Thursday, December 31, 2015

MY FAVOURITE GARDEN FLOWERS

When I think about "R" flowers a number immediately came to mind but my favourite, and possibly everyone else's too, would be the ROSE.  Roses come in all shapes and sizes and some have delicate perfumes and at one time nearly every suburban garden had a good show of roses.  With the stringent water restrictions we've had in Perth over the past several years very few new homes sport roses in their gardens these days.   We had a number of lovely roses growing but it became too difficult to keep them going well so they had to go.  Now I just have 4 pots of miniature roses.   There are too many varieties to show so here is a small selection:


Although one perhaps thinks of ROSEMARY more as a herb that a garden flower I enjoy having a large bush in our garden.  It has a lovely perfume and if one brushes past it when in the garden the smell seems to linger.  It is of course also considered the plant of remembrance and many people wear a sprig on certain days of the year.

ROSE OF SHARON is hardly seen these days and yet it is a lovely flower to have in the garden.  There was one growing in our front garden when we bought this house but many years ago it gave up the ghost and is now no more.

One flower I would dearly love to grow in our garden is the RHODODENDRON but alas it is far too hot.  I believe there are areas in the Perth hills where they do well but certainly not where we are.


 I have also chosen RED HOT POKERS, not because we grow them or ever have, but they are a flower that I know Phil likes very much.  Does he maybe remember them from his earlier life in England?  I'm not sure but I know he is very fond of them.


Do you have a favourite "R" flower or know of one I have not mentioned here?


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

TUESDAY CHAT

In my recent post about flowers Delores from "Under the Porch Light" lamented the fact that at this time of year the only flowers they have blooming in their garden were on the *holly.

It immediately made me once again think of our beautiful Western Australian Christmas tree (Nuytsia floribunda) which I have mentioned here previously.


It is one of three underground parasites and one which does not destroy the host.  They come into bud in about October and by mid-December are in full flower.


One can only imagine, in the early days of settlement in Western Australia, how the newcomers would have felt it so strange to celebrate Christmas in this new, hot and sometimes hostile land.  I would think they would have really enjoyed these cheerful tress......hence the name of Christmas Tree.

We have several growing near us and we never fail to admire them at the end of each year as we drive past them.  They are on a very wide median strip so hopefully will remain there for a number of years to come.

*many folk in Australia also grow holly in their gardens.  My sister-in-law always had a holly bush growing.

Monday, December 28, 2015

MONDAY MIRTH No 29

I guess we all have days when we feel this way:


Sunday, December 27, 2015

SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT (5)

I really enjoyed this one and hope you do too:

"NOVEL NOTES ...  Jerome K. Jerome

She was the most motherly thing I have ever known.  She was never happy without a family.  Indeed, I cannot remember her when she hadn't a family in one stage or another.  She was not very particular about what sort of family it was  If she could not have kittens, then she would content herself with puppies or rats.   Anything she could wash and feed seemed to satisfy her.  I believe she would have brought up chickens if we had entrusted them to her.


All her brains must have run to motherliness, for she hadn't much sense.  She could never tell the difference between her own children and other people's.  She thought anything young was a kitten.
We once mixed up a spaniel puppy that had lost its own mother among her progeny.  I shall never forget her astonishment when it first barked.   She boxed both its ears, and then sat looking down at it with an expression of indignant sorrow that was really touching."

(Not so sure about the rats!!)

Friday, December 25, 2015

SEASON'S GREETINGS TO ALL

To all my blogging friends and acquaintances, including those with whom I don't keep in constant touch I sincerely hope you will all have a most enjoyable festive season.

I must apologise to those whose blogs I am not checking on weekly.  My age is definitely catching up with me and I find at times things get a little on top of me.  I do so appreciate the people who visit my blog regularly and they will never know how much I enjoy and look forward to their comments, no matter how brief.

At this time of year I think of family that are no longer with us, along with so many friends I have lost over recent years.  I still miss them all so very much but I am so very thankful I still have Phil, and my daughter and son-in-law who are so precious to me as are my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Today we will be enjoying our Christmas Day at our eldest granddaughter and grandson-in-law's home.  They have two little girls aged 3 and 7 and it is always great fun watching the excitement as they open their gifts.  Always wonderful to be with this little family of ours and the joy never lessens.  I will also be sharing my birthday with them in a week or so as daughter and son-in-law are shouting us all to dinner as they did for Phil earlier this month.  At our age it is so much more acceptable than gifts as we get to be with family again and who needs gifts in their 80s?  Bringing us all together again is the best gift I can ever have.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

MY FAVOURITE GARDEN FLOWERS

I rather had to cheat when I came to the letter "Q" but we do have two of these growing in our garden so thought it was only a tiny cheat as they are rather beautiful and have a lovely sweet scent:

QUEENSLAND PITTOSPORUM is an evergreen small to medium tree with glossy leathery leaves and heads of small white flowers followed in autumn by clusters of bright orange berries with black seeds. It is also known as 'sweet pittosporum".  It is native to eastern Australia, where it grows in rainforest, wet and dry sclerophyll forest and woodland.  It is adaptable to a range of acid soils, and is hardy to frost and will grow in either full sun or part shade.


