Cactus flower bonanza

As usual it has been ages since a good rain, but given this is a dry place, I don’t suppose I need to go on about it. Some people believe that a flowering cactus is a sign of rain on its way, but that might just be wishful thinking!

Near the chook house.

Waiting for rain near the chook house.

Still, with this many flowering at once, I may get my hopes up.



These cactuses with the red flower came from the local rubbish dump, when I went to get mulch two or three years ago. And they do not look like trash at all.

New cactus is flowering already (photographed by Isabel)

Stolen. (photographed by Isabel)

Got these white ones just a few months ago and now look at them! They came from a house near here, and were piled up ready to go to the dump. No one was home when I went to ask for some, so I took a couple of bits anyway, and as I did that bit from Ratatouille was in my head, “it’s not stealing if no one wants it.” “Then why are we stealing it?!”

From Grandma's


The pink one came from Grandma’s garden and grew slowly in its pot for many years before being planted out (possibly 20 or more). I planted this bed near the chook house in 2010, but fail to weed it thanks to the prickles. This one has never had so many flowers before, and I used to get excited if it had three out.

Artist at work

While I have been either busy or slacking this year, my daughter has had a very productive couple of months posting pictures on instagram.

LPS @ Gardiner in a dry land

LPS @ Gardener in a dry land

I have been amazed at the response that a few pictures of toys have generated, as she’s now up to over 500 followers.

Izzy at work

Izzy at work


Obviously there’s a lot more I need to learn about social media. I do know that she spends quite a lot of time replying to comments, liking other people’s pictures and that. As a busy mum I don’t have the time to do these sorts of things, so if you have stumbled onto this blog by accident, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy it!



Self Control

The pink garden

The pink garden

My dainty South African ice plants

Gladly share the garden bed

and never overextend themselves.

Unlike that fat pigface we all know with the pale yellow flowers

But once a year in October they let their hair down and what a party!


The yellow garden

The garden-bed hogs, the pigfaces.

Those garden-bed hogs, the pigfaces.

Highlights from Winter 2014

Just a few photos to make up for the lack of posts since about May!

Where’s that _____ Snow Queen?

It has been quite a while since I have posted;  I wish I could say that it is because I have been too busy in the garden, but I have spent so little time there either that I ended up feeling alienated from it. The few hours at home I had would be spent hiding in my cave watching Seinfeld. Fortunately I have rectified the situation and have even continued a stone wall I hadn’t touched for a year.

That's me building that wall.

That’s me building that wall.

Earlier this month we had over a week of severe frosts, the worst frosts since June 2006, and some round here say in living memory as the timing was not good for the crops.

Looks like Elsa the snow queen has been by.

Looks like Elsa the snow queen has been by.

All of the things in my ‘frost free’ places were hit hard, but some lovely colours came out of it, before the leaves curled up.

Frost damage - the good

Frost damage – the good

And as for the lovely rain of autumn, that seems to have dried up, and it’s back to watching the forecasts and the clouds and hoping.

Frost damage - the ugly

Frost damage – the ugly



Welcome Lola

The house was kind of empty after Leyla died, and Patches seemed to be at a loose end, so before the month of June was over, we found ourselves adopting Lola from Port Augusta Veterinary Services.

Lola on her favourite couch

Lola on her favourite couch

Well! Patches was not very happy about that, and spent several days on top of the kitchen cupboard, ‘sulking’, and when not sulking she was practising her death stare, something which Leyla was very good at.

Patches sulking.

Patches sulking.

Practising her death stare.

Practising her death stare.

Then something magical happened one morning when I was at the computer ‘checking my stuff'; I realized that the noises I could hear were of two cats having fun chasing each other, with not a growl or a hiss to be heard. They are now great mates, and enjoy being togther, although Patches still retreats somewhere up high if Lola is getting too silly.

Great mates.

Great mates.

Goodbye Leyla

Last weekend we said goodbye to our old cat Leyla, who was aged 15 years and 8 months.

She had been with us since late 1998, when it was just me and my eldest son Tony, who was 2 at the time. We had moved to Alice Springs the weekend she was born, her mother Midnight was a Russian Blue belonging to relatives of mine, Sue and Neville Otto. Out of the three kittens the little black and white one was the most adventurous, so they named her Leyland after the Leyland brothers. As she was a girl the name was shortened to Leyla, which turned out to be an Arabic name meaning ‘dark as night’ or ‘black-haired’.

With one month of life left.

With one month of life left.

She was with us for many seasons, for the 2 years of fulltime work and single motherhood in Alice Springs, for the years of marriage and babies after that. She was with us when we relocated to Quorn and set about building our own house, and for those awful years of Edi’s illness and death, the grief that followed, and the murder and court stuff that came after that.

Over the past summer she slowed down a lot, and as the months and weeks went by she gradually stopped doing the different normal routine things. Finally she stopped eating, and a week or so after that was gone. The final days were awful, they dragged on but she held on to the point where we had decided to take her to the vet, but she wasn’t having that, and finally died last Saturday morning at 9:30am.

I will remember her as a young cat who got along with everyone, then an older grumpier one. For 10 years she was the only cat in the house, and when we got Misty, she was in a bad mood for a year. She liked to be top cat and managed to exert her seniority on all others. Even though Misty was bigger and tougher and she wouldn’t dare start fights with him, he would always let her eat dinner first.

The garden is rather empty without her, no longer will she inspect the grounds morning and evening. I will miss how she used to talk when things got too quiet for her, she would try to talk with one of her meows sounding like ‘hello?’ and sometimes I’d hear ‘Mum’.

She chose her own final resting place, a spot near the pond where she would head before she was too weak to do so. Goodbye Leyla old girl, and thank you for all your love

Leyla's resting spot (at left).

Leyla’s resting spot (at left).



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers