One Fran went to mow…

Hi Folks,

I can feel it starting…it feels like a small itch in my brain. A tiny little irritation that I know is going to grow a little every day until I am consumed by its scratchiness and am forced to itch. I have felt this before on many occasions. It’s the herald of a new beginning…the start of something new and the tiny flicker of a flame that I know is going to be a raging bushfire furnace by the end of summer. I have become…a “Gardener”. A small tendril of green twined around my soul while I was out watering my new veggie garden. I felt it start to unravel and a little leaf came into existence. I think it’s a beanstalk. Narf7 doesn’t do anything by half and neither do beanstalks. Addiction comes hard and fast and soon I will be waxing lyrical about potatoes and moon planting and gumboots and powdery mildew but at the moment it’s just a small twinge where my addiction valve appears to have developed a little leak… the garden is trickling out and it wants me to do its bidding


Can you feel it pulling me in? That honeysuckle is rampant!


Grass mowed and left to mulch the “lawn” as the weather gets hotter


Steve’s Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise) just about to flower for the first time


Amongst all of these weeds there are raspberries!


My haul for the walk included these 4 little loquat japonica trees


They might be considered weeds here in Tasmania but I love dog roses 🙂


The key to Steve’s heart 😉

I don’t mind being a garden slave. It’s something that pays you back. I have been a slave for lesser things and this makes a refreshing change.  However there is the delightful pastime of “pottering” and there is “solid hard work” and I am afraid that Serendipity Farm requires less of the first and a whole lot more of the latter. We just had a couple of days of real summer. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the plants decided to make hay while the sun shone and so did I. We officially finished our course on Thursday last week and on Friday I headed over to my daughters to stay overnight in order to get a nice early start on a trip to Hobart. I love how my daughters have inherited my adventurous spirit when it comes to cooking and food. They are wonderful cooks and they use some very interesting ingredients. Whatever you get is always delicious and you probably won’t get the same thing twice.


The Deviot Heritage apple and pear enclosure where I shamelessly pilfer seed and cutting material. That large “stalk” on the right hand side is angelica and I discovered that it was just about to seed…


That’s not rolled oats in my bag folks, that’s angelica seed!


Another view of the enclosed garden. This is where I got the idea to build our own fully enclosed garden and ours is bigger than this one 🙂


One of the lovely gardens that we pass on our Deviot walks with the boys…


And another one…


And another one

We got up early on Saturday and headed off to Hobart so that the girls could do their Christmas shopping. We had a great time on the drive down and the girls had thoughtfully provided me with homemade iced coffee made with agave nectar as they know that I don’t have sugar. It certainly kept me awake for the drive. We arrived nice and early to get a car park at the Salamanca Markets and spent 2 hours wandering around testing delicious products. I had a scrumptious vegan pie for breakfast and then just before we headed off I had a vegan burrito which was delicious also. Hobart seems to be a much more cosmopolitan city than Launceston. The place that we stayed was amazing value and very central to where we wanted to be in Sandy Bay. The Korean restaurant that the girls had picked out for us to have our evening meal at was right at the front of it and we were surrounded by Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants and there was even a German bakery for dessert. We walked around a bit to check out the shops and found a small Korean shop that the girls got very excited about and a new trip has been planned for early next year in order to go on a Korean food shopping spree.


Cue one delicious Korean meal


Followed by a nice brisk uphill walk to wear it off


Bethany reliving her childhood


And me having a second one 😉

We got up early the next morning and packed our things and headed out to hunt for the elusive breakfast. We parked at one end of the city and realised that we would have to hang around as the meter didn’t start till 9 and we were early. We noticed a sea of blue tents that heralded an outdoor farmers market and we headed in to be told that “we can’t officially sell anything to you until 9”…sigh…9 is apparently the magic Hobart number. I had noticed some perennial leeks and an Egyptian walking onion for sale that I needed…yes…I NEEDED! So after checking out an indoor (sad) market we headed back to the outdoor market and I got my perennial vegetables. Madeline wanted some Tatsoi and Mizuna to try in her garden so I bought her some. Now I need to get my hands on some potato onions but I have to wait till late December before they become available again. At least the supplier is in Tasmania so that means I won’t have to jump through hoops to get them.