Pittosporum are sometimes attacked by leaf miners which leave lines of brown blisters along the surface of the leaves.   Ours have looked quite unsightly at times after the leaf miners have paid a visit, particularly the shrub in the front garden.

Don Burke's fact sheet states that this plant has become a weed in all states of Australia except the Northern Territory.  We have had our two shrubs for many years and never have they seeded down and I have never seen any birds eating the seeds, although that of course doesn't mean they don't when I am not watching.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

WEDNESDAY WISDOM No 28

There is always the opportunity to keep learning:


Monday, December 21, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT (4)

I feel once again here is a man who fully understands feline domesticus:

"THE TIGER IN THE HOUSE ... Carl Van Vechten

Anyone who has lived on terms of comparative equality with a cat knows that he will show his intelligence fifty times a day.  To be sure this intelligence is usually of the variety called selfish.  Thereby the cat shows how much finer his intelligence is than that of the rest of the animal world.  He is quite unwilling to show feats of intelligence for which he can see no legitimate reason, or through which he is unable to derive any personal satisfaction. 


If he wants submaxillary massage he knows that he is pretty sure of getting it by leaping into someone's lap.  If he does not want it he knows that the best way of avoiding it is to avoid the person who insists on lavishing it.  A cat, it is said, will only come when called if dinner is in the offing.  This is very much my own procedure.  I refuse to make casual calls but often accept invitations to dinner."

(I must admit our Candy does come 9 out of 10 times when I call her even when no treat is being offered.  Perhaps being a 'rescue' cat makes here a little more determined to be needed.)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

THINKING ALLOWED

A number of older people I know now take advantage of the Australia Post concession stamps.  They cost 60¢ each compared with normal letter post of 70¢ which is a nice little saving.  As they say "every penny counts."



As we in Australia know, Australia Post is running at a loss when it comes to 'snail mail' as so many people these days have chosen to go 'paperless' when it comes to bills, bank statements etc., and of course emails and mobile 'phone text messages have become the order of the day. as a means of keeping in touch with others.  Consequently, many less letters are being sent than many years ago when it was often our own means of communication with others.

Australia Post have come up with a way of lessening their losses on snail mail and from 4 January next year stamps for normal letter are going up quite considerably, possibly to as much as $1 each.   This would mean that concession stamps at 60¢ would indeed be a bargain.  But wait!!  There's more.

In the mail this past week we received a letter from Australia Post telling us that as of 4 January next year all letters carrying concession stamps could take up to two days longer than 'normal' mail to reach their destination.  "Whoops" thought I "if anyone is having a birthday we must remember to send the card a few days earlier."

Then I read on to find that if a person using a concession 60¢ stamp wanted their mail to be delivered in 'normal' time then they could add a priority sticker to their envelope.  The only catch there.....the priority sticker would cost 50¢!!  That would mean if we used our concession stamp and wanted the letter/card to arrive in 'normal' time it would cost us $1.10....10¢ more than normal mail (that is if stamps from 1 January are going to cost $1).

My reaction to this ....  we will continue using our 60¢ concession stamps always bearing in mind we must be on our toes and post letters/cards several days sooner than we would have done in the past.

P.S.  This year to post Christmas cards within Australia it costs 65¢ so using concession stamps does save us 5¢.  One can't help wondering though how long it will be before concession stamps go up and how much our Christmas cards are going to cost to post come December, 2016.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

MY FAVOURITE GARDEN FLOWERS

When I came to the letter "P" for flowers I decided there were far to many that I really love so decided to just do a list of them, many of which I have grown and some I still do.  Which "P" flower is your favourite"

PANSY (you can't help but love their wee smiling faces:


POPPY (my dad nearly always had one type or another poppy in his garden):


PETUNIA (Phil usually grows two or three hanging baskets of petunias for me each year):


PHLOX (a flower I've always liked so perhaps instead of petunia in one basket?):


I can remember my dad also growing PRIMULA and PRIMROSE but maybe in his glass house and not in the garden beds.  I have never attempted to grow them but love them for their colours.  Could it be because they are mainly yellow I wonder.

 I haven't listed PEONY above as they don't grow in Perth as it is too hot but I met my very first peony in the botanical gardens in Queenstown, New Zealand, and fell in love with it.  Of course Phil knew all about them as he comes from where they are commonly grown but he agrees with me they are very beautiful.




Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WEDNESDAY WISDOM No 27


A very sound piece of advise but maybe a little late for some of us?  Did you do anything stupid when you were young?  Come one, do tell.


