Blooming where we are planted

Sunny, Kerry and Jamie flew back from Korea on Tuesday after Sun Ja's funeral. Thanks to everyone who send kind and loving messages to our family on her passing.

🐝🍓🐝

If you've been wondering what I've been doing during the silence here on the blog, here's a clue - it's the end of winter, todays temp is supposed to be 29C and my seasonal dormancy is coming to a close. I've been taking cuttings, sowing seeds and generally getting ready for spring. 

In the foreground above are some almost ready to plant fuchsias that were sent as cuttings by Kristiina a couple of months ago. I can also see a passionfruit vine slowly growing leaves, and many salvia cuttings. I love salvias.



I divided this bromeliad yesterday and discovered a tiny sedgefrog living in it. I checked this morning and she's still there. 😀
I bought a couple of new plants but most of my plantings will be cuttings taken from what we have growing in the garden or from seeds collected over the past few years.

This years garden will be different. We've cut back a lot on our vegetable garden in the past couple of years and now we're moving into the next stage. Another garden bed is being removed and we're moving towards flower beds.  We'll still grow tomatoes, capsicum, lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, cress, basil, parsley, chillies, oregano, Welsh onions, thyme, bay, mint and a few other things but they'll mostly be in containers; our traditional vegetable garden beds are almost gone.  We've grown out of our traditional gardening ways and need to modify what we're doing because of our age and a couple of health problems that make us both dizzy.

Curly cress and perennial spinach growing in water saving pots.

So this year looks like becoming another phase of growth for us because I've been thinking non-stop about what our new garden will be, working out what we want and need in the garden and hoping our choices will be enough for us - both horticulturally and philosophically.  Of course, we'll still grow our fruit trees, berries and vines (I'm drinking the last of the fresh orange juice as I write this)  as well as the planted listed above, and I hope that never stops.  To tell you the truth, it's not so much not growing food that is causing me to cling on to my garden, it's the gardening itself. If we can cut back on the heavy work, I hope this more cautious and gentle approach will keep us actively engaged in the backyard, and all that means.

Two new cuttings potted up this morning - one is a tall (2 metres) salvia, similar to the chia salvia, and the other is a soft but very tough winter-flowering pink shrub which I don't know the name of. We have both these growing in the front yard. They'll provide height in the middle of the beds. They should be ready to plant out in September just after we harvest the final potato and garlic crops.  ðŸ˜³

It's tough, there's no two ways about it, ageing is not for the faint-hearted and we just have to adjust and get on with it.  I hope all the planting - albeit slow and careful planting, will lead us into yet another phase of blooming where we are planted here in our home and backyard.


33 comments

  1. Winter coming to an end, I wish! We have nasty weather today and probably for the next couple of days. The temperature is forecast to reach around 7 to 8 degC. I look at your pics enviously and plan what we should be able to begin in a couple of months. At least we have had rain, not like other souls struggling to get a drop. As for aging, hubby and I are beginning to feel the cold more and more each year so we too need to either adapt or alter some parts of our daily routine. Beautiful colour on those photos by the way.

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    1. Sorry about your very cold weather, Brigie. We've got cold weather coming over the weekend but it's mainly cold overnight here. Stay warm.

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  2. Rhonda, it is so dry here that I am not going to grow too many veggies any more and will buy them at the farmers market. I will put some flowers in for the bees and concentrate on growing succulents which we did during the drought before the 2011 floods when we could only use tank water outside and hoses were packed away. As I said to our friend Jude yesterday, old age is not for the faint hearted and I see we agree about that :-) Give Gracie a hug for me.

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    1. Hi Chel. I think that's a good plan. Yes, you, me and Jude are a similar age so it's good we're growing old together. We had Gracie washed and clipped yesterday and she had so much fur! Now she looks skinny and miserable and I don't think she's talking to me. Take care. xx

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  3. Hi rhonda, after 10 years of saving we were finally able to buy our first home 3 months ago. Spring is coming ( the magnolias are starting to bloom) and all I can think about is where to start in the garden. What a rich and truly fortunate life I have. Love mandi

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  4. Rhonda, I've always thought that some plants are good for the body and some are good for the soul. Both are important.

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  5. We are in somewhat the same place and plan to remove two flower beds from the front yard that need too much maintenance. It would be much better to just have a mowed area than an eyesore that is not being well maintained. Most all of our gardening is in pots on our deck so that is right outside the backdoor. We are in the process of getting estimates to take out the tub in our bathroom and put in a shower that will be much easier to use as we age here. It is best to be realistic about where we are and deal with it instead of letting things get to be too much for us here. You are wise to be taking those steps to make your life easier.

