Flowers & Rain


G’day… Guess what? Its still raining! A lot.

We did at least get out of the house today and took a drive to Stanley to see a lady who owns our favourite shop there  – Sticks, Stones, Shells & Bones. So you can imagine we are in heaven in there! So many amazing shells, fossils & that kind of thing from all over the world.

I have become friends with Cassie, the owner, as I always visit, take guests and generally lurk about her shop when we are up that way.

Later in the afternoon, Emma and I went down to Ruby’s for an afternoon tea with Margie and my other two cousins, Ann and Fiona. It was a great afternoon – filled with stories, laughs and sponge cake!!

I can’t tell you how good this was!!! Ruby is a champion at sponges!

Anyway, I did do a bit of a soggy walk around the garden with my camera. I am dying for spring to really take hold – looking for anything with colour or potential! Soon it will be pretty fabulous, but I hate waiting!

First potatoes out of the soil already! Excited!
The young cherry trees have some blossoms this year! Maybe we will get a couple of cherries this season!!!


Every day the man-ferns are unfolding more fronds!


Geum – the first flowers coming out.
I keep looking everyday for the first blossoms on our ornamental cherry blossom tree! Nearly there!


I hope your day was equally fun and colourful!



Return of the Rain


The rain that had been forecast all week, suddenly came on in a pretty huge downpour – that went on all day!

Pretty much no point trying to do anything outside – it was time for a bit of a rest anyway. Is it a bad thing to spend most of the day inside playing the X-Box with your teenage niece?? 😀 We had fun anyway!

We had a lot of wind, so I did spend a little time outside putting all the containers back on the lettuce seedlings, checked on the soggy chickens and watered some things in the hothouse

Looking sturdy
Cucumber coming along ok
New tomato surrounded by some self seeded lettuce
The first of the self seeded tomatoes showing up!
My rain barrels are full again!

I find things look pretty in the rain…

Day lilies looking lush!
More buds on my little Rhododendron

And really, that’s all the new news from Norwich House! Apparently there is a lot more rain on the way, so I am glad we got in and did what we could in the garden while the days were nice! Now to sit tight and wait for the sun to return!



Tulips bent in the rain

Continuous Gardening!

Cherry blossom starting!


Happy mid-week to everyone!

Despite the doom & gloom forecasts, we have had really great weather so far this week – although as I type there is some wild wind out there, so we may be back to cold and wet tomorrow.

Today – can’t get much better than that!

Yesterday we finished off the fence (ok – Jeff finished off the fence) and it seemed pretty chicken-proof, so I decided it was time to plant out some of those lovely little cos lettuce seedlings.


Thats not even half of what I had grown! These were from the seed I collected last season, so I am pretty chuffed with their performance!

Emma digs in some compost for me
Is 30 enough?
Mulched with all that handy seaweed grass and cut up a heap of plastic bottles to protect them while they get used to the outdoors (Too lazy to harden off properly – I may or may not regret that)

I used some coffee grounds to surround the snow peas and hopefully deter any hungry slugs/snails

So excited to see snow peas up!
Pansies from Ruby’s relocated
Bush ferns that we were given the other day also got planted!

What are we still eating from the garden in the ‘lean times’ ? Lots of broccoli, still a few carrots left, celery and various herbs! Oh – and chillies!


I found another box of potatoes in the shed… made me laugh, although I did salvage a few!

Snorkels? Periscopes? Triffads?

Tonight I agonised through peeling a ridiculous number of tiny potatoes to get the amount I wanted, as I refuse to buy the outrageously priced potatoes in the supermarket. Getting what I can out of the last ones we grew!

This is taking frugal-ness to a special level…

Anyway, today Emma and I wandered back to Ruby’s to sort out another garden plot.

Sharing my excess lettuce and silverbeet with Ruby

I swear, next winter I am going to bury every non-working garden plot both at Ruby’s and our place in seaweed grass. It acted as a fabulous weed suppressant! The difference between what we had to dig up today, and the other day where there was no seaweed was phenomenal!

Planting by the path for easy picking access for Ruby

The lettuce covered for a while as they take hold, the silverbeet (in the shade) should be fine as they came out of an outside garden plot.

I dug up the middle as that is where the new tomato plants are going to go. (I bet they will be in before I get back too!)


Ruby has been busy since we were there the other day – she planted beetroot in the plot we dug.


