It’s still as cold as winter of a morning, but the irises are heading skywards for summer. The most proudly regal flower I know, their fistfuls of blue-green broadspears of leaves were lately joined by tall spikes of tightly furled buds, and now the topmost of these are opening. They droop their lower lips and […]

My stone fruit trees agree with the snakes; they reckon it’s Spring. The apricot declared it first, prematurely, and lost most of the blossoms in a rainy spell. Of them all, my favourite is the Santa Rosa plum’s simple white blossoms, their stamens topped with gold, and set in softest green. The bees like them […]

Must be spring; the swallows are back. Several are squeaking and doing aerobatics out there in the yard’s airspace, but two have claimed that of the verandah. They’re doing low flying runs from one end to the other, looping out over the lattice gate or though the still un-vine-screened ‘windows.’ Over my computer I watch […]

Many early colonists thought the Australian bush a drab monotone of greyish green, blinded as they still were by the vivid lime greens and emeralds of their European trees and mist-made lawns. I hope closer acquaintance taught them to see more clearly – if they hadn’t cleared all the bush around them. At present my […]

This year I have only three varieties of rose in bloom  — all climbing varieties. The others were shrubs but are now mere snapped sticks and stripped stems, some with a topknot of leaves where the wallabies and roos can’t reach. Last year they all bloomed but the climbing ones were eaten by the possum. […]

October has been a variable month, veering from warm to cold to freezing, from spring buds and seedling growth to blossom profusion. And then we had a wild storm or two, one close to gale force, with winds roaring like freight trains, smashing branches and trees down and shredding gumleaves like confetti on the ground. […]

The extremely slow-to-bloom (16 years!) white wisteria is now fully out and it is so beautiful in form and colour that it deserves a follow-up post. For some reason, its delicacy makes me think of Japan, where I’ve never been. Perhaps the decorations on geisha hair combs in paintings? The weeping habit has given my […]

For sixteen years the wisteria on my verandah has done a great job as a living shade cloth — but it has never flowered. It was given to me in a pot, grown from a cutting of a white wisteria, so the giver assured me.  I didn’t mind that it didn’t flower, given how lovely were […]

A few warm days, a fat black snake with a lunchtime bulge basking in the sun, and then five degree mornings again. I know to keep an eye out now, but I have been watching the wallabies and roos accept the snake’s presence, and even close progress, and show no sign of anxiety. I must […]

I have more to tell about my trip to Western Australia, but in between I have to keep you up-to-date with the ongoing news on the mountain. On the second day of Spring, the Diamond Python arrived.  The day was warm and sunny; I was hanging out washing. Out of the corner of one eye, […]

It’s September, so it must be Spring, but at this altitude we are often some weeks behind in flowering times. I love the way bulbs have naturalised and thickened into clumps over the years — and I love that wallabies don’t find them tasty. The winter snowflakes and the jonquils of several varieties, both white […]

As the weather warms up so does the action round here — at least as far as my cold-blooded residents are concerned. My favourite is the sprightly Jacky lizard; perky and patterned and with such dainty digits! I wouldn’t mind a few more of these little blokes darting about the yard. My least favourite is […]

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