Gotta love anyone who has a Trogdor the Burninator sticker…I am dead jel!


I loved this little mustard yellow leather couch that was in our room


The rest of the room was excellent as well, 2 huge queen sized beds and a large bathroom with a bath


The view just outside our door


Under one of the walkways in the undercover open air area outside the rooms


The “roof”, a large canvas circus tent type arrangement that covered the entire area

We drove back home slowly and after depositing the girls at home and taking the son-and-heir out to buy a plastic jerry can to fill with fuel in order to mow his lawn I drove back home ready to be jumped on and I wasn’t disappointed. Dogs certainly know how to show you that they missed you :). For the rest of this week I have been mowing. The title of this post is somewhat accurate because I mowed some of the meadow which made it even more obvious that I am going to have to get out there and mow/whipper snip  the rest of it in order to skip around the outside of getting a fine. We have started watering our potted plants again and I have been eating strawberries from my pots as I head out nice and early to walk Earl. It’s almost cherry season and cherries herald Christmas in Australia. It looks like it is going to be a really good cherry season this year as we even have cherries on our poor old specimen…the possums ate the leaves but not the cherries (so far…). We will be starting work on extending the dogs enclosure soon which will give them a much bigger area to run around and play in. Earl will be able to spread his territory around a bit and hopefully won’t rust the deck poles any more in the process


The next day we headed into the city to have breakfast. You can see Mt Wellington in the background


Delicious wood fired pizza at the Salamanca Market


A ragtime band of buskers called “Mangus” playing for the crowds at the markets


A lovely atrium idea linking 2 businesses


The outdoor markets where I got my Egyptian walking onion and perennial leek

I would have liked to have started sinking the poles for the enclosure a bit earlier but time is against us this year and we will have to do the best that we can. The chooks have gotten cleverer and I have NO idea where they are laying most of their eggs. One chook has been laying on a hay bale in the shed so I know where to get her egg and her underlings that all lay in the same nest so I get a couple of eggs a day and we have a LOT of chooks…so many we have had to start buying more chook food in order to keep them happy. We noticed another hen down in the teatree garden with a small flock of chicks. I also noticed a larger chicken in the outside enclosure that I have NO idea where it came from. We shuffle chooks and babies into this area in order to give them a chance against the feral cats that spend their days waiting to catch chickens. For some reason they stay clear of the outside compound (maybe the rooster is fierce!) so we figure if we can herd them into this compound, they have a better chance than most to stay alive and so far we have been right. There are 7 babies of varying ages inside this compound with their mums.  I just went on a very hopeful egg hunt of the outside part of the chook run and noticed this chick that hadn’t been there before. Maybe I have just missed it in passing as it has a rather striking camouflage look about it. It is mostly brown like a Wyandotte but has white and black markings on it as well. Whatever it is it’s a clever little critter to find its way into the safe part of Serendipity Farm. I know it doesn’t belong to anyone inside the compound because it is the lowest on the pecking order but it is determined and it’s pretty and I applaud its spirit for being able to recognise where the chances of survival are the best. I had best watch this chook, most of them are lacking in velociraptor ancestors? 😉


Bethany is an insomniac and stays awake for ages but Madeline and I were absolutely knackered…the only way that we could see for her to stay up reading and for us to get some sleep was to get clever with pillows…


My pillow had obviously been stolen by this point 😉


On the way down to Hobart some bright spark had amended this sign 😉

My daughters have come up with what they believe to be the answer to the conundrum of Christmas. Now that Stewart and Kelsey live here in Launceston we are all together for Christmas but in saying that, we are all quintessential hermits who like our own space. Getting together just because we are told to get together breeds resentment especially when people have their own ideas about how Christmas should go (read the girls EXTRAVAGANZA and our simple…) so I got Madeline to throw some ideas around with Bethany and they have decided that we should all start a new Christmas tradition of getting together the day before Christmas for our communal celebration. Technically most of Europe starts their celebrations the day before Christmas and in central and eastern Europe (in particular Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania have a traditional meatless 12 dish Christmas Eve Supper before opening gifts. I won’t mention the “meatless” part but the opening gifts are going to be part of it. At least I will be standing in solidarity with my Russian brothers and sisters and won’t be eating any meat ;).


