Petit Paradis in Collage

petitparadis2017petitparadis

The Eighth instalment of our annual bit of artwork tracking the Two Little Fellas.

This year, on a whim, our youngest Little Fella takes the stage given that he’s played smaller roles in previous pictures and I loved how he embraced his nature playground in the garden – quite literally.

Over the years friends and family have wanted to know a bit of the story behind the artwork so this is a little about this years . . .

In the New Year we will move to Tillellan, the long-term project that is finally nearing completion. The landscaping and backyard will be a project within its own right. In anticipation of the move this years art features some of the elements of the original petit paradis abode.  A kind of thank you and goodbye for our first family home.

This place has seen several families of guinea pigs and chickens pass through it. It was pivotal in my adventures in seed saving and building up varieties, quantities and experience in locally adapted edible species. As a result, much of the growing space was for seed production and really only supplemented our kitchen from time to time with food. Moving to Tillellan we plan to accommodate both requirements.

There was a whole lot I could have put into this picture, but some of the highlights are the Pitaya flowers that made a showy display the last couple of autumns. Our eldest Little Fella is feeding Pinky, Brownie and Missy Miss – some of our current guinea pigs. Our original g-pigs Maiki & Jazz can be found in the picture as well along with various pet chooks that have been on the adventure also.

One of the favourite things about the house that I will miss is seeing the flocks of ibis and pelicans flying past the house on their way out to feed or returning home in the afternoon. Quite regularly we’ve had a half dozen or more pelicans glide low and slow over the houses and past our living area window in the early morning. It is a magical site, especially when they are low enough to hear their wing beats, and I missed it when we rented briefly so I know I will when we move.

petitparadis2017petitparadis2

There are various flowers and the quail, some of our container gardens and goldfish and koi. Fruit trees and crops that we’ve had. The garden itself was different with every passing year as it adapted to the needs and requirements of the family and whatever we were doing in preparation for the eventual move. Whether it was sorting out salvaged resources or propagating varieties of plants.

It will be a little sad I imagine to part ways, but we’ve also out-grown it rapidly and its very much a natural transition for us. It would have been just right with the Two Little Fellas, but with the addition of Gran and her various requirements we’ve definitely overstayed.

Summer Sunflowers

petitparadis sunflower

The new garden is struggling at the moment. Bouts of hot weather and wind interspersed with showers of miniscule rain. In between other duties I have chopped and dropped some of the fat hen and other ‘weeds’ to mulch around the edibles that are fruiting.

The sunflowers are opening and in the morning sun are magnets to bees and brilliant in their colour. A simple joy. An inspiration to grow a whole heap of them next summer!

Seasonal Observations for Nov:2017

petitparadis november trio

1 Nov – grape vine is starting to get nibbled at by tiny Vine Moth caterpillars.

4 Nov – Watercress around town in the streams continues to flower. By the end of the month the council had also slashed or mowed some of it down.

6th Nov – Native Christmas Trees begin to flower (pic above) and Albany Blue Bush is flowering.

14th – Citrus Swallowtail Butterflies are sighted more frequently.

17th Nov – further Sacred Kingfisher calls heard in various location around the town. This is not something I have noticed much in previous years.

23rd Nov – Male Musk Duck in courting/display on Lake Seppings.

27th Nov – Vine Moth caterpillars are large and conspicuous on the vines.

28th Nov – Warm breezes with scattered showers. Overcast days. Light by 4am.

30th Nov – about 40 adolescent Ravens were congregated at sundown near the mown down patch of watercress this evening. I am taking this to mean they are grouping together before moving out and finding their own territories. It is not the first time I have noticed this. Very close to the local tip where ‘food’ is plentiful and competition is less.

And so now, with the end of November we move from the Nyoongar season of Kamabarang into the hot, dry season of Birak. The Season of The Young or The First Summer.

 

 

 

 

The Throwing of the Seed

petitparadis garden bed

The new garden is bolting.

Seeds are ripening and reaching for the sky. It is coming to a close, the initial burst of vigor. Underneath this cloak of leaves and seeding pods are pumpkins and melons. Growing, engorging themselves towards mature fruit.

Mrs PP and the Littlest Fella took delight in scattering marigold seed around the garden beds on Monday. Sowing the seed in the simplest of ways with the most rewarding effort.

Despite light showers it is still requiring regular watering and this is the crucial time to get regular water to it so that fruits develop. 

The tradies are amazed at how quickly the garden has ‘shot up’. Now seed sowing is required so that we get a good crop of greens and vegetables during summer.

Aussie Climate Zone Comparisons

aussie climate areas petitparadis

[ You may notice that Tasmania is not covered in this map. Within Tasmania there are several smaller climate regions which are covered in the link Daily Mail news article  ]

Recently I came across this map of climate comparisons across Australia with other regions of the world. I am not surprised to see Perth experiencing a similar climate to Los Angeles. Being born and bred in Perth and having travelled the US, in particular California, I was also of the opinion that the two were similar, but not just in climate, geography.

The south west of Western Australia is ancient land and some of the interior of Western Australia is reported to have remained above sea level for some 2.5 billion years. Hopefully this trend continues for some time to come!

Both Perth and Los Angeles however lie on coastal plains, hemmed in by an ocean and ranges. The Transverse Ranges in California and the Darling Scarp along the Swan Coastal Plain. When I first saw LA from the Hollywood Hills I likened it to my home town of Perth. Urbanisation sprawled out from the north to the south with a central business district. A heavy reliance on private motor vehicles and strings of roads and freeways looping and twining their way in and out. Both cities have a river flowing through their environs and share a similar climate.

What also helped with the ‘likeness’ was the variety of Australian natives around LA. I remember seeing eucalypts and bottlebrush in suburban gardens and in council reserve areas.

Albany shares a similar climate to Santa Barbara in California being a maritime location also.

 

Further reading:

Daily Mail news article includes the map above.

Global Warming and Australian Towns

Geography of Western Australia