Birds of Paradise

I made this mosaic hotplate at a community craft group about 4 years ago. It cost me $10 to attend and the materials were supplied. When my sister saw it she said ‘what is it?’ LOL! Why, it’s meant to be a bird of paradise, of course!

I’d like to try mosaic again one day and plan to keep shards of broken ceramic to use for it. I don’t see the point in buying over priced new materials to make things with designs that were origanlly intended to recycle scrap.  So if any of my nice coloured ceramic breaks, or should I say ‘when’ as glassware afterall is a consumable if you use it, I will try and put it aside.

Throughout the summer many clumps about our garden sprout spectacular birds of paradise. I took some photos of them to enjoy, some with our resident birds who hang around! Whenever these are flowering, we try and put some fertiliser on them regularly, liquid fertiliser should be applied every fornight while flowering. It encourages them to flower more!

I hope you enjoy my images of birds of paradise!
❤ ❤ ❤

Flowering Lavendar and a trip to the Museum

In preparation for my solo train trip to the city for an appointment on Monday, I did a trial run last Friday and ended up going to the Queensland Museum alone! This is my post for Outdoor Wednesday which I do every week to motivate me to post something about getting out of the house. Included are some images of my beautiful potted lavender which I’m so happy is flowering at the moment.

It was my first trip alone using the Go Card. As I left the station at South Brisbane, the station attendant looked at me so I asked her if I did the card thing right. Well, that was a mistake! I thought I did it wrong so touched on again, then she exclaimed ‘don’t do that!’  I told her I was new and didn’t know how to use the thing so she helped me to the machine to clear the second touch on. Luckily, I found it funny, LOL!

Travelling on the train was fun, I used to do it all the time when I first got to Brisbane years ago, now I’m really wondering why I haven’t been doing it these last couple of years? I thought to take myself to the art gallery but they were closed, and the museum wouldn’t open for another half hour so I went to a cafe, got a cappucino and rang David on my new phone while I waited. I spent about an hour in the museum, its fairly small but still good, and because it didn’t cost me anything, I bought a little specialist book on local birds. Because no pets are allowed on our complex, lots of different birds visit our garden and I’ve started looking up which ones they are and thought this book would be handy.
Thanks for listening ❤ ❤ ❤

The best pets are free

One thing that makes me sad about living here is I can’t have a cat and I would dearly love one. They are such beautiful company, and for many years I’ve always had one around. My small collection of ornamental cats is a cheaper version of the real thing – they don’t need feeding or trips to the vet!

But everything has its advantages and disadvantages. Other than all the positives about being renters, like the reduced stress for example, living in a gated community that does not allow pets definately has it upside. We are never woken up by dogs barking at ridiculous hours, by whining distressed pets left behind by their owners for the weekend, like my old neighbours used to do on a regular basis. There’s no vicous barking everytime someone dares to walk past, insulting the animal’s delicate sensibilities.

Instead, there’s a host of beautiful birdlife that often comes to visit because there are no cats around hunting them. We put a bird bath in the courtyard a few months ago, and a small swallow regularly stops by for his morning wash. There is also a pair of doves that live here, they often hang out on my fence and come right up to my back door where I leave crumbs for them. They have a pretty pink tinge and a speckled neck, and coo-coo delicately and lovingly to each other. Sometimes, the male goes right off and won’t stop his insistent love song, so I’m forced to play some music to drown him out, which sometimes does not work!

And then of course, there is Lizzie the Lizard. Now, I don’t know how she managed it, but this lizard looks an awful lot like the one at my old place. Or maybe, there is a resident lizard in every house that does not have a cat? Recently I’ve seen Lizzie chase a smaller lizard across the house, unusually oblivious to me, their tails flailing wildly and comically in the air.

So I guess because I can’t have a cat, I’ll just have to enjoy having these less intrusive pets around. Pets who are free to come and go as they please, and bring no harm to the other wildlife around the place. Except for other lizards that happen to be smaller than them! A bird free to fly away as it chooses I find a much greater joy than one that is caged against its will. There is nothing sadder in my mind than a bird meant to fly, captured in a cage.

Good Luck Charms for the Garden

The ritual of placing good luck charms in the garden is a way to remind yourself to do the best you can as it’s caretaker. There is no voodoo or magic involved, other than the magic of self-motivation. I made up a little ceremony where David and I each chose a pebble from the collection of smooth river rocks sitting with my pony-tail palm. We then gave our pebble a peck and wrote the word ‘grow’ on it with a laundry marker. We then chose a plant to pop the pebble under and whispered ‘grow’ as we placed it. There is no witchery behind this, just a little ceremony to help us try hard while looking after our garden and to help us do our best. I believe it is a powerful thing indeed to convince the mind to have faith in something such as a little magical help in the garden.

This pair of lovey-dovey puppies started off the whole business of me placing lucky love charms. They were a gift from my late grandmother, and at the time I really wondered what I would do with such an impractical gift. I was in an unhappy relationship at the time and the significance of these puppies were lost on me. Now, I’m very grateful they take pride of place in our garden.

My granny also gave me a couple of windchimes, one year after the other, perhaps because my response to the first one must have seemed very positive. At the time, I really didn’t know what I was going to do with such things. But now one hangs from the pot plant hook with the newly planted peppermint, which looks as if its going to take off, and some lemon balm for herbal tea. Last spring I saw some crows pulling the coconut fibre from our hanging pots, presumably to line their nests. I hoped the sound of the chime as they tugged at the pot would scare them off, and so far it seems to have worked. But perhaps nesting season is over and the real telling will be if they come back next year. The other small and cute windchime hangs on the back sliding door that opens out to the courtyard. A soft pleasant ringing sound nicely reinforces a trip out into the garden before engaging in some pottering.

After some recent trips to the beach near David’s mum’s house, we couldn’t help ourselves but to pick up some rocks from the sand that we thought looked like love-hearts! Of course, in some cases you need a good deal of imagination to see it, not unlike being able to see things in clouds. But that is part of the fun! One person insists a rock is shaped like a heart, when for another the connection is dubious. We have a few little rocks placed around our garden, that with some stretch of the imagination resemble love hearts. Here are a couple I think look like hearts!

We almost never walk into what we call a ‘junk shop’, shops that sell poorly made bric-a-brac cheaply so those on a tight budget can get some retail therapy. But one day we were on the hunt for ‘lovey-dovey’ stuff to decorate our home, and we found this cute little piece to pop in our garden. I insisted a junk shop would have heaps of lovey-doveyness and I was right!

Here are two more  examples of lucky love charms in our garden. We got the love-heart bird house for $1.79 at Bunnings, it’s so cute! The dragonfly love charm was $2.95 from Turner’s Nursery and sits with our new Thai Chilli plant.