It's all gardening and sewing today

11 August 2007

I thought I knew what was going on in my backyard but I didn't. I didn't really discover the microcosm out there until I stopped rushing through my day and learnt to look with kinder eyes. It's one of the things you'll be rewarded with when you simplify - you'll discover a greater depth in your immediate surroundings.

Oh I knew we had birds visiting, but I wasn't aware of the vast numbers that stop at the pond to rest and drink on their migrations from Papua New Guinea, Asia and Europe - they range from tiny finches to hefty magpie geese. I knew there were snakes but was rewarded one day with the sight of a 12 foot python with the girth of a dog sliding across the grass. Frogs are there too - tiny sedge frogs the size of my little finger nail as well as big rubbery green tree frogs that aways look like they're smiling. There are also echidnas, waters dragons, goannas and the strangest of insects, including an 18 inch long stick insect that looks a bit like a lobster and lives in the tops of local trees. We saw him when he was ill and fell from the tree tops. My kids were teenagers then and called him "the freak". But we cared for the freak until he died, I hope, a comfortable death in a box away from his natural predators.

We'd been living here a few years before we discovered all this wildlife in the backyard. It was waiting for us to slow down, to be content enough to stay home, to sit in the back yard with reading or knitting, or just to look, and then the parade started and hasn't stopped since.

Today I'll be picking some green beans and will be blanching them to freeze along with the carrots and turnips picked yesterday. We are growing a lot of snow peas at the moment but between H and I and Alice, who eat them while we're in the garden, I doubt any of them will see the inside of the house. When we come back from holidays, I'll be picking all the cabbages to make a big crock of sauerkraut. I haven't done it before but I've talked to a German chef who told me a couple of tricks so I think it will be fairly straight forward. While I'm out in the garden this morning, I'll plant up some capsicum (peppers) seedlings and a few zucchini seeds in the aquaponics garden, and there is some borage and lemon balm to plant in the vegie garden. It's been a very cold winter this year and although the vegetable garden coped well, it hasn't produced as much as our previous winter crops. I'm desperate to get some more brandywine tomatoes - they're the best I've ever eaten. I've got a few seedlings still too small to plant in the gravel but I hope to get them in as soon as we return from our trip.

This afternoon will be spent sewing. I want to make a few things to take to Kathleen when we are privileged to be the first guests in her new house. Milestones need to be celebrated and marked with gifts and celebratory meals - it's how we remember those important times and acknowledge the importance of those friends we share them with. Kathleen doesn't sew so I'm making a few things that will make her new home look like her. I have known Kathleen for about 20 years and I feel honoured to be the one who makes these little bits and pieces for her. These simple hand made gifts will express our love and respect for her and when we leave they will be reminders of H and I, and this important milestone.

I thank you all for stopping by today and hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


  1. How lucky is Kathleen to have a thoughtful friend like you. I am so inspired by your garden to want my own vegetable this year!

  2. all of your backyard visitors sound like real treat to observe..and yes..when we do take the time to slow down in life ..there is just so much to discover.

  3. Dear Rhonda Jean; You are so right - new houses, birthdays and such should be celebrated. Enjoy your weekend. I'll be sewing also :) Maria S.

  4. Just another day in paradise Rhonda.

    cheers lenny

  5. HI Rhonda
    I clicked on the comments link all ready to write "just another day in paradise" and laughed to see that lenny had exactly the same response - so it mUST be true!



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