Sunday, July 17, 2022

Winter -lots of sun, and then lots of rain?

Our Garden

It has been an off again and on again sort of winter so far.  We had a couple of good downfalls, -enough to fill the water tanks- then about a week or more of sunny dry weather. The garden thinks it is spring -and so I am finding tomato seedlings everywhere, and it is hard to prune roses when they are growing madly. 

As a result of climate weirding, our rain bands are sliding away down south of us, so that the northern suburbs of Perth are often in sunshine when the south is getting a drenching. This is the way it has been going for decades now. Given that we are in a mediterranean style climate, where we get a long summer drought and a short wet winter, the effect is that we are now relying on desalination plants for our water to such an extent that the state government is going to build a third desal plant, and our water costs are now getting much more expensive. 

We live in the northern suburbs, and so I am glad that we have already planted a number of trees which can provide some shade for the garden. Our city council has a program of planting street trees. I have been lucky enough to get them to deliver and plant a Jacaranda tree. It is going to have lovely blue flowers, and as it is deciduous will let winter sun into the garden. 

As a result of the winter sun, I have been able to do a lot of gardening. I have planted a dwarf mulberry in a pot -which I will need to keep under control rather like a large bonsai, but which I hope to get some big fruits. I have a mulberry tree in the garden, but the fruit is small. As my dietician and I have worked out that I am super sensitive to sorbitol, found in many stone fruit, I am looking to berries more. Fortunately citrus is OK in my diet because we have lots of citrus. The pink grapefruit have been abundant this year -I keep pressing them on people when they come to my house, and the basket at the letterbox has been filled several times. 

I bought another crown of rhubarb -this is another 'fruit' on my safe list. 

I planted a wicking bed of mint varieties -grapefruit mint, lime mint, chocolate mint and variagated pineapple mint. 

I am very happy with the way the verge garden is growing. This was brick paved 18 months ago. DH and I got a load of free mulch from the council recently, so it is looking fine at the moment. The mulch cools the soil, keeps it moist, and rots down to feed the microbes in the ground. There is a 'river" of everlastings which I planted, which should look pretty good once spring arrives. 


I ordered some actual hard copy books, during the Black Inc end of financial year sale. I usually just read ebooks or get library copies, but these were cheap and quite good reads. Lisa Wells book "Believers" making a life at the end of the world" was particularly good. 

We have also been re-reading Pope Francis's encyclical "Laudato Si" which is very good. 

You might also like this article: 

War with the trees by Rebecca Solnit 

Or you would watch on YouTube- Shade as a dryland strategy -with Geoff Lawton 

And here is someting interesting -Free pdf -Biophilic design 


I delivered my Kunyani quilt (above) to the long armers, and have started on a fun improv quilt below. This is still very much a work in progress. It could be very different when it is finished. It is too dark at the top and bottom in this photo, so I am creating something different. 


We have been celebrating our grandson's 8th birthday despite the fact that his party had to be delayed due to Covid hitting the parents -again. We went to a favourite park on what should have been his birthday party day, and had a good time.

Covid is rampant through our community and yet people are still not taking obvious precautionary measures. As it is winter, and there is also a flu epidemic, I find this recklessness to be concerning. DH and I are trying to stay safe without becoming hermits! We wear masks indoors, we limit our exposure to risky settings like shopping centres and restaurants and bars. Nevertheless we have had some friends at our place for lunch and for dinner -with appropriate ventilation. 

Podcast fun- and a tidy up too

I have enjoyed listening to A Slob Comes Clean- a podcast about getting control of the house -by someone who is (probably) neurodiverse. The author identifies as a creative person who is easily distracted and who finds it hard to do anything consistently. She says her brain is different than other people's and that is why household tasks are always a struggle for her. 

I guess most people coming to our home would not have seen  it when it was a disaster area - DH and I clearly remember having a couple of police officers come to see about a burglary some years ago, and telling them "no, the place hasn't been ransacked-it always looks like this". It was about this time that I started searching for any ideas about how to get on top of things. I  found "Sidetracked Home Executives" at the library and that was the beginning of a system which made all the difference. 

Later on I did "Flylady" routines for about a year or so.

One thing I know, the less stuff I have at home, the easier it is to keep it under control. This is hard for all of us who live here -we are natural collectors! I found the podcast mentioned above a bit of a boost or refresher to keep on ridding the place of stuff we don't use and don't need. It is an on-going task. Right now I am working on throwing out socks that have holes. Yes, I know that I could darn them -I even know how- but unless they are my really good wool ones, that is not going to happen. The sock drawer works best when everything in it is actually wearable, and it feels a bit like a luxury to know you can pull anything out of the drawer and find it useful. 


Later this week I will be working on the playcentre garden again. They got a grant for some garden improvements, and so I am going to refresh some very tired hanging baskets with new liners and will plant strawberries. We also have a small ficus, a hoya and some mint to plant in the entrance area which is now very bare. 

I hope you are having a good safe time whereever you are -and if it is winter where you are, that you are finding good things to do to keep active. Stay safe and thanks for reading this far.