What’s happening in my garden

Here is the current situation.

As you stand on the small lawn rise between the two rows of units –

(the satellite view from Google was taken in high summer, as you can tell from the colour of the lawn) – my unit is the first on the left of the second block at the bottom. This means that I have a side yard for pot-plants and Boodie as well as a wrap-around garden that goes from in front of the side yard to my front door. Then to the right of the front door is the garden that’ll be just for natives. Well, that is – all except for the little bit at the end that actually goes with Unit 7; where Orlando has been graced by us with weeding it so as to allow its daisies to spring up. Dice Orlando: “Voglio solo le … daisies” – which is what happens to one’s native tongue when living among speakers of other languages, alas !   :)

So. We are standing looking at the unit, yes ? From the right-hand side, on the near side of the fence enclosing the side yard, is to be found THE CEANOTHUS !

It IS there at the back;, but you can scarcely see it against all that mulch. There will also be dychondra as a ground-cover; and if  S and I can find another part of that strip without pavement underneath (!), we’ll add something else. Note: MACS was originally built without the units, and the ground layout was totally different.

Next is the garden along the front of the loungeroom window, that is the continuation of that shot above:

 

The three rose-bushes had already been planted by Denuta, in charge of the gardening volunteers, and very pretty they are ! S and I added the three bacopas (bacopæ ?) along the front and the one at the end, and they look really good. I hope they’ll struggle against the chip mulch and win out, so as to make ground-covers.

Then we step back a bit, moving up a few paces onto the lawn hill, and see

what I call ‘the front bit’. This is largely occupied by (ugh !) a mirror bush – AN INVASIVE SPECIES ! I hate it; but my problem is that the little birds love it. It gives them shelter, and they fly in an out of it with much twittering and wing-fluttering; and as I adore them, I can’t remove the bloody thing.

I have planted at the near end (to my unit, I mean) two red geraniums that S gave me and a little lavender bush that I hope will grow to about a metre. The red and the lilac-colour actually look OK !

Then we look to the left of the front door to see the big empty, which will be planted with natives only. I have 9 ready to go, and am feeling somewhat alarmed at the amount of work ahead of me.

And last, here is a shot looking out of the front door – which you can just see set back on the right, above – to give what will, I hope, a better idea of the front layout:

How happy I would be if I had the smallest idea of how to take photos that clarify situations ! Sighh …

Anyway, that’s as of today, Saturday. The next changes will be to the empty bed, of course; and as I said to ST in a comment, it’ll show as lots of soil with some little plants dotted about.   :\

Open gardens

Had a ripper day yesterday: my dear friend S drove me about during an annual open gardens day, called “Through the Garden Gate”. I will confess up front that I didn’t last past the morning’s viewings; but that was partly because they had provided me with three epiphanies (sort of).

    1. I’ve gone off planting salvias in my empty front bed. There are simply too many people growing salvias; and I have no wish to create a déjà vu feeling.
    2. I MUST have a ceanothus ! This plant is about the most attractive to bees that I’ve ever seen.    :)
    3. I’m going (now) to have that front strip a native garden. Q.E.D.

Here are my favourite shots:

old-fashioned rose

they call it ‘court jester’

could it be a eucalyptus preissiana ?!

white boronia !

just one aspect of a huge garden

ceanothus – heaven to bees !

S and I have prepared the front bed with manure and then compost (her) and lots and lots of turning over and working it all in after having weeded – meaning daisies, too (me).

Now for a buying spree !!! YAAAAAY !!!

Oh AAAaarghh !

I was turning my knitting over when something – gave. WTF ?! I turned it back to find, to my utter horror, that a magic knot had just magically unknotted – ‘way down the project. What could I do ?!

As a temporary measure I quickly made an ordinary knot and prevented myself from bursting into tears of rage. It was, of course, my own fault: I must have been careless in making the magic knot so that it wasn’t over on one side and under on the other.

And then ? – what else ?: a huge frogging had to ensue.

Once the ghastly deed had been done I didn’t feel so bad about it. Odd, that: I still had to re-knit tons, so you’d think I’d be ropable …

Anyway, I’m now back to where I was – after all this time. And probably the carefuller (yes, I like it !) for it.

:)

I am embarrassed

If I had instant access to emojis I would add that one here. Imagine it, OK ?

I have given the small creature the wrong name.

How could I ?!

Well, I did.

_________________________________________________

Line drawn under.

Now for the new name !

Australia’s marsupials are, by and large, extremely appealing animals; and the bettong is definitely amongst ’em.

So my new small friend and companion –

– who is NOT spoiled already, has, with our entry into Eastern Daylight Saving Time, become Mr B. Bettong. Or, if you prefer, B. Bettong, Esq., NFP. *

However, seeing as how we never use our moggies’ formal names, he is forever to be known as

BOODIE

and don’t you forget it !

(Don’t you just love it ?!)