Monday, December 14, 2015

MONDAY MIRTH No 27

There are some things that truly are just cat's business.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT (3)

I feel this says all that can be said about a cat.

"MY SUMMER IN A GARDEN...  Charles Dudley Warner

I hesitate to speak of his capacity for friendship and the affectionateness of his nature, for I know from him his own reserve that he could not care to have it much talked about.  We understood each other perfectly, but he never made any fuss about it; when I called his name and snapped my fingers, he came to me; when I returned home at night we was pretty sure to be waiting for me near the gate and would rise and saunter along the walk, as if his being there was purely accidental - so shy was he commonly of showing feeling.  There was one thing he never did - he never rushed through an open doorway  He never forgot his dignity.  If he had asked to have the door opened, and was eager to go out he always went out deliberately; I can see him now, standing on the door step, looking about at the sky as if he was thinking whether it were worth while to take an umbrella, until he was near to having his tail shut in.



(I notice that Candy never rushes out a door one opens for her.  Perhaps this is normal for all cats?)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

MY FAVOURITE GARDEN FLOWERS

When I came to "O" I immediately thought 'orchids' but then not everyone grows orchids and my tender ministrations did nothing for those I had and they all eventually went to orchid heaven.  My son-on-law, on the other hand, has a couple of dozen cymbidium orchids in pots and they flower prolifically every year.  I am always rather envious when I visit them and see the beautiful display.


The only other "O" that comes to mind is more a shrub than a bedding plant and yet I think they are very beautiful:

OLEANDER is an evergreen shrub in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, toxic in all its parts.  It is the only species currently classified in the genus Nerium.  It is most commonly known as oleander, from its superficial resemblance to the unrelated olive Olea.  It is so widely cultivated that no precise region of origin has been identified, though southwest Asia has been suggested.  The ancient city of Volubilis in Morocco may have taken its name from the Berber name oualilt for the flower.  Oleander is one of the most poisonous of commonly grown garden plants.


Our neighbour has a very large shrub that protrudes into our back garden over the adjoining fence but it is high enough not to cause a problem to anyone.   You often see them planted on road verges and in parks as well and I am always a little fearful that young children may want to pick the pretty flowers.   Our two little great-grandies love to pluck a daisy or similar from our garden then they visit and lots of small children do love flowers and you do have to admit the flowers are glorious.



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WEDNESDAY WISDOM No 26

I guess you find one in every crowd: (wish they'd proof read this one before publishing)


Monday, December 7, 2015

MONDAY MIRTH No 26

Anyone walking through a paddock and had this happen would probably feel the same, at least for a few moments!!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT (2)

'SAD MEMORIES" Charles Stuart Calverley


They tell me I am beautiful they praise my silken hair,
My little feet that silently slip on from stair to stair;
They praise my pretty trustful face and innocent grey eye;
Fond hands caress me oftentimes, yet would that I might die!

Why was I born to be abhorred of man and bird and beast?
The bullfinch marks me stealing by, and straight his song hath ceased;
The shrewmouse eyes me shudderingly, then flees; and worse than that,
The house dog he flees after me - why was I born a cat?

(I don't really believe all cats feel that way, or at last I hope not).

Thursday, December 3, 2015

MY FAVOURITE GARDEN FLOWERS

There are two "N" flowers that I like one of which I've not grown for many years, nor have I seen it grown in other gardens, it is:

"NEMESIA is a genus of annuals, perennials and sub-shrubs which are native to sandy coasts or disturbed ground in South Africa.  Numerous hybrids have been selected, and the annual cultivars are popular with gardeners as bedding plants.


The flowers are two-lipped with the upper lip consisting of four obes and the lower two lobes."

The second "N" is growing in our garden right now although at the end of its season.  It is:

"NASTURTIUM is a genus of seven plant species in the family Brassicaceae (cabbage family).   These plants are related to watercress and mustard, noteworthy for a peppery, tangy (pungent) flavour.

The name nasturtium comes from the Latin nasus tortus, meaning "twisted nose", in reference to the effect on the nasal passages of eating the plant."

Many years ago, in a small garden bed near our front door, I sowed some nasturtium seed that were many years out of date.   We got a full crop of them and they were beautiful.  Now they self-seed every year and we have nasturtiums everywhere, more especially in our back garden.  There are so many beautiful colours and to see them is to love them.

I do remember using the leaves in sandwiches (probably instead of lettuce) way back but haven't done so probably for 40 years or more.  I wonder if I dare try them now especially having read the statement re effects on the nose,  I have enough allergies now so perhaps not.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

WEDNESDAY WISDOM No 25

I guess we are all 'bad' in different ways?


