Friday, May 31, 2019

Blooming Progress

Bloom block 17:

Bloom block 18:
Only 2 blocks to go! I will link this post to Cheryll's Bloomers Party when she publishes it in the morning. Here's the BLooMeRS PaRTy.

Here's a few things blooming around the garden at the end of May. First the tree dahlia:
Unfortunately it has been so cold this week that the bees aren't getting any benefit from all these flowers. The tree dahlia was always buzzing with bees when it flowered in the city. But here it flowers much later, and it is just too cold for the bees to be flying.

A couple of broms:

Since it is the end of May, here is my progress on reducing my stash so far this year:

One spool emptied, none added.
Year to date - down 7 spools.

Dress fabric:
Used 3m, none added.
Year to date - down 5.25m.

Quilt fabric:
Used 0.32m, none added.
Year to date - up 1.98m.
It takes a long time to use up quilt fabric when you are just making little bits and pieces.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Wonderful Day

The day started with an almost traditional tractor delivery:
Fantastic giant welded flowers for the garden!

More for the garden:
Two fringe flowers (Lorepetalum chinense rubrum), "China Pink" and "Plum Gorgeous", and a rose, "Eiffel Tower".

And then we had snow!
Melting as it fell, but it was actual falling snow.

Later in the morning I went to visit my parents. On the way home we saw this:
Picture taken through the rear view mirror, so not brilliant. But that is a wedge-tailed eagle! It was eating a poor kangaroo that had been hit by a car. There were two eagles but one took off as we stopped the ute to get the photo. They really are huge when you get that close to them!

In the afternoon some friends and family helped with the celebration:
There is no significance to the number of candles. As we ate cake we watched spinebills in the salvias outside the window.

What a wonderful day!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Temperature Quilt

On Monday it will be two years since I started my temperature quilt, and next Saturday it will be a year since I got to the end of it. So it is about time I made the finishing touches.

I started this earlier this week, and finished it today:

This is the block that explains how the days make up each weekly rosette. It makes sense to me but a few people have found my anticlockwise arrangement strange.

Here's the final block sewn into the quilt:
Next step is the "heading" border across the top.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Violets Galore!

Today I went into Melbourne to meet up with my CBD quilting friends, and I was given this bag of goodies:
It included a pretty African violet, with dark purple flowers fringed with white. And inside that plastic container:
Leaf cuttings from five more African violets! Look at the range of colours. Just beautiful.

And here they all are later, potted in a mixture of vermiculite, perlite and African violet potting mix:
(Flowers just there for the photo to help me remember which is which.)

If these all take, that will be a lot of plants! I might need a few more African violet pots.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Pot Quest

Because the power supply company had advised us that our power would be off for a few hours today, we spent the day in Geelong. We met up with family members for lunch, and spent some time fossicking around Geelong's big second-hand stores. I was hunting for African violet pots.

I found nothing at all. But another member of the hunting party found this one:

The pot is in two parts. The outer part is fully glazed, so it holds water, but the inner part is only glazed around the top:
It might not be clear in my photo, but there is no drainage hole in the inner pot. You put water in the outer pot, and it slowly seeps through the unglazed pottery, providing the violet plant with a constant supply of water. It is a clever system, but unless you know what it is for it seems a bit of a mystery.

Monday, May 20, 2019

For My Records

Uninteresting photos just so I will remember what I planted, when I planted it, and where I planted it!

"Cinnamon snow" hellebore:

"Duke of Burgundy" hellebore:

"Lady Bird" herbaceous peony:

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Life Goes On

No matter what happens in Canberra, the sun comes up, the magpies sing, the tree dahlia finally starts flowering:
A bit later than last year.

I found some bergenia buds and flowers hiding under the leaves:

Dogs enjoy a run no matter what:
Sorry about the terrible photo - I should have taken my camera on the walk instead of relying on the phone.

Lovely views through the trees to Bungal Dam:

The first of the turbines in our wind farm has been turned on:
Not that you can tell in a still photo (view from the Lal Lal Falls reserve). But one is now turning and producing electricity without pollution.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Bloom Fifteen and Sixteen

Block Fifteen:

Every garden needs a fishpond.

Block Sixteen:

That' the end of the 4th row.

The story so far:

Only 4 blocks to go!

Linked to Cheryll's Bloomers Party.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Road Work

The unmade road along one side of our property has been becoming seriously corrugated recently, so I was happy this morning to see the Shire's machinery arriving to smooth it out.

They also cut some new drainage ditches:
This part of the road has been a large puddle in previous winters, but it looks like the road might stay drier now, with the puddle forming beside the road instead of on it. And maybe the tadpoles that usually occupy the puddle will be in less danger from cars.

