Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Char Bagh Progress

Looking south from the back door:
Note Dot on the edge of the pond! The gravel paths have been in place for a while, but now scoria is being spread on the future garden beds.

Looking east from the side gate:
The upright posts along the far side will eventually support a pergola which I hope to grow wisteria over.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dragon's Eye Daylily

Last time my Dragon's Eye daylily flowered was April five years ago. So I'm happy to see it again in its new home:
I missed the first flower, and this second one isn't really open, but the weather is so cold I'm not sure there will be any more. It's a bit like the first time it flowered for me, in June 2011, when only a couple of the buds opened before cold weather stopped it. I wonder why it flowers so late? All the references I've found on the internet suggest it should flower mid to late summer. But for me it seems to be autumn to winter, both here and in the city.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Nearly the End of Autumn

After some stormy weather, my ginkgo has only one large leaf and a few small ones left:

The liquidambar still has lots of colour, though:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Big Day

The day started with deliveries by tractor.

A ball of harrow disks!

These will both be planted in the walled garden behind the house.

Wrapped presents!

Inside the wrapping:
Bare-rooted Lorraine Lee climbing rose, which will be planted to grow over the arbour.

Australian Home Journal  - patterns included!

Hand-forged garden tools:
The top one of which was actually hand-forged next door, then had its handle added right here.

Followed by sparkly pancakes for breakfast:

After that I had to rush off to open the hall for our regular Ballaarat Quilters Sit and Sew day. I also provided this for everyone to enjoy:

When I got home at the end of the day, there was another gift which had been forgotten this morning:
A welded dog! Dot doesn't really think it is a dog. But this is a reminder that it is exactly 2 years since she came to live with us.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Arbour Progress

Bit by bit, the arbour is taking shape:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Almost, Cicero

Quote printed on a tea-towel I was given today:
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."

I guess Cicero wasn't a quilter, because he failed to mention another important requirement: fabric! However, the lovely person who gave me this gift is a quilter, so she wrapped it in SIX layers of fabric rather than paper.

Thank you, Jeanette, for the wonderful gift!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Planting Day

Over the last few week we accumulated a bunch of plants at various nurseries. Today was a nice day to get them in the ground:
That involved moving the electric fence to increase the width of the garden bed beside the driveway.

Monday, May 22, 2017


Elephant is at least "blog finished":
Actually he still needs the stuffing hole stitched up, but I'll do that when daylight returns to the sewing room.
Made with Jodie Carleton's RicRac Trunk Show pattern. I altered his ear shape a little to make it obvious he is an African elephant. I found the safety eyes at Gail's Patchwork Emporium. These are the same ones Jodie uses for all her critters. Gail has a bowl of them on the counter for 50c a pair. I've never noticed them there, but I'm glad I asked Gail if she sold them.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Trees and Flower

My ginkgo now has no trace of green, and the yellow leaves are starting to fall:
I expect one day soon will be windy and all these leaves will blow away.

My liquidambar is half green and half red:
Strangely it is the southern side of the tree that is colouring, and the northern side that is still green:

In the flower garden,my bethel sage has lots of buds. This is the first one to start opening:
Back in the city they opened about a month earlier, then flowered all through winter. Last year here the flowers started opening sooner than this, but I think the frost knocked the plants back before they really got going.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Sunflower Progress

After a couple of sit-and-sew days, my sunflowers are nearly appliqued to their background fabrics.

Soon they will be in the queue of tops to be quilted!

Linking to Sarah's Hexie Linky Party, where you can read all about her new Hexie Temperature Quilt, which I will be participating in. The idea is that you make a hexagon a day, in a colour based on the top temperature for the day (or the temperature at a given time if you prefer). Each week the hexagons become a rosette, and then 52 rosettes later you have a year quilt. It should be interesting to see the colours gradually change across the quilt as the seasons come and go.

