A very belated Six on Saturday

Happy belated Saturday fellow garden lovers!

Today my little family of ferals were out for a bush walk. I’ll write up a post later in the week to share the views.

I heard my email pinging from my backpack and it just added to the anticipation. Six on Saturday posts to look forward to devouring this week! Excellent! I will no doubt harrass you all soon with questions about your gardens 😊.

Naturally I had to include my favourite photo as today’s number one…

1. Hovea pungens “Devil’s Pins”.

I made hubby stop the car so I could take a photo. I love Hoveas. The ones on our block are a smaller species. This one is a knockout even driving past the purple stands out to be admired.20180623_170512 2.  Acacia puchella “Prickly Moses”.

This wattle is everywhere and getting ready to flower. Can’t wait!

I cut these out from around the internal house area because the thorns will go through a shoe. I use welding gloves and rip them out. We never poison them because when they dry the needles are even harder. But the yellow blossom is worth it. Grows like a weed as it is a resurrection plant and is one of the first to grow after a fire. 20180623_155553.jpg3. Sturt Desert Peas seeds.

20180622_094615
Seed from https://www.nindethana.net.au

I ordered these from a rehabilitation company in Albany, WA. The seeds get soaked in boiling water for 5 mins. I’ve planted them in the sand retaining wall. They don’t like poor drainage and will drop dead unless careful about watering. Straight into the ground as they hate being transplanted too.

Last year the winter rains killed my plant (sobs). It is too early to put the seed in, but we’ve had an almost non existent winter (today was sunny at 25 degrees celcius). It’s going to be a HOT Summer this year. Hopefully that means Sturt Peas!!

4. Kangaroo paws are back woohooo!

I grew a red and green k-paw from seed last year (why only one? The kids tipped out my pots arrrgh!). Anyhow. It grew big enough to divide so I split it in three. They didn’t like that much. But now they’re in recovery. Can’t wait till I can share flowers with you all.

20180617_133024_Burst01
Welcome back K-Paw!

5. Syzygium australe (lilly pilly).20180617_125212_HDR

This one grows to about 10m and has sour purplely pink fruit when mature. My kids love to eat them so I bought three as tubestock. We’ll see if they survive the summer out here.

6. And to end with something utterly unrelated…. my little pot of string of pearls is flowering! I broke a little piece off Mum’s plant and it is taking off.

I hadn’t seen them flower before. Isn’t it pretty! 20180616_092525_HDR

Well that’s me for this Saturday. Just scraped in to join the fun but better late than not at all.

On that note… Please head on over to the Propagator’s blog at…

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Here you’ll find links to other gardeners sharing their Six on Saturday. It is worth it.

Do you make time to search for treasure?

There are days where hard physical work is a godsend to keep my mind away from difficult thoughts (Don’t you just love depression … And yes that was a bitter sarcastic tone you heard).116

And then there are bad days. Mental illness doesn’t always visit alone. Sometimes it has company. My depression has a companion called autoimmune arthritis. I don’t like either of them very much.

What has this got to do with treasure?

On days where I’m in pain and feeling low I have a choice. Let the hopelessness bury me. Or allow myself be human and be kind to myself. Yes I am faulty. Flawed. Weak. Hurting. Lazy. Uninspired. Self absorbed. But aren’t all people at some point?

So I pamper myself with a treasure hunt. Do you work away in the garden and miss the little things sometimes? I do.

Feeling sick is a wonderful reason to take time to enjoy your garden. Go for a very slow wander and inspect all the plants. Search for flowers and mushrooms and all of the things that on busy days you may miss.

20180620_110754_Burst01
The first of the tiny orchids. This flower is only about 1cm across! I love searching for treasure.

20180620_110612_HDR

On bad days it helps to slow down and make time for yourself. Be gentle and forgiving to yourself as best you can. And focus on tomorrow being a new day to try again.

After all you never know what treasures are waiting in your future…

Today the sun came out for me. My meds began to work ever so slightly. I could breathe. My friend and her kids came with us to our block of land. The joy of a road trip with friends. No rush. Nothing fancy just enjoying a happy moment.

