Saturday, 29 June 2013

A sunny Sunday in mid-winter

Although the winter solstice has come and gone, the coldest part of winter is about to come.   Yet I cannot help but love this time of year in the garden.  It gently reminds me that 'everything has a season', and that it is OK to rest and take stock.  And joy of joys, it is a Sunny Day today, so out I go armed with the camera.

Even in rest mode, some things are incrementally moving along in my garden, in a sort of not-quite-suspended animation.  Yes, the grassy bits are looking very daggy at present.  BUT . . .

The daffodils are in bud, and deadnettle is still romping about under the ornamental pear . . .



Heartsease (Johnny jump up) is popping up everywhere - I just love the way it makes itself at home.  One of these days I am going to officially name my house 'Heartsease', as these dear little plants never fail to bring joy to my heart.


The silver birch trees are nonchalantly showing off their gorgeous white trunks and general architectural brilliance . . .


and the three ash trees along the road (street trees) have already put on their ferny winter couture.


These osmanthuses (or should that be osmanthi?) are about to be smothered in their tiny but powerfully fragrant blossoms.


The crowea is still spot flowering - what a champion plant.


In the vegie patch, the spinach seedlings ('Popeye' variety) I planted a couple of weeks ago are doing well, and lo and behold, my two tardy caulis have developed heads in response to the wood ash I sprinkled around them!  Yay!




Still a few aphids about though - hiding in sheltered places.  Here comes the soap, fellas!


And I am still in awe of my dear viburnums who just keep on keeping on, looking their usual reliable best and shrugging off mere annoyances like 'weather' and 'climate change', God love 'em.


Have a happy day!

Nandina


Monday, 17 June 2013

Crocheting slippers

I love Winter in Canberra.  The garden has a rest, which means I can get on with relaxing near the fire with a mug of hot chocolate and some crochet!

My current project is slippers.  Last Winter, I made these lovely crochet slipper boots from this Garnstudio pattern, and wore them constantly as they were so warm and comfy (pattern highly recommended).  The pattern calls for 12 ply (bulky) yarn.  I used Patons Wilderness - a wool/acrylic mix.  I wore them A Lot last Winter.

Unfortunately, after only a couple of wears this Winter, I discovered that I had worn a hole in the sole!   Dismay!


Here they are, looking a bit worn, I will admit.


OK, OK, it was definitely time for new slippers.

I had no 12 ply (bulky yarn) in my stash, but had an abundance of 8 ply (double knit).  After hunting around, I found this pattern on Purl bee, which simply uses granny squares! 


So far, so good . . . six granny squares per slipper.


One . . .


Two . . .


And Voila!

I admit that I found the joining a bit challenging (as I don't have what I call a '3D brain'), but I am quite pleased with the final product!  And truly, happiness is warm tootsies!

Nandina





Sunday, 9 June 2013

Queen's Birthday Holiday

Ah, it is so luxurious to have a long weekend!

You know what I mean - working full time means trying to get larger household tasks like washing completed on your weekend.  So having an extra day in the weekend means a true day off!

Today it is overcast and a bit gloomy (which is unusual for Canberra - our winter days are usually crisp  and clear, with frosty mornings and an abundance of bright sunshine).

So, the fire is on . . .



(So Warming!  It is truly the best heater I have ever had, and it adds such ambience and a sense of comfort to my home!)

Breakie was bacon and and eggs with some added parsley from the garden scattered on top . . .


I am so lucky that my parsley just keeps self-sowing and popping up.

Then a brief wander around the garden (see related post) before heading back inside to tackle some good reading and crochet.



I am currently crocheting what started out being a 'scoodie' from this pattern, but has ended up as a wide scarf as I didn't like the pointiness of the hood.  If anyone knows of a scoodie pattern that has a nice, rounded, graceful hood, I would be very grateful!

Cheers

Nandina













My early Winter garden

When I started gardening, one of my aims was to have something interesting happening in every season.   I am delighted to see that this goal is coming to fruition!

June is our first month of winter.  In Canberra, plants have to be tough enough to withstand Canberra's hot, dry summers and cold, frosty winters that can go down to - 8C.

So far, we have only had a few nights of minuses, the coldest being -3C.  

During my brief wander in the garden this morning, I found some rather lovely examples of winter colour:
 

This Camellia Sasanqua is called 'Beatrice Emily'.  I have planted them all around my courtyard.  Being slow growing, they are only about a metre tall, but I hope to have blossoms as high as the fence one day!  


Some of the geraniums (really pelargoniums) still think it's Autumn! - maybe because they are up against the brick wall.  I particularly like the pink one on top of the ladder, because its buds look like little rosebuds.  I was given the cutting by a friend, so I think it's quite an old-fashioned variety.



Correas do well in my garden.  The top one is 'Dusky Bells' and the lower one is 'Marion's Marvel'.  They are in full glory!


The nandinas (Nandina Domestica) are doing their marvellous thing - creamy flowers that turn into bright red, cheery berries.


This hebe (one of the Wiri varietes) is the only one still in flower.  Hebes do seem to have a 'shelf life' in my garden.  This one is only one year old. and is still quite bushy.  


One solitary cauli!  The others are all leaves and no developing fruit.  Oh well, win some, lose some.  And look at those leaves - those naughty caterpillars!


This is the first year my nerines have flowered.  I am pleased!


I like the way this (anonymous) succulent gets bright red tips in the cold weather.  


Miss Daphne (Daphne Odora) s in bud - Daphne is my all time favourite scented plant - great for filling a room with its delicious fragrance.  This one is about 12 years old.   I would expect it to flower in mid-winter.  

So there you have it.  Winter can still be a lovely time in the garden.  

Nandina