20 August 2021

Weekend Reading and Gardening

Hello!  How are you? 🙂

The weather started warming up this week so we enjoyed the warmth on the front verandah most mornings with tea and lemon slices.  We had a roof cleaner here during the week. It was an all day job for him as he pressured hosed the roof to remove mould that had started growing. I'm looking forward to the weekend, with another Zoom chat with Donna on Sunday, gardening and sewing the rest of the time. 

In the styrofoam box we have a selection of coloured chard.  The pelargonium cutting from the hairdresser is in the basket.

As promised, here are some gardening photos so you can see the progress in the back garden. It's wild and not the way it will end up but we're still weeding, pruning, moving, planting, sowing seeds and mulching. I'm hoping to have the majority of stage one finished by next weekend, then I'll go into maintenance mode. I still have trays of Cosmos Sensation Picotee, Cosmos Daydream, Candytuft and Cleome to plant out as well as a couple of roses I propagated over winter. I want the garden to be packed with plants so the weeds can't get a look in.

From my seated position yesterday. The plant in the pot is Osteospermum White Lightning and the very meagre harvest is the last of this year's oranges and a small handful of Tommy Toe tomatoes.

This is the second digiplexis I bought with orange flower spikes. I'm not really a friend of the colour but I think it will look okay if I plant it next to the Amistad salvia which is purple. The first digiplexis is a larger plant with a berry coloured flower. It's getting ready to flower now.

Another Osteospermum with lilac and white wallflowers behind them.  This garden has to be weeded on the weekend. 

Here is the digiplexis again with two pots of potatoes, baboon flowers, cleome and other assorted plants in the background.

Sadly, Lulubelle, the blue Australorp in my blog banner, died during the week, she was seven years old. All our girls are old now and won't be replaced when they die. Not all of them are laying but they still give enough eggs for our needs and we can occasionally give eggs to Sunny and Kerry. It will be a sad day when we no longer have chooks in the backyard.

I hope you're staying safe and have been vaccinated. We're 18 months into the Covid crisis now and things haven't improved, they're getting worse. I doubt any of us like what's happening with the isolation, lockdowns, stress and uncertainty but we have to live according to the guidelines that will continue to change.  At the moment, the virus is concentrated in the south/east of Australia - NSW, Victoria and ACT.  I'm sure most of the people in those areas are doing their best but the virus has such a hold and a small group of people continue to break the rules so I think it will be a while before the lockdowns finish.  If you're in NSW, Victoria or ACT, I'm sure I speak for many others by thanking you for what you're doing in staying at home and keeping us all safe. I know it's not easy.  

I hope you enjoy the reading links below. I think there are some very interesting articles this week. I send my warmest wishes to you and your family.

🍓 🍐 🍉 🍋




  1. Your garden is so beautiful! How I would like to walk there...
    We too have our girls, and for now, I couldn't live without her. The oldest is 8 years old and she hasn't laid eggs for a long time, but we keep it anyway ;-)
    Take care of you and Hanno.

    1. :ike you, Pat, we keep all our chickens until they die of old age.

  2. I love the thought that your hairdresser is good at hair cutting and pelargonium cuttings

  3. So sorry about LuLubelle. We have not lost any chooks in the year that we've had them, but it must feel like a great loss.

    The gardens look lovely! The variety of color is magnificent! There's always something to tidy up, isn't there? ;0D

    Thank you for the reading list. There is always so much usable information.

  4. Hi Rhonda. Thank you for the wonderful pictures of your garden. Dear Rhonda my view on weeding is anything below the shins is considered greenery and above requires immediate removal. The nut grass weed has me stumped though. Any hints in natural removal of this? I was looking at it as reeds for the visiting frogs but it raises its long vertical stems anywhere and everywhere.

    Freddy Fox took a wander in our front yard during the week which has reminded me to trim some under growth from some of our shrubs there. Don't want him to take up residence. He used to live across the road but new neighbours have cleared the garden and his home. Eternal batchelor is our Freddy. Been around for years.

    We have so much to worry about in Melbourne at the moment. We have a covid positive case in our suburb declared this morning and being a police man, there are a few contact sites and the police station closed for deep cleaning along with many officers in 14 day isolation. Like you have shared with us previously. I think it is time for me to shut our gate. The weather is mild and time to sort through my craft cupboards and begin a new project to enjoy whilst sitting outdoors. Sorry you lost a family member this week. They all etch into our hearts with a memory. Look forward to reading the interesting weekend reading links during my routine cuppas. May you and your family be safe during such turbulent times. Julie from Mooroolbark xx

    1. Hi Julie, we've been trying to get rid of nut grass for the past 10 years and haven't succeeded yet. Good luck. Let me know if you get rid of yours. I think making the most of lockdown by doing a few things around your home is a great idea. Enjoy your cuppa and stay safe.