She also weeded the strawberry patch – although Margie and I think we will organise getting a raised bed for her for these this season – and she also went mad weeding under the lemon tree!!

You’d be more impressed if I had a ‘before’ shot to show you!! She has taken out a LOT of weeds!

We even fitted in another wander down at Fossil Bluff this afternoon!! It was gorgeous soaking up the sun (and picking up an agate or three…)


Niece NOT co-operating!! She looks like a psychedelic mushroom! haha. I told her if she mucked about I would chuck the photo on my blog!! Fair warning!

Ruby Tuesday – Enjoying Spring in the Garden

Ruby taking advantage of the sunny days

Well… the big party is over and I think Ruby is still on a bit of a high about it all! Her home is stuffed full of cards and flowers – not to mention food!

People are still coming and going, but things are slowing down a little.

Just a sample of the many cards strung up and displayed around Ruby’s home!

Emma and I dropped in yesterday to clear out the compost from the trailer into more accessible bags stored in one of her sheds.  We found her out the side of her house flinging weeds into the paddock!!!

So we got to work…

Emma on shovel duty
A good number of bags of great compost to use in Ruby’s garden this season!

The last bit we tipped onto a garden which we will do something with probably tomorrow


Meanwhile Ruby is pottering about with her umbrella walking stick pulling up any weed she can see… and with her eyesight about gone, its in the bright sun she needs to do her work so she can see something.


I hadn’t planned to stay and garden, but I felt terribly guilty watching a 100 year old pulling out weeds like there was no tomorrow, so Emma and I decided to tackle one of the garden beds before heading to the beach to collect our seaweed.


Trying to rescue the strawberries and little pansies.
Done – but we are going to have some trouble with the oxalis! Ruby wants to put carrots in here.


Remember how I dug her potato plot last week? Before a few days had gone by, Ruby had gotten in and planted her potatoes! I knew she wouldn’t wait for me!! She said all she had to do was make a hole and poke them in!! No big deal! haha 🙂

If the weather stays nice we should get back soon to get into another spot in her garden, and not least, stay for a cuppa and help out with those party leftovers!!

Hope your day has been sunny and sweet too!


Spoils of gardening! Leftovers!


A Bit of Seaweed and Some Fence Adjustments!

Yay for nieces lending a hand!

The forecast was for rain.

This is what we got!! Super day!

Emma and I did some work at Ruby’s, but will save that story for tomorrow.

We had to empty the trailer of Ruby’s Birthday Compost, so we could get down to the beach and load up on seaweed grass (Best Aunty – taking her niece to the beach – haha)

Plenty of seaweed washed up on the shore today – and two other groups of people doing the same thing.
Plenty of bags to fill
We ran out of bags!

We finally got home around 2pm where we had a pretty late lunch.

Emma had a school project to work on, so came in for a shower and a quiet afternoon, whereas I dragged poor Jeff back to our garden to do a little fence rearranging!

I decided we didn’t need this fence anymore

The bottom garden I added on a couple of seasons ago, and really – the middle fence is not actually helping anyone or anything. So we pulled it out – keeping in tact as much of the cabling etc so we can reuse in other areas.

We also had to redo the bottom fence since the chickens kept coming and going as they pleased… and I can’t plant anything  much until it is all properly chook-proof!

These star pickets have been in the ground a LONG time and were not going to come out quietly!!!

Wow – there was some effort to get out the stakes!!

I am glad I have a big strong man about the place!!!

Its really opened this area, and I reckon I will be able to make better use and access the whole garden more easily. (and yes – I need to do a LOT more weeding!)

A lot of the bottom fence has been redone and will hopefully keep those persistent chooks out of my vegetables (See all those parsley scraps??? hmmmm ) 

Late in the day I finally got around to getting a few bags out of the trailer and mulching my garlic!

Looks a lot better!

I was pretty excited to see my snow peas have started to pop up!!


And last, not least, my very first rhododendron flower has come out! This tree was transplanted from Ruby’s place a couple of years ago, and hasn’t flourished – due to lack of TLC on my part and scant water.  Looks like I might get a few flowers this season! How nice!

Hope everyone had a fabulous day!