And then we stopped the cars…. What on earth is that? Walked for a closer look…

20180621_120236_HDR
A curious “lump” in the middle of a road. We stopped to check. An Echinda!!

This is only the second Echinda I have seen in 33 years of life. None of the kids had seen one before. I went to scoop him off the road thinking a car had clipped him and off he waddled! I had no idea Echidna could waddle so fast!

How we laughed. The kids peered out the windows and demanded to know why this was not a hedgehog. 20180621_120516_hdr.jpg

These moments make it all worthwhile. Treasure. Just waiting for us all to stop a while and look for it.

When is the last time you searched for treasure?

 

Will you share a nursery with me?

When you feel low do you enjoy a little garden centre therapy? Me too!

There is something about getting out of the house and wandering through a nursery which makes me feel a little more alive.

Being surrounded by people who are doing something they love.

Hearing people talk about their designs for the garden.

Reading the labels. Looking at the planting displays and ideas.

Always leaving with an unexpected purchase and an idea and excited hope.

A lifetime ago I worked at a nursery. I used to enjoy watching people. All sorts of people explore nurseries. Gardens don’t judge you. You can be depressed or unable to hold a conversation and it doesn’t matter. Gardens are a good place to find solace and healing.

It led me to believe a good nursery realises sometimes people have little money to spend or need company and a gentle, happy space. It welcomes everyone regardless. Gives them time and space to wander and touch and dream and hope and talk to others about something they love.

Which brings me to my point… I wanted to share my favourite nursery with you. I was hoping you might feel inspired to write a post in return to share your favourite nursery with me too. If you would like to I’d love a link in the replies. I love seeing new places 😊.

And now….

Welcome to Zanthorrea Nursery!

20180616_135225_HDR
http://www.zanthorrea.com A shameless plug 😂

Even the name makes me smile. Named after our Grass trees (Xanthorrea) with a humour that realises and accepts not everyone is a plant nerd and knows how to pronounce or spell that.

It is also an Australian native plant nursery. There are gardens throughout beautifully maintained to show people how our plants can be beautiful too.

20180616_135411_HDR
Yellow Leschenaultia… Stunning

Enough of me waffling… The pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy.

20180616_135428_HDR
The Leschenaultia display. I want them ALL 😊

20180616_135506_HDR20180616_135417_HDR20180616_135338_HDR20180616_135334_HDR

20180616_135641_HDR
Play area for the kids. Everyone is welcome!

This is my favourite place to go when I need a boost.

Will you share yours too? I can’t wait to see nurseries from around the world!

❤ Nat

Six on Saturday

Hello fellow gardeners (non gardeners are welcome too though!).

It is THAT time again… Time to head on over to The Propagator’s blog and check out all the links to gardens and the six things each blogger chose from their garden to share. Bliss!

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Well here are my Six for Saturday…

1 . Agonis flexuosa seedlings in their lazy animal guard. These trees will grow quickly to about 10m so this is just a temporary fix.

20180613_131303_HDR
A very very lazy kangaroo proofing method. Milk crate with a heavy rock on top.

2. Zamia palms (Macrozamia riedlei) are looking pretty spectacular this time of year. 20180603_155141_HDR

3. Cutting grown Bougainvilleas. Perth WA seems to have ‘Bougs’ everywhere. They are so easy to propagate too! I’ve had the best success with semi hardwood cuttings.

4. A pitiful looking experiment…

Richardella dulcifica (Synsepalum dulcificum) otherwise known as the Miracle Fruit. The miracle is apparently the berries make sour things taste sweet. My father in law bought three plants. I have one in a pot and one in the ground. They both look unhappy but no surprise given their preferred climate. I use the local rare fruit club website a lot to give me an idea if I have a remote chance of getting unusual plants to live.  http://www.rarefruitclub.org.au

5. Another lovely sundew with lots of dew in the morning. This one changes to red in the colder weather and has little white flowers.20180615_095321_Burst01.jpg

20180610_141640_hdr.jpg
The same plant on a bushwalk recently. Higher up and more exposed to cold air it is red. This one is in flower.