Looks like we have a hairy visitor…


The birds are hatching out babies all over the place


The Jerusalem artichokes that I shoved in here last year are apparently alive and well and growing exponentially


One of many pumpkins coming up from compost dumped on top of the spent horse manure


These peas were planted last Wednesday…


So were these carrots…Jenny doesn’t do anything by halves, there are 1000 carrot seeds and 10 rows of peas


Just about to start transplanting these and their brothers and sisters into the ground inside the enclosure along with red currants. The wild raspberries are going crazy this year and all have tiny fruit developing. I will try to see if I can get a few photos to share with you all before the birds scoff them all. Much like wild strawberries, these tiny little wild raspberries have the most intense exquisite flavour, the birds are clever sods!

I like the idea of sharing a communal meal the day before…everyone bringing something that they have made to the table and a dessert each…sort of an Aussie thanksgiving for us all being together and then on Christmas day we get to celebrate however the heck we want to. Even Steve is happy about this new tradition so the girls are on to a winner there. Sorry about talking about Christmas but you are all going to have to face it soon…it’s coming for another year and it’s like a steam train this time. At least all of you Northerners get a “proper” Christmas, we Aussies are wandering around in our t-shirts wondering how little we can wear to Christmas lunch before we offend one of the neighbours and they call the police! The weather will be hot, most of us will eat a HUGE hot meal and will roll off to the beach to watch the kids play cricket…Aussie Christmas is NOTHING like a Northern Christmas.  Before you know it we will be up to our armpits in 2014. I hope you all get a handle on your Christmas preparations and that it goes incredibly smoothly and wonderfully this year. By the way…don’t look now, but it’s snowing on Serendipity Farm! I noticed it earlier…must be something to do with global warming… ;). See you all next week 🙂

43 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thecontentedcrafter
    Dec 04, 2013 @ 20:14:56

    It’s such a treat to read your posts! There is so much going on in there I’m utterly exhausted – but I do want to visit Hobart, obviously not before 9 am on any given day – it looks and sounds just wonderful!! I know that gardener twinge, that pull that has you caressing new leaves with a soft and wonky feeling in your heart – looking for the new growth, the buds, the proof of our fecundity…. oh, that’s maybe going a bit far Pauline ….. I still do crazy things like regale people with how small it was when I planted it and last year it was here and now this year – just look at how big and spread out and pretty it is [the jasmine in the courtyard]

    You know we have some of your [mumble] possums here? Blighters eat everything. I had a deck garden once, dozens of pots planted with all kinds of pretties including roses and lemon trees and then a possum moved into the neighbourhood and mowed everything off at the railing level – dead straight – all gone, just the bare branches left. Overnight. And the rattle – ugh!!

    But enough of that, I don’t want to cause inter Tasman consternation. I love WOMBATS!

    Wombats are the most amazing creatures. Every home should have one, just so you get up and smile every morning!

    How did poor Earl get along without you – who took him for his walk – sorry, I meant, who did he pull along on his walk?

    Your Christmas arrangements sound thoroughly sensible to me – it’s not too early you know, it will be here and gone in the wink of any eye. Have fun, enjoy your garden and the cherries 🙂


    • narf77
      Dec 05, 2013 @ 03:42:36

      Here in Tassie Jasmine, honeysuckle and forget-me-nots are NOT the pretty ornamental garden plants that most people have in their gardens…here they take over and go nuts. We have vinca invading the teatree gardens and the jasmine is thick through the soil and has to be pulled up so that the other plants can breath. Must be the rain that we get followed by the 3 – 4 month period where we don’t get a lot of rain and everything goes mental. My dad and his partner fostered a baby wombat. They called her “Vicky” and she proceeded to eat holes in all of their walls…there are still wombat chew marks in various rooms that I am loath to fill in because they are “character marks” left behind :). Steve took both dogs for a “walk” but not far because they tend to act like steam trains going in opposite directions and as strong as Steve is, the combined weight of the two of them (about 75kg) pulling an 85kg man along is hard work and if you throw dogs hurtling out at them into the equation (BAD Tasmanian owners!) you have a recipe for disaster! Earl sulked when I got back and gave me the cold shoulder for a few hours and then forgave me ;). I noticed one red cherry on the tree sans leaves, just dangling there all on its own…I will be MOST interested to see if the possums have scoffed it in the night. It’s cherry season here! They are everywhere and its almost blueberry season as well and over the river from us at Hillwood strawberry farm…guess what they have? ;). LOVE summer in Tassie… the stone fruit is amazing 🙂


