Reflecting, Gardening and Taking Care

Or, sometimes just go with the flow

I thought I would share with you where I am at with my current gardening project(s) and the enjoyment from them as a result!

At the start of the pandemic, there was advice out there that because most of us were going to spend more time at home, it was the perfect opportunity to get underway all those long “forgotten” projects around the home. Then a few weeks later, I read a number of posts and articles that suggested it would be better to take the time to adjust and breathe during the pandemic instead. In other words, worry about those long delayed home projects some other time. I breathed a sigh of relief – there were other people out there thinking the same as me.

Along the way, through other bloggers (Janis and Kally), I discovered Markus and Micah’s blog and then Patty’s blog. They got me to seriously start thinking about the home garden I have neglected for so many years. After six months – I suddenly said to myself the time is right. It is now spring here in Australia, and so I have commenced the resurrection of the front yard, the patio and the back yard – And all without a plan 😱

The Patio – The Rest Stop

Now that I have cleared the patio, as I mentioned to a couple of bloggers out there this week, I am starting to enjoy my work breaks more at home as I get to sip a cup of tea out in the garden. Not only that, I am spending at least an hour first up every morning, pottering around the garden.

The statue of the maiden at the eastern end of the patio peeking through the plumbago with the Bridal Fern behind. This used to be a plumbago grotto with the maiden inside it.

As we move along the fence side of the patio – the magnificent Dragon Tree embraced by a couple of palm trees.

The Foxtail Agave (A Gumiho perhaps 🤣)

This a Dwarf Umbrella Tree. The normal variety is invasive and enjoys lifting concrete.

An Irish Rose! It has quite a number of different names.

The bird bath. We have a family of crows that like to use it, which doesn’t impress the other birds. The crows tend to empty it out or soak bread in it (I have no idea where the bread comes from).

Blue Potato Bush – or Paraguayan Nightshade. This is my all time favourite plant. It is quite stunning when covered in blooms.

The western end of the patio, with the plastic table and chairs exposed to the elements. We have two other glass tables on the eastern end. So, we have like a mini outdoor cafe experience happening.

Morning Glory. It can be a real nuisance and strangle all vegetation. I have managed to keep it under control through neglect 😂

Bougainvillea creeping through. It’s a thorny devil, but handy on the back fence.

A magnificent ponytail. It quite likes this position.

Nemesias, Snapdragons and Lobelias waiting to be planted out!

The tale of the Willy Wagtail

Say hello to one of our Willy Wagtails. He is a tiny bird, but an amazing creature. We have a pair on our property. They are extremely territorial. I have seen Wagtails take on hawks and eagles. In the country areas you will always see them picking flies of a sheep’s back.

When I was younger, they were disappearing due to the overuse of insecticides such as fly spray. However, they have made a good resurgence due to less use of fly spray and more environmentally friendly formulas. You can see them far and wide now.

Yesterday, this particular fellow came right in and landed next to my feet. Normally, he would tell me off. He often chases the crows. However, he was very quite and not even wagging his tail. He was very interested in what I was doing, pruning in under the trees to reveal a long lost cubby house 🏡

The Back Yard

The backyard has a basic framework of trees and shrubs. I have commenced shaping these up. There is also a lawn to be rejuvenated.

One of our plumbagos coming into flower. I think they are fantastic, but they are quite dangerous to a cat if they ingest the flowers as the blooms get stuck in their stomachs.

The Red Hibiscus in the back yard. We have the pink variety in the front yard as well as a native hibiscus 🌺

A bottlebrush that is next to the red hibiscus. A week ago, the blooms were a magnificent bright red. It’s an Australian native and always puts on a stunning show.

Australian Cheesewood and Plumbago. There used to be a Jasmine here too. So, I will replace it.

A palm tree engulfed by Morning Glory, the Bougainvillea and other vegetation

Other birds that visit our garden are Rosellas (they are not native to the west), Pink and Gray Galahs, White Corellas, Butcher Birds, doves and a native honey eater.

The Front Enterance

Since the pandemic, we have not used the front entrance. It has been a lot easier to control all the comings and goings through a side entrance.

Petunias, solar powered moo cows and lanterns on the front step. The cows eyes can be quite eerie at night.

Petunias on the other side of the front step.

Impatients waiting to be potted up. I’m getting there 😎

What’s Next?

The patio is nearing completion, though there is still a bit of potting up to do: both succulents and potted colour. Then it’s build the pizza oven and set up the worm farm.

With the back yard the old clothes line needs to come out, some lattice work is required to be put in place and defined garden beds established.

The front yard needs mulching, along with the installation of a new garden bed. I might even put in a new letterbox.

Then there are the Christmas lights and other displays…

Purchased last Sunday – we couldn’t resist it!

So, the pandemic has finally resulted in a very positive eventuality that was a number of years long overdue!

21 thoughts on “Reflecting, Gardening and Taking Care

  1. My goodness! You are going to get along with my wife! Ever since this pandemic sneaked in on us, she has made herself busy constructing millions of plant obstacles in our frontyard. Our defenses are shored up infinitely, i thought I was in the set for Tarzan!
    Anyway, thanks for the visit, and I’m enjoying your stuff as well! Yours are a joy to read!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hallelujah Sean! These 🌺🌻 photos are great. Back in my ‘hippie’ days (the spirit still lives on) I had an acre that I worked (organically) for several years and I canned, dried or froze all of the family veggies for the winter. Still do now but on a much smaller scale.

    Love the paving on the patio (especially the color) and I know those can be a bear to install correctly. You must have a good foundation on which to lay the stone ‘lest it writhe and heave in rebellion’ later on.