6. Cutting grown Natal Plum (Carissa macrocarpa). On a trip to the zoo my son picked up a small piece to toy with. At home I decided why not? Trimmed it and used a rooting hormone not expecting much. Surprisingly it took. So now I have a baby to nurture until it is big enough to snip more cuttings. 20180609_160306_HDR

And that’s my garden for today. I can’t wait to dive into everyone else’s gardens!

There are kudos for blogging? Who knew!?

Well today was a lovely surprise. A bright point in a difficult week.

A huge thank you to Cindy for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award. Best thing is now it is my turn to share the love!

For those who don’t know Cindy you can check out her blog about managing chronic pain here…

https://validatingchronicpain.com

As a person who manages pain and physical and mental illnesses her blog is important to me. I hope it interests and helps you too.

Right-o onto the formalities 😊

What is Mystery Blogger Award?

“This is an award for amazing bloggers with indigenous posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.” – Okoto Enigma

Rules

  • Thank whoever nominated you and include link to their blog
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Nominate 10-20 bloggers you feel deserve the award
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

Three things about me…

1. My wedding flowers were white daisies, white stock and baby’s breath. When our house is built those will be planted around it.

2. I volunteer for a mental health charity organisation called beyondblue.

3. When we go to nurseries everyone stares at my 3 and 4 year old kids because they pipe up naming the plants. “Oh look Mummy! Look at the lovely Jacaranda”. It always makes me laugh.

Now the questions from Cindy…

What’s the most surprising self-realization you’ve had?

That I’m a lot tougher and capable than I ever thought I was. If younger me knew what life had in store she would swear it will kill me. But I’m still here. Tough as old boots.

How do you hope you will change as a person in the future?

One day I hope to get a little freedom and independence back. I hope will feel less angry and generally tired of the world.

What is the most annoying question that people ask you (if you have a chronic illness/pain, what is the most annoying question that people ask you about your illness/pain)?

“Why don’t you try …. (fasting/cleansing/detox…. Pick any natural remedy known to man)?”

I’ve started replying yep that sounds great but unless they’re a quick fix miracle I won’t be able to walk so I’ll just go with what the rhematologist says thanks.

What is something that a ton of people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of and why?

Social media. I do get the appeal after all blogging is similar but being tied to my phone doesn’t appeal squat. Plus I really hate when someone is “talking to you” but they’re on social media. How is that showing me I matter?

What’s the best thing that happened to you last week?

My friend came home from hospital finally and is feeling safe. She was very unwell and at risk. Made my week that she is ok.

My nominees…

 Ida

The first mental health blog I read. Ida says it how it is. I have every faith that if more people spoke like this about mental illness stigma would be a thing of the past.

https://aroundthewardin80days.com

Ali

Ali introduced me to the term “flower porn” and constantly makes life better with her stunning photos and the passion behind the words.

The Propagator

Three glorious words… “Six on Saturday”. Mr. P created it and if you check the comments on his blog on a Saturday it is a never fail way to live vicariously through some awesome gardens. Plus he is welcoming to everyone which I really appreciate.

Maureen

Maureen writes about what life at 80 years of age is like. I love this blog. There is nothing that gives me more hope than seeing you can be kick ass and relevant regardless of your age.

http://maureenhelen.com

The Dark Horse

I have a soft spot for Dark Horse. The very first person who replied to my blog. I didn’t tell anyone offline. So Dark Horse’s words of support were golden. Plus this blog is also about managing mental health issues. The recent post about conquering fear panic attacks was an eyeopener! Read and enjoy.

Juansen

If you want to see poetry as therapy stop and have a chat with Juansen. This blog is lovely. The illustration. The words. Pretty much any day I feel low I know I can find hope here.

https://lonelyblueboy.wordpress.com

Right it’s not ten but this is a looooong post.

My questions for you all…

1. What is it about blogging that makes you feel good?

2. Are you ever nervous about exposing too much of how you feel inside to the world?

3. What is your trusted go to technique on a day you feel a bit low?

4. Of all your posts which would you like everyone to read and comment on?

5. How do you enjoy your Vegemite? As an Aussie this is clearly vital for me to know 😊.

Thank you again very kindly Cindy. I’m not sure of the protocol whether I could nominate you but please know I read and enjoy your blog very much.

