Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)


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NO LONGER M.I.A.

Just popping my head around the door to let you know I am still alive.

We , or as her Majesty might say, “my husband and I…” have been/are still very busy, doing all manner of jobs around the house. Busy, but utterly boring as blog fodder.

Mostly things in the garden.With the weather beginning to get warmer I needed to clear space for new plants. And, with The Man at home most days, we finally cleared the **$&! pergola of dead vines. The problem now is what to plant as replacement? I would dearly love Mucuna bennettii but fear it might be as rampant as the previous Petrea. And the same applies to the Jade Vine, Strongylodon. Ruddy great trusses of 3metres+ flowers might be a bit of a problem, given that the head room under the pergola is a scant 2m!Ooh!but I am so tempted…

Maybe I should just stick to the more manageable orchids…at the moment I have several Phalaenopsis in flower. (Not named varieties*)

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and an Oncidium…a wonderful dark wine-y chocolate colour013.JPG

There are lord knows how many purple and mauve Spathiglottis in the gardens! They drop seed and from time to time I give away some or move them about.Consequently, until they flower I have no idea where each colour is! But I have just bought a white one and it is safely in a pot on the verandah!That’s it, at the back, in bud.014.JPG

Two more Phalaenopsis live in hanging pots, out in the garden.(*I see this one has a name! Phal. Brother Lawrence x Brother Taida…and some faded writing I can’t read.Hardly surprising since it was a gift almost 12 years ago!new orchids 002.JPG

A very brisk wind has sprung up so this one needed a steadying hand. A bit like raspberry coulis dripped on ice cream!

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A couple of years ago we acquired an Anthurium. Poor thing became horribly squished in its pot, but the other day I got around to splitting it.I think we now have seven or eight! It’s currently beneath the front steps but will need a new home soon.new orchids 006.JPG

And here is the newest Spathiglottis

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I know some of you would love to be “over-run” with things like bananas and tropical palms, but it’s not all beer and skittles, y’know. Mrs Next Door doesn’t like the bananas dropping their untidy stems over the fence. And Mr. Up The Back gets his shorts knotted if any of my plants put their heads above the parapet. So I’m stuck with an ugly, bare fence…

Banana bell dangling over the fence.

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NOT MISSING IN ACTION…

…maundering in in-action might be closer to the mark. Three months is almost “death” in Blogland.

Oh well, here I am again. And I’m going to kick off with…the weather! Winter here so that means, mostly, blue skies and bright sunny days. The sort of weather that encourages strenuous outdoor work. Garden beds can be weeded, dug-over, mulched.Plants can be pruned, moved, re-potted.

And then the sun dips below the horizon and we don extra layers and waddle about looking like the Michelin Man. And I can tell you that, Chez Dinahmow, the Michelin look lasts from sunset to mid-morning.

But it is nice to see the BARE pergola, just waiting for something new and less rampant than wisteria and petrea… 001.JPGI’m tempted to try another climbing rose, but then my memory gives me a sharp dig in the ribs, telling me not to be such a silly fool.

In the meantime, I seem to be having some small success with orchids. 001.JPG

These Phalaenopsis sit on my keyboard (not this one, the musical one), but I move them outside for more sunlight when they start to flower. I move lunches out there, too, in sunny weather. Of course, there can be stiff competition for a seat…002.JPG

The Man, who is no longer working full-time, has not had much go-to-work work lately, but he has been busy here!Oh yes…de-rusting and re-painting various bits around the house. And he cleared all of the tangled mess atop the pergola. And replaced the old TV aerial which was all a-dangle after the cyclone modified it. Ooh, it’s all go here, innit!

I’m off to see about some breakfast, but before I do, here’s a link to a Canberra friend’s blog. Yet another reason to visit  that city!

https://myjustsostory.blogspot.com.au/2017/07/warm-trees-2017.html

 

 

 


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MAKING A COMEBACK

No, not about one of those ever-returning pop stars who can’t quite seem to leave their spotlight.

This  post features some of the garden plants that are thumbing their metaphorical noses at cyclones. Some things were damaged beyond help, but I’m happy to see others romping away.

Beginning with a flower stem of Canangra odorata When the rain and the roaring wind eased and we ventured out, this was on the front steps. (And, for the moment, it’s also my header!)

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David Austin’s trouper, “Abraham Darby” I snapped this in a shower this morning.

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Cestrum nocturnum Night-scented jasmine. Utterly gorgeous! It needed vigorous pruning a few weeks ago, but it kept flowering and so I left it. Some of the taller stems were “pruned” for me. I did eventually get stuck into it, cutting two bushes back rather brutally and allowing this one to remain reasonably tall. It helps to screen two neighbouring houses.

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Clerodendrum nutans Delighted to find several flower buds on this as it struggles and almost croaked during the heatwave. And no, I cannot move it as the roots will be impossible to untangle from the  {insert any rude adjective } palms. I might try striking a cutting to grow in a pot…

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One of several crucifix orchids, this one was on a grevillea we had to cut back.I’ve poked it between fence palings for the time being.Those background cordylines belong to the neighbour. It’s known as “the borrowed view.” 🙂

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My poor swamp orchid!Phaius australis. It’s been crushed by shed palm fronds, sat on by a ruddy great toad,almost cooked in the heatwave and, most recently, blown over by the stormy winds. But it’s fighting back!

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Stag or Elk? I always have to look them up! These were both rescued from a palm that was blown down a few weeks ago.

