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Pottin’ Up

As mentioned before, I am quite a neglectful gardener.  I go through phases where I am all about gardening and taking care of things, and then I fall into a state of meh.  Translation : I forget to water things, allow plants to become root-bound, let things die, and basically just get really slack where anything plant-related is concerned.

Moving house is a time in which you forget all about your garden and focus entirely on more pressing matters.  Your garden does not get a look in.  It withers and crumbles in front of your weary eyes as you stumble about looking for boxes.  When you’ve actually moved into your new place, you notice how sad and near-death everything looks.  Then you pretend you didn’t notice and avert your eyes.  Or, if you’re a crazy person like me, you apologise to your plants on a daily basis and promise them the sun and moon if they will just stay alive until you can sort them out.

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This weekend I did lots of re-potting.  Many of my succulents had outgrown their pots and were trying to escape by falling over and/or sending out roots into the air in the hope of finding new ground.  It was a sorry spectacle.  My kalanchoes were so pathetic they barely resembled kalanchoes at all, and I had a couple of cacti that had definitely seen better days and probably wouldn’t see many more if I didn’t attend to them soon.

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I have a very sunny, enclosed outdoor area which is pretty perfect for succulents.  It’s warm and protected from the weather.  It also means that, when I am little Miss Green Thumbs, I am also warm and protected from the weather.  I have some fears that, in Summer, it will be like a hothouse/sauna, but for now it is useful and perfect fro my needs.  I have my little citronella candle a-burnin’ near my potting table, so I don’t get eaten alive by mosquitoes (they love me) and it is suitably near to the kitchen so I can make tea (very important).

Anyway, I re-potted kalanchoes and echeveria, pelargoniums, haworthias, cacti and aeoniums and gave them all better homes.  Some will need re-potting again soon but at least they can have a bit of respite in the meantime.  And I can feel less guilty.  I have some other plants that need my attention too, so will try and get those done this week.

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So, my plants and I are settling in to our new digs and trying to make sense of a different environment and lifestyle.  I was starting to feel a little bit root-bound myself, so it is good to start afresh and make plans for the new growth, instead of letting rot set in (did you like that little analogy there? 🙂 )

Hope you are blooming wherever you are planted x

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Winter-Spring Beauty

Despite my ever-neglectful approach to gardening, I am lucky to have a garden full of colour at the  moment.  My succulents and other hardy plants are blooming and sprouting all over the place – I love the little buds and new growth.  It’s always amazing to me that such beautiful things can develop from my sad efforts at green-thumbery.

Everything needs re-potting and moving – you can see in some of the photos how the poor little buggers are reaching desperately for the sun and light – but, as I myself am moving very soon, they will have to wait a bit longer.  Hopefully everything will survive the move and the new surroundings.  I don’t know what kind of sun/light situation I will have at the new place, whether my garden will be in shadow or full sun for most of the day – this remains to be determined (ie I didn’t actually think about it at the time of purchase).

I’ve noticed a few early tulips coming up in my neighbour’s garden – every year they have a beautiful display of bulbs and annuals.  Maybe down the track I will try those too, when I am settled and feel I have properly put down roots of my own.  Not sure how long that will take and whether I will feel right at home straight away.  I really do hope so. I’m going to try.  I need a place to call my own and to be proud of and want to welcome people into.

I hope to grow some vegetables and herbs, as well as purely decorative plants.  It’s so nice to cook with produce you have grown yourself and makes everything taste that little bit better.  I have lots of plans – let’s see how many come to fruition!  You know I will document both my successes and failures 🙂

Enjoy today, wherever you are, and try and see some beauty in it, if you can x

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Going to Pot

I’ve been on a re-potting frenzy this week.  All my succulents need attention at the moment – they’re all a bit cramped and needing rehoming.  Some of them have so many pups they’re crowding themselves out.  I have loads more to do, but have started with the ones shown here.

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Crassula (Green Pagoda, I think!) – I am hoping those little pink tips bloom into something blossomy…but I’m not sure if this one does that.  I bought it at a recent Garden Show in my town and, despite me neglecting it, it has grown quite well and remained super bright green and healthy.

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Haworthia Retusa (I think).  This one is part of the whole plant I got at Amanda’s Garden earlier in the year.  It was in a sad little plastic pot and needed freshening up, dividing and rehoming.  It will out-grow this little pot fairly quickly, but for now it will be ok.  I put the other sections of it into this lovely vintage sugar bowl (below).  I think it suits the colours of the bowl and the squat shape/design (also, by this stage, I was running out of pots ha ha).  My Aunt gave me a whole box of little mugs and pots, bowls and other receptacle for succulents – this was one of them).

