…and a query. Yesterday, I noticed flowers on a tree that has never flowered til now though it’s somewhere in the region of 4metres tall! And I have NO IDEA what it is. All I can guess is that it is,like so many of the plants in this jungle, from a seed dispersed in bird, bat or possum poo.


There are dozens of flowers and only one that i could see with 5 petals.The leaves are stiff and glossy. It may be a native, but so far I’m flummoxed. Mind you, most of my books are packed away! So…anyone out there care to take a stab at it? Google’s “images” suggested Tibouchina, to which I said Foxtrot Foxtrot Sierra. So, have at it, folks. Jon, I’m counting on you! STOP PRESS I think it could be a Surinam Cherry, Pitanga! I do have one in the same area, but it’s most definitely shrub-sized. Wiki tells me this

Here’s a shot of the YlangYlang (Canangra odorata) flowers above the front stairs. I bent over backwards for this so please don’t say it’s “hard to see.”The topmost branches of this giant were scheduled to be lopped, but it’s been given a reprieve…And, oh my goodness! I’m on a roll now! In response to Jon’s comment about ylang ylang scent, I found this when I googled the making of the scent


And the un-named cactus that was such a stalwart a few months ago has produced more, though smaller, flowers.


Another “mystery” to me. I am not familiar with native fungi. At least, not to the point of knowing FOR SURE which are edible! So these have remained where they grow. Bad enough that a dodgy prawn put an end to crustacea, I’d hate to lose my mushies, too!

And, just for a giggle, here’s another of my orchids. It’s been hanging on this, the mystery tree, for years and years, never out of flower and a lovely bright spot of colour on dull days!

I’m still spitting cuss words at the way WP boffins have messed with what used to be so simple. And, frankly, I’m tired. And I don’t have much more to add so I might try to get some other work done, maybe even pull a few bad weeds now that the rain has eased. Yes, some weeds I do consider bad, but most are good for something!


I do wish WordPress would stop fiddling! Nothing seems to be where it was. OK, it’s been a day or several since I was here, but I don’t know where things are!

I did have a few paragraphs written and intended to come back and add some photos…and everything’s gone.I got an error message about invalid content or somesuch.

Let’s try adding a photo. Just one, in case the gremlins gobble another page!

Well, that worked! Yes, it’s a tomato. Actually, several tomatoes. And worth photographing as it’s the first ripe tomato since Adam was in short trousers, thanks to possums and grasshoppers. grrrr! I’m hopeful of several more, now that we seem to have reached our wet season.

It feels good to be able to do an hour or so of weeding and pruning after nearly a year of enforced laziness. I reduced the runaway Antigonon to a huge heap of withering leaf-and-stem. Got to it before it reached the roof!

And this, you may recall, is the sweet little “Pigeon ” orchid. When the rain started I counted some 10 or so buds and after a day and a night of soaking rain…

I also found a “stray” Zephyranthes in what we laughingly call “lawn.”

Oh! FFS! I do not have the time to stop-and-start this nonsense! Sorry, folks. I have dinner to attend to. Maybe tomorrow I’ll find time to sort out this god-awful system.

For now, this is where I take what’s left of my sanity. The Zephyranthes is the pink thing!


Some of us, well, maybe most of us, are feeling a little glum, what with miserable weather and lock-downs in Northern parts and scary fires and floods on my side of the world. And that’s without even mentioning the bloody plague!

But I suggested to our friend in Merkle-land that what’s needed to cheer us all is a Blog Party! Like in the old days, before people became welded to their phones or wandered off to play on Farcebook and Instaglam.

So, I’m kicking off the 2020 Blog Party. Just think of some gifts your blog friends might be happy to receive, have a wander ’round the interweb for images and post said images on your own blogs, with a link in comments here so we can all have a giggle. Or whatever.No expenditure of the Queens coin. Just fun.

Oh! And, should the Ghost of Christmasses Past pop up asking “did I win yet?” just tell him kindly that there is no prize, pour him a small sherry and let him go.

Now, I’m off to see what the WonderWeb has on offer.

First up, because I’ve been sashaying around, whistling golden oldies, I thought Jon might like this(although, he probably already has it!)

