The new plants represented potential blueberry friands.

two blueberry plants

And now, finally, nineteen months later, one little blueberry has appeared. Hopefully this will herald the imminent arrival of many more. Perhaps this is all we will get this year, but it’s a start.

the first blueberry

However, I am a little concerned about the leaves, which seem a little speckled. I think if I expect fruit I am going to have to be more knowledgeable about diseases to avoid or treat.

If any green-thumbed readers know why they look like that, please comment. Otherwise, I will need to do some internet research. After all, Google is my friend.

blueberry leaves

48/52: breath of spring

As Spring draws to a close, I fondly remember the daffodils which heralded the arrival of the season. I have oft-repeated my love of bulbs, for their tenacity and continuous consistency, so let’s revisit a host of golden daffodils.

a host of golden daffodils

One year I splurged and bought some designer daffodil bulbs, shown below.

an unusual daffodil

Enjoy one last look at a daffodil, because before we know it, Christmas will be upon us!

daffodil close up