      • thecontentedcrafter
        Dec 05, 2013 @ 05:10:14

        Sounds like Heaven to me – well except for the possums 🙂 Jasmine grows really easily and quickly here too – along with many of the plants imported with the settlers from England. The soft fruits plethora sounds so wonderful too – happy eating 🙂

      • narf77
        Dec 05, 2013 @ 05:13:03

        No problems with quick digestion over summer 😉 The jasmine gives Steve a headache from the strong smell and me a headache from trying to stop it invading Poland…alround a pain in the neck. My girls have it invading in their house and love it…go figure! 😉

  2. Jo
    Dec 04, 2013 @ 21:52:53

    How did you make your blog snow? That is too clever. Your Korean feast looks yum. The Man is in Korea this week. The children are hoping for photos of ‘interesting’ dishes. Whenever he is overseas he sends photos of the odd things he eats, like toad. Or any dinner that includes eyeballs always a favourite with my sensitive new age kids (SNAKs).
    Ha Ha you have caught the gardening bug. You will never escape its entwining clutches now.. doomed, doomed!


    • narf77
      Dec 05, 2013 @ 03:35:51

      It snows every year on Serendipity Farm which is strange because we are in the middle of winter BUT WordPress thinks that we are all undergoing a white Christmas…the only “White Christmas” on Serendipity Farm will be of the white chocolate and mixed glace fruit variety ;). Yes, alas, the gardening bug is back in my veins, I am doomed to be it’s slave for the foreseeable future ;). Don’t…I repeat DON’T tell my girls that your husband has been anywhere NEAR Korea…they are in the throws of wanting to move there at the moment and if they see that he has been anywhere near it they will set up a little camp shrine out the front of your house…


  3. brymnsons
    Dec 04, 2013 @ 23:50:45

    Looking fantastic Fran. Gardening is an addiction! I love It!! Can’t wait to see yours in the not too distant future :D. We have always celebrated out family xmas on Boxing Day. Works well for us. Enjoy your Xmas Eve get together x. I wanted to start a tradition on Xmas Eve of opening a present with the kids but Bruce would have none of it, party pooper LOL. The Hobart accommodation looked great too, and the sky was blue, not pissing down :D. Ah fond memories…. x


    • narf77
      Dec 05, 2013 @ 03:31:56

      It was pissing down yesterday though, great for the garden and all of the carrots and peas are up! You might get some carrot thinnings to go with your bbq tea 😉


  4. The Belmont Rooster
    Dec 05, 2013 @ 03:03:34

    Great post!!!


  5. quarteracrelifestyle
    Dec 05, 2013 @ 05:30:17

    The garden’s looking great fellow itcher/twitcher. And your wee hol looks great too, all those yummy meals and nice hotel. I went to Wellington for 4 days over the weekend and ate out lots which was VERY exciting for me as it just never happens here….I didn’t have to cook yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Cherry season here too, the one tree Roger doesn’t want as covering a big tree to keep birds away is just a pain. Thank god we don’t get possums where we are now, just occasional rabbits.