 

* Neatly Folded Paws

So, this-morning, I’m …

… sitting in my recliner chair with my laptop on my lap (strangely), and Someone decides it’s HIS laptop:

Dunno how long he would’ve sat there, but  I feared what keys were being pressed under his furry little (_|_).  And I was right:

for although it was easy to shut down all the windows he’d opened and get out of aeroplane mode, I found I could no longer type and had to re-start the PC. Ah, life with A Very Young Cat !    :)

Then he simply got onto my lap (sans laptop) and looked at me. So I picked him up in my arms, and after about two seconds’ stiffening, he relaxed completely, curled up and went to sleep. I sat there holding him for 1½ hours !, during which time he did change position, but only to burrow his little face into the crook of my right elbow.

Gosh, life’s tough with A Very Young Cat.    :)

Eventually I woke him up, telling him that I was hungry; and we both had some breakfast. He managed to leap from the laptop

onto the dining-room table and sniffed at my toasted pita with butter and marmalade, wanting of course !) to lick the butter off; but I selfishly didn’t let him. Pfuh !

So it was obviously time to play:

and now we’re both exhausted. Sort of.

How can a wee moggy be so GAME ?

Back to almost normal ! :)

I have four photos for you: the first two taken out at the ever-so-pretty house in which Kaye and Scott live with their … ahh … tribe of animals.

They have three dogs of their own and a cat – a long-haired tortie; and for the last while this number has been augmented by five foster cats: Annie (the only female), Tabby, Scotty, Giorgio and Wobbles.

You see what I mean !

You should SEE how these moggies are looked after ! If I could believe that all the cat fosterers in the country looked after their charges as well as this, I would be a very contented old fart. I need scarcely add that Kaye and Scott’s own animals are … hmm … doted on ? Spoiled ? Members of the family ? All of those.   :)

My very kind and generous-with-her-time-and-car friend J was able to sit on the floor à la Japanese as does Kaye whenever she’s in their room (the toys ! – the tunnels ! – the rugs she’s made for each ! – the stick-on window platforms and the climber towers !), but I can’t do that because there weren’t two large men to heave me back onto my feet. We spent an hour and a quarter in there with them all while I dithered and became anxious about various aspects of future cat-care. And then I decided: the youngest and the most feisty, as well as he who’d been there the least time, is “Wobbles”.

Is he good-looking or is he good-looking ? How would YOU like to be held onto by a huge old broad, right up there off the floor, eh ?

So J drove us home, after Kaye insisted that I take some of the food he’s used to eating, in case he needs the continuity for a while. Oh – plus a blanket she’d made for him, and a toy tail on a stick. Kaye was in fact distressed at being parted from him, horrible woman that she is; but happy that the poor little bugger is going to be clutched and kissed and loved on for the rest of his days.

So. We got here and I carried him inside. He leaped out of his carrier and went instantly into EXPLORE ! mode. He walked everywhere within the unit, not fazed by anything; and during this Excellent Adventure he went into the  bathroom and used the kitty-litter and came out again, as if he’d been here for a week ! Then he sat in the sun for a bit by the door out into the side yard:

and then, having discovered the thrill of the bottom of the vertical blinds in my front window and played there for a short while, he decided it was time for a nap. So he jumped up on the couch, briefly inspected the soft cat-couch sitting on one end of it, and opted for my tunisian entrelac throw:

But as of 15′ ago, he has been curled up and sound asleep ! And I can’t get another shot because (1) I’d wake him if I got nearer, and (2) I can’t shoot across the big band of light coming in from the side door.

There will be Other Occasions. [grin]

And this I hope very much indeed will not cause Kaye any unhappiness, but I am changing his name. It is now Cam.

Two linked reasons:

  1. my very favourite author of all times is Peter Temple, who wrote the totally sublime Jack Irish books from which the dreadful TV series was made;
  2. my very favourite actor for now is Aaron Pedersen, who played the character of Cameron Delray in all the Jack Irish books. And he was known as ? – yes, Cam.

Cam has already stolen a chunk of my heart. I wonder how long it will take before the rest is gone ?

Moving slowly onwards

Because, you know, I MUST have a cat companion. I can’t exist without one, I now know that.

There was a time, after Chic died, when I thought I could: although I’d attempted to follow his subtle instructions for how to manage without him and had two Russian Blues, one after the other, they were disasters (as I wrote). And after on-selling the second one I was convinced I was OK without.

Then Leanne-up-the-corridor gave me a small ginger kitty and that was that. I’d got to a point where I could tolerate the movement about me and not give a rat’s arse about the untidiness created. And not only that, but the ineffable comfort ! – oh, the comfort of that little body …

So here’s where I’m at.

A really delightful couple who are fosterers for Project Meow (remember ?) came by yesterday with regard to my wish to adopt (cough !) Darling Scotty.

He looks incredibly like a tabby I once had, with his anxious eyes, whose name was Dr McCoy ! – and I’d also had Captain Kirk and Mr Spock, so this one could be the missing member of the quartet.

I’m off to see him on Tuesday.

And there remains in the mix, still, this feller:

whose name is Odin. He doesn’t look all that fearsome, does he ?! To me, he looks as if he needs to be clutched and kissed on – much as does Scotty. Well, in truth, I would probably do that to any cat as nice-looking as these two.

