A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

This Month In The Garden.

Saturday September 10.
A dedication.
I would like to dedicate this post to those who passed in the last six weeks or so.
But mostly my Dearest Uncle who left this world just short of his ninetieth birthday.
To my Mr Honey Pie's work colleagues - two in the same week. 
To my sewing teacher's elderly Aunt.
To local icon and Grandmother Shirley Wilson, who died tragically in a house fire one week ago.
And last but not least...to my Dearest Daughter's school friend, overwhelmed by the pain of life.
All gone to a better place.

Here in the southern hemisphere, we celebrate the first day of Spring on 1st September.

Thank you for visiting my garden.
This post IS a little late; due to some gremlins sabotaging my post!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Dunn's Swamp and Bushfire Season.

After a relaxing and breathtakingly quiet weekend camped at Dunn's Swamp we have returned to a scary situation here in the beautiful Blue Mountains.
As we returned home yesterday evening, we were passed by a multitude of fire fighting vehicles on the way to a  bushfire at Leura.
Today it's a ferociously windy day with smoke in the air.
I had planned to do laundry duty today. 
Instead I'm spurred on to prepare an emergency pack in case of bushfire.
We live in an extreme bushfire zone. Exit is via a one way out road. Bushland spans the entire south western side.

Monday, 12 September 2011

My Sister's Birthday.

My Baby Sister is a photography fanatic (and turning forty nine).
Once again, I'm scrap booking a journal cover - this time one with black pages - to give to her for her birthday and I've tagged it 'Photography Journal'.
Thank you Karen at the Graphic's Fairy for helping me out with graphics.
I created a collage with TGF images and printed out on A4 size buff-coloured paper. You can see how I created the rest here.
I've made a card to match.

Do you like the bead necklace? I estimate the little left over bit to be over forty years old.  I've kept it with my button collection 'just in case'.  (Yes for almost forty years.)
It's so hard to throw things out!  The moment I do I go searching for them.
Eventually I find a use for them.

Happy creating.

Friday, 9 September 2011

All Before Breakfast - Teddy Bear.

This little bear was inspired by Kate @ Foxslane blog spot
Kate keeps an inspiring blog about her life as a crafter and farmer's wife.  Recently though her whole family has taken the road trip of a life time.  Give her a visit.
Well, my little bear looks nothing like the original pattern found here by Rachel Borello Carroll. Why? 'Cause I always like to take the easy way out!
In my search for wool I found two little squares I'd knitted years ago when testing my tension for a jumper I would knit for Second Son. They make perfect little bodies for bears. All I needed to do for this little one was add limbs and ears.  Because mine is larger than the original (by about an inch)I decided to stuff the limbs.
Do you like Lavender Bear?
She is first of a few...will fill you in later.

Now, to have breakfast, oh dear, or is that lunch?

Monday, 5 September 2011

Saturday Lunch.

The last time I made these I'd forgotten to photograph them before the family had tucked in.
So here's a photograph that I took last Saturday. 

I made two rounds of the shortbread and gift wrapped one to give to Second Son.  We visited him for lunch at his home in Sydney's Inner West.  I love taking a small gift of food whenever we are invited to friends or family for a meal.
I added a beautiful tag for effect (with graphic from The Graphics Fairy) and some lavender coloured ribbon (of course).  SS was duly impressed.
After a scrumptious lunch of rye bread club sandwiches and mini pavlovas (that my daughter made) we went to Sydney Park to walk off a few calories.  
Grand Daughter was overwhelmed by the playground facilities available at the park. What a wonderful use of space (which once housed a clay extraction and waste disposal site).  The park includes wetlands, dog-off-leash area, amazing playground equipment, a dedicated children's push bike/scooter training area, fitness park, walking paths and great views. 

It is Sydney's largest park.

I didn't take my camera, so photographs are not great as they were taken on my mobile phone.
These chimneys are remnant landmarks from the clay extraction works.

Sculpture on top of the hill.  Sydney Park, Petersham.
After our walk and play in the park we returned to Second Son's house for afternoon tea... kumquat and poppy seed cake, chocolate brownies (both made by SS) and lavender shortbread, with tea or coffee.What a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

I'm linking this post to:

The Help.

What I'm reading ATM.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is set in Jackson, Mississippi during the early nineteen sixties.
This is an era when Negroes are only just being allowed into Woolworth and public libraries.
Stockett has written a well executed novel about three women's lives and the risks they take for the sake of change. Change that will see better conditions for black people in America.
The author takes on each woman's voice with ease; their stories ensure a riveting read.  At times I felt anxious and fearful for the characters. The second half of the novel erupted such feelings of unease in me that I found myself with book in hand - when I should have been doing chores.  I needed to know that everything would turn out alright.
If I was to find a fault with this novel, it's that although it stirred many emotions in me, the reader, the characters themselves seemed emotionally detached.  But perhaps this in itself may have been a trait of the times, a survival mechanism.
Definitely a 'must read'.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A Bucket Full of Weeds.

What better way to honour the garden on the first day of spring than to spend an hour or two pulling up weeds?
Up until about a week ago, my bleating about the nature-strip-we-call-a-lawn consisted of: "If it's green it's a weed!"  
This proved to be correct in one hundred percent of cases as Mr Honey Pie tried to prove me wrong.
So today, I did something about it and targeted bindii, winter grass, paspalum and a grassy thing that eventually grows feathery looking seed.
I've got a long way to go yet, especially with the winter grass.  Today I concentrated on eliminating as much of the weeds with seeds on them as possible.
I don't like to use herbicides so most of my weeding is done with my hand held gardening tools or simple pulling.

Any weeds which have set seed, or which have runners, suckers, bulbs, etc. NEVER go in the compost bin.
Depending on the circumstances, they either go in the rubbish bin and are taken away, 
or into a large bucket and the weeds are then covered with water.
I place a tight fitting lid on the bucket and the whole lot left for at least a month.
During that time the weeds should turn to mush  and producing a nutrient rich plant tea.
Water down the resulting tea until it is the colour of a light tea and use it as a liquid fertilizer on your garden.
Sometimes I eradicate broadleaved weeds in the nature strip with a sprinkling of sulphate of ammonia.
But because we are so close to bushland I do this as little as possible.
The nature strip is hard to keep vegetated because of the steep incline.
Every time we have a heavy downpour, patches of soil are washed away.
I have found that applying a native mulch to bare patches of lawn assist in preventing soil to wash away and eventually for the couch grass to take hold.
It's been a slow process but our nature strip is gradually taking shape.
The nature strip provides the only lawn area in our garden because areas of our garden are either bush garden or vegetable/herb garden.
In the build up to spring, some flecks of green are appearing in the couch grass which has suffered over the winter months.
Spring is on its way in the Southern Hemisphere.

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