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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,.

🙂

This Week

This Week

It’s been a busy week, starting with last Friday night, when I stayed at my Aunt’s house.  My Uncle is very ill in hospital and my family and I are taking it in turns to stay with my Aunt, just so she isn’t alone at night.  She’s perfectly able to take care of herself, but she is worried and stressed and sad – much better if she has company.  It was actually really nice staying with her.  We got to chat and catch up, which is something we hardly ever get to do.  She’s awesome 🙂  As children, we always loved her because she was the one adult who would always listen to us and not think we were silly or whatever.

So I got to hang out with her and her pony (Fibber), her cat (Socks) and collie dog (Heidi).  They’re all lovely and such good companions for her and my Uncle.  Socks was a bit of a wildcat in her younger days, but has mellowed a lot in recent times.

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Heidi is a pretty, gentle girl who just wants to be with you all the time.

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On Saturday I went shopping with my Mum.  We had lunch out and bought some presents for my brother (it’s his birthday this weekend).  We also went op-shopping and I got some nice skirts and tops (which I drew into my art journal).

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On Sunday, I had a lazy day at home, pottering around, doing lots of laundry (as it was sunny and warm outside) and trying to tidy up my wreck of a house.  I finished off some jewellery a friend had ordered – mostly repairs and revamps of stuff I had already made for her (that she will insist on wearing in the ocean and swimming pools so they fall to pieces).

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I must admit I spent some time on the couch, dozing a bit, too.  Sundays were kinda meant for that, right?

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I did go for several walks this week, so at least I can feel less guilty about my exercise routine.  On Thursday, I went to my cousin’s for dinner.  She, my two nieces, and I, went for a nice evening walk and then did a 7-minute home workout (she has an app on her phone that yells at you in a drill sargeant voice).  I am so unfit, but at least I didn’t die or pass out.  My legs and arms hurt though haha.  I had a horrible migraine yesterday and I think it may have been from the tightness in my neck and shoulders (from attempting pushups).  See?  More proof that being healthy is dangerous to your health! 🙂

I got to cuddle my nieces’ guinea pigs, Charlotte and Ella.  They are adorable, and relatives of my own beloved Roderick.  They are very well behaved little piggies – quite happy to sit on a towel on the floor, munching on a food treat while the girls pat them or give them kisses.

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Yesterday, in the afternoon, I went for a walk, to try and clear my head and get rid of the migraine that was threatening to split my skull open.  My library assistant had recently discovered a path through the nearby bushland, so I decided to check it out and go for a stroll.  In hindsight, probably not the best idea, going into the bush on your own – next time I will try and go with a work-mate.  The day was beautiful – cool but sunny and bright and it was so peaceful and calm in amongst the true and other plants.  I thought I might see a snake (as we had one outside work this week) but I didn’t, just heard some rustling, which could have been anything from a lizard to a mouse.  Not a lot of wildflowers in there but a few pretty ones were spotted.  The bright colours stood out against the brown barks and dried leaves, grasses and shrubs.

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The only wildlife I saw was a cheeky Willy wagtail, bobbing about on the path in front of me.

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It was a nice way to spend half and hour.  Didn’t get rid of my headache, but still nice anyway.  The path went for miles and miles so I couldn’t explore it all, but will go back another time.

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When I got back to work, I decided to head home early (with some pushing from my assistant) as my head really was splitting and I just needed to lie down in a dark room somewhere.  As I was leaving, I saw these two pink and grey galahs in the trees outside our car park.  They let me get quite close, to take photos, before flying off into the trees further into the bush.  We are so lucky to be surrounded by so much natural bushland and to experience a few visits from native fauna.

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I went home, took my migraine pills and then slept for 18 hours.  Isn’t that terrible?  I slept and slept and didn’t wake up until mid morning.  Still a bit “foggy” in the head, but better than yesterday.  Hope it will be gone by tomorrow so I can get on with some things.  My Mum and I are staying with my Aunt again tonight and tomorrow we will visit my brother.  Then the whole weekend will be gone and it will be back to work (boo hoo).  I’m seeing a rheumatologist this week for my stupid painful finger and hand.  I hope it is nothing nasty…

Hope you’ve had a happy, healthy week 🙂

Little Box of Echeveria (and sneaky snacks)

Little Box of Echeveria (and sneaky snacks)

I have gone from hardly posting at all to posting A LOT this week.  It won’t last, I’m sure.  Get it while it’s hot!

Potted up this little ceramic box with a bunch of Echeveria pups I had propagated.  One of my colleagues at work is turning the big 7-0 this week and I wanted to get her a little something for her office.  I had planned on buying an orchid, but the shops only seemed to have enormous ones that were out of my price range, so I decided to pot up a few succulents for her in a nice pot.  Found these weeny square ceramic pots at Bunnings for less than $4.  I was going to put in a few different varieties of succulent, but then I decided to just use the echeverias, although there are several different colours.  They will eventually grow to big for the pot but for a little while they will be happy enough.  It annoys me when plant pots are made with no hole in them for drainage.  I realise the do this so that water doesn’t leak out all over your precious heirloom tablecloth or whatever, but still… I just put a load of gravel or other free-draining material in the bottom to prevent any root-rot.

It’s cute – I hope she likes it.  Everything makes her sneeze and cough, so I had to get something that wouldn’t flower heaps or have lots of pollen.  I figure I am pretty safe with these little guys.

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I’m also making some chocolate oat cookies (these) to take to work for everyone to share.  I hate to admit it, but I ate half of the batter before it even made it to the oven.  Because I am an idiot.  Who shouldn’t eat chocolate. Le Sigh.  Sometimes, my brain switches off.  Actually, more truthfully, most days it doesn’t switch on in the first place.  I have been trying to be good lately and not eat bad stuff but it is a losing battle.  I didn’t go for a walk today so can’t even say “at least I exercised”. I wanted to have lost a couple of kilos by the time my annual renal appointment came up at the end of the month, but it looks like I will have to wear the same sheepish, guilty expression I always have when I see my specialist.

Well, I am heading into boring “I am fat” territory and don’t want to subject you to that yawn-fest, so I shall go.

Hope your day has been happy and guilt-free.  Or FULL of guilty pleasures.  Yeah, that sounds much more fun!

🙂

Kings Park 2

Kings Park 2

More pics from our visit to Kings Park.  All the yellows and golds  this time.

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I think this is a Vertichordia.  But don’t quote me on that. 

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Banksia.  Fairly sure it is an Ashby’s Banksia…

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A Eucalypt.  Of some kind.  I don’t know *looks sheepish*

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A Yellow Powder Puff Plant.  Ok, I am making that up. 

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Hoorah!  A Wattle.  I know this one *pats herself on the back*  I believe it is a Hedge Wattle. 

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Another Banskia.  A prostrate form.  Not “prostate” like my Mum would say.  It doesn’t have to have uncomfortable proctological examinations at the doctor.

So, there you are.  Just a few of the lovely native plants on display at Kings Park Botanic Gardens.  Beautiful at any time of year but even more stunning in Spring.  Nature is a clever clogs 🙂