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Life on two acres of arid dirt, on the edge of the Australian outback.

Friday, September 3, 2021

hello there

I would like to thank everyone that has left beautiful and encouraging comments regarding the sad loss of my Mum. I appreciate them all. I am blessed to have such a caring community that visit my little space here.

On the 5th August 2021, we finally laid Mum to rest. Only 50 people were allowed, by invitation only. It was a huge relief to finally be able to do this for Mum.  We had a few hiccups with the arrangements but in the end it all worked out well and I think Mum would have been ever so proud of us and what we managed to get done for her funeral.

How am I doing? I have been okay, taking each day as it comes. Somehow trying to find my way back to normality. I have so much to consider now for my Dad. He turns 85 in a couple of weeks. Lucky he is in good health and so far managing to get things done with my help. He is terribly lonely without Mum, he loved her so much. I spent yesterday and last night staying over with him. I cooked up a couple of his favourite meals that Mum used to make for him. He was very happy to have some company.

It is hard to know that my mum is not here anymore to support and encourage me in all that I do. She was my biggest fan. I find comfort in knowing she will walk beside me everyday for the rest of my life. 

This is the postcard that we gave out at Mum's funeral. The verse on the back was what Mum chose as part of her eulogy. She wrote her own eulogy you know. What an incredible woman my mother was. 

I finished the blanket Mum had started and it now has pride of place in my little camper van. Its all ready for me to go on adventures when I feel the need, which will come soon I'm sure.

While at Dad's today I went through some of Mums seeds she had saved and came home with these bullock heart tomato ones. She loved gardening and grew her own food and beautiful flowers. I will plant these out tomorrow. I are hoping for a little bit of rain to give them a head start.

Around here...the second day of Spring. And what a day it was! 35C {95F} and a dirty dusty day. You will notice dirt on some of the veggies in the following photos. Welcome to the windy season!

I missed most of Winter with Mum being ill so I am way behind with things around here. Slowly I am making progress with getting garden beds ready for Summer veggies. I took some photos today to share.

I had two grape vines given to me at the end of Summer, but I never did get to put them in the ground, so for now they will stay in pots. This will give me time to decide where to put them. I love seeing new life emerging on plants.

The bees were busy, even though it was very windy. I got stung on my head today haha! Usually I react badly but so far so good. I have discovered that calamine lotion helps relieve the pain once the sting is removed.

It was wattle day in Australia yesterday, and the wattles were looking so bright and lovely, however after the wind today they aren't so good now.

Excuse some of the blur on my photos, I think my camera is playing up.

The pigeon peas are flowering. I am surprised they are still doing okay with the frosts we had this year. I imagine they will really take off now the weather is warming.

The saltbush I planted along the tin on the veggie patch enclosure has almost covered it. This will keep the patch cooler in summer. I must get to and neaten the plants up a bit.

The blossom is starting to appear on the apricot and nectarine trees.

A lot of fruit blew off the trees today. I have been struggling to keep up with picking citrus. I did get some marmalade done and I juice the rest. Hopefully I will get to these in the next few days and get them all juiced and in the freezer.


Fig tree leaves making an appearance.

Still plenty of oranges to pick. They are so nice and sweet now.

I decided to try this method for growing potatoes as seen on Gardening Australia recently. I am using a compost bin. So basically I just used the little bit of compost that was in the bottom and added some potatoes skins with shoots on and placed them on top. Then I covered with a little more compost and some hay. Now I wait...

I will keep you posted.

A late crop of bok choy. These are so easy to grow.

There is a mix of beetroot, bok choy in this barrel. These were left overs from punnets and I just plonked them in with the last seasons basil that I have yet to cut back.

I grow my own lettuce these days. I grew these from seed with great success.

The re-emergence of chives.

And garlic chives.

The last couple of leeks I grew went to seed. 

So did the spring onions.

I have started a couple of new lemon scented geraniums for the garden.

One last capsicum on the old plants from last Summer. These will be replaced with fresh plants soon.

Silver beet is still growing, although a lot slower this time of year. Will also plant more of these.

The parsley has been trimmed and dried and now in the pantry to use.

I love the pretty orange of this calendula. I have some soaking in oil to make into balm.

I also trimmed the thyme and dried for the pantry.

Hoping the lemon balm does better this year. 

Potatoes growing in a feed sack. I will be emptying this soon. I can see some tiny potatoes so I am hopeful for success. If so I will definitely do this method again.

Mustard greens flower.

Oregano showing signs of spring.

The sage has been cut back and starting to re-shoot with fresh leaves.