  6. gardeningkiwi
    Dec 05, 2013 @ 06:50:08

    Hi Fran. The garden is looking awesome! It must be such a relief not to worry about getting assignments and studies done.
    I reluctantly began to think about Christmas this week – although I’m not happy about it. I need another 6 weeks before I am ready to think about it and then I have to give up my garden for two weeks to celebrate the festivities – which I will enjoy, but in the back of my mind will always be the garden.
    I hope your days of real summer hang around long enough to satisfy that gardening itch – we have had two solid days of heavy rain, so no gardening for me!
    Cheers Sarah : o )


    • narf77
      Dec 05, 2013 @ 11:18:06

      It gets very dry here over our summers, like living in France or Italy (or more like Greece last year) where there are only a few “rain events” and bugger all in between. Last year summer lasted right up till April and almost drove us mad…the poor garden looked crispy, brown and wilted and I didn’t think that anything would survive but apparently it must do this every year. I found a stash of loquat seeds that a possum must have discarded after feasting on the loquats on the ground on my walk this morning. I am going to head out and shove them in the ground everywhere. I must have about 30 seeds so hopefully at least one grows…I love loquats :). By the way, whenever I think about Christmas (hard NOT to think about it when it’s being blasted from every direction) I put my fingers in my ears and yell “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!” it works…for a little while…that’s sometimes enough 😉


  7. thinkingcowgirl
    Dec 05, 2013 @ 06:57:42

    wow, impressed by your enclosure…very very good work 🙂 and very touched to see my card FRAMED how lovely

    I went to a french family for christmas once and we had a 12 course dinner on xmas eve! Traditional apparently…I was totally stuffed after number 3! Course eleven was a huge platter of langoustines and then a cheese fondue OMG I nearly exploded,,,,

    I’ve been writing poetry which I am going to concentrate on for a while…you sent that link to zen habits which I now follow and i’m observing ‘letting go of distractions’ this week. Thanks 😉

    But will be checking in now and again to keep up with everything.


    • narf77
      Dec 05, 2013 @ 11:22:08

      Yeah, love that blog (Zen habits) pity I am having such trouble “being” that wonderful person that I so long to be…the grouchy twitchy angry old broad that I actually “am” keeps rising up and telling my mellow self to bugger off ;). Did you see those lovely hairy legs sticking out from behind your card? I framed it and it’s over my PC now to always remind me of the biscuit of loveliness and lets face it…ALL biscuits are lovely when you can’t have them ;). I read that the Eastern European 13 course feasts are supposed to be vegetarian…best not tell my meat loving family though, I would be drummed out of the party! ;). Have a fantastic Christmas and hugs from Tassie where the sun is out, the sky is blue and everything is shimmering with possibilities. I would hate to lose touch with you so feel free to drop by the blog any time you like, you don’t have to comment, just grab a cuppa while I am out bums up in the garden and ignore Earl, he will stop licking your shoes in a bit… you probably trod in chook poo (ech) 😉


  8. teawithhazel
    Dec 05, 2013 @ 07:36:24

    i have the gardening bug too..but what better addiction? there’s all that great physical labour and then the spoils..especially those of the edible variety..and a bit of seed/cutting pillaging isn’t counted in the gardening community as theft..


    • narf77
      Dec 05, 2013 @ 11:23:39

      I am VERY careful to make sure that it isn’t! ;). I found a stash of possum sucked loquat seeds today on the side of the road when I was walking Earl and stashed them. I have about 30 of them and am going to shove them into the ground all over the place to see if any of them grow. I LOVE loquats and they seem to be pretty hardy (so long as the wallabies don’t find them) so I might tuck them under shrubs to see if they can’t at least get a little bit of height before they get mowed down by wallaby lips…sigh…


  9. Littlesundog
    Dec 05, 2013 @ 13:11:35

    Oh, I get the gardening bug in early spring… I’m so excited to get out and begin planting, cleaning up the flower beds and watching everything take off! But this is my down time of year and I love that too. I need to rest… work on that book of mine and be indoors in the warmth (though I’ll still walk the woods with my camera!). I am glad to see someone else asked about the dogs! LOL I’m glad Steve managed to get them both out and about. Oh, and poor Earl. He couldn’t be upset with you for very long, could he? He adores you after all!


    • narf77
      Dec 05, 2013 @ 13:50:16

      Earl has taken to sleeping with his back to my back now…poor Steve has Earl’s “nether regions” in his close proximity ;). Earl did miss me a lot and today I took him for a VERY long walk and he has been laying on the ground sleeping ever since. Problem is “I” am knackered as well so am too tired to get out into the garden and going nuts…oh well…maybe tomorrow 😉


  10. Linne
    Dec 05, 2013 @ 15:21:21

    As usual, loved this! and the garden photos are very welcome, as I went to the mall today in -17C (-28C with wind chill); the blizzard is over and we are looking at temps down to -38C or colder (with the wind chill, but still . . .) for a few days. Lovely to look at and lovely to stay indoors . . .

