Summer Delights

The dahlias are flowering.

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Steadily over the last two years I have managed to cultivate our burgundy dahlias well enough to increase them in number. I have seen them described on-line with such fanciful names as velvet wine, black satin or burgundy shadow. Nonetheless, when we came across the tubers and got them growing to reveal their amazing flowers, I was somewhat hooked. We are days away from our mauve dahlias revealing themselves to us. The tubers were picked up at a local market some months back by Mrs PP and were quickly given a spot to grow. We missed out on the yellow buddleia though!

Before 9am rolled around I had watered the garden in the early morning in anticipation of the hot day of weather ahead of us. The potatoes are in full flower now, the hollyhock coming to a close with its last few hot pink blossoms. I had the washing on, I had started dinner preparation, a dish for the Little Fellas School Party, made up several jars of sauerkraut and cut up more vegetables to start a large batch of kimchi.

Whilst the neighbours lawn is mowed and I put another load of washing in the machine, a king skink pauses for a few minutes on the back wall before sliding off into the garden. I scattered a few spoiled grapes in the garden which it  may be off to discover for itself.

In a surprising coup, deep in the thick of the sweet potato vine, a borage plant has emerged to deploy it’s brilliant blue flowers. It is one of those plants that I have managed to have in the garden, wherever I have been, ever since I inherited one. Either sown or self-sown it is more often than not a self-sown, self-managed plant that greets us with a surprise and delights us with one of my favourite flowers with which to decorate our summer salads.

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Over the last few days we have also started to harvest the first of our apricots from the two varieties we obtained earlier in the year (Moorpark and Bulida). Though still not planted in the ground, they are like most of our fruit trees, being catered for whilst awaiting their eventual home in well prepared soil and a suitable location.

The smaller raised garden used for salads is busy providing lettuce leaves, herbs and soon beans and peas from one end and drying out at the other. The drier end is nearly ready to be harvested for seeds of brassicas, lettuce, shallots, leeks and edible flowers.

Red-capped Parrots sweep through the air making for either lower bushes on which they feed or perch or soar up into the higher canopies of Peppermint Trees or eucalyptus. They seem to be calling frequently at this time of year.

Over in the park the magpies and magpie larks have juveniles that they are tending to busily whilst in our garden the wattlebird is still very active around the house and garden as its young squawk incessantly. Over near the coast there are Kestrels with fledgling young that they are feeding up on Dwarf Skinks. Three young being fed a skink nearly every fifteen minutes for several hours. Amazing.

In the front garden the Flanders poppies are in full swing after a few seedlings were gifted to us from the neighbour who had them coming up in her pathway and was happy for me to remove them.

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Our other little feathered friend has also been visiting. The Grey Fantail (now also known as the South Western Grey Fantail – see my post on the Working List of Australian Bird names here) will for all intents and purposes for this blog simply be the Grey Fantail. It happily visits every few months and appears to delight in the new changes in the garden and the different perching locations that have been erected during its absence.

Silvereyes are venturing into the garden of an evening to pick out juicy green caterpillars from the tomato bushes and the Quenda is still sniffing around looking for tasty treats it can dig up from the top soil under the cloak of darkness.

Around town the Jacaranda trees are starting to flower, about two months behind those in Perth. They look amazing against the deep blue skies.

Bullfrog has settled into the refurbished grey water filter pond. Content and happy. Down near the back verandah the tamarillo seedlings which were only an inch high a month or two ago, are now several inches with leaves the diameter of a tea cup. I’ve not seen or heard the Little Eagle but the feeling of summer is everywhere so I’m sure it is soaring on a thermal over the mountain somewhere



3 thoughts on “Summer Delights

      1. That would be comparable to late June here, which I suppose is not too far fetched in warmer climates. They start earlier in Southern California than they do here, and might start even earlier in San Diego than in Los Angeles. I always think of this as the best place for them, but they really do prefer warmer climates. They do surprisingly well in the Pacific Northwest, but for a shorter season.


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