Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Earth Laughs in Flowers

With a little help from Out Back and The Burtonesque Garden, I am fairly certain that the pretty little flowers that pop-up in my garden each July - August are Jonquils, also known as Bunch-Flowered Narcissus.

I've been doing a bit of reading on Jonquils ever since, and Yates' Garden Guide has, once again, been a faithful little reference for all my gardening needs. I want to dig up the bulbs and relocate, as at the moment there is no organisation to them. I've learnt that I need to wait for the stems to die off naturally after flowering before I attempt to move them, and the best time to plant is in Autumn (10cm deep and 10cm apart).

Google and FlickR have provided stunning examples of how great Jonquils look when in bloom, whether they are on lawns, grassy slopes, in rock gardens, or in clumps around other plants. I've also discovered that they come in a number of colours, although the most common are cream or white blooms with a yellow centre (the ones found in my garden), or an orange-red centre surrounded by gold petals.

I must admit that there is not much sweeter than to walk out into the garden in the middle of a frost-bitten Winter and see these gorgeous bulbs in bloom.

Friday, July 23, 2010

In the Garden 23.07.10

Can anyone tell me what bulb this flower belongs to? They pop up all over our yard during Winter, and I've no idea what they are, but they're so pretty.


Carrot and leek



I've spent a little time in the garden these past two days: Fertilising, mulching, watering and weeding.

I'm pleasantly surprised by how well most of the vegetables I planted are surviving the cold weather and frosts we've been having: We have broccoli and cauliflower in the ground, and carrots, leek, parsley and thyme in pots. The biggest challenge at the moment appears not to be the freezing cold weather, but rather snails and slugs - they are everywhere! We are regularly having to lay snail-bait but the slimy little buggers are turning out to be incredibly resilient.

A lot of the non-veggie plants have suffered the frost worst, especially the palegonias and geraniums, known to be fairly hardy plants but I guess even they are finding the inch-thick frosts we've had over the past month a little too much to bear.

I'm hopeful of picking a bunch of cauliflower, broccoli, carrot and leek in the coming weeks, as long as the weather doesnt do anything too drastic to spoil my plans!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Darcy & Anne by Judith Brocklehurst

Title: Darcy & Anne
Author: Judith Brocklehurst
Category: Regency Fiction (Jane Austen inspired)

Darcy & Anne is a "sequel" to Jane Austen's classic Pride & Prejudice, focusing on Darcy's cousin, Anne de Bourgh.

After Darcy's marriage to the lovely Elizabeth Bennet, Catherine de Bourgh is anxious to find her daughter, Anne, a suitable husband - "suitable" being a gentleman who would not only raise Anne's status in society, but also that of her elitist mother. When no suitors can be found in their locality, Catherine de Bourgh makes the decision to take Anne to Pemberley and have her nephew, Darcy, and his new wife find a husband for her daughter instead.

After a fortunate series of events, Anne ends up staying in Pemberley with her cousin and his wife much longer than anticipated, and grows more and more independant of her mother and others as each week passes, eventually working up the courage to follow her heart's desire, and not be a part of her mother's controlling schemes.

This was a good "sequel" to Austen's P&P. Brocklehurst has used a relatively minor character from Austen's novel, working a storyline that incorporates P&P's Darcy & Elizabeth without deviating from the original story. A clever interpretation that works well and is most enjoyable.

3 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In Pictures: Beautiful Burra

[Market Square Museum + lollyshop]

[Uniting Church]

[Old Monster Copper Mine]

[Open-cut mine + Windfarm on horizon]

[Redruth Gaol]

[Settlement of Hampton]

[Unicorn Brewery Cellars]

[Burra Cemetery]

I would have shared these pictures last week had I been able to: A blogger glitch has prevented me from updating, moderating comments and visiting other blogs. Did anyone else suffer the same? Today it appears to be sorted, but if you leave a comment and it doesn't appear within 24 hours then the liklihood is that the problem has re-surfaced.

Anyhow, I just have to share these photos with you: On the 3rd and 4th July, SJ and I took time out for a tiny getaway in the heritage town of Burra in the Clare Valley. What a beautiful, interesting and pleasing town! I recommend it for anyone who is thinking of taking a holiday in South Australia. The town has so much history and stunning scenery that it makes for plenty to see and do. It is also close to other magnificent regions, such as the Riverland and the Barossa Valley, which SJ and I visited quickly before returning home. It is so much fun being a tourist, even if it is just for a weekend. I easily took nearly 200 photos over three days.

During the latter part of the 19th century, Burra was a copper mining town, but the mines closed when the price of copper dropped. Now there is "talk" of mining copper in Burra once again. I really hope this doesn't eventuate, as Burra is a fantastic holiday destination with a thriving tourism industry. Right now it is a wonderful place to escape to, but if the mining begins again, who will want to visit it as just another mining town?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Special Birthday for a Special Pup: 27.6.10

We had a wonderful last Sunday (27.6.10). It was the dog-son's (Bailey) 3rd birthday, so we decided to take a drive to one of our favourite spots in the Flinders Ranges and celebrate with a bush-BBQ lunch.

The weather was splendid: Cool but clear, and SJ's parents, Aunt and Uncle elected to join us for the drive and lunch. There was plenty of good food - including cake - to share, and Bailey was free to chase the scent of rabbits, sheep and kangaroos to his heart's delight!

My only wish is that the photos were better: I ended up having to use the camera on my mobile phone as the batteries in the Olympus went flat before I even had the opportunity to take the first picture. The slight cover of green over the red earth and a bright blue sky made everything feel fresh and new, and reminded me that even though it might be chilly, Winter in the Flinders is such a beautiful time of year.