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Check out these lemons!

This is just one branch on my aunt’s lemon tree. I have this list in my head of all the trees I must have in my own future garden and lemons are definitely on that list. There’s something special about having an over abundance of lemons. I’d love to have a bucket of lemons and be able to give them away and make homemade lemonade and make lemon meringue pies and lemon marmalade. I just hope I can grow a lemon tree better than my dad…they seem to be one of the only plants that he just can’t keep alive!

Some other trees on my list include mulberries, mandarin, pecan, cumquat, orange, pomelo and a few other subtropical varieties of tree. Oh that reminds me of a challenge on the finale of Masterchef the other night…the contestants had to name three fruits and I could not believe they didn’t know cumquats and guavas! I tend to forget that what we grow where I live doesn’t grow in all parts of Australia. I feel privileged.

Speaking of fruit trees, I had a great conversation with my aunt this morning about using fruit trees and vegetables and herbs as part of your garden. I don’t believe there should be a distinction between a garden and a vegetable garden. Why not combine them? If you’re going to be looking after a flower garden anyway, why not just add in a few edible plants  or fruit trees? It makes sense and you know it. Plus, it would make gardening more fun if you could reach over while weeding and grab a snow pea or a cherry tomato.

Until next time,

xo

ps. Did you click on all the lemony links? I was doing a search for photos of lemons with a creative commons license on flickr and I just had to share them. Lemons make beautiful photography subjects!

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This is one gardening project I haven’t told you about yet. Remember my ridiculous excited craziness over the joy that is a bean teepee? Well, soon afterwards my dad and I got our brains together on a drizzly afternoon and we collected bamboo and created a massive bamboo dome like structure over which I intended to grow purple climbing beans and purple podded peas, purchased from Eden Seeds.

I planted the seeds and waited for them to pop out of the ground. I seriously would go out to the garden first thing every morning and examine the soil. And they all pushed their way out and started growing vigorously. My excitement was increasing day by day…soon I would have the bean teepee of my dreams!

However there was an unforeseen factor in the growth of the beans. A subtropical pest known as the bean fly. I had never heard of such a dastardly beast, but suddenly my beautiful beans ceased to thrive and they just stopped growing. With a heavy heart I pulled them out and burnt the infected plants. I was a little disheartened but I decided to try growing them again. Dad said I should probably spray them but neither of us really liked that idea so I thought I’d just try my luck again. They ended up the same way.

But the peas that I had planted were perfect and before I knew it they had sprung up and up and up and then they were like this.

I know it’s probably a little difficult to see here, but they are now taller than me! The alternate garden beds were growing beans but the only thing left in them are the smaller sweet peas whose flowers I can’t wait for! I have planted some more purple peas in those beds too, so maybe I will have my green shelter at some stage in the future. But speaking of flowers, check out the flowers on those purple peas.

They smell amazing too. When you walk through that part of the garden there’s this beautiful subtle sweet pea-ish scent. The next stage of their growth is the peas! Today they were big enough for me to pick.

And from that, to this…

I cooked them for a few seconds in boiling water and just gobbled them right up. They tasted perfect. Some people might think that the labour of planting and picking and podding just wouldn’t be worth it, but I would disagree. I think it goes along with part of the slow food movement. When you grow your own food you gain an appreciation and respect for the environment and what can be produced when you embrace it.

The preparation just adds to the enjoyment of the final product. I will definitely enjoy these peas for weeks to come. I feel privileged.

xo

I just had to drop by and let you know what little things have made me happy today. My day didn’t start so well, I almost fell into the ‘wake-up-grumpy’ trap but I avoided that one with a little side step and I actually had a really productive day at uni. The little joys happened this afternoon and they really are little. Let me make a list…

  1. Untying Georgie when I got home this afternoon. She is a wriggly bundle of joy.
  2. Catching the last few minutes of a Full House repeat that luckily showed a sweet moment with Jesse, one of my earliest TV crushes (of which there were and are many).
  3. Having a big chat with one of my beautiful aunts. I love my family.
  4. Getting the kitchen clean. As much as I hate it, it does make me feel much better when it’s done.

It probably seems thoroughly domestic, but these little things are what gets me through a tough or a slow day. I love the little things. Thanks for reading my little blog.

xo

Yesterday was my first day in my new uni course to become a primary school teacher. I had a fantastic day and I’m feeling really good about this direction I’m going in. I even made a few new friends and contributed some meaningful discussion! Yay!

