29 September 2008

Please fence me in

We had quite a full weekend with Hanno finishing the new chook fence and me flitting between writing and household chores. Of course there were lots of breaks and tea on the verandah so it was a productive and relaxing time for us. I watched the neighbours go in and out all weekend, mostly for short trips and I wondered if they were picking up forgotten groceries or DVDs to watch. I was just happy to sit and watch their comings and goings while I knitted and thought about what to write.

It's a lovely time of year now, the spring flowers are blooming, birds are visiting from far off places and it's bare arms weather - ideal for sitting with a lemon cordial and letting the world pass by. I am happy here, I feel as much a part of this place as all the trees deeply rooted in dry soil. We all get our nourishment from being here and I can't imagine being anywhere else.

Hanno did a great job on the fence using mostly recycled materials. We did have to buy the fence posts though. Almost all of yesterday was taken up with him making a patchwork of wire for the bottom of the fence. The top of it is all one roll of wire but the bottom is many different pieces. Even though it took a longer time to complete, he's happy to have used the scrap wire that was already here.

The fence is too high for any of them to fly over now so hopefully they'll be safe and secure. The wire all along the bottom is a small gauge so when we raise chicks, they won't be able to sneak through the fence without the mother hen.

And here in the late afternoon, is the finished fence. You can see Hanno in the distance just putting the finishing touches to it. Seth and his ladies have been inspecting the new work and I think they all approve.

Further over, on the other side of the yard, the bananas have put on their first flower of the season. I hope to see many more of those as the weeks go by but, for now, I'm happy that there is one bunch of bananas forming.

And here inside the shed is our haystack. This should be enough to do us all through summer for the hens' nests, the worm farm and the garden. I always feel good about having a haystack. For some reason, I feel I've got it together if we have enough hay for the full season.

BUMS UP! I took this photo while I was standing talking to Hanno. All I could see were chook bottoms and tail feathers pointing upward. They must have found some choice food over there because none of them moved away for quite some time.

Does anyone know what plant this is. These blue flowers have just come up in our grass. You can see a round leaf of the plant at the bottom of the photo in between the two blades of grass. The leaves look a little like violet leaves, but they're runners, not single leaves. I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have.

It will be another busy week here and I'm ready for it. I still have another week to go on my break from work and I have a fully planned week. There will be a lot of writing, a phone call with my agent halfway through the week, more knitting, some sewing and another step towards my embrace of ironing. Many of you would know I hate ironing but I've made a new ironing space for myself and it's made all the difference. I'm not saying yet that I enjoy ironing, but I've got myself to the stage where I don't mind it. But more on that another day, now I'm off to feed the chooks and dogs and to get on with my day. How was your weekend?

BTW, I spent some time on the weekend browsing though some blogs and found this little link to the Rose Garden on Jenny Wren's blog. It's an utterly charming and delightful blog and I couldn't leave after reading the first page. I had to go back through the archives. It's a real gem.



  1. Your weekend sounded perfect Rhonda. I love reading and re reading your blog and will today be setting a ginger beer plant ready for those hot afternoons under our new pergola after a hard days work.
    Love to you both
    The other Rhonda

  2. If it was the UK I'd say the flowers were violets - sorry I can't be more help as I really don't know what flowers you have in Australia.

    I think the new fence looks grand too, is the lower mesh small enough to deter snakes too?

  3. Is it lobelia alata?

    You might check out a further description here:


  4. So glad you had a lovely weekend mine was taken up with looking afternoon DH who has just come out of hospital after having his gall bladder removed. Sorry dont know what the flower is.

  5. Hello ladies!. Hi Rhonda!

    dnd, no, snakes will get through the tiniest hole.

    Simple quilter, yes that is it! Lobelia - lovely, I don't have to pull them out. Thank you. :- )

    Hi Kate, my best wishes to your husband for a quick recovery.

  6. I think the little blue flower may be an iphion(not sure if thats the right spelling). I have loads of them in my garden. They are a bulb and multiply very easily.
    Hope that helps.

