About Me

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Fifty six year old empty-nester. Wife to one, mum to four and nan to three precious grandies. Living simply is my passion, I enjoy growing food, living healthy and playing with a variety of crafts. I am always up for a bargain and love to op shop for vintage treasures.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Weekly Update ~ An interesting week

Hello dear friends,

Another week has been and gone and what a busy week it was here. It was also an interesting week weather wise. Most of Southern Australia had a big storm cell pass over. With it came lots of thunder, lightening, rain, hail, wind, floods and even a couple of tornadoes. WOW!

 The really bad weather missed us, but we received a nice bit of rain, about 31mm or over an inch. On Wednesday we watched the storm cell pass by our place and I took heaps of photos as it was very scary and creepy.

Then we had a downpour...

Hubby had to dig a trench to divert the water down the driveway.

Love the sound of rain on a tin roof  J

As you can guess the gardens loved the rain! Everything has new lease on life, especially the veggies.

The shade cover has been taken down for now, so the plants can enjoy the nice sunshine that is coming.

I planted some new silver beet seedlings.

And dwarf beans.

The flowers are starting to show on the zucchinis.

The plants are getting bigger now. The leaves are hanging out over the barrels.

The cucumber is spreading out and has flowers.


Capsicum flowers.

The rhubarb is doing great in its new home.

We put weld-mesh around the tomatoes and staked the plants.

A spring onion has shot up in between the capsicums.  We used the soil from our spring onion bed to fill some of the barrels.  I expect to see more of these pop up and when they do I will move them to another barrel.

Toadstools growing out of the drainage plug, very strange indeed!

Last post I mentioned the strawberry plant that produced lots of flowers and no fruit. Well now it is getting strawberries, I must have been too impatient!



My sad garlic. 
This is the first time I have attempted garlic, I guess I still have a lot to learn.  They will all be used though so that is the main thing. No wastage!

Another four barrels are nearly ready.

I should get these done later today.

The garden at a glance...

Mulberries from our tree.

Who said we couldn't grow apples?  I counted over thirty on this little tree.  Whether or not they make it far enough for us to eat is yet to be seen, but so far so good!




Remember that flower on my Tayberry bush? Well here it is now...YUM!

Now the sun is back, I have mushrooms out drying. These are on special this week.

Some chopped figs that I dried earlier. I had these in the freezer to make jam but never got around to it, so now they will keep until I am ready to use them.  I think they would make a nicer jam because the flavour is stronger once they are dried.

On Tuesday hubby and I took the day off and went for a drive and spent the day looking at op shops in the surrounding country towns.  It was a truly lovely day...

I didn't buy too much but I did pick up these two large jars to add to my pantry for just a few cents.

I also picked up this pretty rose bush and hydrandea outside on a stand at an antique shop.  I paid $5.00 for the hydrangea, and last night I saw them at Coles priced at $22.00, so I am pleased with my purchase.  The rose cost me $12.00. I am not sure if that was a bit expensive, but I bought it for the smell as most roses you buy these days don't have an aroma. This one smells gorgeous!

I was gifted these two plants.  I think they are a shrub or ground cover, and they have edible fruit, so an added bonus.  I now need to find a place to put them. They are called Muntries, also known as emu apples or native cranberries.  I cant wait to see what they produce.

This is what the fruit will look like. By what I have read they taste like dried apples.
Web image

Gifted pepper toms.  Anyone tried these?  I haven't tasted them yet, but they look to be a cross between a tomato and capsicum? It says on the packet that they are ideal for stuffing.

 Gifted thrifty books. Looks like some great recipes in these two.

Out on my walk, I saw two bunnies in the yard with chickens again.    

I also saw this.  
Could it be a white Bird of Paradise? Does anyone know?

Some bargains I found at Coles last night. This lot cost me $2.50, full price would have been $27.50, so big savings.  I will freeze the corn, and steam the pumpkin for making an American Pumpkin cake.  The lettuce is still  okay to eat, but I will probably give it to our baby chicks for added green.

Here are three old 303 rifles hubby has restored, I think he has done a great job!