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Haworthia Attentuata – this is the sad little one I got from my Mum after she nearly killed it and then gave it to me for some TLC.  It’s doing a lot better although I needed to repot it again, so I have done so here.  Hopefully it will perk up again and not have those daggy dry bits on the ends!  I find the Attentuatas reproduce very quickly and prolifically, so I am  forever dividing them up and making new arrangements for them.  Below are some more specimens.  My “Piggy” pot was overflowing, and the plants were starting to look a bit unhappy, so I divided off the babies and re-potted all of them.  They are easy to grow and I love their stripey, spotty patterns.  Hopefully, the Mother plant will start to feel less cramped and will start looking less brown and grumpy.

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Euphorbia Milii Crown of Thorns.  This poor little thing has been waiting at least a year or so for re-potting.  I’m not a huge fan of this one.  I love the bright, red flowers but I’m not so keen on those nasty spikes.  Re-potting it was a delicate operation!  The leaves look healthy enough so I am hoping it will keep growing ok and be happy in its new home.

So, that’s a few down, several bazillion to go.  I am such a procrastinator.  But, now that the weather is cooling down somewhat, I should be able to get stuck into the other plants too and sort everyone out.  I keep talking to them, promising them new accommodation and neighbourhoods (ie moving them to a different part of the garden or spot in the sunshine).  My bathroom is overflowing with succulents now – they seem to love it in there so I keep adding more pots.  I really do love to garden, in my own slightly slap-dash way.  And, in the absence of any pets, these little life forms give me something to care for and interact with – even if it is a one-sided  conversation 🙂

Garden of Delights

Garden of Delights

I have nothing to say today.  My brain is all Christmas-ed out and I am incapable of speech much of the time, let alone actually writing coherently.  So here are some pretty photos of plants.  My succulents (every time I say “my succulents” it sounds like some sort of rude euphemism) are doing very well at the moment, if I do say so myself.  Well, to be honest, they are always doing well – that’s why I have them.  The death rate with succulents, even for a brown thumb like me, is relatively low and they never cease to amaze and delight me with their ever-changing colour and pretty blossoms (which always seems to spring out of nowhere and are just suddenly THERE).

I love the little “babies” that grow from the tiniest dropped leaf.  I can’t throw any part of them away – it makes me feel terrible.  So I have succulents propagating all over the place.  They make me happy.  In the absence of any pets (sigh…sad face), a few cheerful plants around the place gives me something to care for (badly) and talk to (crazily).  Plus it makes me look like I know what I am doing, in terms of gardening, when generally I am a forgetting-to-water things kind of girl.

Hope you are having a bright and happy day 🙂

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Blue Flax Lily

Blue Flax Lily

We are very lucky at my work to be surrounded by native bushland and I often go for a wander in my lunch break to spend some time amongst the trees and wildflowers, birds and lizards (and, most likely, a large population of snakes) that inhabit the blocks around us.  We are also fortunate to have a pretty courtyard garden that has been lovingly brought to life and tended by one of my colleagues.  It has succulents and natives, flowering annuals and larger species such as frangipanis and hippeastrums.

Earlier this year, we had our big international dementia conference, and part of our displays included a gorgeous native sensory garden, which I was lucky enough to work in (a nice way to spend a day at work is in a garden – even if it is inside a convention centre!).  It featured lots of beautiful natives that are particularly fragrant or textured – great for people with dementia to touch, smell and experience safely.

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One of the plants displayed was the Blue Flax Lily – a gorgeous grassy-looking native with AMAZING blue “berries”.  The fruit is a ridiculously bright purple-blue and stands out amongst the more muted, dull browns of the bushland.  We also have a potted example in our courtyard garden (a leftover from the Conference) and I have been out there this morning, taking photos of it, as you do.  I desperately want to try one of the berries – they are absolutely edible and a tasty “bush tucker” treat.  At the moment there are only two or three berries on there and I don’t want to pick them because a.)  that would be a bit mean and b.) knowing me, I won’t like the taste and then they’ll be wasted.

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But, if nothing else, they are so darn pretty to look at.  I look forward to them growing bigger and getting more fruit on them.  Then I won’t have to feel guilty about stealing the berries ha ha, but also because those little flashes of blue are a delight.  Nature is so amazing 🙂

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You can read more about the Blue Flax Lily HERE

Op Shopping Wins

Op Shopping Wins

I’ve been a bit naughty with my spending these last couple of weeks.  I hadn’t been shopping much for the last few months, mainly because I was trying to restore some of my savings after having to pay for my surgery. Besides that, I just wasn’t in the mood somehow.  I’d walk into a shop and lose interest in it by the time I’d made it past the first rack of stuff.  Even in op shops, which are normally a haven for me, I was disheartened and bored.