    Please tell Steve I have sent him a PRIVATE email. Thank you very much. Hugs from the snowy land of igloos and dog sleds (I wish; I miss dogs . . . sigh). Or are hugs too warm for you just now? If so, I’ll send you cool thoughts . . . 😉 ~ Linne


    • narf77
      Dec 06, 2013 @ 03:08:14

      A PRIVATE email eh? Ok? 😉 its cold again here… not “your” cold, “our” cold (about 15C) and I am just about to make my first cup of tea and wrap myself in a large brown blanket that I keep expressly for the purpose of early morning narf warming. Glad you liked the images, as usual I appear to have taken a few too many but whatchagonnadoeh? 😉


  11. rabidlittlehippy
    Dec 06, 2013 @ 09:06:28

    We had our first Xmas alone coming up 3 years ago now and it was fantastic. My bro n SIL were caught up with her extended family and Mum was in NSW visiting her elderly mum, a plan she made last minute so we were officially ditched. Istead we had a blast. Last year, our first here in Ballan we had the quieest of quiet Xmasses and it was insanely good. We ate what we wanted – roast duck for Xmas Eve dinner (Martin’s mum is German so the Xmas Eve tradition came wih him and we do our family suff then with Santa on Xmas morning like I had. Means we get 2 days of Xmas which the kids adore), duck pancakes for lunch which used up the leftovers and something small for dinner. No wasted food, no engorgement, no need to sleep off outrageous excess, no need to designate a driver (not that I drink) and all in all it was so much simpler and easier. This year our plans for a quiet day of just the 5+fur and feather family has been hijacked as the famiy Xmas with my parents and brothers family “won’t fit” anywhere but on Xmas day. I’m a bit miffed to say the least. Tomorrow starts with Xmas with my dad’s family – his brother and sisters and their families. I am such a Bah Humbug and I am NOT looking forward to it at all. 😦
    Your garden is amazing and I am well envious of your readiness. Mine feels hoicked together and barely functioning but we’ll get there. I have corn up now. 🙂
    I love that your enclosed bed is bigger than your inspiration. “Ha, take that!” says Narf to the possums!
    I love your chooky adventures too. Ours are dodging the nesting boxes too but they’re laying in the bag of sawdust just outside the back door so I can’t complain. Henny Penny (1, 2, 3 or 4) ackels away right under the kitchen window when she’s laid her egg. It made it easy for me to see an egg being laid the other day too. 🙂
    Salanmanca market sounds gorgeous. Nice score on Egyptian walking onions too. My potato onions are a bit small methinks but they’re coming up for harvest soon. The tops are dying down. 🙂 We harvested one bunch already and yup, they are zingy! 🙂
    May both of us be blessed with many gardening addiction tendrils and may at east 60% of those tendrils focus on the hard graft and not the ladylike garden roam. 😉


    • narf77
      Dec 06, 2013 @ 09:56:04

      Ladylike…hmmm…I think I have heard of that…I am SURE it was something that my grandmother used to say to me…something about “aspiring to be a lady”…nope. Sorry gran, aint happening! 😉 I am in full tilt horticultural snooping mode at the moment. Best time to see what is growing, what WILL grow and where to plant it. I shoved 25 loquat seeds in all over the place yesterday. If 1 grows I will be chuffed. Went bush with Earl (stupidly complied with a “polite request”) and found some Washington hawthorn seedlings growing, must go bush more often! I am the worlds MOST unobservant person. I bumble through life in my head and can’t see the nose in front of my face so 2014 is going to be my “Year of watching and listening”. That is going to be a very hard lesson to learn. I wonder if it won’t have to spill over to 2015 and maybe beyond?! Our chooks found my bag of sawdust in the shed and so did the feral cats. There are now officially (at least) 6 more of them, born not so long back and all frolicking in the shed (sigh…) Duckies eggs are rancid so I waited till she got off them to go and get a drink of water and pilfered them and took them up the back block at 6.30 this morning. Wet long grass, wet jeans, cold, the things we do for our animals!!! Still not entirely feeling right about Christmas this year…don’t know what is up with my Christmas spirit but it seems to be more and more antsy each year. I am going to have to instigate tradition before I lose it altogether.


