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.

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He now rests in the garden he loved.

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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. 

Capture

After months of sunless days, today we captured the sun. 

  These tiny seasonal delights appeared and were caught – tangible sunshine.

  Though the light fades and returns, the start of Spring is near. 
  White cat captures the moment.
  And these cold-flowering rhododendrons are awash with crimson flowers and afternoon sun.
  The mountain light subdues another remarkable day. We are captured by its  

  

 beauty and tranquility.
  

 Capture each day – for it is wondrous. Enjoy your own special season – have a good weekend. 

He’s gone

For those who remember our resident kangaroo – here’s a recap. IMG_2683

This old fella came every day to visit. Despite him eating my roses, geraniums and most vegetables – he really was an old, gentle and quite friendly fellow. He used to come quite close to the house and simply stare up at us.

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He was a big boy too – over six feet and very fast. He used to scare me when I walked in the garden on a moonlit night!  Even Albert cat liked him.

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Recently, a neighbour told me they called the wildlife service to have him removed because he was annoying their dog. Poor fella – he’s gone now.

We saw him for the last time last summer. So this is my little tribute to this amazing creature.

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Good bye old boy. We had fun! Wildlife is simply so special.

Mountain Perils

Living on the Mount can be serene and immensely beautiful, however, it can also be very perilous. A silent kangaroo – camouflaged; a wombat hole, deep enough to fall in to and….

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this sight which greeted us a few doors down the dirt road….

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A shallow root system and high winds toppled this tree onto its owner’s driveway missing their “For Sale” sign and water tank! Take care this winter, everyone on the Mount!

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Tea for two or three?

We have spent much time in our autumnal garden this Easter break. While last year I tried my hand at baking hot cross buns, this year I was not so adventurous.

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And I was quite pleased at the result….

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I had great intentions of baking a special Easter cake – a simnel cake perhaps, but all I could muster was a healthy muesli slice. Taking it into the garden for afternoon tea, I turned away for one second under the arbor to find one piece missing.

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You guessed it, stolen by a cheeky chicken.

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Others joined in quickly, including naughty Long John Silver, the rooster.

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Must have been tasty – even Whitey cat wanted some 🙂

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I hope you had a Happy Easter holiday.

Mystery plant identified

You may recall in my recent post entitled Spring or Autumn, I had purchased a plant which I thought was an orchid at a local garage sale. Having scoured the gardening books, I could not identify it. However, with the help of some of plant loving friends, we have a definitive name. It is Haemanthus albiflos – or as the name suggests, blood lily, the albiflos denotes the colour – in this case white. A few friends of mine went to that trouble to taking the photos to the Secretary of the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria who declared it, the white variety, was quite rare and generally expensive! It would develop a yellow centre and produce red berries – apparently it drew quite a crowd! Here are the latest photos as it sits on our back deck.

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The horticultural notes also told us it was of South African origin and needed well drained soil and kept well watered in summer, allowing a rest period. That explains why it flowered when I left it under a large tree and forgot about it! Will survive to a minimum of 10-15 degrees. Considering we get down to zero Celsius here on the Mount, I will have to keep it sheltered.

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Compared to this early photo, it is blooming quite well as our begin temperatures begin to drop. Quite an unusual specimen.

Christmas (aka Catmas) is coming!

I love catching up with Bailey Boat cat, so I thought I’d share his Christmas antics with you!

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I’ve spend today wrapping (well helping to wrap) lots of presents. Most of them have to be sent internationally so I made sure the humans got down to business today. It’s left me feeling very festive and remembering how lucky we were to have a pawesome Christmas last year!

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I loved my role as Santa Paws last year!

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I can’t wait to get a tree this year but there’s a debate among the humans whether to have a real one or one with the twinkles at the end of its pines… I would like a real one that twinkles too… Paws crossed!

How are your Christmas preparations going?

Bisous Bailey

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All the leaves are brown….

And the sky is grey… well, I did go for a walk as the song suggests, on a not-so-winter’s day. The sky may not be very grey but winter is just around the corner. The autumnal garden changes so rapidly that I thought I’d better take a walk and show you around the garden and its variant colours.

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This weeping cherry puts on a very different display in autumn. Gone are the pinks of spring and the greens of summer, now replaced by gold and russet.

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The red hues of the Japanese Maple carpet the ground.

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This maple will soon lose its red hues…

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There will be much time spent raking leaves during the month of May.

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Currently there are many interested Japanese tourists in our area admiring the seasonal changes. These wonderful colours shed a final luminescence before the barren, grey of winter sets in.

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The golden elm resplendent in its regal colours!

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This particular dogwood could glow in the dark!

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Gone are the ornamental apricots on this weeper….

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The cats joined me on the garden tour.
What ever the season in your part of the world, I wish you happy gardening in nature’s truly amazing playground! Thanks for following and may all your days be garden days!

Sydney’s Inner West

A 7:30am flight and in less than 100 minutes, I am in Sydney with Daughter Number Two for the weekend. Luckily, I packed my pink umbrella as the heavens unleashed a torrent as the plane taxied in. A short drive and we find ourselves in Sydney’s Inner West, only five kilometres from the busy city heart. Today’s humid, wet and slippery conditions did not dampen this precincts eclectic mix of fashion, novelty craft stores, tree lined streets, turn of the century cottages and alternative cafes and restaurants.

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Now here’s a question for you. Do you like buttons? If you are like us we are intrigued by their shapes, colours and applications. You would love this establishment!

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Dusty, Little Dog Number Three sat quietly out of the rain. Well actually here he is at his owners’ photographic, dark room and studio. This is their second studio and was once the Department of Civil Engineering building. It’s a great space for their photographic workshops and studio.

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Returning to Newtown in the evening, we ate dinner at a nifty Japanese restaurant where we ordered our meals on an I-pad!

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Hopefully the rain will ease tomorrow – good night – see you in the morning.

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The House of Rock

Out little blue chook house has finally opened for business. It has take us a little longer than anticipated to lodge the girls (and a couple of boys!) in the new structure. Constantly looking for improvements, Colin decided to put in a ramp to connect the old enclosure to the new blue house.

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Then there was the matter of enticing the chickens up the ramp! A little bit of hands on coaxing was needed. The Plymouth Rock youngsters were the first to find their way in and establish their places. The old Isa browns had to be helped up into the loft but once there were as happy as “chickens in a loft”.
On the other hand, the older Plymouth Rock girls are the most reticent and sceptical of the lot. Colin needed to show them where to perch after finding a nice two metre branch to wedge in place in the house. For the last three nights he had to bring them into the blue house and position them on the perch. On a positive note they are placid and do not peck the little chooks.

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Meanwhile, there was still the problem of how to protect the old wooden floor of the house. We eventually decided to lay a rubberised matting to offer some barrier between the wood and the inevitable droppings. Sarge, our old cat always needs to inspect for quality assurance!

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After some research, I decided to make my own special blend of litter. I mixed equal parts of straw, dried leaf litter and sterilised wood shavings and spread it evenly on the floor. The images speak for themselves.

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Now, after enclosing their run in heavy duty rabbit fencing – we have had a number of fox attacks recently – we can finally breath a sigh of relief that they are all safe, warm and happy. The little blue chicken house has been dubbed the House of Rock – Plymouth Rock, that is.

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Enjoy your chickens, they are wonderfully independent and entertaining pets.

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