Sunday, January 1, 2012

A new day, a new year

I welcomed 2012 as the first sun of the new year turned the clouds over Mt Warning pink, and tinged the hedge with gold, with a rather chilly (for summer) stroll around my garden

The poinciana is losing the last of it's fiery red blooms, and leafing up beautifully to shade the front of the house from the morning sun, and similarly, the jacaranda out back has lost almost all it's gentle mauve flowers and is providing a dense shade canopy to shield the western side of my house from the fierce afternoon sun.  It also provides deep shade over the chook pen.  At the moment it doesn't feel like that burn of summer will come, as it's still quite cool, even at mid morning.

These shade loving calladiums, impatients and bleeding heart vine provide a burst of summer colour in a sheltered spot under the front stairs.

Snowy white cosmos and petunias glow in the morning sun

I use the leaves from this showy purple red amaranth in salads and juices, and now that it has a seed head, I'll try dyeing with it.

The garden is starting to wind down now, and it's getting too hot to start any new plantings, so soon I'll start to mulch over the beds, and plan the planting for autumn, but the button squash are still producing,
and there's always tomatoes to pick.
These self sown marigolds provide a nice groundcover to keep this bed free of weeds until I'm ready to plant again, and once the flowers start, the bees will come in droves.

On the back fence in the lane, the banksia is setting seed. 

These wicked looking seed pods were the villains in Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, an iconic story of the Australian bush, written by May Gibbs and first published in 1918.

The frangipanni is just starting to flower, but already their heady, distinctive perfume fills the air, a scent that always takes me back to my childhood, of long summer school holidays, spent at the beach or in the pool.

Curious chickens, Edie and Juno, hoping for a treat, or even be let out... sorry girls, not until later this afternoon.


 I'm not sure what this plant is, I've always called it a balsam, but when I looked that up, it looks nothing like this.  I think it might be a weed, but it makes such a bright show against the fence and survives well with no care during the hot weather that I let it have it's way.

I wish everyone an enjoyable day as we start our journey into 2012, and hope the new year brings joy, blessings, peace and happiness for all.


  1. Hello Nanette, I just popped in from Kaite's blog, I just wanted to say the plant in the last photo, I don't know its botanical name but I think we called it naughty lady (I might be mistaken, could be confusing it with something else), it's not a weed here but might grow like one in your state ( I'm on the mornington peninsula in victoria) Best wishes for the New Year. Anne

  2. Ah hah, my visitors have come visiting you too, isn't that wonderful, the power of networking. and no, it's not a balsam but i like the Naughty Lady title. Your garden is very different to mine, here it's just coming into Summer vegies and you're going out of them. I did harvest my broad beans today and thought about what i'd put there in Autumn tho.
    Thanks for the tour of yours and the wonderful view, you're close to Mt W. Looks like she's letting off steam.
    HNY2012 to you.

  3. I think your mystery plant is Mirabilis jalapa. It grows as a welcome "volunteer" in my garden (suburbs of Melbourne).

  4. I see you have been a given the botanical name and it is what I grew up knowing as Naughty Lady, it's because she used to come out later in the day. I didn't realise that it had so many uses. I've looked at your dolls as well, they are lovely, my daughter and I are planning to make some soft toys now and send them to Meet me at Mikes, I'm glad they extended the date! =) Anne

  5. Hello Anne, thanks for stopping by and telling me about 'Naughty Lady' it, and she certainly is, popping up in all sorts of places. I have some more softies made and ready to be stuffed to go to Pip as well, I was pleased about the extra time as well.

  6. Vireya, you're right! thankyou, clever lady. I had a look at the link and it's a very useful plant, it seems...I'd better go apologise for suggesting it's a weed! And it does have a beautiful perfume, wafts deliciously into my house late afternoon and takes me back to days in India...where it seems to be very prolific. I'm going to have to try dyeing with it.

  7. Kaite, you're right about the mountain, I always think it looks like it's getting up a head of steam when the clouds do that, and I'll hear a toot toot, and she'll go chuffing off.

  8. your garden is soo pretty. Our tomatoes will not be ready till end Jan - Feb is the glut. seems funny you are thinking of putting your garden to bed when we are just getting into growing/picking soon.
    HAPPY 2012
    Love Leanne

  9. Loved seeing your garden photos! Last summer I dyed with some red amaranth but I can't remember how it turned out, I'll have to go look it up! Happy new year, Nanette.

  10. Hi Leanne....the benefits of photoshop, I can show you the pretty bits and hide the mess lol I'm in the sub tropics, so plants grow alright, but it's so hot and humid they go to seed very quickly, so it's a waste really. It's a nice rest for me too, before the constant work of autumn and winter starts.

  11. Peggy, hello. You did dye with amaranth last summer, in August, and unveiled in September, it was my inspiration! I had read your post, and thought it looked interesting, then ages later I was at the Farmer's Market, and the seedling man was selling punnets of amaranth and I remembered your post. So thankyou...I'll be sure to post when I've done it, we can compare results.


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