❤ Nat

Keeping suicidal thoughts at bay… Garden therapy!

Today I will begin with the photos of what keeping unhelpful thoughts at bay looks like. A wall of rocks.

Two small trailer loads. My three year old called the bigger rocks Mummy rocks. She is right. They are my lifeline on days like today. Where despite medication and weekly therapy the thoughts creep in.

20180608_120231_HDR

I could sit and dwell. Let the thoughts sink in further. Or I could enact my saftey plan starting with finding activities to distract myself. To pass the time and wait the thoughts out.

If you’re curious beyondblue have a free saftey plan called beyondnow.

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/beyondnow-suicide-safety-planning

I volunteer for BB but I’m not trying to be pushy. If you know someone who struggles with self harm or suicidal thoughts it is a great tool I use too.

And it’s free. Everyone loves free.

Anyhow… Distraction. Rocks.

I’ve mentioned before grabbing a pick and digging holes. That works too. But what I’m slowly learning is my safety plan comes in three parts…

1. Support myself

2. Ask for help from others.

3. Don’t be alone. Call ambulance. Go to the ER.

The garden fits in category 1. Physical activity somehow has always helped me. By having my hands in the dirt. Being out in the sun or rain. The smells and sights and sounds. The taste of sweat. Somehow this works for me better than anything else.

And best of all is the moment when the thoughts pass. When I can breathe again.

I make a cup of tea and sit with Miss 3 on the swingseat my father in law made for me. Cuddle my daughter, brush my toes in the sand as we swing. And for a moment feel ok.

20180608_132755_HDR

Tomorrow is a new day. I’ll try again.

Slippery Dip Falls

FR Berry Reserve. Just the name makes me smile. Actually being there eases every ache from my heart. This is my depression free place.

Once upon a time a couple found a book in an op shop. Family walks in the Perth Outdoors…

Ok that couple was hubby and I. But in my heart finding this book was the start of my fairytale.

book-family-walks-perth_large
Photo courtesy of DPAW.

Family Walks in Perth Outdoors

We come here multiple times a year. After the winter rains and at the start of spring are the best times to visit.

This is why…20180610_144253_HDR20180610_143838_HDR20180610_141436_HDRMost flowers aren’t out yet but little Miss 3 found a carpet of trigger flowers…20180610_141005_HDRAnd Mr 4 found some ‘rainbow’ sundew which took me right back to my fairytale.

20180610_141440_HDRSee the granite outcrop way up high in the top left of the photo? We trekked up there once with our dog and a backpack with a ‘picnic’. On top of the world hubby went to find me a piece of ‘rainbow’ and came back with the string of sticky flowers and a little box with a ring.

20180610_143735_HDR
The flowers from a sundew… Nicknamed rainbow. It is sticky and as kids we would wrap it into crowns to wear.

Every story needs a twist… This memory has one too. After a picnic of sandwiches and chocolate cake (and lots of champagne!) we got lost in the bush! Two young lovers drunk and happy. In that moment we didn’t care less that we were lost in the bush because we were together.

At my worst, highly depressed and struggling to walk with an autoimmune arthritis I grieved this special place. I didn’t think I’d ever get to come back.

But here we are.

20180610_144206_HDR.jpg

Our kids love it here too. I am reminded no matter how bad I feel there is always a place I can go where every step is a reminder of a happy memory.

Thank you for letting me share my favourite place in the world.

Do you have a place you can trust to make you feel safe and happy?

 

 

 

Six on Saturday… A reminder that things will get better in time.

Hello fellow gardeners, black thumbs and non gardeners are always welcome too 😊.

Saturday to me is becoming the end of the week and the signal of a fresh start.

Why?

Because of The Propagator’s Six on Saturday idea (check it out and join the fun here…)

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

There is something that helps me mentally about looking forward to seeing everyone’s posts. All the colour and the plants and the joy and passion. It reminds me when my depression has me in it’s grip that there is joy to be found. I just struggle to see it.

So today my six is about hope. Hope in my garden and in my heart. A reminder that although right now my garden and mind feel dull the plants will grow in time. I just have to give them my time and effort and care. They will survive and grow and one day will be just as lovely as the local specimens that inspired me in the first place.