We have been cleaning up outside around the house while the weather is cooler and there isn't so much dirt and dust.  I made this cosy area outside the back door.  We will be able to sit here and watch the sun go down.  I must get some brown paint and cover the patch where the hot water system used to be. We have a solar hot water now.

The area near the swimming pool is being tidied and I am going to get the lawn growing again.  I know I said I wanted this gone, but I do miss that little green patch.  We let it die back hoping to do something different with this area, but it never happened.  I am wanting to plant bougainvillea's around the fence to make a pretty screen.  

Hubby has been renewing the gravel around the house. This helps to keep the dirt down during Summer.

After all the rain, the salt lake out back has water in it again.

For those waiting for the outside dryer instructions, it is nearly ready and will be posted within the next few days. Thank you for your patience.

I wish to apologise for not being able to visit my favourite blogs of late.  I know I have a lot of catching up to do and I hope to do some of that soon.

 I will leave you with this Old Irish Blessing 

May the road rise up to meet you. 
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, 
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Wishing you a wonderful week!


  1. I grew up in a Civil War era farm house with a tin roof. I still miss that sound. We're in autumn here.

    1. There are still a lot of tin roofs here in Australia, even the newer homes have them.

      I love laying in bed, window wide open, listening to the rain fall :)


  2. Another massive visual feast Tania - thank you. The toadstool made me remember how tenacious nature is....we could take a leaf out if its book.

    1. Yes nature at it best Phil.

      I was amazed when I saw "something" protruding from the drainage pipe. I had to get down close to see what it was :)


  3. I love reading your blog posts Tania....so newsy! enjoyed it all but glad you didn't cop too much damage from those storms! Have you done a detailed post at all about how you prepare those planting barrels? with my hubby reluctant to make the veggie patch how I want it....I might give this method a go....it is something I think I can manage and also have nearer to the kitchen. Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi there Cath,

      I have previously posted about the barrels here;


      and here;


      Check out Rob Bobs videos on wicking barrels, he explains the process really well.


      Good luck!


  4. Looks as if you are having a nice spring, I like seeing your plants as the frost has taken most of ours. We have had some warm weather this week so I got out and worked the hops patch as they need to be put to bed for winter.
    I just got my 303 out for deer hunting, tell your hubby that it is a BSA 1913 and shoots spot on.
    We just got back from the local brewery, I made a Guy Fawkes for them and a large crowd gathered for the bonfire (I was put in charge of dummies I suppose), it was a day late but the musicians couldn't be there last night. Does anyone celebrate the old holiday in your area?

  5. Hello Sunnybrook,

    No there is now celebration for Guy Fawkes here in our area. There may be some in Australia that do celebrate though.

    Sounds like a fun time :)

    I passed your message on to hubby. He doesn't know how accurate his rifles are as he is yet to try them out :)


    1. His look a lot better than mine as it is banged up like it just came out of service, it had thick grease caked everywhere when I got it and I just cleaned that off and started using it about 25 years ago, still all military with a 1942 sling. Probably came out of some armory in the middle east or some such place.

  6. Dear Tania, I am so glad you got that much rain. It has been great.
    Also your Coles bargains! they were fantastic.
    Things look like they are growing like rockets. I have told Andy all about your de hydrator to get him ready for this idea! :)
    We had a pretty good week. I can see it is warming up now and it is amazing how fast things dry out. But also I needed sun as I waited to do the washing and am on my fourth load today! It wont take long to dry now.
    Have a great weekend! With love, Annabel.xxx

    1. Dear Annabel,

      We had a hot day today so the soil is drying out already! Even hotter tomorrow and for most of next week ~sigh

      I wanted more rain as it dries up so quickly here, but cant complain because at least we got some :)

      Enjoy the rest of the weekend,


  7. Great photo's Tania, i love the look of your veg patch with all the blue barrels, and everything looks likes its growing really well. Glad you didnt get any damage from the storms, we've had them here to with lots of heavy heavy rain. my veg have loved it to and there growing really well xo

    1. Thank you Karen.

      I am pleased with how the barrels are progressing. I cant wait until I start picking veggies now.

