It's been a while since I did a garden post, mostly because we've been flat out keeping things alive as the dreadful high temperatures return for our long summer, which will not recede until close to winter next year.
Over the past month my husband dug up a large concrete slab in our backyard, which the previous owners used as a boat support. Then he had to fill it all in with soil, and top it with hay. I took these photos early yesterday morning before the sun rose over the mountain, as once the sun appears my photos are startlingly white and overexposed, so they are a little dark...
These are some of the concrete pieces he cut out. We're giving them away, and half have already been taken, but the rest are waiting there until we find someone else who wants them.
The grass has died away and when you walk around the yard all you hear is the crunch under your feet. We have added more hay across parts of the lawn, in an effort to save the soil from complete hydrophobia before the rain arrives - though we're told to expect a long drought, and for the past few months that is indeed what we have had.
I always plant pumpkins this time of year because they survive regardless of the heat and humidity. There are four Queensland Blue plants here, and before planting out the seeds I dug holes and filled them with really good quality potting mix (far better than our rock hard clay soil). I just have to keep up the water every day...
The cucamelon vines died off once the days got over 30C (85F) and now where we are the days have already climbed to 34C (94F)...and it's only the middle of spring. Trying to keep some nutrition in all the gardens I have planted sunflowers of all varieties *everywhere*. We won't let them go to seed, but do a cut and drop over garden beds and soil. We will also plant more in successions of about 4-6 weeks until early Autumn.
The small raised bed on the left below is now clear of the cucamelon vines and I have sunflowers coming up at the base of the wire. The angelonia and marigolds continue to thrive in the worst of heat as long as they get water. So do the geraniums, dianthus and coreopsis, and of course, the weeds. Sweet potatoes are also doing very well in three separate areas as long as they get watered regularly. Honestly, we will take anything good we can get in the garden right now. Herbs like rosemary, spring onions (green onions), parsley, thai basil and perennial basil are also surviving - but they usually manage okay in summer with good rain - this year we'll just hand water.
The corn failed dismally, so we're leaving it there to drop and become part of soil nutrition.
I'm nursing two cucumber vines in the shade, three potted blueberry plants in fruit under the cover of an old net curtain, and the last of our roma tomatoes and snow peas (very shocked that they've lasted this long).
Our little green tree frog is still alive and happily living in the raised bed by the pool. Turned out it's a she, so we named her Peaches. When the children were little we used to sing a song "Gonna move to the country and eat a lot of peaches..." because we all had a dream to do that. Unfortunately you can't grow peaches in the tropics, but now we have a Peaches of our own living close by. She's looking much better than she did back here and happily sits in her pink bowl of water if she's not shading herself under the sweet potato vine.
I have added two new patterns to my Etsy Shop this week, and I hope you like them. Both were a joy to create and are now displayed in our home.
I find this verse to be quite uplifting, and at times needful to remember.
I've really enjoyed the penny rug style these past few months, and though there are no penny circles on the little tongues which hang from the bottom of this mini quilt, the small mother-of-pearl buttons added a lovely vintage touch and were a perfect replacement.
As I said in my last post, designing in future will only happen when I have time, inspiration and can fully enjoy the process. The few new patterns I am currently writing and adding to my shop were all joyful creations, and made for our home. Perhaps they'll be joyful additions to your own sewing?
This table topper is square and has a cute little house sitting atop a double heart sewn into each corner. I made this in subdued colours, and thought later it would be perfect to display around late autumn when the weather begins to cool...in late autumn and winter I love having more subdued colours in the house.
Both new patterns are HERE in my shop if you'd like to make them. :-)
I shall sign off now as it's time for my afternoon cuppa, and dear husband will be keen to have one too. I baked some delicious banana, apple and blueberry muffins this morning so they'll be just right to have on the side.
Before I go - I was reading 1 Thessalonians this morning and wanted to encourage you with Paul's words as I sign off today..."Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1Thessalonians 5:16-18
Then I read this from one of Charles Spurgeon's sermons and it fit perfectly with that verse so I'll share this with you too...
"When joy and prayer are married, their firstborn child is gratitude." Charles Spurgeon
God bless you dear ones, and may we together always rejoice, pray, and give thanks, to our Father above Who loved us so much He sacrificed His only Son to save us. That truth must never be watered down, ignored or altered to suit the world.
Love and hugs