Agate Appreciation Day

Someone was having fun making beach art

So – last Thursday we sadly said goodbye to Michelle & Co. wandered home and sat in our largely empty house, and after about 30 minutes we decided it was way too quiet!! lol

But my other sister, Rosemary fixed that problem. Pretty much just after we had noted how quiet things were, I got a message from her asking if we could take Emma for a week, starting Sunday!!!

Nothing like a 16 year old to liven up the place and stop us from getting too old and boring! 😀

So I drove off to Devonport this morning to collect our niece (I am thinking ‘Garden Slave’) and brought her home, where we gained extra Aunty & Uncle points by taking her to the beach and then coming back to a late bacon & eggs on toast lunch.

Believe it or not we got rained on a few times!

The other day we noticed quite a lot of agate on the beach – more than we would normally find so we decided to skip the gardening and fossick for a while

Teaching Emma the finer points of finding agate!

We got some lovely rocks today – here are a few dodgy photos I took in a hurry as it was getting pretty chilly by the time I got around to that!

I dipped them in water to get a bit of the effect I hope to get when I put them through the tumbler…

I have high hopes for this one!





Thats just a few of the many we found today – I think they have potential to come up really nicely once polished!!

So – despite the forecast being rain ALL WEEK, I have plans to get back into the garden tomorrow – and with an extra set of hands, well… the sky is the limit! 🙂

Hope your weekend has been brilliant!


More random beach art!

Gardening With Chickens!

The chooks had the best day!

While I wouldn’t have classed today as a beautiful spring day… the wind was absent and so was the rain – it was just cool (ish) and overcast.

We still pulled on our gardening clothes and made a really good start in the bottom vegie patch

A full winter of neglect
There was no weed mat put down under the bean arch and it certainly shows

We pulled out the rest of the broccoli and the chickens made a feast of it!


We left the gate open and one by one they all eventually found their way in – mostly I would have two or three waiting for every spade full to turn and in they would dive for worms or other bugs!!  Our chooks must have been full-to-busting today!

Even one in the wheelbarrow!!

The bane of the garden in this area is twitch. It grows these long ropey roots that go EVERYWHERE!!


We are still also digging up weird things

A nail, a marble, a small hammer like thing, a gadget, and probably part of a horseshoe…

We got through most of the area today – once we have finished that off we will re do the fences and probably take out the middle fence. Once chicken-proofed, we can plant!

Looking a million times better

In Seed-News, I was pleased to see that a corn seedling had broken through the soil! I wasn’t sure about planting out my collected seed, but if most germinate in this pot, then I will be more confident of planting them out in the new corn patch


Excited to see some basil peeping up as well…

tiny tiny
Cucumber just breaking through!

My sister, Michelle, just gave me these heirloom tomato seeds… I am pretty excited to try them out so I put in plenty today…. and because my track record with tomatoes from seed is abysmal, I have put in a lot and will nurture them inside to give them the best chance!

Beefsteak tomatoes!
This should be enough??

By the time we wound up for the evening, I was a bit of a mess.

That hot shower was pretty divine!


Teeth, Tulips & Weeds!

Enjoying my tiny patch of tulips

Today I had to trot down into the dentist to get a tooth re-filled. The old filling had been slowly disintegrating and something needed to be done. I put it off long enough, got brave and made an appointment.


I actually haven’t been to see a dentist for probably over 15 years. I am a great believer in, if its not broken, don’t fix it.  I am sure MANY of you may have a come-back with, Prevention Best Cure etc…. 🙂


Anyway – I wasn’t nervous until I had to wait in the waiting room for 5 minutes, then I am sure my heart rate went up a little (although I was trying to be sensible.)


Both the dentist and the dental nurse were fabulous, and its the most enjoyable dentist-trip I have experienced!! They were very patient and kind, and we spent a good amount of time talking about gardens!! That totally relaxed me! 😀

The dentist was actually rather impressed with my teeth despite my absence from dental chairs for so long! (Whew)

Once our funds are looking a little more flush I suspect I will go back in for a proper checkup now that I know they are not terrifying people!!

You have to have patience when waiting for a snail to properly pose for you.

So – with half my face happily numb, I came home and attended to the strawberry patch, which was in need of weeding. A lot of fiddly little tiny weeds have popped up everywhere

I realise now this ‘before’ photo doesn’t really show the scale of weeds I had to tackle here!