So here we go.

1. My cutting grown coral trees (Erythrina sykesii). Only about 50cm high.

The park in Woodbridge that made me fall in love with these trees in the first place.

2. My purchased Cassia Fistula

20180601_134127_HDR

We had one in the front yard up north in Wickham, WA as a teenager. One grows over the grave of a beloved k9 at Mum and Dad’s home. Youthful and hopeful. This one gets knocked back by the frost and then just grows back.

3. My seed grown Flame trees (Brachychiton acerifolius).

20180609_154102_HDR
So little, but there are about 10 of them

This is one down the road from our rental. I pass it on the school run most days. I love red gardens. One day we will have red everywhere. An explosion of colour and heat.

4. My cutting grown Poinsettias.

20180601_133743_HDR.jpg

Another local treasure in a neighbour’s front garden. I planted ours next to the sea container to radiate some warmth. They’re an experiment but seem to be surviving the winter so far.

5. Seed grown Sweet Gums (Liquidambar sp.)

20180609_154419_Burst01
My little sweet gums 😢. Hubby burnt the grass trees nearby and knocked them right back.

No red garden is complete without a few of these. I love the spiky seed balls and the carpet of leaves of all sorts of warm colours. Just got a new lot of seed from these trees in the old Midland Railway garden.

6. Proof some things are beautiful right now. Two and half years old and finally my Grevillea olivacea flower!

Thanks for joining me in daydreaming 🌸.

A project to keep the ‘black dog’ at bay.

What is a home without a frog pond?

Well the frogs may not be here yet but the pond is waiting for them.

20180602_162535_HDRWe don’t use garden chemicals often (hubby will sometimes use White Oil) so in our old house we had frogs galore.

There is nothing like sitting outside in the evening and hearing the frogs calling.

Plus frogs eat a lot of garden pests so it is a win for the garden too.

We may not have a house yet but we decided making a pond was a necessity.

20180603_153218_HDR

Inexperience meant I’ve put the overflow pipe too low at one end, so on the opposite side the pond liner shows when the pond is filled. Arrgh.

20180602_162945_HDR
The water drains from the overflow pipe before it fills enough. Ah well. Needs more plants 😊

I dug the pond and lined with chicken wire to act as a support to hold the concrete in place. Hubby mixed and I poured and smoothed. Paper mache at it’s finest.

Once cured we lined the concrete with white sand and then a pond liner sheet. People said this was overkill but we thought we may as well go all out the first time.

Then we began rock patrol. It took three small trailer loads of coffee rock to hold the liner down and in place (I folded it under on the edges). Plus a few wheelbarrows full of gravel to fill in the gaps in the rocks.

And finally some reeds in pots and submerged rocks to give the tadpoles (hope hope) somewhere to hide.

And now…. We wait.   🐸

Six on Saturday

Hooray it is Saturday!

Time to head on over to The Propagator’s blog and scour through the many beautiful gardens and sixes on offer. It is becoming something I really look forward to.

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

My six this week…

1. Pincushion Hakea at my son’s school. I’ve never really been a fan… Now I’ll have to pop over to Zanthorrea Nursery and get some for the block.

20180601_145349_HDR

2. The Sundews are growing again! Only about the size of a thumbnail right now but by spring they will be flowering and even more lovely.

20180601_134402_HDR

3. Acacia iteaphylla beginning to flower. This is the first year we have had flowers. They are 2 years old now.

20180601_133610_HDR

4. Best wishes for survival to my mulberry which had to be transplanted (was growing where the new water tank is going). Hubby wants to hack it back but it was from a cutting so I’m not too worried. It will either live or it won’t.

20180601_132946_HDR

5. Woohoo new leaves on the Macadamia. It seems to be settling in well here.

20180601_132844_HDR

6. Mmmm 😊. Nothing says winter is here like the clover cover crop starting to grow. This is a mix of ‘dalkeith’ and ‘bindoon’ both subterranean clovers.

20180601_134046_HDR

That’s my six. Thanks for checking them out. I can’t wait to see what others post.