I think this soil needs improving, will get to that soon too. Looks to be lacking nitrogen by the yellow leaves on the baby spinach.

I harvested beetroot a while ago and managed to pickle them. I put new plants in straight away and thankfully they are doing okay. I had to battle with slater beetles eating the young seedlings, hence the bottles. Now the bottles are keeping the black birds from scratching the young plants out. I had a thought and sprinkled basil leaves around the seedlings hoping the slaters didn't like the smell. Not sure of the outcome but will try it again next time.

I didn't get to trim all of the dragon-fruit vines. Another thing I had better get to soon before its too late.
This one is trying to push through the roof. I picked about a dozen dragon-friut last season in the second year of growing.

Hopeful signs of comfrey.


Chamomile flowers are so pretty.

Hello again to the pomegranate. I did get flowers last year but no fruit. Fingers crossed it will happen this time.



The blueberry is covered in flowers.

A refreshed garden bed. I added lots of organic matter and will put some veggies in there soon. This barrel sits mostly in the shade, so will need to find something suitable to grow in there.

Baby spinach.

This is how I build healthy soil. I bury scraps that the chooks wont eat into the ground. I also add egg shells, tealeaves, shredded paper or paper towels, newspaper etc, leaves, hay, worm castings, whatever I can get my hands on. Its like building a compost pile directly into the ground. Then I pour over green liquid manure made mostly from stinging nettles and weeds. I may try putting some of the worms in these barrels this year.

Here is a bed that I renewed recently and planted cucumbers straight in. They are looking rather healthy already. They look dry, but that is from the wind today drying the top of the soil out.

I repotted the raspberry at the end of last summer, and am so pleased to see new growth.

Pink flowering rosemary.

Tomatoes that hung on from last Summer. I did pick them all through winter, but they aren't as tasty.

I have planted four zucchini seedlings in freshly prepared soil. I didn't have time to let the soil sit this year because of running short of time to get things done and growing. I feel the need to grow as much food as I can because there are rumours of food shortages coming.

I made the mistake of planting these beetroot in with a tomato plant and they didn't perform well, so I moved them and now they are looking much better.

I was given these garlic bulbs from a friend. They are huge garlic so hoping I can harvest some later in the year.

This bed is waiting for some attention.


Its quandong time again. This is Australian bush tucker, and has a taste similar to rhubarb once cooked.

These girls roam around everywhere, even where they are not supposed to be. Must get to weeding and feeding the lawn area too. So many jobs, so little time...

I spied this tiny tomato plant among the garlic.

Time to weed the garlic again.

Yellow calendula. 

Unusual moth on my screen door.

Random photos of a daisy that grows naturally around here.

The lemon tree I grow successfully in a pot. This always has lots of fruit on it. Now the bees are around the fruit has increased tenfold.

Pretty succulent in flower.

More bees. We have nine hives now, seven here at our place and two elsewhere.

A cute baby bearded dragon that lives in our native garden area. He is tiny and barely three inches long.

I am having trouble navigating this new blogger format. I do not like change, I was quite happy with the way it was before lol. I don't know why the preview looks different from the actual post that goes up. Maybe I need to play a bit more to work things out.

I do hope everyone is doing okay with the C-19 virus that has turned our lives upside down. My heart breaks for the poor people in our country that are in lockdown, I hope it eases for you soon. We have been lucky so far in our state but I don't think we will be safe for much longer. My daughter is now back amongst the virus after returning back to Sydney last Sunday. She was home with us for months so she could see her Nanna.

I have been feeling quite a bit of stress about the world and what the future holds. I feel the urge to get back to basics, stock up and be prepared for what is to come. Growing food feels like a necessity at the moment.  Annabel is doing a series over on her blog . Its called 30 days to better preparedness, and I am following along making sure I have things covered. I have been a "prepper", as in prepared, for many years now. It seems that these skills may well come in handy in the difficult times that may be ahead of us. 

Grandma Donna has a lot of interesting posts on her blog also, especially one she posted recently about keeping a first aid kit. See here.

Thank you so much for visiting.
Be blessed,


  1. Glad you were finally able to farewell your Mum. Gosh your garden is going great with lots of produce and the lettuce looks great. I'm planting some veggies today. Have a good week.

    1. Thank you Kathy, hope you are having some lovely spring weather for planting.


  2. Tania, so sorry to read about your Mum. Big hugs from Queensland. My my, you do have a lot of plants growing at the moment.

    1. Thank you so much Nanna Chel. It is not until I do a blog post do I realise that you are right and that I do have a lot of plants growing. And I missed taking photos of some of them.