In other random happenings, I scored a couple of bags of bulbs. That is, we got home yesterday and they were in the car port! (I suspect Shirely dropped them off as she was talking about her gardener pulling them all up)

Bags of bulbs!

And as I was headed into the dentists office, a friend bailed me up on the street wanting to know where my car was – they had a couple of bags of bush ferns for me, so came back to my car where I found them underneath!!

I know just where I will plant these too!

Of all the most recent seed plantings, only a sunflower sprout has shown its face! I guess it is a little early to be disappointed. Patience!!


The chillies are doing pretty well…


And that hanging plant IS an orchid – just a tiny one!



I also spotted my first cherry plum today! A baby just starting!


Our front garden has really greened up! Soon we will be enjoying iris, lilium & granny bonnet!


And finally – our cherry blossom is covered in buds. I think its a couple of weeks yet before they burst forth though…


Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Time for me to take a couple more painkillers (although things aren’t too bad) and head to bed! Here’s hoping our great weather keeps up a bit longer! I have grand garden plans for tomorrow!


Full Circle!


Well… a couple of weeks ago, we started out at Fossil Bluff with family in the rain, gloom and wind – and we finished back down at Fossil Bluff today, wearing t-shirts and soaking up the sun!!

First we took Michelle & Co down to Doctors Rocks to go gold panning!

(Thanx to Michelle for the photos)

It was fun to teach the kids and we even found a few flakes, so the day started off pretty well.

Checking out my speck of gold!!

After lunch, Tony & Michelle set about packing the car – I think we created a Rock-Monster in Tony as he seemed to have half of Tasmania’s rocks stashed in their car. (They have ordered a rock tumbler, so will be indulging in a new hobby!!) 😀

Of course, last stop is to see Ruby & Margie, and present Ruby with the wonderful guest book that they made for her party

Michelle reads out their dedication on the back

I still need to take a photo of the book properly, but it was a combined effort to hand make the book, and it is filled with many names and messages for Ruby.

Needless to say, she was thrilled!


Sadly, time was ticking away, and we had to bid my family farewell (ok, a few little tears) but it was a wonderful couple of weeks being able to show them as much of our bit of lives as we could and spending time together.

I must say it seems rather quiet at Norwich House tonight!!!


Source Images:  DSC_1692.JPG (Av: F11.0; Tv: 1/500 sec.; ISO: 320; FL: 28.0 mm)   Processing:  Fusion F.3 (HDR; Mode 1)
Fossil Bluff – Magnificent on our last visit today!


Another Day – Another Beach

White sands at Boat Harbour Beach

Last full day with my sister and family, so doing a bit of a local buzz about. We went down to Boat Harbour Beach first to let the kids run amok and soak up the amazing sunshine today!

Its a beautiful little beach with notoriously cold waters!

Georgia’s body language says “Cold Water!!”

I dabbled my toes of course – it wasn’t too bad – certainly fresh though! Maybe a little while before we go swimming… and maybe at a different beach! 🙂

Hurry up Summer!
Pretty colours in the water today
The community areas at Boat Harbour Beach are looking very pretty right now
Michelle enjoying the sunshine!
The journey of a snail…
Tony and Michelle have very much enjoyed their Tasmanian Holiday!

We drove up Table Cape (which kind of lies between our house and the ocean) for beautiful views and a peek at the lighthouse.



We dined on some hot chips for lunch down by Wynyard Beach, then came back home for a quiet afternoon – Michelle took a much needed nap. The husbands and kids entertained themselves with the Minions movie.

But I couldn’t resist staying out in the sunshine to play in the garden for a while. I decided to pull up everything out of my crazy broccoli raised garden bed.

Had its day
Half way there

The chickens got a lot of scraps today -and lots of greens in the way of broccoli plants – and as a special bonus – a swag full of snails that had taken up residence in this bed!


There was much excitement, snatching, running and crunching!

Ready for action! I think this seasons tomatoes will go in here

I did get into the hothouse and plant my three new tomato plants. I am going to try to keep it to only these three and dig up and relocate any self seeded tomatoes (that are bound to come up) All other tomato plants can be outside ones.

Black Russian Tomato
Tomato Rouge

I still have plenty of broccoli on offer around the place, so I didn’t feel so bad taking out that whole plot – I have a feeling a lot of self seeded ones will still pop up, so if I want to put in more, I won’t have any supply problems.


Hope your day was great too!!