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And this one was attached to a palm next door and the neighbour had nowhere to put it so she and I lugged it down here and yesterday The Man wired it to a post. It looks a bit ragged (well, so would you if you were hurled from a great height!), but I think it’ll survive.

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I’ll post one more comeback…the Michaelia figo, “Port Wine Magnolia.” Another fragrant plant for pathways below windows.M.figo port Wine.JPG

The removal of storm-damaged trees continues though we have no indication of when our suburb will be cleared. But we did get off lightly, compared with many others.


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT…

…Dastardly Debbie was heading for landfall just a few miles north of us.

In case we lost power, I did a hasty menu revision and baked a quiche.Because my oven is electric and if the power runs away and hides (our power is a total wuss!) I can still cook fish and curry and soup on the gas hobs.

So…quiche and salad and a nice bottle of wine and and a night of whine and moan and crash as the wind whipped through palms and trees.

In daylight we could see lots of leaves and twiggy branches and seed heads littering the lawn and pathway. But no major damage. Of course, it will get much rougher in a few hours, but we should be OK Chez Dinahmow. Thoughts are with others who have already suffered some damage.

What does storm damage along a tropical coast look like? Well, not Brochure Blue, for a start! More Battleship Grey. We did a brief run out a while ago and I took the little camera and snapped a few frames from the car.

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This is a Casuarina at the Lifeguard Station.

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And a sister Casuarina, a few metres away.

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I was hoping to “catch” a big wave breaking, but another  tourist came along! 

We did not stay out  long. I may go down to the beach when this nonsense has blown itself out…

In the meantime, I have some small plant pots taking up space in the laundry, but that’s OK as I shant be doing any laundry til the storm has passed!

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A Plumeria (frangipani to Australians) and 3 small cuttings of Dichorisandra.

 

…and then the power went out.Followed a few hours later by the ‘phone…

Monday, April 3.

The world, or at least my small corner of it, is returning to normal. That cyclone has left millions of dollars worth of damage in its wake, all the way down the Queensland coast and into NSW.

Some of the near neighbours joined The Man and me yesterday in removing fallen trees, branches, palms. The City Council will organise kerbside clearance over the next week or two. I have a lot of work to do in the gardens here, but it’s relatively small and can wait til things are more settled.

Thank you all for checking in, via email and Facebook. Let’s close this chapter with something amusing.Not to say apposite for anyone still facing power cuts. (think about it…)   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQHX-SjgQvQ

 

 

 


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IT WAS SCARLET’S BIRTHDAY…

So i thought I would bake her a cake. Yes, I can bake cakes.I have even been known to cover them in icing.

But we’ve been suffering a hellish heatwave here and I couldn’t face having the oven on as well. What to do? What to do? Ask Google, of course!

I wanted something a little more grown-up than the plethora of Barbie confections. ..so I added “adult” to the search.

Oh. Dear. Me. Don’t go there, people. Really.

I did find  something that I thought might suit the well-honed wit of Ms Scarlet.Not quite as classy as her famous towering fountain of Ferrero Roche. But I thought this black tie affair might make her day.

http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/920827/27215554/1483080682767/10710906-27215553-thumbnail.jpg?token=HQDEGWRy2jamvAVItvU245prvSM%3D

Happy birthday, Scarlet.

I may have some spider sex for the next post.It depends on the spiders.


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BOOKS ON SHELVES. OR NOT

Some of the blogging community have been sharing pictures of their book shelves.

I don’t have “proper” book cases here. Books in this house live mainly in wardrobes, cupboards and boxes. Unless currently being read, in which case they’re probably on  the kitchen counter, the dining table, a desk, a bed, a side table.

We had great shelving in our former house. The living room was lined in pine and when time came to put up shelves, we drove over the mountain to a lumber yard that had good deals on seconds.

I spent ages, scrambling up and down stacks looking for exactly the right pieces. I’ve long forgotten what the planks cost, but they were certainly not expensive!

You see, I had a length of shelving in my sewing room that still had rough bark along one edge and I wanted that look for the bookshelves.

So, no shelves to show you, but here are some of the books.

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All showing years of love and use. I’ve left out the several large dictionaries and the thesaurus and most of the ENORMOUS art and garden books. And I didn’t even begin on the boxes!

And now i am going to stand under a cold shower. I know it’s worse for people in NSW, but I’m done with this heatwave. The Met Men mentioned a storm, but I don’t see anything on the horizon. Must fill the ice trays…

 

 

 


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SEEING RED

But first…I stood on tippy-toes and held a mirror up to the nest and could not see anything! This may just mean that a) I am too short or b) the little ‘uns have fledged.

I did some very complicated calculations and, yes, they may have left the nest.The birds’calculations may well have been more accurate than mine! 

The Man has just come home and, having 8″ on me (No,Muriel!NO!), I got him to do the thing with the mirror.No sign or sound of little birdies so I’m calling them fledged and learning about the world.

Now, on to today’s post title. In my efforts to understand what was happening/not happening with the camera(s) software, I went prowling around snapping dorky pictures and loading them on The Man’s computer. Nothing very flash, but here we go…

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Garden clogs.

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Some of our garbage bins are quite posh!

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Pentas.

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Hibiscus

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Palm seeds.Macarthur palm, maybe.

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Justicia

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Generally just called a “ginger” it seems to be listed in nurseries as Costus comosus.(Spider web is extra)

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Fallen flowers of Brachichyton acerifolia

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Shade sails on a neighbour’s house.