Well here I am, a day late this week, but I made it!
I am starting with a little Saturday Smile – some pretty pansies that I bought a while back and almost lost because I didn’t get around to planting them up, or watering them. But they made a good recovery and now sit on my front step. Yesterday they were all holding up their faces to the sun, and smiling at me, so I just had to smile back. I hope you do too.
Which leads me into a fairly garden orientated post today. This time of year prompts us, and many others I am sure, to think about tidying up the yard, so we decided to tackle a tatty bit of fencing at the back of us.
It used to be covered with a roll of bamboo but this has a limited life, and when the dogs were pups, they enjoyed chewing all the broken poles, and then putting their heads through the railings to look down into the green zone below. They are mostly too big to do this now anyway.
The fence has an elderly stephanotis plant climbing up it, so between us we cut out a panel of the old fence and gently moved it to prop against the house while we were working. While Chris put up the new fencing, I trimmed the plant to within an inch of its life, and it is now back in place. It looks a bit sparse but I expect it will grow again. It smells heavenly when it is in full bloom.
I am really happy to see this rather strange flower blooming again this year. It is a strelizia nicolai, and I have to admit, it is not one of my favourites. I much prefer its cousin, the purple and orange 'bird of paradise' plant. But it is quite exotic. It has multiple flowers on each stem, and as the buds open they drip sticky goo. But then the big white flower appears with a pale blue tongue.
Last year, when Kim was a pup, he stirpped it to the ground (or pot, as we have very little plantable land, so most of our plants are in large pots). It has big leaves with string fibres in, and he just couldn't resist pulling these and shredding them. So I repotted it, and tucked it behind another plant for the winter, and this year it is back, looking stronger than ever.
While out there with my camera, I spotted this beautiful carpenter bee, dipping deep within the flowers for his breakfast. I have shown these bees on here before, but I rarely manage to capture their beautiful blue sheen like I have this time. They are non agressive, and I like to see them enjoying my flowers as much as I do.
Yesterday I went to the garden centre and bought some lovely geraniums and kalanchoes, and replaced our red hibiscus which is straggly and has few flowers on it. I was surprised at the price of some of the cacti they had there. Makes me think I had better tidy mine up a bit. I need a strong pair of leather gloves for that job!
Little Tango is settling in well. The other cats are not keen to have him in the house, and are tending to stay out in the garden for most of the day, but I call them all in at night, as they do not have a lot sense on the road. At first I shut Tango in a separate room but now I leave all the doors open. When I got up one morning, I found Paco, Luna and Tango all in one room. They were each on their own chair, and were keeping a wary eye on each other, but they did all go to kitchen and eat breakfast together before Paco and Luna shot out through the back door. But that's progress. I think they are getting used to the idea of having a 'new brother'.
The reason I couldn't write this post last night as I usually do, was that it was our first Cantante choir concert. It was on 'home ground' the room where we practice, so it was a good one to start with. It went really well and the audience were very appreciative. We have another one next Thursday and then four more before the end of June!
When we lived in England we always had a lot of mail, most of it 'junk-mail' or bills, but there always seemed to be something coming though the door each day. Out here we hardly get any. Most of the bills are dealt with on-line anyway, and advertising leaflets are more likely to be left under the car window washers than put though the door. So 'real mail' is always a treat. So I was doubly blessed yesterday when I got back from my monthly food-shop, to find not one, but two envelopes waiting for me. They were both cards and gifts from friends I have made though my craft blog. People are so kind, and I am really touched they they took the time to send to me. Thank you both so much.
An anticipated blessing is that this week we have accepted an estimate to replace the netting on our 'fly-free room' that covers the back porch and part of the patio. We are having a slightly stronger net on the top half and a, hopefully animal proof one on the lower sections. We are also having a dog-flap put in on the panel beside the door, so the dogs can get onto the porch when we are out, without tearing their way though. (The man doing the work called it a 'horse-flap' because it has to be big enough for Miki and Kim to get though easily!). So in a week or two's time, we will be able to eat out there without the flies and wasps for company, and I will be able to resume my afternoons sewing there, when the house makes it a welcome area of shade.
I will leave you with a sky photo as we haven't had one of those for a while. I have been hoping for a nice sunset so I could try out the settings on my new camera, but the season for those has passed. But one evening this week, there was just enough cloud to make a lovely golden glow and this is how I recorded it.
Isn't that grand?!