A garden lookout

Record rainfall over the last few months have prevented me from spending time in the garden. We have had snow, wind, hail and low level flooding! What a winter!

I guess this little fellow is waiting patiently for my return. Shortly, I will be able to show off my new veggie patch and restored chicken house – now a potting shed! Waiting for the sun and some warm weather. Look out for my posts soon.

img_1753

Tree of Life 

After our wintry summer in the Czech Republic we have returned filled with newfound vigour and hope.

Life does deal us remarkable events. This beautiful tree in Northern Tasmania, near Boat Harbour has come to symbolise new family connections and the strengthening of familial bonds – both near and far.

The Christmas Garden

On Christmas Eve I did nothing. The tree stood decorated for weeks, the presents wrapped, the cards written, my mother and daughters’ gifts posted, the menu decided and the garden watered and silent – except for the wind which, from time to time, sorts out the leaves. 
I have been reading Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol. I don’t think I’ve ever read it in its entirety. This story of the bitter, greedy and cold hearted Scrooge whose motto is “keep Christmas in your way and let me keep it in mine” and who is forced to face his ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come. Despite the western world’s slow secularisation amidst polarised religious ideas, Christmas has to be, as Scrooge’s nephew proffers

     ….a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as id they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.

Scrooge, in the end, is given another opportunity to do good and join life.

  
For me, this Christmas is a time to reflect on family. This Christmas, a life long dream of finding my father’s family has come to be realised. For the last three months I have been communciating with my lost family in the Czech republic. They live in a place similar to here on the Mount. They are like me, they love the garden and they love Christmas. We will visit them for the first time this January, they have been abundantly generous and open-hearted – it will be a momentous meeting. 

 
  
  
With these thoughts in mind, I wish you all the time to reflect over the Christmas season. I thank my family for their love and support; to my new Czech family, this has been an amzaing journey and one which continues; to my school colleagues, you are so very special in my life, to my wonderful neighbours here on the Mount and to all those amazing people I have encountered throughout the year, may this Christmas bring you solace and happiness. Like Scrooge in the end, may we know how to keep Christmas well…may that be said of us, and all of us.” Merry Christmas one and all.

  
   
   
And…. find time to be yourself and grow in the garden ……. 🙂

Peony time

This has to be one of the most exciting of gardening times – when peonies bloom. They are the grandest of all flowers – I think, at least, and very fortuitous in Oriental cultures.  I would like to brag that this vase of pink and white blooms are from my garden but sadly no. They are from Springhill Peony Farm about thirty minutes from here. Each November they offer pick your own peonies –  spectacular! Our garden has one peony plant and it has blossomed once since we have been here – an amazing yellow peony but never since! I must be doing something wrong. 

   

  I am going to enjoy this special time in Nature and maybe have some home grown luck next year.    

Happy garden time where ever you are 🙂

 

That’s life

More often than not, an opportunity to be in the garden offers a time for reflection. I reflect on recent changes, our return from Prague and family. I used to say that all problems are solved in the garden. For me, this is still true, especially when experiencing loss. It is during these times of complicated thoughts, that the garden offers solace and peace.  Over the twelve years on the Mount, one companion has helped me dig, watched me weed, walked the paths with me and called out when it was time to go in. So when his time came a week today, it was very sad. Sarge, our fourteen year old cat, was a quirky character and a very personable cat. He was brave and fearless in his territorial duties – even venturing down a wombat hole.

20121022-220908.jpg20121022-220048.jpg20121022-220544.jpg
He now rests in the garden he loved.

20121106-204500.jpg20121104-165210.jpg
I guess that’s part of life. Nature overcomes all. For now, I continue to think of how fortunate it is to have a garden like this and animals to give it joy.

   
While I repot and re-plan, I reflect on the myriad  of relationships we share with others and with Nature itself. Let us use our gardens to reflect on that which is lacking in our world today – peace. I wish you this in your garden today. 

Window Boxes of Prague

We are reaching the end of our stay in Prague. It was more than expected – a truly wonderful city. Here are some gardening ideas to bring home – we should all have at least one window box or the like.
  They are often simple geraniums in bold colours.

  The full sun and the heat from the masonry walls ensure a dramatic display. 

 Begonias are another popular species for window boxes.   These can be found in the windows of most residences and restaurants – delightfully simple. 

 (oops, I think this ivy is fake!)

  

Some need a little more love.

 This red geranium is at Prague castle. Ok, this may be too much. However, none of these are beyond the average home gardener, like us. Happy gardening!

   

Pots of Prague

We have been visiting Prague to research some family connections (see my blog Findingstanvodak ). Even though this has been quite time consuming, not to mention difficult, as we do not speak Czech, we have still managed to incorporate some sightseeing. 

These beautiful pots caught my eye during a recent visit to the famous Prague Castle.

 Healthy begonias   Mixed geraniums  Great pot    Very formal  I don’t think any of these displays are beyond the average gardener! Just good soil, good pots and plenty of time.   

  Backdrop is nice! Happy pottering about!

Garden helpers

This is my last weekend in the garden for a few weeks. Last weekend was splendid and I managed to simply sit and read and marvel at the spring colours. Well, I did do some raking and transplanting – couldn’t help myself. However, I had some helpers too. 

   Albert cat was watching me or was he watching the chickens?
  Johnny Silver was watching him and anything else that moved.
  It was comforting to be with them in the sun – enjoying a brief reprieve from the business of life. Our weeping cherry is just beginning to blossom.
   
  I will miss my mountain garden for the next few weeks. We begin a sort of discovery tour of Prague – 16,000 kms from home. Sounds daunting. 

  However, I will have my trusty helper with me, all the way. My garden will continue to bloom and wait for our return. Hopefully, my garden helpers will not miss me too much nor I them. Wish me luck and enjoy your garden – where ever you may be. I might be lucky to visit some Prague gardens too!