Monday, August 22, 2016


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.



  1. Hi Jenny, lovely post and pics, sending wishes for your future own home, fun times looking. We had a similar gardening day can smell spring in the air, still chilly at night and morning but don't mind that. Oh we have a zygo cactus was my son in laws late sister's have had it for 5 years but neglected to repot and with both of us watering for way too long, unaware had already been, sadly it all fell apart and now trying to save some fronds to restart, reminds me must repot, it was very large and flowered beautifully coral like colour. We have one of those huge palms and just the one creates so much to clean up. All the best with the Azaleas. Very satisfying to look on all the garden/outside work. Have a wonderful week, Judithann :-)x

  2. Hello Jenny
    Love your garden photos, I can't wait to get out in my garden when the weather gets warmer. Good luck with your house hunting.

  3. Plants and planting really make us feel good. Hands in the earth and feet in the grass are the best feelings. Your plants are beautiful and thriving. Alas, the last few days here down south have been rather dreary, wet and cold so the inspiration I had to buy and pot some plants has disappeared. When the sun eventually shines again I shall be taking a trip to Bunnings, my usual place for plant shopping. I miss having cut geraniums in the house too. You live in an amazing area and I love your pineapple. Your own place will be awesome. You don't need a huge area for plants and food. We use half wine barrels and big pots for a lot of our vegies as well as using permaculture principles. After all, you want to sit and enjoy the fruits of your labour instead of spending most of your time weeding, mowing and cutting up palm fronds lol. Enjoy your beautiful plants.

  4. Thank you for sharing these lovely pictures and stories. We've had such a hot, hot summer here, that many of my usual annual flowers have died. I like to plant mostly perennials, as they seem to thrive best around our home. All I have to do is prune and mulch - but the annual flowers have the best splash of color. I've missed that this summer. Love your veranda and all the plants you have sitting around. It is cozy. Wonderful hobby that your husband has - very relaxing! Home you find that special home soon :)!

  5. Wonderful post. So fun to learn about different parts of the world and Mr. E is certainly a keeper.

  6. Beautiful pics of your beautiful living quarters - but you know I'm praying for a home of your own!!!


  7. WOW - Love your photos - you are both so talented - God really passed a lot on to you two. Thanks for sharing.

  8. So lovely to look forward to your own garden, here's hoping this works out and soon! Here in Minnesota, we are looking for fall to begin this next month and always hope it will be long and mild. Winter, which is ALWAYS long and cold will follow, no t-shirts and flip-flops (thongs) for us, instead heavy coats and snow boots! - Diane from northern Minnesota

  9. Thank you taking the time to post those photos. Lovely to see succulents grown outside that wouldn't last very long in UK (unless in a heated greenhouse). We are gradually coming to the last few weeks of a summer, which was slow to get going but we have had lots of hot sunny days. Hope it continues for a while yet before the cardigans, coats, boots, scarves & gloves make their re-appearance! I live in the south by the sea, so there is a better chance of good weather here, although not anywhere near your standards. Thank you for the 'heads up' about your home search, & I will be praying you will find a 'forever' home that will make your heart sing!

  10. Talk about dropping a bombshell at the end of your post! LOL Oh, I hope you find the perfect thing! It looks like you've made some prayerful decisions. I will pray for your home search. The flowers are so gorgeous, and I want you to know that all the way, ALL the way, ALL the WAY up here, I, too have one of those Zygo cactus and I haven't killed mine yet, either! LOL It bloomed for me last spring, a very, very light pinkish color, and I was thrilled. That and the Kalanchoe are two things that do thrive, in spite of me. Or in spite of Tennessee. =) I loved seeing all your beautiful plantings. What a treasure that Mr. E is. =)

  11. Oh my goodness you must both have green fingers! What brilliant plants.

    You have palm trees & we have conifers! Palms only survive in the south here, often we get heavy frosts which kill them off. Luckily we don't seem to get the storms they do in the south but we don't get the balmy nights which is a shame.

    I can't believe your spring is starting already. Now don't let it get too hot before we get to Australia, there's still a couple of months to go and I'm not great with heat! I'm stocking up on the sun tan cream & I've bought a new hat! Can't find my sunglasses though, haven't a clue where they are. Will have to find them soon.

  12. He is very clever and patient with those tiny plants!


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