      We had just the edge of the storm, so very little damage compared to nearby towns to us. They were flooded! Amazing what a bit of rain does for the plants :)


  8. I love the big blue barrel planters and intend to take some time over the winter to make some ready for spring. I can have 8 planters for less than the cost of 1 large pot from the cheapest garden shop. The weather shots are very dramatic, we tend to get blanked out with mist and fine rain rather than storm clouds here. I am now off to check out the instructions for making the planters.

    1. Dear Pam,

      It was a pretty dramatic day for many when these storms went through. We were lucky as there was no damage. I had prepared the veggies by covering them as they said there could be hail. Thankfully we didn't get any.

      Cant wait to see your barrels :)


  9. Hello Tania, the storms were amazing weren't they? Hannah and I stood outside and watched the cloud bank build and darken until it looked like a huge, black wave - then it hit! Horizontal rain (the wind was really strong). The creek behind us flooded, didn't quite make it to our back fence. Wayne was working in the city and his van was flooded - he said his feet were floating! I posted a pic to FB, the water was half way up the door! My seedlings looked a bit flat but they've bounced back beautifully. Even the tree ferns have grown - one frond I've been watching has grown about 5cm in two days! I have flowers on my zucchini and capsicums too, but most of the little tiny lemons have been blown or washed off the tree. At least there are still some left, we may get lemons yet! Have a lovely week.

    1. Dear Cath,

      Definitely amazing weather. Thankfully we escaped the damage that other areas received. I was thinking we wouldn't get any rain but very relieved that we did get some. The veggies grow overnight when they get a bit of rain. I am sure I can see them growing right before my eyes :)

      I hope you manage to get some lemons, you aren't having much luck with the wind this year.

      I am going to go and check that photo you posted. I must have missed it, not getting much time on the internet lately :)


  10. Hello. Great post as usual. Goodness, it rained so hard during the storm that our old factory roof leaked when the gutters were overfilled. The rain landed on our ceiling tiles in the office. I came in the next day and found the ceiling on the floor, a sodden mess, flooded carpet, and a view to the skies. Quite a shock and a big mess.

    How do you inbed the video. Ive tried so many times and failed.

    1. Crikey the storm really hit where you live Lynda. I bet there was a big mess to clean up.

      To embed a video go to the top of the new post page. Next to the add photo gadget there is an insert a video icon. Click on this and follow your nose. I just downloaded like I do for a photo. Hope you can understand this, I am not good at explaining things lol!

      I had trouble for a long time, but when I tried it recently I worked it out easily. Maybe blogger has changed how to embed videos.


  11. You have been busy. I do think that flower is a White Bird of Paradise because it looks just like the more colorful ones I grew up seeing in Hawaii. :)

    1. Thank you for that information Debbie. I was pretty sure it was a Bird of Paradise, but I couldn't believe the colour when I saw it. It was the first time this year that it had flowered.


  12. Tania, what a lovely and productive post! Now first of all, you do know that the strawberries grow from the flowers, right ;-) And secondly that is a giant Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise) plant. We have several in our garden. Wonderful screening foliage, and spectacular flowers. Your fruit harvest is inspiring! I'm looking forward to similar. So far, two mulberries, but plenty of time yet...lol! Lots of Love, Mimi xxx

    1. LOL Yes I do know that strawberries grow from flowers Mimi!

      What was happening was that the strawberry plant was producing an abundance of flowers but they weren't forming into fruit. This is the second lot of flowers. I didn't get anything the first time around, and it looked like the same thing was going to happen, but happily it did not!

      Thank you for naming the plant Mimi. I had not seen the white ones before now. I knew the flower looked like Bird of Paradise, but the leaves looked slightly different.

      Have a great week.


  13. Just wanted to say I'm glad you're back posting again, and I'm loving all the photos of your productive garden. Gives me lots of inspiration!
    The muntries sound interesting, too.

  14. Love seeing all the veggies. It is fall going into winter here. I love the Irish blessing My Grandmother had that hanging in her kitchen.

  15. Hello Tania,

    My oh my! You have been busy.
    I love the weather photos ... When I lived down home (Texas Gulf Coast), we would get the most amazing thunder and lightening storms. At one time I was blessed to live in a flat that had huge floor to ceiling windows; and when one of those tremendous storms would pass through I'd open the drapes and watch the sky and weather with awe.
    Your garden is looking so good this season.


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