Weekend reading, change of seasons, garden

22 October 2021

ADDED LATER:  I'm having computer problems, I'll be back later this week or early next week.  

Melbourne comes out of lockdown today - the most locked down city in the world. I'm celebrating with you Melbourne! Stay safe everyone and have some fun, you deserve it.

With the weather moving from cool to warm during the week, I cleaned the back verandah and moved our table and chairs towards the house where it's shady 24/7. We have shade blinds that protect the verandah from the sun during the afternoon so when I moved some plants onto the verandah I pulled down one of the blinds to provide shade and a bit of protection. I love the feeling I get when I clean up a big area like that when the seasons change. I feel I'm doing the right thing and it opens new opportunities for me. When things are a mess, I don't want to do anything because I have to rearrange everything before I even start.

It's gardenia time!  Here are a couple of sprays of them with the Queen Anne's lace.

The Taproot magazine edition I'm in was published this week and that resulted in a lot of new people visiting my Instagram page and here at the blog. Hello everyone and welcome. I hope you all find inspiration here or on Heather's beautiful blog - Northridge Farm, or Alyson's at Alyson Morgan or Farai's at Farai Harreld. We all have ideas and information that will help you transition to a more sustainable and simple life.

This weeks baking was a date cake from the Grandma's Cookbook website. It's an easy to make cake, undecorated in any way and so delicious with a cup of tea.  Jens and Cathy called in during the week (they moved up the Hervey Bay two weeks ago) and I was delighted to be able to offer them some fresh date cake with their tea before they headed home, another 2.5 hours away.  Other food I served this week included mushroom omelettes, pork fillet with potatoes and red cabbage, Atlantic salmon with salad and kartoffel puffers. 

And of course you know I've been out in the garden doing this and that. Everything's growing well and it's providing a safe habitat for the wildlife that wander or fly through.

This is a tropical vine growing over the garden arbour.

These St Anne's Lace have grown to over 9 feet tall! I love picking the flowers for the house.

Over near the neighbour's fence is this scene - comfrey, foxgloves, a bee a hotel, mauve trumpet creeper and a huge pink salvia.

And this is looking in the opposite direction.

 🐌  👩‍🌾  🦆

Weekend Reading

  • Something good every day and Hungry Hungry Pippo are two newsletters my friend Pip Lincoln is writing. If you know Pip's books you'll know what a fabulous writer she is. Check out her newsletters - the first is free, the second with a small fee. Both are interesting and entertaining!

ADDED LATER:  I'm having computer problems, I'll be back later this week or early next week.  


  1. I put jeans in the freezer for half an hour and then find them so much easier to iron. I think we started doing it in the 70's. I love date cake and haven't baked one in years. Funny how some favourites have fallen off my regular baking. Do you remember baking date roll in empty used cans?
    You garden is so pretty, it must be so relaxing sitting under the patio looking over flowers. Cheers

  2. Your home and garden is a lovely oasis and I am refreshed after visiting. I am inspired to do a date dish; probably date squares which my husband loves. Your verandah is so spacious and offers shelter and dining, visiting and possibly sleeping opportunities.Have you ever slept outdoors?

  3. That date cake looks absolutely scrummy! I would love it if you posted the recipe Rhonda. I looked it up by Grandma's Cookbook, but got too many sites to know the source. The flower arrangement of gardenia and Queen Anne's Lace look wonderful on the table. It is a real cottage look that I love. So happy for you that Melbourne is coming out of lockdown. It is time to start living again! Today, I am going to rearrange some things around the house for the winter season coming; not sure how far I will get, but that is the goal.

  4. I haven't heard of Alyson Morgan before and just checked out her blog and IG and it's beautiful. I have followed Heather from North Ridge Farm for many years. Have a good weekend. Kathy A, Brisbane

  5. Hi Rhonda

    Beautiful photos, thank you. The Queen Anne's Lace is lovely.
    I watched the 12 gifts. Such even stitching! And very peaceful.

    Yes we came out of lockdown yesterday and will have our family over on the weekend and celebrate missed birthdays. So looking forward to it! The lockdowns have not been easy. Some will rush out...but some will also venture out slowly.

    Yesterday was about 27C and today is 13C. That's Melbourne! Thinking about putting on the woodfire today. But flowers and trees are blooming and everywhere so green. In my garden roses and pelargoniums starting to flower and giving me delight.

    Hope you are escaping the storms I see happening up there. Have a good weekend ☺

  6. Julie from MooroolbarkOctober 23, 2021 9:32 pm

    Hi Rhonda. Just letting you know my medical doctor who I visited for an appointment last week has tested covid positive. I am now a tier 1 person and am isolating for a minimum of 14 days. I will be tested tomorrow and then Day 9 and then Day 13. I am very much hoping I will be negative throughout as my doctors visit was to get the 2nd vaccine so my 2nd vaccine has not had 14 days to develop and as I shared with you I have had extensive cancer treatment but remain in remission so keep everything crossed for me and I will be back in touch when all of this for me is concluded. Take care Julie xx

    1. I'm sorry to hear that, Julie. I hope your results are negative. I'm having internet problems so I'll check in here when I come online again to see how you go. Take care. xx

  7. Your lanai and yard are so inviting!

    We are enjoying cooler weather here in North Carolina. Autumn is my favorite season, and so far, it's been glorious!

    Enjoy your warm up and we send blessings across the miles...

  8. It's always such a lovely way to start the weekend with a tour of your garden and some inspired reading. Thank you ever so much. It's a hot day here in SE today so I got out early to water the vegetables, turn the compost and harvest our first zucchini, beans and cucumber of the season. I probably could have left the cucumbers to mature a little longer, but our Miss 3 eats them like apples so I couldn't resist. Have a lovely restful weekend and stay cool!

  9. I feel the same way Rhonda - if i am surrounded by clutter I can barely think! Your verandah is lovely and deep - do you host Christmas dinners out there? The Victorians must be feeling elated right now - I really hope they are not plunged back into another lockdown. Life can not continue that way. But I read Julie's comment and obviously the risks are still there. I truly hope Julie gets the all clear. Have a lovely Sunday in your tranquil garden Rhonda.

  10. By the way, congratulations on your appearance in Taproot magazine. I have been a subscriber since the beginning and it is a wonderful magazine - no ads, lots of projects and thoughtful articles. It just takes so long for each issue to travel the seas - the next issue is well on it's way before the last arrives in my post box! I will look forward to reading the article!

  11. Rhonda, I've been doing exactly the same, but for the opposite season. I've just finished moving all of the patio furniture onto the covered part of the patio, up close to the house for protection from the winter weather. All of the containers have been emptied and moved to the shed, along with all of the garden decor and any tools that were left out. I admit to being a lousy housekeeper, but I agree with you 100% that "when things are a mess, I don't want to do anything because I have to rearrange everything before I even start." Then it becomes way too much work to do ANYTHING.

    A week or so ago, you mentioned that you could still do things for yourself, but it takes a lot longer. Hear, hear! I am 75 and have quite a lot of arthritis in my back. It took me weeks to clean up the backyard in fits and starts...something I could have done in less than a day 5 years ago!

    We added some additional cabinets to our kitchen, which is wonderful, but has required me to move a lot of stuff around and reconfigure a couple of other cabinets. When I'm done, about half of the kitchen will be rearranged, which is one whole heckuva lot of work--but worth it!



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