We had to dodge the water-spraying guy as we walked along with the dogs:
Can you see that there is a second vehicle following behind? That guy had the least interesting job. He just drove up and down the road squashing it flat long after everyone else had finished.

And here's the end result:
Let's hope it stays this way for a while!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

More Curtains!

It is a while since the first of the curtains I was given by a friend were installed, but today it was the turn of the big window in the loungeroom.

Some measuring
and then some drilling.
One side up:
I will need to find some nice tie-backs or hold-backs now.

Both sides up:
Hooray! Of course we don't want them shut on a sunny day like today, but I think they will make the room feel more cosy at night. We will find out tonight!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

New Houseplant

Pilea peperomioides is apparently the current "must have" house plant. That's it on the left with the cute round leaves:
But now that you can buy them at Bunnings for around $10, I suspect the fashion is about to move on!

Friday, May 10, 2019


Last night it started raining around dinner time. This was the radar just before I went to bed:
This morning it was much the same. As I headed off to work my car said it was 7 degrees outside. When I was on my way home it still said 7 degrees. And when I checked the top temperature using the program I used for my temperature quilt a couple of years ago, this is what I found:

10/05/2019    7.6    blue

First blue day of the year! (Blue is a top between 5 and 10). We have had about 46mm of rain, so that means the water tanks are full and the garden is happy.

Thursday, May 9, 2019


This morning we heard from the guy we've been growing TreeProject trees for this year. As he has had some rain and more is forecast he was coming to collect some that are ready to plant out.

Rather than go outside and photograph the trees before he arrived, I took this picture through the window, which you can see was not a good idea:
Reflection of my hands rather spoiling the view! But hopefully you can see that some of these trees are very large. The tallest ones are the manna gums, Eucalyptus viminalis.

When the landholder arrived we sorted through the trees, giving him three boxes of mixed seedlings,
These two plus another one.

The left-overs look a bit sad by comparison:
A couple of boxes of small and very small seedlings, and not quite in sight off to the left a couple of boxes where nothing has germinated yet. The larger plants on the left of this photo are actually from the previous year's batch of TreeProject seedlings. They had only just germinated last May when the rest went to be planted, so we hung onto them to grown them up. Now they are well and truly ready, but we have not been able to contact the landholder we grew them for.

A few trees around our garden this afternoon.
The ginkgo still has a few leaves, despite the strong winds today:
 The liquidambar is colouring up nicely:

One of several new trees planted:
Acer rubrum "October Glory". Obviously named in the northern hemisphere. I don't think it will look this colourful in October.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Violets and Voting and Falling

This morning I met up with Sue from Mother Patchwork, who lives some way west of here but was in Ballarat for the day. Last week I admired her African violets and she offered me leaf cuttings so I could grow my own. But instead today she gave me this:

Thank you, Sue!

Afterward I went to visit this place:
Sorry it's not very clear. There was non-stop traffic on this road and I had to snap the photo between vehicles. The empty shop across the road is not quite empty at the moment. The posters along the fence are the clue; it is a pre-poll voting centre for the federal election. There are various criteria for being eligible to vote early, but for me the most relevant one is that I live more than 8km from a polling place. Despite the busy-ness of this voting centre (apparently 6000 people voted here yesterday), voting was a fairly quick process as they had many staff and many booths available. There was almost no waiting. It was much faster than the last federal election where I had to queue (in the cold, and with no sausage sizzle) for about an hour.

Not long after I arrived home my father rang to tell me that Mum had fallen this morning (while I was enjoying a coffee with Sue) and had been taken to the Emergency Dept. So I drove back into Ballarat and spent the afternoon sitting with Mum while the staff did tests and took x-rays and decided there was no damage other than bruising. She was discharged just before dark, so was able to go home and sleep in her own bed. This was her second fall in a few days (the previous one was on Saturday). Each time I wonder how many more days we will spend in Emergency before they refuse to send her home and she has to go into full-time care.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Bloom Thirteen and Fourteen

It is Bloom day again! The weeks are flying by, and so is this quilt. Here are my next two Bloom blocks:

Linked to Cheryll's Bloomers Party. She is back home from her trip and I hope she will have some interesting blog posts to come about her adventures.

Thursday, May 2, 2019


Back in February I posted about a new house starting to go up across the road from us. Here's how it is going so far:
It looks as if it is close to being finished, although there are still some major bits missing. They don't have the electricity connected, and they haven't installed a water tank yet. That's a shame as we have had just over 30mm of rain yesterday and today (Hooray!), but they haven't caught any of it. They also haven't yet installed a waste treatment plant.

Today this happened on the block next to them:
First walls up for another neighbour. This house has had approval for a long time, but they had some hold-ups and have only just got going. In contrast to the first house, this one has had the electricity connected for about a year, and their waste treatment plant was installed at about the same time.