Tuesday, 23 May 2017


Well, spring has definately sprung here.  We have flowers everywhere and chicks starting to make an appearance.  The raptors that nest in the niches of our house have fledged and the swallows are back to dive bombing and chittering like crazy.  My black elder is looking magnificent with its raspberry pink blooms.  May have to put in a second one as they are so beautiful.

The irises are magnificent this year, but each time I get a flush of flowers it rains.... so they turn slimey and wilt.  Bit annoying.  Keep checking each morning and taking heaps of photos as they bloom.

Clovis is nearly two and is starting to calm a little.... a very little.  Getting better at obeying and even though he bounces a lot, he will sit when asked.  He is just too full of energy.  I still think he is the most beautiful poodle boy on earth and we have lots of cuddles.  When Wayne is away he sneaks onto the lounge at night to snuggle with Guy and I while we watch tv.  So cute.

All the veg are in and this year the potager is fenced so hopefully the fruits of my labours will get to be eaten by us not the deer!  Unfortunately we had very hard frosts mid May, so we have lost most of the fruit that had set on the trees.  Still a bit there, but not a lot.  Might be another lean year for the jams and jellies.

Apricot hatched one chick, and then abandoned her nest to rear the one baby.  I put the eggs under another hen, who hatched one chick, but then didn't look after it.  So unfortunately the second chick died at 3 days old.  She is still sitting on eggs, so hopefully this week we will have more chicks.  I will take them from her at 2 days old and give them to Apricot to raise.  Apricot is a fabulous mother and teaches her chicks well.

Two talks coming up in next few weeks.  One on medicinal plants that have deadly side effects, and the  other on Roman era medicinal herbs.  Will be working on the Roman herb garden this week and making sure it is fully stocked before the talk.  My own herb garden has expanded rapidly and is doing well.  The chickens benefit from fresh herbs in their diet and in their nesting boxes, and from less insects in their coop.  We benefit from tasty additions to meals.

My borders along the boundary fence are coming along.  I increase them gradually as I have the plants to fill the space.  Metre by metre it is creeping along the wall and framing the terrain.  Last week I put in over 60 plants that I had grown from cuttings or divided from other plants.  I have a few trays of seedlings which will go in over the next few days to fill in the gaps.  Lots of lupins, poppies, zinnias and other pretties.

The beautiful rose that Wayne gave me for our wedding anniversary this year is flowering and looking lovely.  It is a Pierre de Ronsard, so big lush dense flowers, but unfortunately no perfume.  Not a huge deal for me as they just look so gorgeous.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Magnolias, Hellebores and other Pretties

Yes, yes, yes.... a long time between posts.  Sort of lost the will to post for a while as life was too busy and stressful.  Am not promising regular posts now, but hopefully a few a month.

My garden has come along in leaps and bounds.  Have planted trees and shrubs along the boudary wall, as well as more bulbs in the orchard.  My vision for the terrain is coming together slowly but surely.

One of the things I loved when in the south of the USA was the magnolia trees.  They also grow well in parts of Australia.  Finally found two types that will grow well here and managed to buy one of each last autumn.  We had a hard winter with temperatures well below zero and freezing winds for weeks on end.  I was worried that I would lose most of the newly planted trees, but thankfully most of them came through ok.  The magnolias seem to have really established themselves well and were covered in buds as soon as the weather started to warm up.  Both of them have been flowering the past few weeks and looking gorgeous.

My eucalyptus is doing well also and is now twice my height.  Not bad for a tree that was less than a metre tall 18 months ago!

The bulbs of tulip, daffodil, jonquil and crocus that I planted over the past few years are flourishing and make the orchard and garden beds look magnificent.  My niece was pleased to see a photo of the "Claudia" tulips in flower - her namesake.

Chickens are doing well and am collecting a few eggs a day.  There has been a change of President in the chicken coop too.... Nougat was ousted in favour of Garlic being the new head of state.  I am going to have to seperate out Garlic for a few weeks so that Nougat can become the boss again.  I don't want my pedigree hens mating with an unknown heritage mixed breed rooster.  My fault for keeping Garlic as a pet instead of eating him (as is the case with all the other excess roosters that hatch).

We finally have new neighbours behind us.  They are a lovely couple who moved from the Paris suburbs and are learning about having a stone house in the country and a big garden.  Their cat is a gorgeous black longhair, very delicate and elegant, and they have a shitszu who is a real character.  Clovis loves to play with him as they are the same age.

This years plantings have commenced, and I now have an area dedicated to my herbs and medicinal plants which is nice.  It is closer to the water butts and the chicken coop, so easier to maintain and to use the herbs for the chooks and for us.  Have added a few new herbs and am hoping to enlarge it further as I source other ones to add.

No other news for the moment.  Will promise to get the camera out a bit more often and take some more photos to post.