Friday, December 7, 2018

OH - a pincushion and the rains came!

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.
Not so.
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.
This one is for a pincushion and this one is for displaying a stitchery in a frame.

'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.

Download the pattern for 'O' here or here

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.



Martha Roberts said...

Oh, dear Jenny--What a gift your post is today. I am sitting in a hospital room with my sweet mom who is 89 yrs old. She fell on Sunday and broke 4 ribs, bruised her face and hip. I am praying for her almost continually as she is in great pain. It was such a joy to see the pics of your beautiful plants and flowers. I can't wait to see what surprises you have in store for us next year since I have been a subscriber to your embroidery monthly patterns since the beginning. Exciting times. Unfortunately, I am not able to do any needlework at the hospital since mom is in a confused state of mind. She was such a good mom and I am trying to keep her as comfortable as possible. Love to you and Mr. E.

Joyce said...

I so enjoyed seeing your flower photos, so pretty. Most of mine are gone now that it’s finally cooling off here. It rained here today and I too get the barometer related migraines. I took my meds as soon as I felt it stirring in my right temple and managed to get through the day. Praying your migraines will get better.

Farm Quilter said...

Praying for your migraines to cease! Miserable to have. Your gardens are so beautiful!! It is obvious you and Mr. E put in the time and effort necessary to have such a beautiful garden. Thank you for sharing pictures of your "Eden"!! I'm looking out at the slowly melting 5" of snow that arrived Monday night.

Sharon said...

Jenny, I googled your flower, perhaps it belongs to this family...
I love your new house and that you too can finally put down some roots...
Sharon H - Melbourne

luv 2 cre8 said...

Hi Jenny, your flower is a Fireball Lily. They flower in summer here in the north and when finished flowering die down. They make an impressive sight when there is a clump together. They should multiply on their own.

selina said...

your gardens are looking lovely
are you going to put in any water tanks? they are always handy to have
there are a few books around with the title "what flower is that" or you could take the photo to your local botanical gardens, they should be able to tell you as well.
thoroughly enjoying your journey so far.
thanx for sharing

Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,

What a garden! Full of surprises! We have purple alliums here in bloom late Spring into Summer. Your's might be one....
Fun to read a gardeners website from the other side of the globe!

Thanks for the inspiration and creative adventures inside and out that you share!
Looking forward to your ideas in 2019!

dixigirl said...

Loving the pictures of the fruit of your labors. I am no longer able to garden but love to see others. You have been blessed with your beautiful new home.We just bought Poinsettias & put them out for Christmas. Really brightened up the yard. xxoo

Nanna Chel said...

Jenny, you have some lovely plants growing there I must say. I am so pleased when I see on the news that the weather has cooled down for you up there in the north. It must have been almost unbearable to get that type of heat on the coast. So sorry you have been getting migraines but it isn't surprising in that heat. It sounds like you have a very exciting 2019 planned.

Maria said...

Jenny your new garden is certainly coming in nicely. I have always preferred established gardens as you just never know what plant treasures may come up with changes in seasons. I’ve always known that plant as a blood lily but that’s not its botanical’s from Africa originally I believe.

margil56 said...

In America I have flowers very similar to your mystery flower. They are spider lilies, also known as rain lilies, surprise lilies, or colloquially as "naked ladies." They are not native, so yours may be in the same family.

Brenda said...

Hello Jenny, All of your photos of the beautiful plants and flowers growing in your yard are so lovely to see. Thank you so much for your wonderful posts and pictures. Have a delightful day!

Deena said...

Hi Jenny, I love your posts and I'm always inspired--- raising the bar for me every
time <3 Your garden is so shaping up; it's like building a beautiful dream :)

Lin said...

I love the pictures of your garden Jenny. Your 'firework' flower might be an allium - it is certainly very striking. The O pincushion is lovely - simple and elegant. xx

Jackie said...

I always enjoy reading your posts. Your garden is lovely. Thank you for the newest pattern and a link to the tutorials.

Annie said...

Hi Jenny, Your red flower is a blood lily, they are quite spectacular. It will die down then re shoot in season so don't forget it is there! They also grow quite well in pots.

Susan said...

I'm sorry migraine season comes along with the rainy season. Your garden photos are wonderful and fill me with happiness that your much longed for home has turned into such a joyful place of peace and beauty. It is so wonderful to imagine you sitting there with your scriptures, or identifying birds or simply sitting and being in God's splendor. Thank you for the pincushion. That's a great way to make one.

Jeanne said...

Jenny, The red balls are spider lilys, I have them here in Florida. First they put out lots of green leaves , it all dies then in the fall here they put up the flowers. They look just like yours and the do multiply alot. The little spotted ones are toad lilys, they also multiply. Have a good week end .

Ondrea said...

The rain would have been most welcome and I hope it fell where it was most needed. Your garden is coming along so nicely and you are certainly putting your own stamp on the property making it your own. Thankyou for another beautiful pincushion design.

Debby said...

Hi Jenny. I love seeing all the beautiful plants that grow in your tropical climate. I live in South Carolina in the US. We have those same red globe flowers. They go by several common names here Surprise Lily, Resurrection Lily or Naked Ladies. They are a bulb of the Amaryllis family. They send up a clump of grasslike foliage in late spring/early summer which dies away then the red globes pop up (surprise, resurrection) in late summer/early fall without any foliage (naked).

Janice said...

Your garden is delightful. We have just planted a mock orange in our garden last autumn. They really are a lovely plant. Mum had one in her garden for many years too. It is so special to have a variety of birds visit. Our bird book is always easy to reach too, although we don't get nearly as many varieties visiting now that we are in town. Enjoy that soaking rain.

tylasnan said...

Jenny I believe your little spotted lily to be Iris Domestica or Leopard Lily. Discovering plants in a new garden is such a joy I think.
Cheers, Karen near Gympie.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Yes, we'll put water tanks in as soon as we can afford them...first we have to do repairs and other needful things.