My beloved Mr E took me to Bunnings on Saturday afternoon to purchase a couple of gorgeous Azaleas. One for him to take cuttings off for new bonsai (his hobby) and one for me to tend with loving care and delight over. My last one died a dreadful death in the drought ridden summer heat last year, but I shall do all I can to save the new one.
We're only a week away from Spring now and the weather is already heating up again, remembering that during the entire three months of our tropical winter I wore a cardigan three times. Winter here is very mild and we live in t-shirts and thongs (thongs are flip flops for my American friends) all year round. It's also been dry a long time (we're in drought) and the yard around the house shows it.
On Sunday Mr E raked up dead leaves, trimmed trees, and chopped up our endless supply of fallen palm fronds...
This home is surrounded by over 40 palm trees and as pretty as they are to look at they take a lot of work each weekend because palm fronds, very large palm fronds, fall every day. We don't have a mulcher so my dear love has to cut them all up by hand with secateurs whilst wearing leather gloves.
Some fronds are 12-14 feet in length...
The tall palms out front are weighted with gorgeous chandeliers of seed at the moment.
These start off green, turn to white, and then if we get some rainfall they burst into brilliant red balls of fruit which bring a variety of bird life to feast upon. Last year there was no rain and they shriveled before getting past the white stage.
The forecast is for a very heavy wet season this summer and autumn so we may have flourishing bird life in the trees again...
Once he'd finished the yard work (and washed my car - told you he's amazing, right?!) my beloved decided he'd re-pot all my plants on the deck. I admit that since I had pneumonia a lot of those potted plants, as well as the deck area, have been sorely neglected. So while he re-potted the plants I scrubbed the deck and the tables.
The plant on my little round table is a Geisha Girl. It has beautiful purple flowers and I'm hoping it blooms again in spring because it's one plant I've not killed (perhaps it likes me?)...
We juice a lot of pineapples each week so occasionally I plant one of the tops and now I have a half dozen growing very well indeed! I have success with the oddest things.
Our French neighbour, Arnaud, is a marine biologist with a passion for gardening. He gave me this Desert Rose when it had just two leaves and was barely an inch high. I promised I'd care for it, and fortunately for me it's a succulent (like pineapples) so it's thriving in our dry and warm winter.
Mr E will re-pot it in a larger container next weekend...
My favourite succulents are the ones that flower.
The two Zygo Cactus (Schlumbergera) plants I bought earlier in the year are also flourishing, probably due to their tolerance of our climate and because I've been neglectful with watering.
Mr E re-potted them as well and now they're happy in our front entrance where they get sunshine all day.
After tending to all my plants and clearing the garden of debris, my sweet man chilled out with his bonsai strikings. He makes up his special mix in the wheelbarrow and then using a single large plant he creates half a dozen or more bonsai.
There's a lot more involved but he's the expert and I'm not so I won't even try to explain all the other steps he takes to create tiny plants.
Last year he chose to bonsai Ixora plants and now we have some real sweeties but this year he'll hopefully give me some tiny azaleas to display in our 'one day home of our own'.
That's the other thing we did this weekend (and last weekend and the weekend before...) - we've been out in the country looking for a home. We hope this time next year to be tending our very own garden, and not that of another rental home.
God willing, as my Nana would say.
Hope you have a lovely week, I truly do.