“…Let yourself be silently drawn by the
strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray…”
“…I will not be another flower picked for my beauty and left to die. I will be wild, difficult to find, and impossible to forget…”
— Erin Van Vuren.
“…Be different. Be original. Nobody will remember a specific flower in a garden filled with thousands of the same yellow flower, but they will remember the one that managed to change its colour to purple…”
— Suzy Kassem : Rise Up and Salute the Sun : The Writings of Suzy Kassem
Had a death in the house this week… This tiny little gecko decided to meet his maker, under a pile of my crafting supplies (which I am sure will be my fate someday). So sad. I had seen him earlier in the week and had desperately tried to catch him (which also involved me having a conversation with him whereby I tried to convince him he should come out so I could take him outside) but he had disappeared into my book shelves. Then, when I was clearing up on Sunday, I found his little corpse in between some sheets of scrapbooking paper 😦
Look at his tiny little toes! Those pretty, gem-like and almost metallic eyes! The patterns in his skin! So sweet. I don’t think he was long gone…his body was still soft and pliant. I’m glad I didn’t squish him – he wasn’t flattened or anything like that. Just looked like he was sleeping really. He may have just gotten dehydrated, stuck in my house, or maybe he was already sickly. But he’s so tiny! And perfect!
Apparently geckos are nocturnal and eat insects. That’s about all I know. Other than them being cute. I did have a much larger one in my shed a while back and he scared the living daylights out of me. He leapt off the wall as I opened the door and basically flung his tail at me. Which was a bit horrifying. I (again) was having a conversation with a reptile – “Please keep your tail! I don’t want to eat you!”- but to no avail. His tail wriggled and flipped for ages by itself as he ran off into the undergrowth. Icky!
I’m not sure what kind of gecko this one is. I guess he’s just some sort of common house gecko. Let’s go with that. He wasn’t wearing a name tag. You can look at some other kinds HERE if you’re in to that sort of thing.
I’ve kept him for now, as my brother sometimes does resin art and uses, ahem, dead things. But, besides that, he (the gecko) seems too lovely to get rid of. I’ll bury him if nothing else. He deserves that, and will go into the earth or be dinner for other critters.
RIP little dude x
Just a quick post to show you the bird houses my brother has been making. He’s been using old wooden pallets – great idea for recycling! He has added bits of fallen branches and painted the houses in rustic colours or left them plain and unpainted. They’re more decorative than functional, but maybe some little birdies will be looking for just such a house to hide in or raise some babies.
I love these, and my brother 🙂
PS I have been fiddling about with my blog’s theme/appearance as you may have noticed if you’re a regular reader… I haven’t settled on one that I really like yet, so please bear with me while I chop and change, and hopefully I will get it right soon! x
In 2010, I had the misfortune of falling prey to Meningococcal Meningitis with Septicaemia (read HERE if you want that long story!). I was exceedingly ill, almost fatally so, and was lucky to survive. Very lucky. Most are not that fortunate and many people who do survive are left with life-long health issues, including brain damage, the loss of limbs or digits, vision impairment or total loss of sight, loss of hearing etc.
In 1997, Amanda Young died from this terrible illness, at the age of eighteen. Her parents, Barry and Lorraine Young, were given roses as gifts of remembrance from Amanda’s classmates and friends. From these roses, a beautiful garden bloomed and the Youngs decided to open their property each year to the public, to raise funds for research into meningococcal.
Mum and I visited the garden this weekend. I hadn’t been before but Mum goes every year – she feels that she should (in fact she went twice this weekend, mostly so she could come back and buy more plants!). I too should go regularly, being one of the lucky ones, so I am going to try and do so from now on. There is only a small entry fee and then you can look through the gorgeous garden, buy plants, enjoy a Devonshire tea and just spend a few peaceful moments in this lovely setting.
Every inch of space is lush and blooming, with roses, bulbs, cottage plants and annuals of every size and colour. The weather on this day wasn’t fabulous – we narrowly missed getting rained on – but it didn’t matter. The place was packed with people but it was such a tranquil setting, you barely heard any noise.
Mum and I made a beeline for the plants-for-sale section of the garden. Pots and pots of all different kinds of plants were laid out for us to peruse. We both bought a few specimens (and Mum had already bought a boxful the day before!) and were very happy with our purchases. It’s not often you can buy an orchid for $4 and roses for $10 🙂
Some of the roses on display were just exquisite. The colours were stunning and such variety! You could smell their fragrance a mile away – not overpowering, just beautiful. The “Amanda” Rose is the most gorgeous deep yellow. So pretty. I love yellow roses – they’ve always been my favourite.
The garden also featured dense, pond-like areas with water lillies and irises in many fabulous colours. I could hear the chorusing of lots of happy little froggies 🙂
The entire property was like a little oasis. I loved the more overgrown areas – it was like a proper Secret Garden. Just needed a few fawns or some robins, maybe a frolicking lamb or two 🙂
I really liked this idea : using old garden solar lights for planting succulents! How good do these Haworthias look?
If nothing else, it was nice to spend some quality time with my Mum. Time we might not have had if I had not been so lucky in 2010. I think about it every day. I’m sure Mum does too. Giving a few dollars to the Amanda Young Foundation is the least we can do. And if it means we get to add to our growing collection of plants in our own homes, well, that’s just a bonus! Neither of us needs an excuse, really.
“Amanda’s Garden” is open to the public in October each year. It is well worth a visit. Lorraine and Barry have put their heart and soul into the property, turning their grief and loss into something worthwhile. And while it will not bring their daughter back to them, it may help to prevent any future deaths from this awful illness. To learn more about the Amanda Young Foundation, the garden and other facts about Meningitis, you can visit their website HERE.
I am not always very sensible. I tend to DO rather than THINK. And then I wonder why things go horribly wrong, or I make a big mess in a place I shouldn’t be making a big mess in. Like my bathroom. Not the ideal place to be potting up some plants, but, hey, it was cold outside and, um, I was too lazy to drag everything out to my front porch. Mostly because it would mean putting clothes on (I was in my PJs, naturally).
I had purchased some succulents the weekend before (not an unusual activity for me), mostly Kalanchoes, and I needed to pot them into something more suitable than the small nursery pots they were in. The previous week I had attended a swap meet with my sister-in-law and had found a lovely, white ceramic pot for $4.00 (bargain!). It was crying out for some cute little plants so it was just perfect for the Kalanchoes.
I made a delightful mess in the bathroom – potting mix everywhere, pots chucked willy-nilly all over the floor – you get the picture. But I really liked the plants in the white pot – it looks classy ha ha. My bathroom is enormous – really a ridiculous amount of room for one person. But I’m not complaining – I have a pile of stuff that I am able to find room for in there. It also has a nice sunny window space that is ideal for plants. They grow happily there, without getting too hot, but with plenty of light, and humidity from the bathroom itself.
So, I arranged the newly-potted Kalanchoes next to my existing Haworthias and my precious orchid, which is flowering beautifully, bless it (even more so now after writing this post – it’s got six blooms on its little stem) and made quite a nice display by the window. What do you think? I love having plants in the house and I am very pleased with how these look together. I will have to stop myself from putting any more in there. The bath tub never gets used…maybe I could just make it in to one giant pot! I’m sure my landlord would love that idea…not!