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    1. Yes, we're on the same path using the same map, Lana. Good luck with your changes.

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  6. Melbourne has chilling winds at the moment. You can feel it in your bones. However, I’m taking this opportunity to do the ‘dirty’ work, and prepare my garden beds. It’s much easier to did out weeds and turn over soil in this weather. I aim to leisurely harvest, water and pull out the occasional weed during the warmer months.Ive sowed almost all my seeds, turning my bedroom into a greenhouse! These little things keep me hopeful about Spring. It’s important to make our gardens work for us so we can tend to it in our own ways, no matter what stage of life. Jade

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  7. Life is always that little bit easier when you are kind to yourself and adapt your life to suit. Those decisions aren't easy to make, or the changes easy to get used to when our minds don't always agree with our bodies. It would be easier if they aged at the same rate lol. Enjoy your gardening :) Kate (Tassie)

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  8. Yes for sure there are a lot of sometimes unpalatable decisions to be made about our capabilities as we age. As if aging itself isn't stressful enough already, we now have to address our own mortality and do away with the very things we enjoy the most and which would keep us most active.

    Mine is a (mostly) permaculture garden. I say 'mostly' because there are still large elements of the previous owners gardening ventures all around. Their bad design and choice of plants means many food plants struggle, but being mature plants and trees, I didn't want to remove or move them. Now they are just a pain!
    The whole house yard/driveway component of this 16ac property with orchard, ornamental shrubs and vegetable garden is about 1.5ac which at my advanced age and reduced ability is a lot to manage, not to mention lack of sufficient funds that being pension-bound causes. But I feel if I don't maintain it all, I'll loose the real estate value of having the mature productive garden.

    Parts I do have control over, I'm converting to food forest style growing in the permaculture style. It had been my intention to extend the food forest into the normal orchard area to do away with mowing, but infirmaty has grabbed me sooner than I would have liked, so that won't happen now. As another person said in these comments, better to mow than have an untidy garden area.
    Most of my veg are grown in containers up at waist height theses days which is very easy but less productive, which is an interesting conundrum. Also I think the containers use less water in the dry season which is always good. Much easier to stop watering one or two containers as the water supply dwindles than a whole bed of partly grown veg. Seems like a waste if I turn off a whole bed and get very little out of it after all the inputs it took to get it growing.

    But I do like to have flowers and flowering shrubs for me and the bees all year round. So I've put my vegetable growing containers on old garden chairs in amongst the flowers and shrubs which is attractive enough.

    I do enjoy looking out each morning onto my flower garden which produces flowers year-long. Their brightness brings me joy every day and keeps me active in both mind and body.

    Afterall, isn't that what gardening is supposed to be about?

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    1. Indeed it is, Clissa. I haven't sown your tomato seeds yet but there time is coming. Enjoy your gardening. xx

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  9. Your garden still looks so healthy and lush. I've cut way back on my gardening, too. My dad just passed away, and I didn't plant any vegetables, since I knew they would probably die when I went back home. My dad did all of the yard work until he was 84. Amazing! They just grew flowers, bushes, and trees, though. Oh, and they had a lawn. Now he's up in the big garden in the sky...

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    1. I'm so sorry to read your sad news about your dad, Stephenie. He was a very active man and I'm sure you'll have many happy memories of him. Take care, love. xx

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  10. Rhonda, I am a year and a day older than you. I am largely doing patio gardening. My husband is eight years older than me and does the in ground gardening. This year, he has decided to close out two more beds and keep the last one for zucchini because I have missed them this year. However, I think in another two years, we will downsize to an apartment or a very small condo. It will be a terrible wrench, but we do have less taxing activities such as genealogy, visiting our wonderful Art Institute, and the Chicago Botanic Garden. I come from a large family and four are now in care. I would like to make lap quilts for them. Also, I owe my youngest son a quilt. I have been collecting Australian Aboriginal fabric for a long time and will make a quilt for him. I think that it is good to have a plan for the future even if it doesn't all come to pass. I have an autoimmune disorder that may change my plan, but who can predict the future? At least, we have found a peaceful gentle world in the space of this blog. As the Kenyans say, "Blessings on your head"!


