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.

Sunday, 29 September 2013


In a little corner of Sydney, amongst the concrete, skyscrapers, steel, and glass is a pocket of tranquility called the Chinese Gardens of Friendship. 
On our recent visit to Sydney we had not intended to visit the gardens. As the three of us, that is myself, my daughter and grand daughter walked by, the entrance to the gardens aroused Little Miss Five's curiosity. Since our main aim at the time was to find somewhere to eat, we ventured in, firstly because the garden boasts a tea house, and secondly the entrance fee is minimal. 
Little Miss Five loved the gardens. She had her point-and-shoot camera with her and took many photographs.
Me, on the other hand, found my eye drawn not only to the tranquil scenery of the gardens but the juxtaposing of them with what is beyond the walled garden.
I hope you find the following scenes as beguiling as I do.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Sydney Monorail

It's school holidays here in Sydney.
Last Tuesday, (yes, I know, I'm very behind with my blogging), Little Miss Five (soon to be six) and I took the train into Sydney to meet her Mum at college where she is studying nutrition.
Afterwards we went to Darling Harbour.
On the way we came across a part of Sydney's history.
It doesn't look very exciting does it?  It's not in one of Sydney's most beautiful sections.  Sort of in the back streets, very near Paddy's Markets, China Town and the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
When Little Miss Five saw it, and its significance was explained to her, she started to cry.
This is what's left of what Sydney-siders have come to know as The Monorail.
Its existence has always been controversial.
It began service in 1987 and in July this year it was decommissioned. 
When we explained to Little Miss Five that the Monorail no longer runs and that it's being pulled down, she started to cry and said; I wish I could have had one last ride before they pulled it down.
Sadly, I think I would have liked one last ride too, but when I read about its demise it was already too late for that.
I must admit, I have never been a fan and in its twenty six years of service I have been a passenger twice, the last time with our Grand daughter. 
You can read more about The Sydney Monorail here

Friday, 27 September 2013

Success and Failure

I may not be able to grow vegetables, but I never have any trouble growing cymbidium orchids...a sure sign spring has arrived are these blooms...

In the eighties, gardeners I knew lamented how difficult it is to grow cymbidiums.  A neighbour gave me a 'pseudobulb' back then, which I potted and grew and I haven't looked back since.  That one bulb has resulted in countless numbers of plants which I have gifted (and more recently sold) over the years.
This year I acquired a yellow variety which is yet to flower.
Unfortunately on getting the plant home I noticed that it is infested with scale insects which I'm now wondering if I can treat, or if I should discard the plant right away.
The last time I acquired a scale infected plant I struggled with it for many years until I gave up in despair and put it in the bin.

I'm linking to:


#138 @ Charm of The Home.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Home Grown

Sometimes, I despair at my attempts to grow vegetables in our garden. 
Yet there has been more than one occasion on which I have been able to throw together an appetizing green salad of various leaves picked from the garden.

The nasturtiums I sowed last year have finally come good, so I picked a few leaves to make a salad recently.  I'm not a great fan of nasturtium leaves in salads but I don't mind a scant sprinkling of them.  I grew the nasturtiums for the seed because I would like to try and make poor man's capers from them.
I have also grown a few Russian kale plants, these I don't mind so a good handful went into the salad bowl.
My rocket (arugula) bolted to seed but do you know that rocket flowers are edible?  They have a flavour which I think is very much like sesame seeds.  I have noticed that the native bees are very attracted to them as well.

To the salad I added a few blanched green beans and an avocado along with a thinly sliced lemon and voila! - A healthy green salad to serve with the main course.

A vinaigrette is my favourite salad dressing which I make from freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and Dijon or French mustard.
Hmmm, is it still a vinaigrette if it doesn't have vinegar as an ingredient?
Well, here's a recipe for 

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
2 1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice, strained
1 tsp Dijon or French mustard
Fine sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a glass jar with lid, shake vigorously and serve.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

WIP Wednesday. A Finish.

For extra special people in my life, I make extra special labels for the quilt I'm gifting.

I started this quilt over twelve months ago for a birthday that was twelve months ago.

Well, you know the saying...better late than never.

My youngest sister is ecstatic with her new quilt.

It fits perfectly on her bed, she said.

I've never become attached to a quilt like I have with this one.

I love the colours. 

I love the design.

It is a quilt as you go quilt and here is the back where you can see the machine quilting.

It is reversible if so wished.

Here it is finished.

I have already started on my next project...a Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt to go along with this one for Baby #2.

I'm linking up to Lee's WIP Wednesday.
At Freshly Pieced.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

And Sherry's Home Sweet Home #137.


Sunday, 15 September 2013


My rock orchid has flowered for the first time in years.

Many of the native plants are flowering profusely this year, I'm therefore predicting a long hot and dry summer.
It may be some sort of protective mechanism to ensure the species survives a  treacherous season.
Bush fires have already caused much concern in and around the Blue Mountains over the past week.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


The local possum family have discovered my collection of succulent plants.
They now reside behind wire screens, (my plants, not the possums).
The above cutting was growing strongly, until the possums discovered it.
It now looks aged and dwarfed so I'm thinking of transplanting it into a bonsai pot.
Our winter has been extremely dry and reportedly the warmest on record.
Which explains why my collection is doing so well - or was - if it not for the teeth marks on the leaves left behind by some furry little critters...

Comments Welcome

I welcome your comments; they are little personal notes to me. I enjoy reading what each of you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.