As our climate is so different to Sarah's (she has four levels of colours below freezing!), I've come up with my own colour/temperature chart, which is as follows:
>45      black
40-45   purple
35-40    magenta
30-35    red
25-30    orange
20-25    yellow
15-20    green
10-15    aqua/teal
5-10      blue
0-5        pale blue

I'll be hoping for no black days during the year!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Other Projects

This fat quarter arrived yesterday from Spoonflower:
The circle design is about 30cms across, and is destined to be the centre of a quilt on my "to do" list some time soon. I haven't bought anything from Spoonflower before, although I've spent many hours browsing their offerings. This one was designed by Sharon Turner, an artist from the UK.

My "Out of Africa" challenge piece is taking shape:
I'm using my shweshwe fabrics and Jodie Carleton's Trunk Show pattern to make an elephant.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Much Pink

 I have never seen so much pink heath in one place:

Epacris impressa, our state floral emblem. In every shade, from white to hot pink:

Turning the undergrowth pink in Lerderderg State Park.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mini Quilt Show

Today one of the quilt groups I attend, Quilters of the Big Room, held a quilt show at our venue Vivienne's Retreat, as a charity fundraiser.

Vivienne hung many of her own quilts outside around the grounds. 
Isn't that Japanese maple fantastic!

The grape leaves match the broderie perse roses on the quilt perfectly.

No quilts in this shot, but I love the front verandah:
 In all the times I've been here, this is the first time I have walked around the grounds.

The rest of us spread our quilts around inside:
My En Provence on the far bed, and Berry Delicious in the foreground.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Last November I saw this in an open garden:
And wondered where I might get some old harrow disks to create something similar.

Tonight when I arrived home, I was presented with this:
Happy birthday! Thirty-two harrow disks! (And bonus harrow). Another early present because this one was a bit too big to hide, or even wrap.

A couple of things to notice in the background: the electric fence which is giving the roses a chance to recover, and the crepe myrtle behind that which is colouring up nicely:
This tree looked very sad and droopy through summer, and we decided we would move it during winter. But now it seems to have perked up, just in time to lose its leaves.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers Day

Kookaburra on the birdbath at breakfast time:

After breakfast we headed off to Smeaton, where the National Trust ran a heritage event at Anderson's Mill this weekend. The Mill is not normally open to the public, so it was a good opportunity to have a look through it. The giant wheel was a highlight:

Around the mill there were various displays, including vintage machinery and vehicles. I rather liked this travelling department store in a van:

Inside the mill there was a display of old and reproduction quilts. I didn't take any photos of them! The Lions Centenary quilt, which I saw back in March, was there too.

There were various food vans in attendance, but there were so many European wasps everywhere, that I would have been afraid to eat anything out in the open.

Next stop for the day was Lambley Nursery:
Looking very autumnal! We picked up a few bargain marked-down end of season plants and bulbs, and made note of a few possible future purchases.

This Zauschneria cana looked amazing with its red flowers and grey foliage.

What about this Acanthus sennii from Ethiopia?

Does anyone know what this one is?
Is it a European spindle (Euonymus europaeus)? The leaves had lovely autumn colour, and it was also covered in these bright pink flowers - or probably fruits? It is beautiful, whatever it is.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Garden Colour

My ginkgo is almost completely gold now:
It glows when the sun comes out.

Purple gladioli opening up. I'm not sure what variety these are, or if they are supposed to flower at this time of year. But I have several of them opening and they are looking lovely:

Today I was given this gorgeous magenta cyclamen as an early birthday present:

Friday, May 12, 2017

Falls Walk

I only recently discovered there is a walking track from Lal Lal Falls to Moorabool Falls. Today was a lovely day for a bit of a walk, overcast but not cold, so we took the dogs to explore.

The starting point is on the opposite side of the Lal Lal Falls from the picnic area and normal viewing spot:
 In fact you can't see the falls from here at all, just the water about to disappear over them:

Along the way there are lots of very old trees, including quite a few manna gums, although we didn't manage to spot any koalas.
About half way along there is another set of falls, Granite Falls, but you can't see them from the trail, only hear them.

The trail leads past the Lal Lal Reservoir:

And eventually reaches the Moorabool Falls:
It would be interesting to see these falls after a bit of rain. The adjacent sign says there is a single drop of 27m, but there didn't seem to be enough water flowing over it today to create that drop.