The Red Gum & The Red Wattlebird

red wattlbird

The outside of the red gum at this time of year is a profusion of blossoms. It vibrates with the sound of bees and flies and is cluttered with the squawks of Red Wattlebirds and the whistles of New Holland Honeyeaters. Now and then a Brown Honeyeater steals in to take of the spoils as well. Usually it is found out by a New Holland Honeyeater and briskly chased off, but at the moment there is much supply of nectar and all the birds that want a piece of the action are gleefully satisfied.

With the recent winds the tree has started to lose more branches which I why we ended up removing the three trees along the back fence line shortly after moving into the house. More fodder for the mulcher to add to the garden at Tillellen.

The Highly Productive, Professionally Engineered Leaf Trap

petit paradis leaf trap

Our Professionally Engineered Leaf Trap has risen to higher levels of productivity with the recent winds. Days of high winds have started stripping the local park trees of their precious cover of leaves. These in turn have been deposited into our handy and convenient Leaf Trap at the base of our steps.

petit paradis leaf trap

So we have managed to bag up several bags of leaves to have ready for the compost bins and worm farms as they break down and drop their levels. What a great resource to have.

We also had to remove tree branches from a fallen limb at the other house and in the process tidied up a couple of fallen branches from the local park. Mainly eucalypts and some Common Coral Tree Erythrina x sykesii. These we mulched up for use in the garden, once they had decomposed a little over the coming months.

So the house and park got a tidy up and we have a nice store of carbonaceous material ready for the raised garden beds once completed.

The Rain, the Muse & the Start of Winter

frog

I have been dreaming of compost. I’m not sure why.

After the recent winds came the rain. Slowly. But it really hit this afternoon and then settled in. I heard the tank pump working this morning and I’m sure it would have pumped more water up to the header tanks by this afternoon. The neighbours confirmed about 6-7 mm yesterday (Sat 26th, 20019) so I’m sure this afternoon delivered a good deal more.

I know it’s only the coming of winter, but so far we’ve done ok. In as much as, so far the house has done exceptionally well at keeping us comfortable. Gran has not made comment yet on feeling the cold unless she has been out and about.

I’ve enjoyed our autumn this year, though I feel much of it has been spent as an observer of the beautiful sunny days as I’ve worked, rather than getting out into it. But anyway, there will be time for this later and the glimpses of beautiful weather has not gone by without appreciation and gratitude.

The Muse is happy also. There is a small stockpile of deciduous leaves, mulched tree branches, saw dust, cardboard and assorted other piles of waste paper and cardboard items ready for the raised garden beds. Plus there was a little bit of progress with moving sand recently (in amongst everything else) so the promise of the first bed being completed some time soon appears eventual. Happy Muse. These resources lay in waiting. Small pots and containers of edibles are greening up and thriving. The compost bins that we started early in spring are shut down now, simply sitting and maturing. Ready also for their addition to the alchemy of what will be the raised garden bed soil.

So I am eager to get some further progress on the beds happening so that we can move the rabbits and compost bins and tidy up more of the awaiting, bulk resources that lay piled up around the place. There is the sound of rain on the tin roof as I lay in bed. The whisper of a breeze, the restlessness of a rabbit in the winter dark. The frogs are starting to sing. The Muse is happy. Finally, the rain has come.

 

Cleaning Air

I’ve been interested in cleaning the air in our house for some time. Years in fact. During the renovation I was particularly concerned with the possibilities of off-gassing from the building materials. Where possible we tried to reduce or eliminate these. For example, with our choice of floor finish (natural oils and wax) instead of polyeurethane seal.

There are numerous plants that do well indoors and have been scientifically proven to cleanse the air and produce oxygen. Sometimes despite the presence of daylight. I had three that were easily propagated and that we already had in our garden. Before our move I began the process of increasing their numbers with the intent of having them indoors to increase the inside air quality.

Now that the renovation is nearing a satisfying end it is time to bring in the armies of plants that we’ve been propagating with the intentional purpose to clear the air of any off-gassing from paint, building materials, oils, varnishes etc etc.

petitparadis aloe

 Aloe Vera – Aloe barbadensis

petitparadis spider plant

Spider Plant – Chlorophytum comosum

petit paradis snake plant

Mother In Law’s Tongue Snake Plants Sansevieria

The Garden & The Muse

cropped-apple-box1.pngIt’s 5 am and its dark. Really dark. Inside and out.

Gran, with little regard for the silence that embalms the house (because she’s losing her hearing), bursts from her bedroom door and wheels herself into the bathroom with an urgency we won’t see for the rest of the day. The noise echoes through the floorboards. The Little Fellas are restless. I can sense it.

I’m already awake anyway, sitting in the office. Planning the day ahead. Thinking. Making notes. Being aware. Practising my ‘Dad Radar’.  I have a few minutes before I anticipate hearing little feet across a big floor. The Muse shifts about listlessly in the house also. She’s been away so long now I can’t remember what she looks like. She has a habit of changing regularly anyway.

One of the Little Fellas comes in and joins me. He’s the first half. The Muse has fled by now, as he perches on the seat and begins the inquisition of questions and furtive, curious investigating of objects and pieces that litter the top of the desk.

My thoughts are with the garden. After putting it to the side for so long now I am feeling compelled to get it up and running. But there is much work to do still – and the other house needs finishing in order to put it on  the market. It’s closer. I’ve been working on it.

Autumn came so soon, and now it’s nearly gone. I implore for the Muse to return. We can consolidate our ideas over chilly winter nights and make plans for the Masterpiece that lies sleeping in the coming Spring.