    Pulling weeds can be enjoyable. Just imagine you are pulling out all the negative things in your life. I was a far better best (and more vocal) weeder when I was going through my messy divorce. Pulling weeds has always been a cathartic experience for me.

    Birds are God’s gift to mankind and organic gardens as they help control pests. I love your little friend and he has a beautiful song. Put up several feeders so they will hang out and sing for you. On any given day you can have a tenor, alto, soprano or even Frank Sinatra (Four Pied Butcherbird) in your own personal “Cavalcade of Stars”. Let’s hope they do not start singing Baby Shark when you get Santa out. 🦈I have a black-capped chickadee that is my buddy. If I do not refill the feeder fast enough I hear about it. He comes right up to me and starts yelling at me until he is fed – just like one of the family! 🤣

    P.S. The cow eyes are eerie in the daytime too….😳😳😳

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Rita. Your description of working that acre reminds me of the sorts of things we all used to do so many years ago. The largest “plot” I ever got to deal with was half an acre. My parents had a place between an estuary and the river at one point. So, it was fishing out the front and out the back. I had a rather large veggie garden in place with plenty of seaweed as a fertiliser and it certainly did the job. I used to grow awesome strawberries, but I had to be up picking them before sunrise otherwise the bobtail lizards would have a very nice breakfast. They have a bad habit of eating the bottom half of the strawberry.

      My grand parents were great gardeners. I wish I had even one percent of their gardening ability. My great grandfather and great great grandfather on my mum’s side were gardeners. In fact my great grandfather established many of the initial gardens at our main cemetery here and lived on site back in those days. Apparently, my grandmother used to walk down there with me in a pram to see her parents in law.

      For me, I have always found painting houses to be therapeutic. I keep looking for effective methods to deal with the weeds.

      That’s awesome re your black capped chickadee. I hope he is around for a long time. We were sitting outside a little while ago this afternoon and our Willy Wagtail pair were trying to move on the three crows in the palm tree behind the ponytail. They are fearless. It tells me though that they have a nest very close by. Yes, I will put out a bird feeder.

      As for Baby Shark, our grandson, as he did on the weekend, requests I play it on the guitar, so no getting out of that one! What’s more, Linda eggs him on 😂

      Lol re the cow eyes. We do try and have as many of our garden lights powered by solar these days. So, that is the number one criteria for our Christmas lights. We are getting there bit by bit😎

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for sharing your garden! I have been waiting for this one. You have done very well and I really enjoyed the assortment you have – trees large and small and all the flowers. Your ponytail is enormous and you got me wanting an Irish rose. Good luck with the pizza oven – it would be super worth it!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you and I am glad I did share our garden. In amongst it all, I’m trying out a mobile raised bed for some of our herbs. If it’s a success, I will set up one or two others with different plantings.

      The ponytail has two heads and did flower last year and the previous year (which is unusual). The great thing about the Irish Rose is, they are so easy to grow. I think I will be installing the pizza oven this week. I might have to post some photos of that too once its up and running.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Mobile raised beds are interesting. Actually that would help my sister, too. She has a succulent shelf that she moves depending on the weather! Looking forward to seeing your pizza oven. I am sure your family will enjoy that.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The Iris Rose if beautiful, as are the Hibiscus, Morning Glory and several others. The Pony Tail is interesting. I have never seen one of those, even in pictures. Beautiful pictures too. Thank You for sharing with us! You have chose a wonderful hobby for filling the empty hours while creating a beautiful environment. Blessings!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Gardening can be so much fun. When vegetables and fruits are a part of the scenario, it can also save a lot of money in addition to having the fresh produce and more tasty preservations than can typically be bought in the stores. I am happy to hear you enjoy it and that you are able to finally get back to it. Blessings!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh what I would do for a garden now. I’m not much of a gardener really but I used to potter around for an hour each morning and have coffee in the garden before work. I love being over at our daughter’s, planting stuff with the little ones 🙂

    You have a terrific amount of outdoor space and I envy you lol. Especially as you have spring on your doorstep now 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sometimes, where I am, we forget how lucky we are with the space we have, Caz. I should be a better gardener than I am, but I’m not. However, my plan that’s not a plan is coming together quite well.

      It’s nice to be able to pop outside and potter around or sit down and chat as we have done for the last three days. We have had our grandson here too, so I have taken him outside with me (and wince as he eyes off the flowers 😂. Somehow the lemons ended up in the birdbath too)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I used to sit in my garden often, when I had one lol. Even all wrapped up in the autumn too. Your garden certainly looks like it’s coming together nicely. Being able to sit out and have coffee (or wine) with the family sounds lovely. Even the little ones, though you have to keep a close eye on them lol – you never know where those pesky lemons will end up 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your garden especially the presence of a bird bath. Although I am unable to garden in Riyadh, my Animal Crossing garden is quite similar to yours, from the types of flowers to shrubs and yes, the bird bath!

    I am glad you’re gardening! It’s such a relaxing and healthy hobby especially for someone who is busy most of the time.

    Hope to see more of your gardening photos, Sean 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for the compliments regarding the garden, Janis.

      I think it’s great that you are able to do something fun and creative with Animal Crossing Garden. It’s a very clever concept. Yay to having a similar garden to ours and a birdbath is always something special.

      Even tonight when I got home after being away for the day, as soon as I pulled up in the driveway I began thinking about what I should tackle in the garden first thing tomorrow.

      Yes, there will be more photos, I promise!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was asking my husband as to how to retrieve the Switch photos, in case I want to share it in WP, I am still learning…

        Our family loves to garden too, unfortunately, we live in a flat and we do not have much space, I only get my hands dirty when I am home in the Philippines… I once had a tetanus shot because I raked on my foot. I guess what I am trying to say is, take care Sean 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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