Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Late October garden and two new patterns...

 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. 

New Patterns...

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 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

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Lin said...

I do miss seeing the lovely tree frogs we had in France and that often slept on my sewing room window where there was always a bowl of water for them. Quite often there would be two or three huddled together in a corner of the window when I got up in the morning. Nice that you have your peaches. The garden is looking good because of all the watering you do, but that brown grass is depressing isn't it. The amazing thing is how it greens up so quickly when the rain arrives. That must have been one huge concrete slab Jennifer, such a lot of hard work to get it out I am sure.
Lovely designs. xx

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Wow ! That's an amazing amout of concrete to move ! Luckily one man's junk is another man's treasure :)
Your garden looks so pretty with a layer of dried grass between all the beds of produce and blooms :)
I'd love a few hours of your sunshine in exchange for a few mm of Dutch rain ! We've had 10 mm so far today !
Thanks for the garden update !
hugs, take care,

Julie said...

Gosh dear Jennifer - that was quite some task for Mr E digging up that huge slab!!! Thats an incredible amount of concrete. I hope people come & take it away for you soon - usually they are after nice big chunks like that for paving etc. Your garden is looking pretty & full of colour. We are being forecase a big drought here too. LoVe the new patterns, especially that table mat πŸ’™πŸ’œxx

Donna P. said...

It looks like you're going to have the sweltering heat that we had this year - I'm sorry we "passed it down to you". :-)
I enjoyed your garden tour - I have one pot of an odd plant - not too sure what it's doing but I keep watering it and feeding it. :-D
Have a beautifully blessed day - and thank you for your thoughtful words.

Tammy said...

The new designs are very lovely. Love the gardening photos. The frog picture is great. I adore frogs for some reason or another. We have quiet a lot of frogs here where I live at they stay close to my herb plants so they can snack on all the pollinators I assume that come to the herb plants constantly. Oh your new gardens next year will give you lots more space with the concrete removed.

Debbie said...


Ondrea said...

You and hubby have achieved so much with the garden since you first moved in. It must be so satisfying enjoying the food you have grown , pretty plants and wildlife. Not feeling pressured to design must be a relief and shall result in even more beautiful projects to come.

Allie said...

Wow that's a lot of concrete! I'd be tempted to make a bbq grill out of it, lol. Or a pizza oven. Praying for Mr. E's muscles! Love the garden, and Peaches. So sweet. Your new patterns are simply gorgeous, as always - nobody ever gave me the itch to stitch quite like you, girl! Be blessed dear one, love you so much!

Susan said...

I'm praying that your summer isn't as bad as it looks like it could be. Peaches is a lovely bit of life to have scampering around your garden, and the garden looks wonderful. Your sweet DH did a lot of work to get those concrete blocks so nicely cut! I hope (and pray!) all of your family is doing well, and that your blessings far outweigh your troubles as we go into new seasons.

Last night was our first freeze - 28 F (about -2 C?) and we have 3-4 more coming before we go back to lows of 40s (5-6 C?). I'm not putting plants back outside, though. They are in for the winter now. Your new designs are beautiful, and fill the spirit. Thank you!

I love you so much, my sister in Christ.

Annabel said...

Your husband did a good job to get all of that cement out! The garden is looking great and the pumpkins look fantastic! So do the cucumbers! The garden is just such a source of peace and joy. My pumpkins are not so advanced but look ok... tomatoes are doing really well and lettuces... I can harvest lettuce daily. Today is gorgeous. I will get out and do some watering. Have a lovely Sunday and new week! xxx

Anonymous said...

Thessalonians quote just set the tone for my week ahead! Thanks

Tonya M Owens said...

I love Peaches she is a cutie.
I can’t even imagine what it is like to live in the tropics. Are there lots of insects I assume due to mild winter?

Your patterns are wonderful. I think I want to do that house one very soon for a friend. It would be a lovely gift

Sherry said...

Hi, Jennifer. I love your garden tour and especially the little frog. She's so cute! Hope you have a blessed summer.