Saturday, May 31, 2014

End of Autumn

Red leaves on my snowball bush (Viburnum opulus var. sterile) to farewell a very strange autumn.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


It's not the first time I've had jonquils open on 28th of May. In 2012, even more were open than this:
But it still rather amazed me to see them today.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Eleven Flowers

Flower spike fully open on my cymbidium orchid - Peter Pan X Snow Eagle "Malcolm"

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Not Spring(ing)

Jack wasn't impressed with trampolining:
He just wanted to get off.

Our weather lately has felt more like spring than autumn. It's the warmest May on record. This magnolia seems to think spring is here, too:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Last Persimmon

The leaves have all fallen since last Sunday,
and today I ate this last fruit on my "Fuyu" persimmon tree (Diospyros kaki).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Busy Hands

Lots of people attended the monthly CBD SCQuilters get-together today, although a few had left before I thought to take a picture:
I was working on the latest flower for my Flower Ball quilt. You might just see it near the top left of the picture.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Status Report

As the leaves fall from the plum and fig trees, the construction next door becomes more visible from my back yard:
Fortunately the tree dahlias are still blocking some of the view.

Meanwhile, someone asked me how Jack is going, as I haven't posted a picture of him for a while. So here he is tonight, fast asleep with Merle:
He is more of a little dog than a puppy now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Found in my local Asian grocer:
"Kangaroo" brand "American" baking powder labelled in Chinese and Vietnamese. But on the back it says "Product of Australia". Very multicultural!
From what I can find on the internet, American baking powder is the same as Australian baking powder, so I don't know why it is labelled this way.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Proof that it really is autumn:
My persimmon tree (Diospyros kaki) looking beautiful.

Sometimes I just want to do some low-stress patchwork piecing, but I don't need any more projects. A friend's patchwork class are making blocks to be assembled for quilts for a women's refuge, so I offered to make a few blocks as well.  Their colour scheme is purples, greens and blues. I finished stitching these together in time to hand them over this afternoon:
Probably should have found a flatter surface to photograph them on!

I think the block was designed by the class teacher (but if you recognise it from somewhere else, I'd love to know, so please tell me in the comments it wasn't, see below). Each block consists of four large squares and nine small ones. Stitching them together is a little tricky because you need to do a partial seam, but it was a bit of fun stitching which didn't add to my list of projects.

Added later: Thanks to Ivani, who recognised the block as Eleanor Burns' pattern Fabric Frenzy.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Geelong Quilt-In

Had a lovely day at the Geelong Patchwork and Quilters' Guild annual Quilt-In, sitting with friends and stitching away. At the start of the day, none of these pieces were connected to each other:
By the end of the day they were all attached. Here's how they looked next to the other sections I've done:
Three of 22 flowers done. If you are wondering what they will turn into, see this post. It's my variation on  Geta Grama's Flower Ball pattern.

Linked to Sarah's HELP hexie-link-up. Follow the link to see other hexaholics at work.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Seedling Maintenance

In between all the excitement this week, I've been doing some maintenance on the TreeProject seedlings.

The seeds were all sown in February, and some are big enough to plant out now. Others had poor germination rates. Only 2 seeds germinated in two whole boxes of Yellow Box, Eucalyptus melliodora. The Landcare group they are for provided the seed, but apparently the seed was not fresh. I've had to fill those two boxes with transplants of other species. Some of the other species have had rather patchy germination. This box, for example, is mixed swamp and manna gums (E. ovata and E. viminalis), although looks like it is mainly manna gums. There are 9 or 10 tubes where nothing came up, so I've transplanted a few, but they are a long way behind the trees which did germinate:
You can see some of the transplants at the front. It's obvious that they are not going to be ready to plant out when they should be (in a couple of months).

This is a box of swamp gums (E. ovata):

The maintenance involves taking each tube out, trimming off roots sticking out of the bottom, ensuring there is only one plant in each tube, and keeping an eye out for any pests. I still have about 3 boxes to do, so I'm glad we are having this lovely patch of warm weather. But it means I do have to keep watering the seedlings as it is so long since we had rain.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Hideous heads watching me have my hair cut at the hairdressing school:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Back to the Block

An unexpected phone call this morning had us excitedly jumping into the car and heading off to Lal Lal again.

