Friday, December 9, 2016

How does your garden grow?

The garden is a little over a year old now and although I don't get to spend much time looking after it, it doesn't seem to mind.

All the plants are doing what they're supposed to do. Since I haven't posted anything about the garden (or even taken any photos) for ages I thought it was about time.

The bird bath we brought with us is used by local willy wagtails. We don't get the range of parrots visiting that we used to in Missy's garden but they are around. We see them flying overhead so I hope as our garden matures they'll find us.

The heliconias (Rostrata) are beginning to flower even though they look a bit shabby from being knocked around by the wind. I planted 8 different heliconias. Most haven't flowered yet, but generally they take two years after first planted, so I'm not concerned.

A smaller heliconia.

The brugsmania was blooming well during the week but by the weekend the flowers are starting to wilt. For such a small young tree it's doing well I think.

The clump of pink shell ginger is so huge in just a year we'll need to divide it once it's finished flowering.
Our hibiscus hedge has almost reached fence height. In a while I'll prune it back so it can thicken up.

So, our postage stamp garden is coming on well, all things considered. There are still a lot of gaps where extra plants can go, but for now I'd like the taller plants to grow and create some shade before filling in the understorey.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

John's boat

This is a very long story  

years in the making

much less in the telling

about a man who built a boat.

There's a happy ending - the boat has been launched.
and it didn't sink.
It didn't leak.
In fact

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Missy's day at the beach

The weather was perfect last weekend for a walk on the beach. As a bonus it was low tide ... and at low tide there is a sandbank that stretches out into the passage - Perfect for a nice long walk.

There was not a cloud in the sky... the night before we'd had thunderstorms but today no sign of rain.
The seagulls were out in force as well looking for snacks. People go fishing an the sandbank. I'm not sure whether anyone ever catches anything. Maybe they do.
For a old dog Missy did well keeping up with John. He strode ahead and Missy and I brought up the rear.

She didn't notice the soldier crabs. Her eyesight's not the best these days.

but the heron was having a feast
Missy's never been overly keen on swimming but she did have a little paddle in the water.

After such a big walk, it was nice to sit under the trees and have a drink of water while John went off to buy some lunch from a nearby take-away shop.
All in all - a perfect day

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A couple of paintings

Even though the weather lately has been very mild, Winter isn't my favourite time of year. I've had the dreaded flu etc but did find time for some painting. Thought I'd share a couple I've done recently.
more lorikeets

and sailboats

I took the photos with my phone and try as I might I can't rotate the last one sorry.
If anyone knows how to do it I'd appreciate the advice.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Garden Visit

Lindmar Garden
We took advantage of the beautiful weather on Saturday and visited a local open garden. This garden had planned to open the weekend before but postponed due to wet and windy conditions and there was more of the same on Sunday, but the weather behaved itself for our visit. 

The garden is set on 3 acres and has been cared for by the same people for 25 years. The most striking feature of the garden is the sheer number of bromeliads.

Pathways wound through garden beds

overflowing with bromeliads 

....literally overflowing

Of course, there were also annuals and perennials and succulents and begonias

 but the stars of the show were certainly the broms

Rows and rows of bromeliads most planted in garden beds beneath the trees - not a weed or a dead leaf in sight - many showing off blooms

They had topped up the wood-chip mulch throughout the garden. Everything were as neat as a pin. Having had a large garden I couldn't help thinking of the amount of work it takes to maintain a garden so large. Ours was never this neat and tidy.

Even the little touches of whimsy through  garden featured bromeliads - shakin' them tail feathers

An assortment of red baskets replaced the foliage in the frangipani tree, with red impatiens and begonias as well as broms.

Not one of our native birds, but the flamingo must feel at home to have so many eggs.

The "sculptures" throughout the garden made we wonder whether grandchildren were regular visitors here.
Plant stalls were set up on the lawn - orchids, perennials and (of course) bromeliads for sale.
There were also talks on various subjects throughout the day and a morning tea area near the house.
The Australian Open Garden Scheme folded a while ago -- don't understand why. I'm grateful though that gardeners like these carry on regardless to open their gardens for us to enjoy.
Thank you, Marie and Lindsay. You have a beautiful garden.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Free seed - Come and get it!

The land across the road from us has been released for sale.

To make it look it's best, the developer has been busy levelling topsoil then covering it with a mix of grass seed, fertiliser and mulch.

It didn't take long for the locals to realise there was a free feast on offer.

By nightfall we were wondering whether there would be any seed left to grow.

The birds had a party!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Well, that snuck up on me

I should have seen the signs of course. When a young colleague apologised to me after saying someone was behaving like an old woman, that was a clue.

Then one morning I woke to this. One of our wonderful neighbours left balloons at the front door and a sign on the garage door.
There was no hiding the fact that my birthday had arrived.
I have turned the big 60.

A champagne brunch was held to celebrate the occasion and being old and forgetful, I forgot the take any photos. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and look forward to whatever the next decade has in store.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Well it's been a while

Living on a relaxed laid back island is all very well if your lifestyle is also relaxed and laid back.

Lately mine has been anything but.
My job plus the commute to and from work seems to have become more demanding this year. I love my job, but there are many times I wish I could stay home and walk along the beach with Missy (and John) instead of setting off in the car each morning.
I'm still glad we moved to Bribie island but I have much less free time than I used to.

The garden is powering on without any help from me.
The pink pompom hibiscus keep flowering and are thickening up well. They'll soon form a hedge.
Along the back fence the palms and the native hibiscus have reached fence height. The cannas continue to flower, but with Winter coming on they will die back soon.
The heliconias are also growing well and the crepe myrtle. 
We'll soon have a mini tropical retreat.
A lovely place to sit and enjoy the garden....
Hope to have time to do that soon.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Ginger Festival

Today we went to the Ginger Factory at Yandina - about an hours drive up the road. It was their annual Flower and Food Festival. Ginger plants, ginger recipes, cooking demonstrations and gardening talks.

I did not buy one ginger plant.

As we walked into the main cafeteria we were greeted by this enormous floral arrangement featuring beehive and torch gingers as well as various heliconia and other flowers. (This is just the lower half)

Heliconias (my favourite flower) made up the upper half

To get an idea of scale, you can see it was twice the height of a person.

There's an extensive garden shaded by large trees. The ideal growing conditions for gingers and other tropical plants.

Love this combination

This was the view from where we sat to eat lunch.
They sell all manner of ginger products - cosmetics, candles, etc, jams and sauces and chocolate coated ginger (some of that came home with us)
I didn't buy any ginger plants because they need more shelter than we can provide yet. Heliconias, on the other hand, don't mind full sun and when they grow tall will help provide shade for the ginger plants I might buy next year.
I did buy a few heliconias

they're already in the ground.