I still found the time to enjoy the little things, like the sky and the warmth of the sun. The sky was so blue and there were these amazing clouds just rippling across like the texture of the sand at the beach. It was perfect. See?

I love the winter sky.

xo

I can wear tights. I am developing quite a collection at the moment, despite my tendency to put holes in them at inopportune times. These ones are actually ones I bought last year and they may possibly be my oldest pair.

I also like sleeping and lounging in the sun.

xo

Or rather, I’ve already baked three cakes. These were the cakes I baked and decorated for my sister’s 21st party a few weeks ago.

It was a cherry chocolate cake iced with chocolate butter icing, glacé cherries and homemade pink fondant icing. Well, it was supposed to be red, but it was impossible with the ingredients I had on hand. The cake recipe itself was quite simple but somehow I managed to break one cake in half as I turned it out of the pan but it was nothing a good lashing of icing couldn’t fix!

I liked the way the cake decorating turned out, but it didn’t exactly measure up to the grand cake I had envisaged in my head. I had imagined making a vibrant red fondant icing and rolling it out and cutting out beautiful crisp letters and making a big red flower out of various red food stuffs like fruit roll ups (I bought some but the red was really an anaemic pink), raspberry licorice (I ate it before I decorated the cake) and other sweet delights.

What I didn’t anticipate was the difficulty and fussiness involved in making fondant icing. I mean, it wasn’t too hard making the icing as such, but the colour was impossible to achieve with liquid food colouring! And when I finally rolled a sheet of the pinkish red icing out, after having it stick to everything, the lovely letters I cut out stretched horribly when I picked them up. So I made a compromise, I rolled out long sausages of icing and wrote on the cake with that.

I actually really like what I ended up with and the best part is, of course, is that my sister loved it and the cake tasted delicious on the day and there was enough for the 80 plus guests we had. All in all, despite a few hiccups along the way, a success!

This is one of the things that have kept me busy in the last month – my beautiful sister’s 21st birthday party. It was a beautiful, beautiful morning enjoyed by all, even my parents who were very busy! It was a breakfast party, we had croissants with jam or ham and cheese, fruit, scones, birthday cake, lollies, tea and sparkling apple and grape juice. No one was hungry after that!

Oh and the music! A few weeks earlier my sis, myself and a friend were enjoying our coffees at the West End markets and a lovely singer came and performed right there for us! Well, it felt like that anyway. We got her business card and thus discovered Luna Junction. My sister organised for her to come and play for the party and she brought a few friends along too. They were absolutely perfect. A mix of folk/gypsy/jazz/world music and they stuck around for a chat and a little extra jamming. I would seriously recommend Luna Junction to anyone looking for some music to give a gathering some extra life. Well worth the money!

So on to the photos! Enjoy the pure, unedited goodness. I had plans of making them even prettier in photoshop but I couldn’t bring myself to change them in any way – they illustrate the morning just the way it was! I am glad we brought the camera along.

These are just a few of many many beautiful photos. The theme of red really shone through!

To my sister and best friend, you are so beautiful and you have the world at your feet. I can’t wait for next year! I love you so much. xo

I’ve always wanted to make a Wordle picture. It gives me a little insight into what I’ve actually been talking about all this time and it gives it to you in a pretty format!

I have been meaning to post for quite some time to catch you up on all the happenings of my life (and there are many!). More posts will come but in the meantime I have a few photos that I have been dying to share. They’re from a wonderful morning in the gardens of a beautiful and significant house in my local area. The house is called Baddow House, one of the earliest houses in Maryborough. It has only in the last few years been beautifully renovated. The house is beautiful, but it’s the gardens that made my heart sing. Take a look for yourself…

I don’t know if you can see it that clearly, but there is this beautiful garden gate under the tree in the photo above. That corner of the garden was my favourite part. The gate just led to a lovely green hill, but there was just something about it that just made me imagine a rambling cottage garden spilling colours onto the grass, a little piece of random colour in the formal gardens. My future garden will have a gate. Just so you know.

The house and garden is only open once a year, so you’ve all missed your chance this year, but if you get a chance to have a look next year you won’t be disappointed (unless gardens aren’t really your thing, in which case you can have a pumpkin scone with jam and cream while some other awesome people explore the house and garden). I really needed this garden visit, I had been feeling a little disconnected and it helped to ground me.

xo