But that has all changed now, whether for the better or not.  My bank balance would probably say “not”.  I went op shopping a few times in the last ten days or so and picked up loads of things.  Like, LOADS.  A ridiculous amount of clothes (when I already have a wardrobe that is groaning under its own weight) and knick knacks.  Let me give you an example of one shopping trip – in one store alone, I bought 6 skirts, three tops, a dress, a pair of shoes and a jumper.  Like I said, ridiculous.

But I kinda let myself off because it is op shopping and so the prices are low and the money goes to charity.  So, really, I am being very selfless and thrifty!  Maybe?

So without further ado, here are a few of the items I bought this month:

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A fabulous turquoise ring.  It’s enormous.  Who would wear this as a ring???  I just wanted it for its beads…it was only $1.00.

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This good-quality, stoneware plant pot.  With a hole in the bottom.  I
hate it when pots have no drainage holes.  It’s so annoying.  It was $1.25, so even if it didn’t have a drainage hole, I would have bought it.  It’s nice and solid and I think the green will go well with something that has some bright flowers, or variegated leaves that add contrast.

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Stacks of magazines (teapot not included – I forgot to remove him before taking the photo) for 75c each.  I love magazines but they are so expensive now.  Why pay $10.00 for one when you can buy them for less than a dollar?

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This pretty grey and white floral top was only $4.50.  It’s a Portmans piece so would have been a lot more expensive than that originally.  Portmans is a shop I don’t even walk in to – I can’t afford their normal prices.  Because I am a tightwad basically.

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Black and white sheer and lace skirt.  This was $5.00 I think.  The sheer layer over the top covers the shorter one underneath.  I liked the lace details and the pattern.

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Another skirt.  Because I need them apparently.  This one is just a basic pencil skirt, but I really like the small-print floral and it is very comfortable to wear, especially on fat days ha ha.

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Um, another skirt.  I am still trying to figure out if it is brown or purple.  In the shop, I thought it was purple, then I got it home and decided it was actually brown.  Now I am just confused.  The lighting in my room is DREADFUL, so it could be bright green and I wouldn’t be able to tell.  It was also $5.00.  I liked the lace detail on the hem of this one also.  It came with this horrible brooch/chain thingy that was made from lace and ribbons.  Hideous.  That came off straightaway.

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Brown leather shoes.  I don’t normally buy or wear leather, but I will make an exception if the item is second hand.  I figure the damage has already been done to the poor animal.  Me buying these shoes isn’t going to make a lick of difference in the long run.  They’re a little big for me but comfortable and soft.  I might end up giving them to my Mum, if my leather-guilt gets too bad.  She has bigger feet than me so they will probably fit her better anyway.

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Got this cute little brooch for $1.00.  I looked the creator up online and the brooches normally retail for $30.00 each so I think I got a bargain.  I don’t even know if I will wear her, but she might go on a bag or something.  I might even re-gift her.  I’m not opposed to re-gifting things, within reason.  Don’t tell anyone…

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I actually got this book from a 2nd-hand bookstore in Margaret River.  I just liked the illustrations.  It was $7.00, which is more than I would normally pay for anything, but I got sucked in by the pretty pictures inside.

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These gorgeous yellow beads (from a huge necklace that was so heavy it could possibly give you scoliosis of the spine) were like a ray of sunshine to my yellow-bead-deprived heart.  I am always looking for this kind of yellow.  Not plastic or glass, I needed ceramic or clay ones.  And here they are!  And so many too!  They’re hand made and so each bead is a little different to the next, which I kinda like.  Although, if I am trying to make earrings from them, I will probably go insane trying to find a pair that matches.  These were $5.75.

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Finally (for this post anyway), this delightful little Stilton cheese pot.  Love the shape and colours and overall design.  I have no idea what I will keep in it.  It will probably just be a display item on my bookshelves.  It was only $3.00.  I can even see me planting a succulent in it, although that would render the lid a bit redundant.  I just liked it.  It’s cute 🙂  So there.

So, just a few of things I bought this month.  I am not quite sure where this spending frenzy is coming from but it is best not to fight it.  That could get messy and lead to whining and possibly the over-consumption of cookies/cake/insert bad food of choice here.  I think I am also sub-consciously putting off starting the process of buying a house.  I have given myself a year to make a decision about it and the months are already dwindling away and I am no closer to even STARTING to think about it.  Sigh.  It’s too grown-up a decision for me to make without hyperventilating and coming out in hives.  Op-shopping is safer and cheaper and downright nicer.

That’s my story and I am sticking to it,.

🙂