Posts Tagged ‘rain’

My winter photo

 

Over the years my daughter Maya has taken pictures of me in my garden, usually in the middle of winter, starting in 2009, our first winter in this house. My husband had died the previous month, so the look on my face that year was a bit not me. But over the years things have improved, on my face and in the garden.

I did not realize that the winter photo had become a tradition until I looked back and saw that I had done it most years (except for 2012).  I have never made the photos public, because in them I am wearing my worst clothes, clothes which I very often wear in the garden.

 

Advertisements

A rainy Sunday in Quorn

We get so few of these as most of our rain falls in the night. But a lovely day, soft rain without a breath of wind. Perfect to sit on the outside sofa and watch the cats and local birds do their thing.

What’s it all for?

My son Antonio recently expressed concern that all my work in the garden might be all for naught. That in the future, when we leave this place and new owners move in, they might take a bobcat to all my labours and reduce it back to nothing but mud in minutes.

When there was nothing

When there was nothing

We have all seen it, the work done by loved ones being undone when new owners come in, and in the case of my grandparent’s front garden, put back similar to how it was before sometime after that. Only the rare garden outlives its owners by decades or centuries.

Sometimes I wonder what a new owner might do, and my main concern is where he or she will erect their large shed, as all people these days seem to want huge sheds alongside their houses. The days of a small collection of sheds down the back of the garden have passed. So I’m hoping future owners will put one where the caravan and vegie patch are, and leave the rest of the garden in tact.

I have had other discouraging moments when I’ve planted trees thinking, “what’s the point, I’m going to be dead before they reach maturity,” but the years are going to pass whether or not I plant trees, so I might as well plant them.

I can also ask Antonio a similar question, “are all those boss battles worth it?”, because to me they aren’t. I chuckle at him sometimes, because he considers Facebook games to be beneath him – a total waste of time, while he, discerning gamer that he is, is actually doing something worthy.

And then I’ll quote Beth Chatto at him and tell him that there is more enjoyment from the achieving, rather than the achievement. Although without the achievements there is no further achieving anyway. One thing I love to do is look at photos of my garden this time last year, or however many¬† years ago and look how far it’s come in that time. I love to watch plants suddenly take off after 3-5 years of putting down roots. I love seeing the proof that that particular year, I actually finished something!

Just last year.

Just last year.

We have gotten much joy from the improvements that have been made since I really got going early 2011, from the pond, the big slide, watching the cats run along the stone walls, the lovely shade of the carport and verandah, the feeling of safety the came from putting up walls and putting pavers and grey shale over what was once mud. Although even though we no longer step out into mud when it rains here, we still manage to find plenty of mud to step in!

And then there was the comment made by a great lady named Coral I met through the Port Augusta Garden Club; she felt that you would never have a nervous breakdown if you had a garden.

 

 

 

 

 

My first Andamooka Lily!

After years of driving past Andamooka Lilies in flower, in masses between Quorn and Port Augusta, I finally have one of my own.

My own Andamooka lily.

My own Andamooka lily.

This one I bought as a seeding at Aridlands in Port Augusta, around 2009 or 2010. I saw nothing of it until 2012, when leaves appeared for the first time. And finally, three years later, the first flower. It’s a nice touch for Leyla’s grave, as I planted Leyla here last June – that’s her saucer there (she loved milk).

Andamooka lilies on a hillside at Saltia.

Andamooka lilies on a hillside at Saltia.

The Andamooka Lily or Darling Lily (Crinum flaccidum) grows all through the Australian outback, but isn’t so common in WA. I’ve seen them around here and also around the River Murray. They come up after summer rain. When I first saw them out near Warren Gorge a few years back, I thought they were some garden plant that had escaped, but they are natives. Like jonquils they have quite a pong, but the look lovely dotted through native vegetation, and I’ve been trying to propagate them for years with no success so far. I gave Kate Llewellyn a few seeds some years ago – wonder if she’s had any luck.

I love them, and that’s why I picked them for my gravatar.

A holiday at home

Finally after six dry months we had a good rain the other week, around 60mm. We did not see the sun for over a week. All through it the children played outside, mainly on the big slide, the bottom of which fills with water, but much time was also spent on chairs on the back verandah.

On the big slide

On the big slide

The weather was so different to our usual intense days of blue skies and heat that it felt like we were somewhere different and exotic. Meals also were eaten outside, adding to the holiday mood.

Amaru outside for a change.

Amaru outside for a change.

However the holiday is over. With the ground soft at last, and no watering needed for a week or two, I have been busy working on pond #2 and pond #3.

Continue reading

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.

Scrounged.

Scrounged.

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

Begged.

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.

What happened to autumn?

Last day of April

Last day of April

We seem to have gone almost straight from summer to winter, as there have only been a few weeks of autumn weather in between. Just like Alice Springs.

Winter already

Winter already

The super hot summer meant we have had a good wet start to the sowing season here, and three days after a decent 18mm it is raining again! I am thinking about the lovely wood I was lucky to be given which is out there and wondering why I did not bring some in.

Wet again

Wet again

About half the time the block is still dry this time of year and doesn’t green up until June. This time last year my tanks were almost empty and I was praying daily that the water would last until the rains came again. And I was still watering my desperate garden.

12 months ago.

12 months ago.