Our architects were at the block to do their own measurements,
to mark out the house position and take some levels,
and had some concept plans drawn up.
The important room hasn't been forgotten!

I love what she has come up with. I'd move into it right now if I could.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lovely Surprises

A small group of New Holland honeyeaters (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) have started visiting the salvias in my garden. I haven't seen them here in previous years. Because I didn't want to frighten away the birds, I took this photo through the fly-screen door:
Not the clearest picture, but they move very quickly and I was lucky to catch even one of them drinking nectar from the bethel sage.

In another lovely surprise, this huge box of beautiful threads arrived today:
They were a gift from Judy of Punch With Judy,
which I won for a comment I left on her blog. Thank you Judy!

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Construction of the townhouses over my back fence has reached the upper floor:
The dark section at the bottom of the photo is the fence. The building is very close to the fence. Once my plum tree (left of the photo) loses the rest of its leaves, the building will be much harder to ignore.

For now, though, my tree dahlias are helping to block some of the view beautifully:

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Trip back to Lal Lal today, to note the numbers on electricity poles
and mark out (approximately) the house position to measure how far it will be from the electricity.
Very hard to see, but there are two sets of coloured string marking possible house sites in this photo. The trees with tape around them are large ones we wouldn't want to lose.

Friday, May 9, 2014


Seen while out walking today: one very confused street tree!
Flowering plum blooming about 3 months early.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


This zygocactus (Schlumbergera truncata) isn't meant to flower for another three weeks:

The autumn foliage of this crepe myrtle hybrid (Lagerstroemia indica x L. fauriei) "Sioux" proved irresistible today:
Even though there won't be a garden to plant it in for another 12 months or so.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mystery Cams

Do you have any idea what machine these cams might be for? There's no brand anywhere on the box:

Inside there are 30 cams:

They aren't flat, they have a grooved cylindrical section in the centre:

Close-up of one to see the shape:

I did find the same set had been sold on Etsy, where the ad said it was for a 1986 Elna Super.
Link to expired listing.
But I don't think that is correct. The Elna cams I've seen are branded, or at least say "Swiss Made".

Any ideas?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Chomp Chomp Chomp

A clutch of callistemon sawfly (Pterygophorus cinctus) larvae munching their way through one of my callistemons:

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Couple I Missed

Somehow I missed photographing the roses yesterday.

Unknown rose:
It is actually quite a deep red, not the pink it looks in the photo. It looks a lot like a Mr. Lincoln, but as it was here when I bought my house, I don't know if that is what it is.

Rosa "Queen Elizabeth":

Friday, May 2, 2014

What's in Flower - May

Here's everything flowering in my garden today. Not as much pink as previous months! Sorry some of these are not well focussed. Today is grey, windy and rainy, which is not ideal weather for close-up photos of flowers. Getting them in focus as the wind whips them around is tricky!

The rosemary is the first one that isn't in focus:


Verbena "Candy Cane":

Gazania, just about finished I think:
Just realised there wasn't a gazania in last month's list. I wonder if I forgot to photograph it or if there were just no flowers open?

Bethel sage - Salvia involucrata 'Bethelii' is new this month:

Cosmos is also new:

Red valerian or kiss-me-quick (Centranthus ruber) just about finished:

Mexican sage (Salvia leucantha):
The colour of this one is not accurate. It is really a redder-purple than it appears.

Another variety of Mexican sage, which will have more white in the flower than the one above:
It is only just starting to flower.

Salvia "Mystik Spires Blue":
Started flowering in June last year, so this makes a full year of flowers!

 Fringe flower, Loropetalum chinense var rubrum:

Salvia "Indigo Spires" still attracting bees:

Camellia sasanqua  "Showa No Sakae":

Another sasanqua camellia:
I must search through my records to find what this one is!

 Cymbidium orchid - Peter Pan X Snow Eagle "Malcolm":
First flower to open on a spike with 11 buds.

Vireya "Chayya":

Vireya "Princess Alexandra" has been flowering for 9 months now. Here's another flower just about to pop open:

Callistemon, unknown variety:

And finally, the very last flower on a "4 o'clock plant" (Mirabilis jalapa), which was starting to open at about 2:30pm today:
The days are getting shorter!