Although Odin is via a different fostering-out organisation, he too is a Project Meow moggy, I’m happy to say. But the potential problem here is that I have NO IDEA where he is currently living: he could be in Eltham, or bloody Frankston !, for all I know. And if he is on the other side of Melbourne, I shan’t be going to look at him. Why not ? – because I will not cart him all the way from there to Geelong: he would end up in emotional tatters.

So. That’s where I am. I have some hope for a life better than mine has been for the last two weeks.

STOP PRESS:

Odin is out of the equation. His fosterer, a sweet Canadian lass called Stephanie, tells me there are a couple of issues that I, reluctantly having to admit to this alarming number of years and concomitant lack of fitness/ability to be a physical carer, would not be able to surmount. Goodbye, Odin, you beautiful cuddly moggy … But Stephanie has bonded with him, and thinks she will change from being a fosterer to being an owner.   :)

It’s looking very like the anxious-eyed one will become the h’object of my h’affections, then, eh ? This will depend entirely upon his reaction to me. But I don’t see how ANY cat could resist this large, warm, affectionate cat-platform that is your author …

A little normalcy would be sensible

So I’m reverting to posting about craft: those disinterested in knitting (or at other times in crochet) may toddle off. Hoo-roo, pro tem

Here’s where I’m up to with my entry for “We The Makers Design Festival” in what is now my town:

Samantha-the-designer knitted hers – oh, I believe I’ve already described her original version: hang on a tick … yes, in this post. Briefly, then, I wanted to use a third colour – White Gum Wool calls it “Natural”, and it’s a wonderful faintly creamy white – but not as Samantha offered as a possibility when discussing her pattern:

I didn’t want to do that because the switch from the 3-colours ball to the white left that colour-change purl line at the back, and it stuck out like d*gs’ b*lls, as I believe I have described something else I made …

ANYWAY !

So I knitted the garter stitch by continuing with the 3-colours ball, and switched to the white for the lace ! The colour-change at the back is FAR less obvious:

And the other different thing I added was to knit an extra row of the 3-colour after the final garter stitch row, then a purl row of the white before I started the lace. It isn’t noticeable; but it means that the first lace row – you know, with holes in ! – doesn’t start with the new colour.

And yes, for those eagle-eyed among you: I had to rotate the image a fair bit to get it straight, so I cloned the carpet in. I was once good at that kind of stuff, but that was when I had a WONDERFUL photo-editing software that Chic had taught me to use, called … called … Photo [something] 10. Not Paint. Not Shop. Bugger it ! – I wish I could remember: it was swallowed by another one around 2013 … {Oh for heaven’s sake, M-R: FORGET IT !}

So that’s where I’m at, and enjoying it much more now that I have a new cable needle – ChiaoGoo 4 in 32″. Poifick.

WWND ?

Yes: what would Nev do ?

As I believe the sun shines from her fundament, I needed to find this out. So, yesterday I took a taxi over there, and found to my delight that there wasn’t a single client+animal combo in sight. I had arrived with my Visa card to pay for the little memorial I’m having made to hold some of Lui’s ashes, and then Chic and he can be side by side.

There was a moment when the two girls who were manning the desk kind of looked at me in polite disbelief. This was when (yet another confession coming up) Bec told me the total amount due and I fell back, alarmed: “But”, I cried, “I didn’t want an individual cremation – just a bit of his ashes, you know ?” Then the look. Short pause. Bec went into the surgery area to speak to Nev, while Ella looked a bit embarrassed. The penny dropped. The revelation hit me: “Nothing of him could be obtained without an individual cremation !” An expression of intense relief came over Ella’s face, and at the same moment Bec came back with My Heroine.

Having repaired (to an extent) my reputation as a human being with a brain, I was then able to put my question to her: do I—“Yes !” she interrupted me: “you do. I know Lui is irreplaceable, but you must replace him !” – with which wondrous conundrum the decision was made.

There’s a totally admirable woman here in Geelong who has set up Project Meow, and a large effort of the project is run by participating vet practices. Ella’s best friend works at one of these, and she gave her a call right away; then came back to say that they actually have a 2-y-o available right now. Alas ! – it’s a female. I’ve had/known nothing but male cats all my life, and I’m used to them; but it was a conversation-continuer, that little mog. In the end the decision is that I am to obtain through this vet practice, a cat that is

  1. male
  2. a kitten or not older than 12 months
  3. a ginger tabby

If you are thinking “Oh, she believes she’ll simply have Lui 2.0”, you’re not absolutely correct. Remember WWND ? – Nev really likes marmalade tabbies (of whom at least 75% are male – did you know ?), and can see no reason at all why I shouldn’t continue the trend started more than 12½ years ago (Lui would have turned 13 in about three weeks’ time): “they’re almost always lovely cats, with great personalities and nice natures”. So that’s it.

There’s the little creature who brought me nothing but joy for all those years – over there in the side column …