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

ANOTHER BIRTHDAY FOR THE LAD

Tomorrow my wonderful husband will be 86.  I have no words to express how happy I am to still have him with me and I would be almost totally lost without him.   Fortunately, for both of us, he is still comparatively healthy and is able to do so many things I can no longer do.  With much love, I wish him a very happy birthday for tomorrow and hope he is with us (me) for many more years to come.

 I had to choose this one as he does enjoy that glass of red wine with his dinner each night.

As a gift to Phil our daughter and her hubby are shouting the family (10 of us) to dinner tomorrow night.  It will be great to see them all again and Phil was so happy to accept their wonderful offer.  I am sure we will have a most enjoyable time.  Thank you so much K and B for doing this for Pop.  He appreciates it more than you will ever know.


Monday, November 30, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT (1)

I am becoming increasingly hopeless at blogging of late but am trying hard to keep up with Monday Mirth and Wednesday Wisdom 'cos I really need a laugh these days and have never considered myself too wise not to learn more wisdom.

It seems I am in somewhat of a blue funk of late.  I feel it is a lot to do with my age and my inability to do the things I really want to do, the dreadful events happening around the world, those awful fires in my state of Western Australia, with lives, property and livelihood lost, and those in South Australia, with lives lost and over 80 homes lost or badly damaged, not to mention livestock and other creatures.  In both cases much degradation of the farming land which will take many years to recover.

It is impossible for me to try and say what I have been doing as I do so very little and medical stuff becomes boring, not only to me but also to others.  However, sorting through interminable bits and pieces in a box I came across 'COLLECTABLE CATS' by Lesley Anne Ivory.  In this little book there are stories by many well known, and not so well known folk about cats and knowing how several of you are 'cat people' I thought you may enjoy these wee stories.



"HONOURABLE CAT by Paul Gallico

The cat invented radar and extrasensory perception long before we ever thought of it.  Nobody has ever heard a cat miaow to or at another cat.  They shout and yell and scream when preparing for battle, but they don't talk audibly to one another.  Their little cries are reserved for us.  Yet somehow either through the antennae of their whiskers or pure thought broadcasters and receivers, they are attuned to one another and know what is going on.  And if they can do this, what is to prevent them from penetrating our thoughts - if not now, then eventually?  I have always been just a little wary of letting cats know too much about my business, and I have encountered people who when talking before their cat and working on the theory that it cannot spell will say: "Did you put the l-o-b-s-t-e-r in the f-r-i-d-g-e?"

Do you sometimes feel your cat knows just a little too much?  Our Candy can be seemingly asleep on my lap but often her head will quickly come up as though she knows there may be something going on somewhere of which Phil and I are completely unaware.  Satisfied all is well she will settle down again.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

WEDNESDAY WISDOM No 24

Sounds a little like eating humble pie?


Monday, November 23, 2015

MONDAY MIRTH No 24

I know just the feeling.  I was swimming down in Mandurah Estuary when I was young and something touched me in the water.   Don't think I jumped this high but I was out on the shore in a flash.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

MY FAVOURITE GARDEN FLOWERS

As I am mainly dealing with garden flowers and not shrubs and trees I am not including mimosa or magnolia in the M list.  The first choice is a word I so enjoying saying.  It seems to just slide off one's tongue so easily and, for some reason, it is a delight to spell. 

MESEMBRYANTHEMUM (meaning "midday flowering") is a genus of flowering plants native to southern Africa.   It is a member of the family Aizoaceae and like many members of this family, it is characterised by long-lasting flower heads.


Mesembryanthemum protect their gametes from night time dew or frosts but open in sunlight.  There is an obvious evolutionary advantage to doing this; where sun, dew, frost, wind or predators are likely to damage exposed reproductive organs, closing may be advantageous during times when flowers are unlikely to attract pollinators.


Ornamental mesembryanthemum may escape into the wild and consequently has become widely naturalised outside their natuve range.  They are considered an invasive weed in certain places.


My other choice is marigold as, of course, yellow is my favourite colour.  I am not absolutely taken with the smell of some varieties and am trying to decide which type I prefer most.

MARIGOLD (Tagetes) is a genus of annual or perennial, mostly herbacious plants in the sunflower family.  It was described as a genus by Linnaeus in 1753.  The genus is native to North and South America but some species have become naturalised around the world.

The common name in English "marigold" is derived from "Mary's gold", a name first applied to a similar plant Calendula officinalis.  The most commonly varieties are known variously as African marigolds (although this species is not native to Africa)


or French marigolds (usually referring to hybrids and cultivars, many of which were developed in France although the species is not native to that country).

Do you have a favourite "M" flower other than those above?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WEDNESDAY WISDOM No 23

I am sure there are times we all worry too much about problems that are just too hard.


Monday, November 16, 2015

MONDAY MIRTH No 23

My savings didn't last as long as I would have liked them to either!!!  Not much superannuation back then.