Sunday, 11 December 2011

Changes aplenty!

There's been lots happening here at 'Casa Bella', and changes are afoot! Firstly, the weather has changed, and our dry November has been replaced by the start of the wet season.

These rain or storm lilies Habranthus, closely related to the Zephyranthes I have posted previously, just seemed to pop up overnight in a small gap between the paving and the wire fence.

Although it's raining now, it was clear enough this morning for my usual walk in the Minippi Parklands with the dogs.  The little streams were flowing rapidly, and many of the crinums were partially submerged.

But, as always, there was plenty to see...

Life is changing a little for me too. I have finished the writing and editing course that I was doing part time and graduated last Thursday. Although I am still working full time, I hope this means I will have more time on my hands, not just for gardening, but to revisit some of my other loves. I have even assembled a book stack beside my bed to work my way through.

And there have been changes in the garden. I had a huge palm taken out beside the garage, and the man is coming back to grind the stump and a couple of others I had. I'm trying to propagate lots of interesting plants, starting with bromeliads and agaves, for my friend Jo's new home at Sunshine Beach, so the top of the driveway and the garage are full of pot plants.

The sad little plant back near the fence is the Brazilian Red Cloak I bought earlier in the year.  I left it in the pot too long, but it is going ahead in leaps and bounds now it has finally been planted.

Although it is just the beginning of summer, some of the front garden was looking a little tired after the hot, dry weather, so I have have cut back the salvias and pulled out two of the biggest. In their places, I have decided to try my luck with dahlias.  I have a couple in already just from seedling punnets, but today I planted two lots of packaged tubers. The instructions did say to plant in Spring, but I am hoping I can get away with being just a few weeks late - although one of the tubers was particularly desiccated and didn't look at all encouraging.

My number one inspiration has been Belinda at Wild Acre. I just adore her floral arrangements and have become obsessed with the idea of having a steady supply of cut flowers for the house. Back in October, she ran a cutting patch course and included a list of suggested flowers for growing. Only problem is Belinda is in the UK, and I am here in humid sub-tropical Brisbane, but I have a printed copy of the list and I'm going to try my luck with a few at a time. So far, it is pretty much just the cosmos, a few zinnia, and now the dahlias. But I was heartily encouraged on the dahlia front by seeing some fabulous ones grown by Anna at Absolutely Beautiful Things. I think Anna lives in one of the southern bayside suburbs within about 10 kms so I am feeling very positive.

Mind you, I haven't given up on my dream of a tropical garden, but while the bigger plants I need to provide a top story, like the frangipani, are still establishing, I thought I would have fun with other plantings.

Finally, Christmas is drawing closer, but I have most presents organised (all the easy ones anyway).  I thought these planters were brilliant for gardening friends.

They are from the Oxfam Shop in the Myer Centre. Only about $15 each and proceeds go to a great cause.
I got the elephant for myself, but I love the rabbit too. Luckily, I bought two! (and there were plenty of other fabulous gifts - I came away with 5 bag loads).


  1. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    Hi Marisa, Congratulations on finishing your course. It will be wonderful to have some more free time for gardening and making your way through that pile of books. I love reading and there is always a pile of books on my bedside table. I am also a fan of Anna's blog Absolutely beautiful things. She has a great sense of style and a fearless love of color.

  2. Congratulation on your graduation!
    You have done a lot of work in garden after graduation!
    Those garden accessories look really nice!

  3. Thank you both. It is good to be be finished, but I suspect I will miss it in a few months time. Anna's blog is wonderful isn't it. I like to fantasise when the garden is done, I will turn my attention to inside, and some of her cushions would be a great start, but, reality check, who is ever 'done' in a garden!



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