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Spring Finally Arrives…

This has been a weird Spring.  Many people have reported on the Spring Deficit experienced this year.  Everything from people feeling more moody due to the extended SAD we’ve been subjected to throughout September and October (where is the sun?!) to business experiencing a down-turn in revenue (you try selling ice creams in the middle of a freezing cold, wet and blustery day that goes on for weeks!).  Neighbourhood plants have been very confused too – never knowing from one day to the next as to what season it is.  My garden (such as it is at the new house) is a bit hit and miss, with things that should be flowering NOT flowering, and things that should have stopped flowering STARTING to flower.

But, as of this last week, Spring appears to making some effort to show up.  We’ve had some lovely sunny days and temperatures have started rising.  My garden is responding to the warmer conditions and beginning to look a bit more colourful and I, in turn, have been whinging less and dressing more like someone who lives in Australia, rather than a native of Antarctica.   My beautiful pelargonium is finally in flower – isn’t she a stunner?  I’ve had this plant for years and have had many cuttings from her, all of which have flowered prolifically.  She’s actually a little more purple than the picture shows, and I think she is a Spanish Angel, but don’t quote me on that – the label disintegrated a long time ago!

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been busily re-potting a lot of my poor plants that have been very neglected during my move (and the months preceding it, if I’m honest).  Even my cacti were feeling a bit sad and unloved.  I re-potted them and in a matter of days they started to look happier and less, well, dead.  My little bunny cactus is much more sprightly looking now (if a plant can be sprightly!).  He is an off-shoot of my original cactus from a few years back, and is only a couple of inches high.  Adorable.

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My much-loved aloe is doing really well (he never lets me down even when I treat him badly and forget he exists) and is even sprouting a flower spike, which I take to mean he is happy.  I have given him a bigger pot and he is going great guns.  If he could smile, he’d be giving me a big, toothy, cheeky grin.  Possibly a wink and a “How YOU doin;?”
He’s just that sort of guy 🙂

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I even have a couple of sad little lemons starting to develop on my potted lemon tree.  It desperately needs feeding but I keep forgetting…

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My white geranium is blossoming too.  Love a nice pristine, white flower.  I also bought this one at the same time as my original bunny cactus, and it has been a regular healthy bloomer ever since.  I love geraniums – they are essential in a low maintenance garden.  So pretty and prolific and easy to take cuttings from.  They don’t die very easily, which is a bonus when you’re a black thumb kind of gardener like me.

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The aeonium cuttings I pinched from my rental unit are doing nicely too.  They are all in flower and just so pretty.  I’m glad I managed to salvage a few pieces when I moved out – they are such great plants and so easy to look after and keep alive!  Plus they grow so quickly and are very water-wise.

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Also in my garden area, but not something I have potted or grown myself…this little guy.  I believe he is an Australian Jumping Peacock Spider .  Isn’t he cute?  I didn’t get the best photo because he was so teeny-tiny and my camera is pretty rubbish.  Also, because he wouldn’t keep still and kept leaping about (as jumping spiders do).  He is about 5mm long and has a bright red and blue pattern on his butt.  The blue is hard to see in this picture, but it is very striking.  I love jumping spiders – they’re awesome.  I’ve never seen one like this before – or maybe I just haven’t paid attention (more likely).  I hope he is good at eating mosquitoes…

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So, Spring has sprung and is working its magic, not only on the garden but on me as well.  I  just function so much better in the warm weather and get a lot more done.  I think my house is going to be pretty hot in Summer, so I may be regretting those words soon.  Until then, I am happy to see the sun shining every day and feeling its heat in these old bones.

Hope your day (or at least your heart) is full of sunshine today 🙂

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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 🙂

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Cactus Girl

Hello everyone.  I’ve been doodling and card-making over the weekend, despite not feeling the best and having squinty eyes.  I actually had my eyes tested last week – the optometrist said my eyes were healthy but that I would probably need glasses in the next 12 months.  He said if I was coping ok and not getting headaches that I could probably manage without.  I’m very long-sighted but my general vision is ok.  I am finding it hard to do very close work now though so I think I will have to bite the bullet and get me some specs.  At least for my crafting as I will insist on doing teeny, tiny, detailed stuff.

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I had a weird episode this week where I suddenly got flashing lights in my eyes and blurred vision.  It was horrible – I thought I was having a stroke or going blind or something (you know me – always has to be worst case scenario).  Looks like it was probably just a silent migraine.  I do get normal migraines from time to time – this was just one of the painless silent ones.  That make your eyes go weird and your head foggy.  Freaked me out.  But the doctor assures me my eyes are healthy so…

But I will get glasses in the next week or so.  I am getting far too squinty and that can’t be good.  I’m not opposed to glasses and it will complete my librarian look I suppose.  I keep getting that quote from Grease in my head though :

Marty : Do you think these glasses make me look smarter?
Rizzo : Nah, you can still see your face.

Anyway, moving on.  I managed to squint my way through several cards which I will complete over the next couple of days.  First up, this little Cactus Girl.  Well, she’s supposed to look like a cactus but just kinda looks like a hairy green person.  Never mind.  Hopefully people will know she’s supposed to look prickly, as in cactus spikes, as opposed to prickly, as in my legs when I haven’t shaved for a few days 🙂

Hope your day is smooth and is free from prickles of any kind! x

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