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    1. Bonnie, like you, I think the key to ageing well is to have something to do. We want to stay here in our home and getting rid of our heavy work makes that a likely outcome. I like the sound of your interests and I'm sure they'll see you through for many a long year. xx

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  11. You are always making sensible changes Rhonda, it is a big help for those of us just a little younger so we can also plan ahead realistically. We will have snow this weekend in my part of NSW if reports are accurate. 29C does sound lovely but I am looking forward to snuggling inside when it snows.

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    1. Hi Tracey, enjoy the snow and make sure you stay warm. It's colder here today and will get colder still on the weekend. A work out in the garden will keep us warm.

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  12. I love the way you adapt and just get on with things Rhonda. You are so inspirational and if I feel myself losing my way I just jump on your blog and I find my way again.

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    1. I'm glad we're heading in the same direction, Roz.

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  13. What you have written is so true. We must adapt as we age. But as your posts beautifully illustrate, we can still be creative. We can still do things, just maybe on a smaller scale.

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  14. I love it! You are so wise - doing what you can rather than nothing at all or going all out and exhausting your energy nearly before you begin. Balance is good.

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  15. Almost snowing down in southern Victoria.We bought our home a few years ago on a 300 sq my block so my vege garden is quite small but it is such a joy in my life! I also grow herbs and flowers in pots. It is good for mobility my brain( planning etc)and my soul🏠

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  16. Hello from Illinois! I follow your IG account & love all that you post.
    We're in the midst of a hot and unpleasant Summer. Too much rain (yet the lawn is brown and painful to walk on) and extreme heat. Our garden has done poorly and, at this point, we look forward to tilling it under for the year.
    I turn 50 soon and I told my husband I wanted both of your books as my gift. Order placed. :) I've always been a "nester' but in these particularly dicey times, I appreciate my home even more.

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    1. Hi Lori, yes, our homes protect and nurture us in more ways than we know. Let me know how you go with the books. I hope you enjoy them.

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    2. Books arrived yesterday. Hardcover and beautiful. :)

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  17. Hi Rhonda from west coast Vancouver Island BC Canada. I am the same age as you and have reduced my garden as well. My raised beds give me a lovely supply of veggies and I grow all flowers in containers now. I notice you don't grow root crops. You probably can get organically grown locally. I have lovely farmers markets where I purchase root crops and I grow salad greens, peas, beans ,chard, garlic and winter kale. I also have a few tomato plants. I want to keep enjoying the process without feeling overwhelmed. Yes- old age is not for sissies! I so enjoy your blog and IG!

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    1. Hi Birdie, thanks for the lovely feedback. I have a good friend who lives on Vancouver Island. We grow daikon, radishes, potatoes and turnips here because they all grow well in our climate in all but the hot months. Happy gardening.

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  18. Rhonda your garden plans sound good and it sounds like you will still be out there every day picking things for your cooking by what you have planned.

    I too love salavias, they would have to be one of my very favorite plant species, so many beautiful, hardy varieties to choose from.

    I'm badly missing my garden, but the yurt yard is finally finished and totally dog proof with the bottom of the wire embedded in cement to stop digging and now we will be working on the veggie patch yard! I simply cannot wait. I stumbled upon the most magnificent permaculture style community garden last week, and have got in contact to join in on their weekly working bees. I was so happy to be walking around the productive gardens and I really felt a deep sense of "home".

    xx

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    1. You and your family can be rightly proud of how well you've established your new home, Em. Getting onto the garden will be exciting and it's great you've discovered some fellow gardeners there. When you're ready, I'll send you some salvia cuttings.

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  19. Sorry for the dizziness! Yes, getting older is not easy; I am not there yet but I see it's impact on many I love. My Grandma (she will DV be 90 next summer) has done lots of adapting as she is getting older... she is one of my inspirations for how to live life, to keep living and doing what one loves but adapting to be able to do it still... God bless you both!

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  20. Rhonda last summer I used one vege garden for flowers. I used seeds and some seedlings and it was enjoyable having a messy bed of flowers to admire. I will be 70 at the end of this month and have been thinking about life changes during the year. Trouble is my mind thinks it is still young but the body can't always keep up! I can buy fresh vegetables from local farms however there is still my need to play in the dirt a little and have the satisfaction of picking some food from my garden for meals.
    Our oranges are coming to and end now. They have been beautiful this season despite the dry.
    Keep well. xx

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    1. Hi Jude! Good to see you again. I still think I'm young too, I don't think that ever goes. Have a great birthday celebration. xx

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