Over in Costa Rica and unable to venture far, I thought this might hit the spot for

What would our groyne-and-shag-obsessed chum in Norfolk like to find in his stocking. Well, don’t be silly –that wouldn’t fit in a stocking! Perhaps something like

He might like to share that with Scarlet. But I’d hate to start a fight so let’s see what she might like…I know she’s rather fond of old things (she’s friends with me, after all!) so maybe

Elephant’s Child. like myself, is uncomfortable in Aussie heatwaves so perhaps this might be to her taste antarctica from the air

Mago, who gave me the idea to throw a party here, might like some Bix

I’m pretty sure Daisyfae would be a starter for a dive! No, not a questionable drinking haunt! Although… but I had this in mind

I need to check on my dough and I know I’ve missed a few names, but hey! this is 2020 and EVERYTHING is up the boohai so I hand over to you to cudgel what wits you may still have.

Savvy hasn’t shown up yet, but when she does, perhaps she’ll like this

If Z pops in, as she might, noww that I’ve re-established things, she might be happy with this

I thought I had time enough to fiddle about in here, but suddenly remembered the laundry!These automatic drying devices are wonderful, but one does still need to toddle downstairs and un-peg things from the lines. Still, the smell of sun-dried sheets is pretty hard to beat!

For those of you who celebrate Hannukah, I saw this and did a big LOL. Off to the laundry lines…

Hanukkah toilet paper 2020 |

Most of you know I have the odd Viking in my family line so here’s a little Sverige tradition. If I’ve missed out someone on the present list, please, get plastered on Glogg and have fun!


Well, I am pleased to report that the loaf baked yesterday is, perhaps, not the most elegant item, but damn! it’s yummy!

I modified some things and ended up baking the loaf in a cake tin with a Pyrex pie plate as a lid. I’ll probably need to get a lidded casserole (mine went to the Op Shop ages ago!), but yesterday’s Heath Robinson arrangement worked.

Right! I suppose you want pitchers?This was the first, not very successful attempt.The recipe calls it, at this stage, “shaggy dough” and it did, indeed smell a bit like a wet sheep!

But I persevered…Here you see me shaping the dough into something that looks loaf-like.

No photos of the baked result! Perhaps I was a little heavy-handed in my shaping? I don’t know.

But I found another recipe and am quite pleased with this effort. Mind you, removing my modified lid was tricky!

The recent showers have had an almost magical effect on withering, dry gardens. The night-blooming jasmine, Cestrum nocturnum, will need some heavy pruning!

Now, I have an early appointment in town, which means I’ll be driving in school traffic. And The Man needs to use this computer as his has died. These wretched toys have a damnably short shelf-life, don’t they!


The starter was not developing as it should so last night I fed it again. 12 hours later, when I stumbled out in the near-dawn…my gooey mix had doubled! Yay!

So I brewed some coffee (nothing gets done Chez Dinah before coffee. (Ask the cats!) After a quick trawl through emails and the more reliable news pages, I felt sufficiently revived to mix another feed for my starter dough. And here it is, doing what it is meant to do.

We had a brief-but-useful shower the other night and yesterday I noticed lots of buds on the pigeon (I think dove sounds nicer) orchid. And today…a mass of dainty white flowers. A bit too breezy for good photos, but I have this…A delicate little thing, but tough enough to survive in harsh conditions. It’s so grateful for rain.

I have more than enough on my docket, so don’t expect daily updates on the state of the sourdough! But if you’d like to know how they baked their bread in Egypt back in the days of Pharoahs,I have a good link in the previous post. Oh hang on…here it is again! I don’t think I’d be that dedicated in sourcing ancient recipes. Munching weeds and pretending to be an Iron Age wife pretty much cured me of such notions! But it’s interesting…from the comfort of my upholstered armchair, glass of bubbles at hand. 🙂


It is Spring in this part of the world. Not at all my favourite season! Why? Because our Spring is dry and often very blisteringly windy. Watering gardens becomes a bit of juggling act, especially if one does not have rain water collection tanks!

But there are one or two tricks to help…I cut the base off those god-awful plastic horrors and “plant” them, neck down with just an inch or so above ground. That way, I can pour water into the bottle and let it trickle down towards thirsty roots.

If you try this, please pop a stick into the bottle to aid frogs or lizards to get out.

We have a stack of bottles, saved for this, but still need to dig the holes. I shall have the gardener’s boy do that later…

And I must cut the spent flower stems of the Swamp Orchid and strike some new plants. The original plant is going to live a few miles up the coast and I’ll keep several potted plants. Two of the cuttings, now in good growth, will be packed in damp paper and consigned to the Post Office for a long journey South. (Sorry I can’t send any to you, Jon!)