  7. I could be wrong but it looks like Vinca to me.
    I love the chook bum picture. Too funny

  8. Good morning Rhonda,

    This morning the Sydney Morning Herald republished an obituary from the Washington Post on Paul Newman. The close of the article reminded me of you.

    "We are such spendthrifts with our lives," Newman once said. "The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster.

    "I'm not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out."

  9. Your unidentified photo looks like blue-eyed grass that we have in our yard. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-eyed_grass

  10. Hi Rhonda Jean,
    THanks for visiting and your kind words!
    Isn't it great to get another project behind you? I Love it when that happens.:o)
    HAve a great wk.
    Blessins', Lib

  11. As always Rhonda, I look forward to each day I can pop in and read your blog. It keeps me positive (in the midst of all of the financial chaos here in the U.S.) and focused on our goals. Thank you for sharing your day. I thought maybe your flower was Scilla (which grows in the woodland here)~ long narrow single leaves and is used for naturalizing areas.

  12. I can't believe you don't like ironing it's my favorite thing in the whole world to do. So relaxing and fulfilling, wouldn't life be boring if we all liked the same stuff. Thanks for all your tid bits of knowledge.

  13. Good morning Rhonda :)

    Thankyou for sharing that found link, I have enjoyed a morning sharing her little darling girl.

    Our local Sunday paper yesterday had an interesting article on the myths of happiness. No 1 Myth - that happiness depends on money or things. I'm so glad that this message is being spread :) I'm off to enjoy some simple happinesses in the garden today :)

    We are off to the garden to plant our first vegetables in this house... It's a lovely day to be outside. And my compost piles need turning and watering too, youngest son has volunteered to help with that!

    Have a wonderful day to everyone who visits here.

  14. You could put the picture of the flowers on Flickr. If you put it in the "What plant is that?" or the "Unidentified plants" pool you usually get an answer.

  15. If ever your wonderful busy home is open for homestay. I would like to be the 1st.

  16. What a wonderful, frugal and green idea to use recycled materials for the fence. And it looks wonderful!!

    Blessings, from this side of the world :),


  17. Excellent recycled fencing! I used to loathe ironing with a passion, but now I am happy to do it - though I normally listen to the Archers omnibus (Radio 4) on a Sunday morning whilst I do it, or else watch a good "old" film - black and white preferably.

    Can't help you with the flower, as I only do British ones!

  18. I've recently discovered your blog & have been so inspired by it ... amazing to think that half way across the world, your words prompted a whole morning's conversation between Hubby & I about living a simpler life and, for me especially, not feeling undervalued because I'm a 'stay-at-home' Mum with cats & chickens!!! Thanks so much!!
    Lindsay x

  19. Could be spring stars (aka the iphion someone else mentioned).
    The colour looks right, but it's hard to tell from that picture if the size is right.

    Fence looks good.

  20. Yes ironing would have to be the most disliked job in the household. But try doing it on your veranda...Its a much more pleasant experience

    P.S another bubbie on the way and very very happy and excited

  21. Hi Rhonda,
    My vote for the flower is Lobelia.
    I think they're beautiful!
    Unfortunately, their flowers die off rather quickly.

    Question on your haystack....do you use that for mulch? I keep hay around for animal bedding, it's straw, and have been wondering about using it for mulch. But someone said it would probably seed too much in my garden beds...so I was wondering what you used for mulch.

    Your yard looks so lovely, and Hanno does such wonderful work around the place. He is such a blessing and it seems you 2 work together so beautifully.

    And as always, thanks for sharing your contentment, Rhonda. It rubs off ya know!

    Donna in New Mexico

  22. Oh wow, you weren't kidding about the Rose Garden blog...can't wait to explore it when I'm not at work >:)

  23. Hi Rhonda Jean :) Just back from our trip to the beach and catching up with you here a little. It's been a joy to read and read and read! I hope that you have a lovely, productive week. Love, Q

    PS - that picture of Hanno with the dogs (a couple of posts down) is precious!

  24. I thought it might be a dichondra, but they have insignificant flowers, so it is probably a kind of violet (Viola spp -- a very large family!). Definitely not an ipheion, as that is a bulb plant with strappy leaves.


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