  5. Hi Rhonda, I'm sorry to hear about Lulubelle - our feathered and furry friends don't live long enough. Many interesting articles to read - thank you! My niece has a new puppy and I especially want to read the article on dog walking. Stay well! Beth in MN

  6. Hi Rhonda. As always I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog about your life. You have taught me a lot as I watch your daily work. I'm not retired yet, but will be in 2 years. I have been very fortunate to have worked from home since March 2020. I do medical billing for a clinic that I have been with for 21 years. In Oregon we are seeing a huge surge in the Delta variant, mostly in the unvaccinated. Our vaccination rate is over 70% of all adults but the virus still is keeping our hospitals filled. Stay safe!!

    1. Thank you, Annette. It's great you can work from home because Delta is making the outside world a scary place right now. Stay safe, dear.

  7. ' another look at our friends in Azerbaijan', This one of my all time favourite You Tube channels. You may enjoy Simply Living Alaska on You Tube. I enjoy your blog and have your books. Regards 'Leigh SEQld.

  8. Hello Rhonda,
    So sorry to hear about your dear Lulubelle. We are trying to stay safe here in Wisconsin, USA related to COVID. My husband is on immune suppressant medications for his heart transplant, and is approved for a 3rd dose of Pfizer this week as studies have shown most immune compromised individuals did not have a hearty response to the initial 2 doses. Case counts are very high in many areas of our country, and tensions are running high regarding mask mandates and vaccination opinions. Keeping our heads low and finding respite in your blog posts and focusing on family, friends, and home. You have made my husband a regular Guardian reader with your reading list suggestions! Be well and best of everything to you and Hanno. Cindy

    1. Hi Cindy. I'm please to know your husband is allowed a third Pfizer jab. We're having problems here in Australia now with protests against mask wearing, vaccinations and isolation. I don't get it. Just like you and your husband, Hanno are I are keeping our heads low too. We're very lucky in my state as we have no Covid cases at the moment but we're all aware it could pop up at any time. I'm so pleased I directed your husband's gaze towards the Guardian. It's such an informative and interesting newspaper. Please give him my warm wishes, I hope his health continues to improve. Stay well and stay bunkered down together. xx

  9. Good morning Rhonda,Hanno and Gracie.We are well bunkered down here in Victoria. So sorry to hear you are one chook down. Loving your cheery garden photos and will read the links each day. We have had a few mild days so have been recoating the outside furniture and tidying up before our next cold blast. Stay safe, have a good week.

  10. Hi Rhonda,
    Your garden always looks amazing. I love all of the flowers that you mentioned. I just got my vaccine on Friday. We are having so many parents in their 40's dying and leaving behind orphans. It is dreadfully sad. It seems like it really spreads through families at home. The Zoom meetings with Grandma Donna sound fun. I chat with close friends on the phone, and it really helps. So sorry about your Austrolop. I just have one dog now. It's easier and less expensive.

  11. I had recently told my husband I wondered how folks in Australia were handling the restrictions. You answered that question for me ☹. I live in central Illinois in the US. Such division in our country over covid. I dont get it either. While the numbers are rising, we are not yet in lockdown. So we sit tight & focus on what needs to be done. You & Hanno stay healthy & safe!

  12. Hi Rhonda,
    Thank you for your lovely photos and interesting links.
    So sorry to hear you lost Lulubelle...she had lovely plummage.
    Your plants are looking lovely. I have planted a few Osteospermum this year and would like to fill in a gap with another, but can't click & collect those here atm. Oh well. Minor bickies in the scheme of everything happening.
    I did start a Gardening Journal in an A5 ring binder as a project...to keep track of what I have planted and when. It would have been helpful to have started last year☺
    The rhythms of the days as you have previously mentioned are most helpful to me in lockdown. I need to know I have purpose...and looking forward to better times.
    Have a really good week with Hanno and Gracie.

    1. Hi Karen, you can propagate your own Osteospermum. Just select a few branches with no flowers, make a cutting about 3 - 4 inches long and cut just below a node, strip off the lower leaves, then plant them, maybe three spaced out, on the outer edge of the pot. Get a knitting needle or chop stick and make a deep hole in the potting mix to slip the cuttings into. Water in with Seasol if you have it or water if you don't. Place in a protected place with good light, maybe a window sill, until you see signs of growth. Water every couple of days if it needs it.
      When it's big enough, plant in the garden. You can do that with a lot of plants you buy. Good luck!

  13. Thank you for that great advice Rhonda! I will try doing that 🙂

  14. We are certainly attempting to get vaccinated. Unfortunately its not available for many people under the age of 40 still. They opened it in the ACT to 30-40s last month, I booked straight in but was given an appointment 2months away. Would be nice if the media would stop telling us that we are harming people by not getting a shot that we aren't able to access :( My brother likewise is in NSW and they haven't been able to even book in yet.


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