      • rabidlittlehippy
        Dec 06, 2013 @ 10:44:26

        2014, the year of the ear! 😉 If you’re unobservant then I am ten times more so. Trust me! 😉
        Our duck is sitting her nest, guarded carefully by her son Ying and she is cosily sitting on nothing! Then again she might well be avoiding the attentions of her rather zealous lovers, Milly and Molly. Either way, need to work out a way to lock her off the nest. I think she’s just antsy as the eggs she were sitting didn’t make it to hatch. Some eaten, others not fertile/viable and 1 we found the corpse of the duckling that was within 48 hours of hatching curled up small and dead. I think something opportunistic went looking for a breakfast egg and Mandy was of the nest. Fool me once she says. If she actually had something under her fluffy derriere though…
        I’m not all good with Christmas either. None of it sits right any more. I truly was loving our quiet day with just the 5 of us but commercial lunches (of hamburgers no less!!!) and buying stuff left right and centre, plus eating to excess whilst knowing none of it is sustainably sourced, let alone organic just sticks in my craw. Not to mention the millions that can’t afford to eat, let alone choose between roast turkey, chook, pork and ham. I am an old curmudgeon aren’t I? 😉

  12. cathyandchucky
    Dec 06, 2013 @ 16:47:24

    Lovely blog Fronkiii. I’ve decided that Mum wants me to bake for the world from now on and especially at Christmas :D. Poor girls and whoever else I set my sights on. They’re all getting home baked goodies for Christmas. We’re off to Perth Christmas eve after I finish work to spend it with Jasons folks. Sabrina is working boxing day and dear old Tahlia is off to Narrogin to spend it with Coreys sister and family. My house looks like a bomb hit it with the gyprocking and all the guff that comes with it happening. FINALLY!!!!!! The original guy sub contracted us out to another guy who is very good and a workmates partner is finishing it off with them.
    Will miss you all at Christmas. Have sent cards to you all so I hope they get there before Christmas 😀


  13. brymnsons
    Dec 06, 2013 @ 22:00:43

    Sorry guys I love xmas… and it’s up to us what xmas turns out like so don’t get hijacked by shoulds and just go with what feels right… you never know, everyone else is probably thinking the same so go with light and easy if that is what you want. I will be running around like a chook with no head before xmas day(only have 4 days to sort out pressies and food) and then it will be feet up with a drink by the pool 🙂 Ahhhhhh


    • narf77
      Dec 07, 2013 @ 06:42:14

      We will be celebrating with the family at the girls place with nibblies and a nice shared lunch and drinkies and then on Christmas Day we will do our own thang here with delicious food and drinks but just enough for that meal and no waste. We will then sit with our feet up on the deck and get slobbered on by the boys ;). I think I like this newly instituted tradition already! Steve is off with the kids to get Christmas trees today as the barrel in the steering wheel seized up and we had to get the RACT man out here. He disabled the locking system and we need to get it mended on Monday by a locksmith. It can be driven but you have to drive it like you stole it with a screwdriver! I was going to be the tree ferry but now it has to be Steve as there is no WAY I can drive the car like I stole it! Imagine if he gets pulled up by a booze bus…”er…this screwdriver? Nope? I didn’t realise that I was using a screwdriver to drive it officer…” ;).


  14. Spy Garden
    Dec 07, 2013 @ 16:15:08

    I grew up in South Florida so I think now that I am a “northerner” I get to enjoy Christmas in a whole new way! I do love winter, but it is also very fun to get to experience spring from a far in looking at your lovely photos/garden. I loved your first bit about gardening calling you in. I just love your unbridled enthusiasm and energy, it is contagious!!


