Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Good and bad tales from the gardens

Discovered the other day that I wasn't the only one to admire the giant cyclamen leaves. Found it decimated by loopers. Not happy...  (They look like little sticks, but when you touch them they curl up into a loop.)

Have just enjoyed the five day break to celebrate Easter and Anzac Day. It has been superb weather, with warm days and bright blue skies. The days leading up to it were a mixed bag of great pleasure seeing the Singing Quilter again at Victor Harbor, and great sadness as my sister-in-law lost her battle with cancer that same evening.

Over the weekend my sewing room / office converted  to spare bedroom for the visit of a long time friend from England - much catching up to do, so no time for stitching. Went sightseeing on the Fleurieu on Sunday and managed (pure luck) to turn it all on for her at Goolwa - a market, the Oscar W steaming up and setting off, above, and the Cockle train steaming in. Walked on our local beach yesterday, and loved this touch of colour on the sand...

Visited the Botanic Gardens, Mortlock Library and Art Gallery today - all admired and appreciated by Diana, our visitor who suggested that South Australia's features should be better marketed. We were all pleased to see the recently restored Botanical Museum at the Gardens - could easily spend hours in there. The paper mache apple varieties from the 1880s are amazing, and look just like the real thing. Below is an old favourite - The Palm House ...


This last picture is of our Manchurian Pear tree, which has some lovely autumn colouring but seems a little confused - there are buds on the branches already.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ran out of thread...

Finished stitching little squares, and am up to the quilting. All was going well until I ran out of thread and very annoying, I have to wait for new stock... Oh well, it has allowed me to do a little gardening today, and then I will see what else I can finish off. I put in some sweet peas. I've not had much luck with them in the past, but I shall remain hopeful.

Went to my shadehouse a while ago and made two cyclamen discoveries. I buy potted ones often as a 'bunch of flowers'. When they are finished I put them out in the garden and never see them again. Something has gone wrong this time - there is one in flower, and one with enormous leaves, as you can see by the sword fern frond alongside!

The birds love our garden - probably because there is not much growing in most of those nearby - and we have had many nests for the pigeons and blackbirds. Despite the fact that spring was months ago, and I think they have vacated now, we discovered an active sparrow nest a couple of weeks ago on top of the fowl yard. It is quite large, and seemed to have 2 side entrances (right and left in the picture). Not sure what might be inside, but atop the twigs and grass on the outside is a big tuft of wool. It is not a great picture, but they didn't build in a very convenient spot. The picture of me hanging off the bird netting to take it would probably have been better!