Saturday, July 13, 2013

At about this time every year . . .

In two days time, it is my birthday and I turn 60.  Who allowed that to happen?  Sigh . . .

Here it is, almost mid winter and we are yet to even look like rustling up a decent first frost.  One morning perhaps a week and a half ago, there was a slight tinge of white way down the back near the dam, but nothing around the house.  Shame, as Dave next door, the source of knowledge of all things citrus, says we cannot pick our mandarins off the tree until they have had a good dose of frost which apparently sweetens them.

The string you see in the photo is part of an elaborate systems of lines and pulleys which  I have patented and the design of which shall remain a secret, suffice to say that when the little bell on the wall of the parlour rings, I know that the white cockatoos have landed.

That's rubbish, there is a large piece of plastic hanging on that line, or maybe not by the look of the empty pegs (the cockatoos have probably stolen it), but it is there to deter the white marauders who, if left undisturbed, can completely strip the tree of every piece of fruit.  They don't eat the fruit, mind you, they just tear it open with their evil beaks and eat just the seeds inside.  The fruit is left in all it's juicy winter goodness on the ground.  We have a flock of the white rascals which live permanently in this area and can be heard screeching somewhere around at any given time of the day.

In the garden, the jonquils are out.

In previous years, most of these came up underneath a solid layer of lavenders.  I dug most of the lavenders out this year and the jonquils are thanking me for it.  I've resisted picking them for the vase, their perfume is so gorgeous in the still cool air outside the front door.  The violets obviously love this time of the year as well.

Just in the foreground from the jonquils is the rose I think is Mr Lincoln.  He has three large and luscious blooms at the moment, which are also adding to the sweet perfume.

DA Graham Thomas continues to get the odd bloom - this fuzzy one looks interesting, perhaps it's a sport that I can register.

One job I did manage to achieve was rescuing the last of the snowdrops from the overground snake bed to the west of the house.  They had already come up and were struggling through an almost impenetrable layer of kikuyu but I managed to lift them without any loss of shoots and they are now in these pots by the front steps.  I'll be surprised if they produce any flowers this year given their shocking treatment of late.  The snake bed now only contains a clump of blue agapanthus, a yellow daylily and a small clump of tiger lilies which are dormant at the minute and lost under the grass.  I will have a go at finding them if I can, will crowbar out the aggies and the daylily, then the snake bed will become part of the lawn again.

One of Mum's zygo cactus behind them, almost finished it's winter show.

Come back up the stairs and in through the front door and I'll show you my next project.

I have been given a quilt to quilt on my longarm machine.  I am really excited and really really nervous about doing it, I just so want it to turn out well.  It swirls around inside my brain morning, noon and night, will I do it this way, will I do it that way, I know I'm totalling overthinking it, but I'm very determined to master this craft.   I've even been doing online classes on Craftsy, which I've found really inspiring.

Here it is, not basted yet.  Bit of overload on the power point system in the corner?

And I bought myself this to save my busted ankle -

It's a drafting stool, so can be adjusted really high.  Various other gadgets, templates and rulers have also been purchased and ordered and the real work will begin shortly.

With lots of assistance from my two constant helpers.