These past couple of nights we have celebrated the arrival of rain.
After two weeks of out of control fires burning across our state I pray the rains have brought relief and a respite from fear and distress for those in affected areas. But my heart sorrows for the precious ones who lost all they had during the intense heatwave and fire conditions which late November and early December delivered.
The wet season rain here in the tropics has set me on a course of what feels like endless migraines, the barometric kind which cannot be avoided - but I rejoice that's all I'm contending with, after all, my home still stands unaffected by fire. When we compare our situation with that which others face it often dims in comparison.
Our garden is certainly glad of a respite from the harsh 45c (115f) conditions of late, with rain producing new life very quickly, so I thought I'd take some new photos. They're a bit dark but the skies are cloudy and will be for a while with more needed rain coming over the next week and probably (hopefully) throughout the new wet season.
I planted this Mock Orange tree just days before the heat wave and have been hand watering a few times each day to keep it going. We had one of these trees at a previous house and I knew if we ever bought a home of our own I'd plant one. So I did.
Mr E had to dig up and around the garden bed which sits outside the back undercover area as it was riddled with termites. After treatment and disposal of the wood chip and affected soil (the previous owners had wood chip everywhere, a termites menu) he added our own compost and good soil around all the plants and covered the garden with sugar cane mulch which our pest control friend suggested because termites hate it.
I asked hubby to remove a few plants from that garden bed because quite frankly I did not like them, and by doing so we were able to plant the mock orange in their now vacant space. The fragrance is simply beautiful as it's a type of Jasmine. You can see it just behind the terracotta pot where it will grow lush and tall over time.
Early yesterday morning after a night of wind and rain I went up to check the pool as after windy weather there's often leaves across the surface which need to be scooped out. Instead of green leaves a third of the surface was covered in a red blanket of poinciana flowers!
It was beautiful! But they still needed to be removed so before Mr E awoke, in the cooling silence of dawn, I scooped them all out and piled their wet soggy petals nearby for him to see later. It never occurred to me to grab my camera to take a photo, but believe me that red carpet across blue water was gorgeous.
The poinciana tree belongs to our neighbour but it flows over the side fence beside the pool and as I find such joy in the vivid red/orange flowers and lime green buds and leaves Mr E has not trimmed it back...though he has suggested it a few times whilst scooping red petals from the pool.
As I scour the various garden beds I'm finding many plants offering up 'babies' that I can propagate and plant out front when Mr E completes his garden preparations over the summer school holidays.
Our potted aloe vera plants are showing themselves to be quite prolific breeders too!
A trip to Bunnings this weekend for more pots has been scheduled...
Two green 'bulbous' plants literally popped up near the side front fence overnight and the following day opened into beautiful orange globes.
We've no idea what they are but we welcome them.
I showed one of these recently but more blooms are now in play so I must ask if you know what the plant is? Is it some form of lily?
Most of the potted herbs are doing very well indeed, especially the oregano and parsley...
...but the basil which is planted in the garden is doing better than the potted one. In fact, the potted basil bolted quickly but the garden bed basil has not.
This time next year we'll have created more garden beds just for herbs and vegetables, but for now we use what we have with delight.
Our first pineapple is thriving still...
...and the pink kalanchoe has decided to bring forth a second flush of blooms.
Last May dear Blossom gave me a purple tin planter and lavender seeds. I did not plant them at the time as I wanted to wait until we had a home of our own.
Just after we moved here I unpacked her gift and following the instructions planted the seeds in their tin. Now I am fairly patient with gardening but did think 20-40 days for a lavender seed to germinate was a long time to wait, however, my heart decided to hope on the 20 day option.
It has now been 60 days and guess what I saw on Tuesday morning?
Blossom was here with the girls so it was doubly special to find her lavender gift making it's way out of the soil and into the world above.
We still get a LOT of birds at the feeder and generally all around the yard so the Australian Field Guide for Birds lives permanently on the outside table where we have breakfast each day...
It's such a lovely spot to sit and watch feathered visitors come and go, though Bob the dog would rather sleep now the weather has cooled a little...
...whereas Sophie follows me all around the gardens each morning.
Hubby is busy each afternoon when he comes home from school, digging up more of the road-based front yard, composting, cleaning the pool, cleaning leaves from the guttering and moving down pipes away from the house slab.
There's so much to do here and many gardens yet to build (along with a rock wall garden out front) but what joy we have planning it all.
The four cuttings of frangipani I took continue to flourish and will be planted out once the front yard has been cleared of road base and soil put down. Probably two out front and two in the back yard...
As I look around at the unexpected blooms and those that simply last and last, the gratitude in my heart expands. God has blessed us, beyond what we had dared hope.
AND NOW...I'm sure you're waiting for this week's Alphabet Pincushion?
I had my friend Ondrea in mind with this one. The O is featured inside a little window...
You can follow how I make a cameo window to sit over a stitchery in these two tutorials.
'O' has been embroidered onto a white cotton/linen blend background fabric and the beautiful window fabric is a Lecien linen print from 2013 which I use sparingly for special projects.
This pattern will be free to download until January 3rd.
The pattern sets for A-E, F-I and J-N are now a $2 purchase here in my shop.
Next week I shall remove the veil of secrecy and tell you what's happening in Elefantz for 2019.
There are changes, and I'm excited about them.
God bless you and keep you close to His heart.
May He fill your mind with His peace, your sleep with His rest, your attitude with His kindness and your needs with His provision - for every good gift is from God above.