Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas Tree

 My Christmas tree was purchased in either 1982 or 1983. Here's the label on its box:

How old are those children now, I wonder?

The tree cost $14.25 from either Woolworths or Big W - can anyone remember which used this logo?

The cost averages out to 36 cents a year, which seems like pretty good value. It probably has a few years left in it, although a couple of leafy bits have broken off.

This is my first Christmas as an orphan, my siblings both live interstate, and my son has other plans. I'll catch up with him in the next week. I haven't been feeling very Christmassy, but I have put up the tree again to try to get in the mood:

That photo was taken with the flash so the lights don't show very well. Here they are without the flash:

To all my blog readers who celebrate Christmas, I wish you a joyful celebration with your loved ones. And to everyone, best wishes for a happy, safe and peaceful 2023.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Growing Things


The hippeastrum flowers have opened in time for Christmas. They are a little ragged around the edges - I think a slug or snail had a nibble on the bud before I brought the pot inside to protect it. 

Meanwhile outside this is happening:

Remember all the boxes on the back of the ute earlier this month? Yesterday a cement mixer delivered the concrete for the footings all those bits will be assembled on, and now the assembly has begun.

Friday, December 16, 2022

The Garden in December

Summer has arrived, and so has my replacement computer! Since I bought it late last month, it has travelled around the country. It came pretty close to here a week ago, but somehow kept on going, all the way to Adelaide. Then it had to go back to Melbourne and try again. But it is finally here, and so much better than the temporary one I have been using. 

It is nice to be able to see the colours in my photos again, just in time for my round-up of what is in flower this first month of summer.

Hebe covered in flowers:

A lamium in one of my hanging baskets:

I've put this in a couple of the baskets this year. They are flowering OK but not looking like "hanging" yet. I also have pansies in several baskets, and didn't get a decent photo of them this time. 

Citrus (either lemon or orange):

The lamb's ears are going mad:

Also visible a daylily and some Jerusalem sage. The green shrub in the background is a buddlia that has buds but no flowers yet.

How about this rose?

It is the champion at the moment.

Some flowers in my "garden bed" bed: 



Yellow buttons, Chrysocephalum apiculatum:


Hippeastrum getting closer:

Will it open for Christmas?


The hydrangeas are in self-watering pots, rather than in the ground. 

Cistus looking like it needs an iron:


Bonus butterfly, an Australian Painted Lady:



You will notice the photos get a bit darker now. I took the ones above in the morning, and the rest in the afternoon, by which time some clouds had arrived.

Echium reaching for the sky:

Maybe it's an abutilon, maybe it's a callianthe, I can't keep up with plants being moved into new classifications:







Sage (can't find its name right at the moment):

Yellow trumpets:

And I think that will do. I missed the sweetpeas, all the pelargoniums, nepeta, tulbaghia, and probably more. 

Congratulations if you made it to the end!

Thursday, December 15, 2022


A lovely day out in Castlemaine. I met a friend for lunch, then she introduced me to a fascinating shop called Habadash:

Full of all sorts of sewing-related goodies. (Don't look at the cut-in-half sewing machine!)

Wouldn't you love to know what is in the "and more stuff" drawer?

I quite liked these keyrings made of vintage buttons and beads:

They were $50 each, but I have many many buttons and there are instructions on the internet, so maybe that's a project to try some day.

Next stop was the Castlemaine Gallery, to visit Liz Williamson's Weaving Eucalypts Project.

There are 100 woven panels, woven by Liz Williams from textiles dyed by 60 people in various countries (including India, South Africa, and of course Australia). Wherever they were, they used locally-growing eucalyptus trees for their dyeing. The range of colours was interesting. Eucalyptus cinerea, or Argyle apple, was responsible for the more orange-red pieces, but the mordant chemicals, the technique, and probably other factors, all influence the colour.

Last stop before going home was a walk around the Botanic Gardens.

It was a beautiful and enjoyable day out.

I got home too late to take my normal mid-month garden photos, so they will have to wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Four Tops

This seems to be the month of assembling tops. As well as the Heart quilt I assembled earlier, I have now got Rhododendron Trail together:

It was a bit windy on Sunday, so I didn't manage a nice straight photo.

Plus I have assembled three quilt tops out of the half-made quilt kit I was given earlier this year.

I think I see some quilting in my future!

Friday, December 9, 2022

Another Week

I'm still working on the old slow laptop, with low screen resolution so I'm not sure what these photos will be like on a proper screen. My replacement is on its way, but won't get here until next week now.

Some of the garden beds are getting woodchip mulch:

Dogs checking it out. We were originally told that wood mulch was too much of a fire risk, but a member of the CFA advised us last week that as long as it is not right next to the house, and the chips are thicker than a pencil, it is OK. So let's hope this will help keep the weeds under control.

Instead of doing the current Bonnie Hunter mystery I am working on getting a few half-done projects out of the way.

Borders starting to go on last year's mystery, Rhododendron Trail. Hooray!

My Hippeastrum (amaryllis to those in North America) bud is getting closer to being open:

It looks like there are two flowers happening. Exciting!

And finally, a view across the back yard this afternoon:

The hebes are full of butterflies and bees at the moment.

Saturday, December 3, 2022


 Top assembled:

Some assembly required:

Monday, November 28, 2022

Another Week

Has gone by since my last post. And what have I done?

On Tuesday I posted our votes for Saturday's State Election:

On Wednesday we took a trip to Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary so a couple of blokes could play with tractors. I amused myself by wandering round looking for interesting iNaturalist observations. I found mainly insects, but here's an orchid (bud) I found at home before we went:

Diuris sulphurea, or tiger orchid.

Thursday was my son's birthday, but I could only talk to him by phone. His housemate has caught covid, and although my son has tested negative so far, he is not socialising. He doesn't want to do anything to contribute to spreading it around. So here's a picture of us on his birthday in 2008:

We were having dinner at an Indian restaurant that is sadly gone.

The rest of the week included:

  • An exciting bud forming on my hippeastrum:


  • Getting used to an older and slower laptop, which I am using until I can replace my poor dropped and shattered one.
  • Sewing sashing to my heart blocks:

Now I need to make some triangular pieces to fill in around the edges before I can assemble a top out of them.

  • Not starting the latest Bonnie Hunter mystery. I took a look around my sewing room and listed all the things that I could see that needed work. I'll be working to finish a few of those before I start anything new!
  • Watching the election results unfold on Saturday night. 
  • Walking the dogs on days when it wasn't raining (not many), and doing my steps on the treadmill when it was.

Maybe the next week will be more exciting?