    • narf77
      Dec 07, 2013 @ 16:31:09

      My unbridled enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of me ;). Its a really gorgeous day here today, sun shining, blue sky but cool breeze and everything in the garden has gone mad and is growing like topsy. I have a rhubarb plant and lots of grapes cuttings that are growing mental to plant out and LOTS more… I think I might need to clone myself to ensure I get it all done :). Florida eh? You are practically an Aussie! 😉


  15. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Dec 09, 2013 @ 13:19:32

    Okay, I get the hint… So you’re saying I should just come and visit you over there instead of going to Hawaii, right? 😉 It sure does look heavenly out in your neck of the woods, no denying that. I can’t even imagine preparing the garden for a fresh growing season at this time. Yours is so extensive, it blows my mind. Seriously, amaranth, chia, quinoa, in your very backyard? Unbelievable! I would be thrilled if such things even sprouted, let alone produced anything edible. Short of going out there and seeing the progress for myself, I guess you’ll just have to keep on posting updates for us vicarious gardeners in colder climes. 🙂


    • narf77
      Dec 09, 2013 @ 14:20:34

      I figure you guys need someone to be jealous of so I volunteered ;). Seriously though, everything is going mental at the moment. The garden is full of peas and carrots thanks to my lunatic friend whom I think wants to go into business as a vegetable packer we are going to get that many! I am about to plant out my yacon, I have some wonderful strange seeds to mess about with and everything is bright, sunny and full of possibilities but I would trade it ALL if I could go to Hawaii!!!! 🙂 You win ma’am! 🙂


  16. Joanna
    Dec 09, 2013 @ 19:23:06

    My Dad would like someone to visit a statue in Hobart with his poetry anthology and take a photo with the book one day, do you go into Hobart a lot? Just a random thought… You are so amazingly busy and look at that glorious weather and Steve’s Strelizia, I have seen those once growing in Tenerife. Here in the garden we have various shrubs of New Zealand origin and have just dug up our tiny harvest of oca (New Zealand yams) The NZ plants flower around this time of year and make us aware that somewhere else in the world it is high summer! xx Jo 🙂


    • narf77
      Dec 10, 2013 @ 03:27:42

      I have a few oca growing in pots with my strawberries. Our local nursery (Exeter) was giving some away and I took a few and just let them grow for a season. So far, only one of them has managed to come back. I might have pulled most of them out by accident thinking that they were weeds as they are in the same family as our dreaded pot weed oxalis. We have Cordyline’s and flaxes in the garden and I don’t know what the Australian landscaping and garden design industry would have done without these 2 foundation plants as the backbones of all gardens from 2000 onwards ;).

      I would be incredibly honoured if you would like me to do the honours of taking your fathers poetry book and standing next to a statue (of course you would have to tell me “which” statue 😉 ) in Hobart and sending you a photo with the book. Let me know if you would like me to as my daughters and I are heading down in early February again for a mass Asian food shopping spree so that would be the perfect time…nice and warm here, blue skies and the statue would be at its finest.

      We get the ubiquitous joy of having our holly berries turn blood red in the middle of our winter. Not much good for Christmas but at least we get a reminder that our Christmas is out of whack ;). Have a lovely day. I think we might actually have more rain than you will today but you can always tell a gardener. The rest of the state will be gloomy and sulking because we don’t have a sunny forecast but the gardeners are all jumping for joy “no watering!” 😉


  17. Joanna
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 08:45:42

    Aww that would be really kind, will write you if i can get it all together xx I like the idea of holly berries in summer, having said that my neighbour’s rose is blooming over her trellis and it is winter here, though very mild so far. I have a pseudopanax which stays green all year which is getting quite big now. Have given up on the day and gone to be with s book and ( ahem iPad) so much for a no internet evening….


    • narf77
      Dec 10, 2013 @ 13:20:18

      I have 2 pseudopanax. I love them 🙂 Their long serated leaves are very attractive. I bought a dwarf variety (or so it said) that appears to be going mental under my deck. I am hoping beyond hope that it really IS a dwarf or I am in trouble! I also have a Rimu (conifer) with amazing leaves also from NZ. Just got to work out where to plant it. Holly is on our trees in the middle of winter here so June/July so it is still doing what it is supposed to do, just not much use to us then 😉 (unless we use it for Christmas in July 😉 )


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