      Have a lovely weekend,

  3. I'm so glad to 'see' you again. Your fruit and veg looks wonderful. Gardens are a real solace and a calming place to escape to in stressful times. Take care. X

    1. Thank you Tracy. Hopefully I am back for a good while now. Gardens are definitely a good place to hang out when the chips are low.


  4. You look very prepared. Your garden is amazing! We are on watering restrictions again, so I hope I will still be able to grow food. I saved the bath water from last night to reuse in the garden. Love that blanket and photo of your mum. She looks so happy. Her spirit lives on, through you.

    1. For you to be on water restrictions, have you not had rain there Stephenie?

      My Mum was known for her big smile and beautiful heart. What she lacked in size, she made up for in her determination and resilience.


  5. My deepest condolences on your mom's passing. We're never really ready for such things.

    1. Thank you Gorges.

      I know I wasn't ready, but would I have ever been? No. I loved my mother dearly, she was my best friend and confidant. I am an only daughter with a brother that lives a long way away and I very rarely hear from him. Lucky I have four children that I am close to and they will help my dad and I get through this.

      Take care,

  6. Welcome back we have missed you
    Yes the world is crazy right now but I’m sure we will get through it
    At least we can grow and cook from scratch not to mention crafting
    It all helps to ground us and keep us sane as well as providing for our families

    I hope your daughter stays safe and well

    1. Thank you Angela.

      Your are right about the skills we have to get us through these tough times. Hopefully life will return to normal as soon as possible.

      I am worried for my daughter in Sydney. She works from home and only goes out to exercise, so all good so far.


  7. Hi there Tania, it seems I've missed a lot in my hiatus. But I did have your mum in my thoughts, hoping things were going well for her. In a way, I suppose they were. Because she got to decide how she spent her life to the end. Unless he already has one, I was wondering if your dad could use a companion pet to help make the transition. My mum's elderly friend, who lived past 95, had a pet cockatiel. He had no surviving family, but having that little bird to speak to during the day, put a smile on his face. When he eventually passed, my mum made sure his beloved birdie found a new home, with a new girlfriend.

    Death is a hard place to navigate. The spaces left behind, that somehow need refilling. I feel for you and your dad right now, having lost David's mum, almost a year ago (late October) too. The garden is a good place to be. Yours is doing very well, and it's great to see. Thanks for sharing it with us, once more. Take care and God bless.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your welcome advice. I am where you mention "the spaces left behind". As a family we had lunch out for fathers day last weekend and it just wasn't the same. Dad also felt the feeling of somebody missing and struggled through the day. I am trying my best to fill Mum's shoes but they are huge shoes to fill! Tomorrow we are having a bbq lunch for dads 85th birthday. I have baked him a cake and organised food so all that needs to be done is cook the bbq. Sadly there will be an empty space again.

      I am mostly doing okay apart from an overwhelming sadness. I am finding it hard to enjoy life at the moment. Other things happening in the world definitely aren't helping.

      I will get there...

  8. Tania it is good to see you back here. I am loving your wonderful garden. I know the work that you put into it and it is good to see how it is responding to your care. Hang in there dear lady. Thinking of you and sending you love from our part of the world.

  9. Such a great post Tania !! and lovely to hear an update from you after such a difficult and sad year. Your garden is looking so great. I also feel the need to try and grow as much as possible. I used to be an avid vege gardener...but over the last 5 years I did less and less. However it's like my joy for growing vegetables has returned and I just can't wait to get in there. I only have a few things planted, but have ordered seeds and seedlings. I also loved all your compost tips and want to try your method!! thank you. and finally... I'm very impressed with your citrus trees - so lush, green and so much fruit !. Ours are looking terrible, with yellowed leaves :( My husband put some citrus food around, but I think they need more than that. Blessings to you Tania, I had so much fun reading this and your photos are just lovely too :)

    1. Hi Linda, so lovely to hear from you again.

      My citrus trees would have to be the most neglected trees. I don't care for them much, just add water about once a week. Every now and then I remember to fertilise but it is not very consistent.

      Good luck with your gardening, you are very talented and I am sure you will have great success!


  10. Oh, my dear, looking after someone you love when they are very ill is so hard, and it is such an honour to do it for them, but emotionally it really stretches you. I hope you have a gentle landing during spring, and knowing your mum is always with you. Love to you as you find your way forward.

    1. Thank you so much Jo. It really is a struggle and I think reality is starting to sink in. I am missing Mum terribly now and my mind constantly wanders back to the hospital when I was caring for her. Its times like this I wish I had sisters for support. Its so hard to be strong for Dad and try and look after myself also. I will get there with time...



Your comments really make my day. Thank you for taking the time and for being so kind.