Once winter seemed to have set in, I put my last plantings in the ground around the neighbourhood. Everything that was sprouted from seed in spring and summer has now been planted out.
There have been some losses as the Council or its contractors have been cutting down trees which have died sue to a soil borne fungus. Undergrowth often gets taken out in the complexity of removing entire tress. But they have also been planting more trees that are a decent size when they go in. And then (I am guessing) one of my neighbours dug out my most successful weaving sedge, undoubtedly with different ideas about how to manage water flow through the neighbourhood after the flood. Even more recently, someone decided to take out two huge thriving wattles that I liked very much, presumably as a way of dealing with the gentleman who had been storing things behind them, sorting through them and then leaving behind what he didn’t want or need. I’d picked up the discarded items a few times, but evidently not enough for someone… or there was other trouble going on from someone’s point of view!
Some things are really thriving and this year I have direct seeded saltbush into some parts of the neighbourhood where ground cover is low, while in others, saltbush is being itself and spreading itself around freely. Thank goodness.
Some of last year’s sheoaks have survived a more widespread than usual weed spraying programme and their understorey of saltbush and other tough native plants is growing too.
In this very challenging spot I planted some random plants given to me by various people and this hibiscus has been flowering for months. Understorey boobialla, some eucalypts and a feijoa tree are still growing too. Life just keeps growing up.
We spent Christmas with my beloved’s family and my daughter in Melbourne. We were in Melbourne, so yarn bombs were to be expected, but this one on a major city street was a serious commitment, with lace and cables and a a lot of pom poms, offering the colours of the rainbow. maybe it was someone’s statement on the whole same sex marriage debate our country has all too recently been having?
I did not expect to be surrounded by dye plants! There were dye eucalypts all round where we were staying: E Cinerea, E Sideroxylon, and even more exciting, E Polyanthemos! Also, rhagodia in fruit.
Even more exciting still, Indigofera Australis, and a lot of it. I just had no way to dye with any of it in the time we were there. I just had to be content with admiration.
In December, I’ll be running a workshop hosted by the lovely Susan Schuller. Perhaps some of you would like to come?
There has been some more bundle cooking for my friend. She handed over these massive bundles–they are bedsheets. We’d walked over to visit with a bale of straw for our friends’ hens… and walked back with the bundles and cartons of fabric. I spent time helping a friend clear out her Mum’s sewing room recently and since then have been finding new homes for sewing machines, yarn, fabric and a wide array of other items. Some of my fellow guildies were delighted to take possession of tapestry bobbins…
Here are the parcels going into the pot, packed with dried leaves. My friends have an E Scoparia at the end of their street, and that’s what was inside the bundle… leaves and some bark, too!
Some time later…
And being unbundled!
One had remarkably little in the way of distinct leaf prints. I am amazed that there was enough dye in those leaves to colour so much fabric. Unrolling…
Flapping about over the lawn, wet from the dye pot…
The second one had some prints in closest to the centre of the bundle.
Glorious! A third immense bundle has gone home with my biggest pot, for some time on a gas burner. I love that big pot but it just doesn’t work with my electric burners. This is going to be one fabulous set of sheets!
My parents came around one weekend as autumn was beginning and brought gifts from their garden: quince, guavas, mandarins, and these lovely flowers from their front yard. Eucalyptus Caesia ‘Silver Princess’.
It has been quite a season. We have made an incredible amount of pesto from our basil plants and had enough to share as well. The final pesto fest was last weekend, shared gleefully with a friend who is a wonderful cook. We also made a walnut and pomegranate molasses dip of wonder, a rice pudding flavoured with mastic and orange flower water and some fiendishly rich and delectable mastic and rosewater icecream. Finally, she read poetry. Exquisite!
Once the flowers wilted, into the pot the leaves went. Nothing too exciting came out, which has been my experience in the past. However, the lovely weeping habit, young white bark, minnirichi bark on the trunk (the bark peels in vertical strips in a rather amazing way) and the spectacular flowers… are probably enough delights for one plant to provide.