Weekend Reading

2 April 2021
A few years ago, the week we've just had here would seem like a very easy week. However, now things take more time so I feel it's been a busy week. Today we're looking after Jamie, always a pleasure, so we'll probably make ginger syrup, talk about his birthday and birthday party, the final week of school and what he's got planned for the holidays. Then when he goes home today, the gate will be shut and over the coming days, Hanno and I will mix gardening with relaxing.  Oh yes!

Close to the front door, this is one of our book cases which holds cook books, my books, magazines and a few odds and ends.

We started weeding and reorganising our cottage garden during the week. It's a real mess with invasive weeds taking over parts of it and plants that are dying back.  It needs a total overhaul as well as working out where the empty spaces will be and weeding, fertilising and covering those spaces with compost and mulch, ready for planting next month.  My sister, Tricia, is visiting soon and she's bringing cottage plants from her garden, such as penstemon and Japanese anemones, and I have a climbing rose coming from Treleor Roses in mid-June.  Rebuilding the garden will be a staged exercise but that is true of most simple productions - instant anything is rare. I'm really looking forward to the rebuilding process - out in the cool, fresh air every day, gardening, watching the birds, insects and reptiles, and trying to work out new ways of adding interest to the backyard while keeping opportunities for foraging and safety for the abundant wildlife that share this space with us.

I made coleslaw as one of our side dishes last week. This was the start of it - the cabbage is under the vegetables on top. 

Our capital city, Brisbane, which is an hour's drive from our home, went into lockdown during the week when community acquired Covid was found in a handful of people. In the last 24 hours there have 9 cases acquired overseas and one local. Most of our cases are Australian citizens returning from overseas but this goes to show that local spread is still a possibility and we must be careful.

Hanno on his trusty lawnmower.

I hope you're healthy and remain safe, wherever you are. I'm very worried about readers living in areas with high mortality rates. Please stay at home if you can and if you have to go out, wear a mask, take hand sanitiser with you and avoid standing too close to others.

Nodding violets growing on the front verandah.

Thank you for visiting me today. It's Good Friday here and we have holidays until everyone returns to work next Tuesday. I hope you enjoy Easter and spend it with the people you love. xx

🐰 🐣 🐰


  1. Lovely time of year Rhonda I am working on where to plant an avocado tree and looking forward to my green mandarins ripening. I have been adopted by a magpie family who regularly visit as a host I may need to supply morning tea. Currently researching and it looks like I maybe growing meal worms🤣. Happy Easter cheers🐰

    1. Happy Easter Bernie. Good luck with your avocado tree. We had a 30 year old avocado here when we moved in, and then the council put the infrastructure for the sewers in our back yard and killed the tree. We've planted 3 trees since then, all died. :- (

  2. Happy Easter, Rhonda!
    School holidays have just started here in Victoria and I have one veggie garden that was neglected over the term, I’ve started to give it some attention. Clearing weeds, adding compost and mulch to prepare for planting our next crop. I’ll be planting Brussel sprouts, broccoli, broadbeans, carrots, sugar snap peas and salad greens. I’ll leave some areas to rest completely over the cooler months. Just doing a little bit here and there actually gives me energy and the momentum needed to continue, rather than getting overwhelmed trying to go too much at once. Take care, Jade

    1. Happy Easter, Jade. That's a good selection of winter veggies and salad greens. Good luck with them.

  3. Happy Easter Rhonda and Hanno. May your break be blessed with gentle joys and much love.

  4. Happy Easter, thanks for all that you do 💗

  5. Sorry to hear about the necessity for lockdown in your area Rhonda. My impression is that the authorities in Australia and NZ take quick decisions and put them into action. I think our Swedish authorities have missed the boat on many occasions. Our figures are by far the worst in Scandinavia. Now our local hospital is having to transport intensive care Covid patients to other city hospitals.

    Although the temperature is still hovering around 0C, the sky is blue and it will get gradually warmer - up to around 8C. This is the best time for weeding the garden. You can clearly see the weeds and they are easy to pull up from the damp soil. Soon when the garden explodes, it´s a much harder job.

    In a little while I´ll start making a Pashka - a tradional Russian dessert. I introduced this into our Easter Sunday lunch a few years ago and now it´s part of our traditions. I had been thinking of Easters past in Sydney and our Russian neighbours and connected to that wonderful dish. Amazingly I found the son in that family on FB and have exchanged Pashka recipes. Sometimes FB works wonder.

    Enjoy your Easter weekend and keep safe.
    Ramona xx

  6. Happy Easter Rhonda and Hanno. The weather has cooled down here in Mackay which is wonderful but it's been quite wet over Easter so gardening projects are on hold for a while. Lovely to think we can stay out in the garden later each morning now though. Take care. I might not always comment but always enjoy reading about your day.

  7. The green scotty book ends are darling. I may need to find some for myself. We are in Canberra and I have just had my third covid test, thankfully all negative but will be thankful when i dont have to get them anymore every time i get sick.

  8. Gorgeous violets and coleslaw, Rhonda. That concerns me about the recent Covid cases in your vicinity. It is unbelievable how it can spread overnight. We watched Italy and New York, and then it slammed us here in California. I have been safe at home, and am very thankful. I grocery shop at 6:00 a.am. You have created a wonderful refuge for yourselves during this challenging time.

  9. Best wishes for Easter to you and your family. School holidays have already started down here, so hoping to have a sleepover or two. I've started organising my winter garden,which is like your cottage garden,where I pop a few veges in between the flowers. How lovely to have a visit from your sister, my oldest moved to Queensland to be with her children a few years ago, and of course I haven't seen her for over 18 months, thank goodness for FaceTime! I have Japanese anenomes in my front courtyard garden and they are very invasive, so each year whilst trying to remove them fro m every other plant out there I resolve to 'get rid' of them only to give them a reprieve every autumn because they are such a picture. Mine are all white. Stay safe,have a great week🙃

  10. Hi Rhonda,

    I just thought I'd add to that list of 5 things you should never let your dog eat.

    Several years ago my Dalmatian grabbed a packet of hyacinth bulbs I had left on the freezer. She ate some as did our little foxy cross. I googled it and discovered that these cause an horrific death for your dog it you do not get immediate medical help, which we did. Thankfully both our girls lived to tell the tale and we are even more vigilant with anything we are unsure of.

    I know many of us here are gardeners, and this was something I never would have thought about.




Thank you for your comment. They are an important part of my blog because they help build the community here. Please don't add links or email addresses to your comment. This is a family-friendly blog and I don't have the time to check all the links before I publish them.

These comments are moderated so yours won't appear until after I've read it.