A few years ago I snipped a branch from someone’s blood-red oleander (Nerium) and it’s currently in glorious flower. But I only see it when I drive up the street as it’s high above the fenceline and obscured by the ginormous tamarind tree. But it is lovely. Hang on – I’ll pop down the road with a camera.

Not the best picture, but I wasn’t game to go into the neighbours’ yard as the ankle-biter is a tad viscious.

But I wandered about snapping this and that and will see if I can push the right buttons to bung them up here. Why oh why do these monkeys have to keep tinkering!

Here’s a sweet wee flower. Soon, it will be a shiny red fruit and if I’m quick I might beat the birds to it. I forget its name. I just remembered! Eugenia uniflora, aka pitanga or Surinam cherry

The Bat Plant Tacca integrifolia is flowering again. Poor thing is looking a bit ragged after its leaves were twisted and torn in the windy weather. This is the flowering part, showing seeds.


This is the old stalwart, Fraser Island Creeper, Tecomanthe hillii

Trachelospermum jasminoides

I’ve had enough of fiddling with settings! I’ll have to talk to our Inexplicable friend and see how he’d like me to send him the pix and he can sort it out. He’s much better at this sort of thing and, he being a Bloggerite, my WordPress malarkey will probably muck up the system. We’re still terrified of the BIG PINK THING…


…and trying to stay on the bucking horse.

Well, let’s start with my header image. About ten years ago several of us were posting daily sketches to each other and this is one of mine. Just water colour on a scrap of paper; I was trying to catch the drama of an approaching storm.

No storm today. But it is windy. [insert as many expletives as you like…I’m too busy planting things]

Mostly, herbs and cuttings that have languished since summer! I don’t want to go overboard as the plan, now very much long-term, is still to go back to NZ. But that’s going to be dictated by the pandemic.

In the meantime…I am sifting through photos and looking at the garden centre offerings because The Great Garden Photo Show and Tell is fast approaching. Yesterday, I popped across to The Inexplicable One’s place, as he’s now hosting this jolly flower fest. I think the expression, “lift your game”, applies particularly to me. le sigh…

Here’s a cat-herb combo, just to get us in the mood…

I’ve been faffing around with this “new” format and it’s doing my head in! I expect I’ll get used to things and will eventually figure out how to write a simple post without inadvertently including weird instructions…


Just trying to iron out some wrinkles.

So far, so good…

I’ll see if I can upload photos…just go and make a cup of tea.

F’gawdsake don’t hold your breath I don’t want anyone’s demise on my hands!

Stanley inspecting his new crate. 

I’ll not be like one of those politician chaps who manages to get himself elected, make a right porridge of things and then offer some apologetic Blarney.

No, I shall simply tell the truth. I’m a shiftless slacker.Lazy to my core. (And a bit busy on other fronts.)

So…what’s on the docket that keeps me busy? Well, we are still de-cluttering and trying to get used to the fact that a bed or chair is no longer where my backside remembered.Ouch!

And we’ve had a huge clear-out-the-overgrowth in the garden.Well, that, I must admit, was all down to The Man. Still feeling somewhat shingled, I wasn’t up to much heavy work. * And then we had some unseasonal rain. When you live in an area of seasonal shut-down unexpected rain surprises you. And it surprised some plants, too! Poor things thought they’d take it easy for a while, maybe pop out the odd flower here and there…

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Moon cactus Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is a species of cactus from South America. The most popular cultivars are varied mutants which completely lack chlorophyll, exposing the red, orange, or yellow pigmentation. These mutant strains are often grafted onto the hylocereus cactus, and the combined plant is called a “Moon Cactus”. Wikipedia

Even things like the Tithonia, which flowers madly from about May to July has gone totally triffid.

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A few months ago our back fence neighbour did his once-in-a-blue-moon weeding and pruning and ripped out yards/metres of my Tecomanthe hillii (Fraser Island Creeper). I’d have preferred it cut with sharp secateurs, but the fellow is not a gardener…

Yesterday, my Man said : “Look at the Fraser Island Creeper! It’s over Rick’s fence again!” And charging up a palm like Phar Lap on steroids…

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A Grevillea (not named), apparently in a wager against the Tithonia. Somewhere beyond that jungle is a house…



Nephila pillipes.….looking much plumper now so I think her boyfriend got what he came for. (And with no sign of him, she probably did, too!)

*And I milked it shamelessly!