Monday, November 9, 2009

Another lovely day!

We've just had a lovely rainy weekend. Not that the rain gauge would say we've had heaps volume wise, but just one little shower after another. Enough to make everything look so much greener and enough to keep us indoors for a good part of the weekend, although Mike did find enough time between showers to whizz around on the mower and get the grass cut.

It's such a good sound, the sound of rain on the iron roof, sometimes when it's raining, I stand on the back verandah and listen to the water running down the downpipe on its way to the tank.

But we didn't waste the weekend at all. My son's girlfriend came to stay as he was working all weekend and we finished the quilting and binding on a quilt she is making for her dad's birthday. It's her first full sized quilt. This year was the first time she came with me on my annual quilting weekend away, called Stitch 'n Bitch, and a lot of the piecing of the quilt was done on that weekend. And a lot of laughing and a lot of drinking red wine! It's amazing how much faster you can sew something when you are mellowed by a glass of good red!

Anyway, the quilt turned out beautifully and it is certainly a credit to her crafty skills!

So today the sun is shining again and the forecast is for a week of increasing temperatures! Oh no, I don't like the summer heat coming.

The tall irises in front of the verandah are putting on a lovely show. They were originally in the garden at Winston Hills where my mum and dad used to live and Mum dug them out and gave them to me when she moved to the retirement village. So they were in our previous garden at Castle Hill and I brought them with me when we moved. She couldn't remember the name of them, she thought they were something 'Imperial'.

There is another bloom on DA Charlotte. Such a lovely soft colour, contrasting with the self-sown cosmos behind! The cosmos has come up mixed up in the little patch of alliums I bought online this year. And I have noticed that there are buds on the allium. Exciting!

I love the pictures that plants in the garden make. In the bed at the western end of the house, the acanthus are flowering, all tall and spiky in front of a sea of self-sown pink gaura. I threaten the gaura as I see it coming up, but when it starts to flower, the bees just swarm all over it and I feel guilty about being less than enthusiastic about it. But its softness here is a lovely contrast to the hardness of the acanthus.

And there are buds on the DA Anne Boleyn. Hang on, I thought this was a soft pink colour - it is coming out quite a strong apricot! Something has been eating it severely - I'm thinking it is the dreaded green caterpillars that fall from the dreaded yellow broom shrub at the front of the house. At this time of the year, they rain down on your head as you walk around it. The broom's day are very numbered - I have already started removing it branch by branch and have planted a replacement dissected leaf Japanese maple on one side and a white spirea on the other. I wonder if it feels threatened. It is an ugly thing and rewards me with a gazillion seedlings in the front garden each year. I can hear my Dad saying "I've told you a million times not to exaggerate!" No exaggeration, Dad!

At the bottom of Anne Boleyn, you can see one of my very professional plant labels - made from a Coca Cola can! I cut a piece of can and write on it the name of the rose and when I planted it. The writing presses into the soft aluminium which I then try to tie onto the plant with enough tie to slightly bury the label in the soil. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't!!

The lilies in the front garden are getting buds on them. For the life of me, I can't remember that this one was this colour last year but I guess it was! There is also a Siberian Iris bud here and something behind - what is the name of that? I think it's a Veronica. Don't tell me I'm going to have to start labeling everything in the garden!

So exciting! There are buds on the Johnson's Blue. How I love this plant! I had it at Castle Hill and it was one of the things I wanted to take with me, but I kind of ran out of time to find it in the garden there, particularly as it was winter when we moved and things weren't visible in the garden. It's another recent eBay find - that and Campanula Glomerata Superba! Two of my favourites and totally unable to be found at nurseries. Hooray for dedicated gardeners who list such treasures online!

My cheap terracotta pots with their cheap hardware-shop-bought pelargoniums are doing well along the front verandah. Later this week, I'm off to collect 10 Murrayas bought online from a nursery selling out surplus stock. I'm intending to extend the Murraya hedge at the back of the house, with a view to enclosing the poor old mulberry and the persimmon trees and give them a little more shelter from the wind, hopefully.

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