Monday, 26 December 2011

Pepper Joins the Family

Last week I spotted a sign free rabbit and hutch. Well we'd been thinking of getting the kids a new pet. I stopped in and checked out the little fellow. His owners were moving and were unable to take him with them. He's 2 and has been spoilt, used to being handled and as friendly as anything.

I arranged to pick Pepper up on Friday. We went to the library and both kids read the books they picked up on how to look after rabbits. We picked Pepper up on Friday and the kids are over the moon about him.


Cuddles and pats

Yum, runner beans


Home. sweet, home

Finished exploring I'm tired

Just relaxing

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

My indigenous garden — familiar but not quite the same

Australia has a lot of very unique plants. But we still have a fair range of those that would seem familar to overseas visitors.

Native forget-me-nots
Some that I have in my garden that occur locally are native forget-me-nots. Believe me the seeds are a thousand times more annoying and sticky than the common garden variety. It is also as tough as anything in a dry garden.

Pelargonium australe
Another family we have a few of in Australia is Pelargoniums. This one is currently flowering in my garden. It's Pelargonium australe Austral stork's bill.

I also have the outrageously bright pink Magenta Stork's Bill Pelargonium rodneyanum but it's not out at present. It is a small rockery plant that survived the 10 year drought here without any added water.

Native jasmine

I've also got the tiny little scrambling local grassland jasmine. It's flowering right now and has a sweet delicate scent rather than the absolutely overpowering heady scent of some jasmines.

Common everlastings
Some of the other things flowering now are the common everlastings.

Clustered everlastings

The clustered everlastings which are taller and have smaller flowers.

Scaevola aemula
Other locals that are well worth having is the Scaevolas (fanflowers). I've both the Scaevola albida and the Scaevola aemula in the garden. The Sceavola aemula is my favourite but the both flower for months in my unwatered indigenous area of the garden. They are also the easiest thing to strike from cuttings as well. I'd recommend this as they need replacing semi-regularly as they are inclined to be a bit shortlived.

Vegetables can have pretty flowers too

I haven't blogged for a while as I'd picked up some paid temporary work and life was just too busy. I'm finished now so I can get back to all the things I was running out of time for. Including getting ready to have 16 over for Christmas Day.

Naughty chickens on the lawn.
My dear husband built my permanent escape proof chook run for me. Did you know leghorns can scale 6 foot fences even with their wings clipped.

 I finally got my summer garden going a month later than I usually would.

scarlet runner beans
Lots of the vegetables and fruit we grow has quite colourful flowers if we look closely. I put these scarlet runner bean in, just for the flowers it is often too warm for them to set beans here. So they are sharing a frame with purple king beans (yet to flower) which are predictably productive here.

Pepino flowers
The pepino flowers are attractive and I find the plants themselves as tough as old boots and productive in dry conditions. They don't however like frosts much.

Purple tomatillo flowers

Another one from the tomato family purple tomatillo. I haven't tried this one before so I be interested how it goes. The flowers are a really bright yellow.

Chinese celery in flower
These aren't as pretty but are often covered in beneficial insects like ladybirds. 

This is Chinese celery. It is much hardier the normal supermarket stem one requiring less water by far. But it is still very useful to produce that celery flavour in soups and other cooked dishes or to slice a little very finely in a salad. It has the added bonus it self sows in my garden.

Black passionfruit
A couple of fruiting plants flowering in the garden at the moment. 

Black passionfruit, this one is a seedling plant on its own roots. The grafted Nelly Kelly's rootstock is a pain as it suckers a fair bit here.


And a pomegranate this bush is just starting to flower now. So tough, with such bright flowers that they should be grown as ornamentals alone.

Tree onion
Not a flower but I still find them fascinating. Tree onions, these little ones can be replanted next year and produce pickling size onions with good flavour and a bit of a bite.