UPDATE…I found the missing tiki! 

Long time, no blog. I have been doing other things…

One of the “other things” has involved gardens. Most of the gardens here just have to tough it out when rain is infrequent. I do water potted things, like orchids and herbs, but cannot see much sense in buying drinking water (via the annual water rate paid to Council) for plants that just let palms “steal” it anyway.

So, here are some of my simple pleasures…



A Yucca;I’m not sure which one as it’s in a garden down the street!


A pot of lilies that just begged to be added to my cart of groceries one day…They were indoors for a while, then I put them out on the deck where I could water them when I did the herbs’ water routine. Not the intense fragrance of some, but after the sun has been on them it’s a noticeable scent.


“Grand Duke of Tuscany” jasmine. Jasminum sambac  I’ve cut this wretch back to almost nothing and tried to dig it out since it seemed so unhappy.And then we have a good shower and off it goes again. There’s a story about it’s introduction to Western gardens (via the Duke) and I’ll do some research and tell you the tale another day…

Zyzigium wilsoniiIMG_2538.JPG

Syzigium wilsonii  aka “powder puff”. Another that struggled for years and seems, finally, to have settled. We only ever saw one or two flowers, but last Spring there were several and this year it looked spectacular! Of course, I didn’t get in with a camera til the show was almost over! I daresay Mr Google has a better range.

The Sunbirds re-used their little nest attached to the  cord on the front verandah awning and two chicks fledged a few weeks ago. And then…


Sunbirds (not the same pair) began building a nest on a string of chimes over the back deck




Mrs Sunbird is now incubating 1 or 2 eggs.

And now, some of my small treasures…


Chinese jade ear-rings


A brooch of NZ nephrite. It belonged to my maternal granny so probably 19th century.


Another piece of NZ nephrite, left to me by an aunt.


More NZ greenstone. I bought this when I was in my teens and I should probably give it to someone who could wear it as it certainly doesn’t go over my old knuckles!


And this, which I bought from a chap in NZ who does some beautiful carving. I’ll give you his Facebook address  His work is well worth looking at.


A Maori Hei Tiki. Like all Maori artwork, rich in symbolism, in this instance, a fertility charm! And now, having found it, I must get a jump ring for it so i can put it back on a chain.


Alas, not NZ nephrite. Not Chinese jade, though I believe this is from China. I have several and wore them as hair clips before I had my hair cut.I wonder if anyone else has them?

And now it’s almost time for lunch! I’ll close with a picture of one of “my girls.”

Breakfast.Oct 10 .JPG

Nephila pilipes  Yes, a big one, but does us no harm.She’s one of the spiders who spin a golden thread. If you are brave or curious, go here


  1. Very lovely stroll through the garden … nice to see the industrious Sunbird family … thank you for showing those great jewelry pieces … and YIKES a spider the size of a dinner plate!


  2. Your spider lady is beautiful! You really got a good shot. Still very few here in my garden though one has started a web in a reasonably sensible place in the garden, as long as no dopey humans blunder into it. And they’d need to go out of their way, so fingers crossed for my golden girl. Love seeing your garden and the amazing nests. Also so good to see your lovely jade/nephrite pieces. I’ll check out the link in a minute. I’m off to Byron Bay for a week. Maybe I could have a go at a blog post, who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am curious… but not brave… so I will leave the spiders under the link and not disturb them. Meanwhile, I love lilies! They are my favourite!
    On a side note, why aren’t wooden fences popular in Australia? I have noticed that Australian gardens often have aluminium border fences, is there a reason for this?


    • Oh dear! I seem to have confused you, Scarlet! I think you are referring to the pictures of the birds’ nests with the background of zicalume (known as ‘wriggly tin” Chez Dinahmow!) It’s not a fence, in these pictures – it’s our house! But some folk do have fences of this.It gives the look of a “border wall” and I hate it! Here, the fences on two boundaries are pine palings and on one boundary,
      wire called hinge joint
      And you need not fear the spiders I have. Blimey! If they were killers I’d have moved out long ago! Biggish, but fantastic at catching the bitey bugs!


  4. Your treasures are gorgeous! The flowers all look so exotic and dazzling with their different dynamic shapes and vivid colors. Even the sunbirds have flair, having chosen a very colorful (and, I imagine, very musical), enchanting home. Best of luck to the new feathered family.

    And what stunning, spectacular NZ green gemstones you’ve displayed! Such a vivid, vivacious color! In a museum, I first glimpsed that magnificent NZ gemstone. It was a carving of a small Tiki idol, and I didn’t need to read the information plaque to understand that the artifact was considered sacred and magical. The whole green gemstone carving radiated power and energy. Your beautiful, marvelous jewels evokes mystique and memory. Thank you for sharing your treasures.

    And I’m fascinated by the gold spinning spider! Have y’all named the spider? How about Rumplestiltskin? Or maybe one of the Fates?


    • Ah, you are talking about a Hei Tiki.And right after I’d published this I realised I had not included my tiki. And then…I couldn’t find it! Mad scramble through the cupboard where it should have been.Not in a panic, but cross to think I’d lost it.But I just had an idea and looked in a little plastic box where I keep hair clips and there he was.I’ll add a picture when the camera’s re-charged…

      And, no, I don’t name the spiders, other than their Latin names or a generic “Shelob.”


  5. Your plants and flowers are lovely as always, and the jewellery is unusual but quite beautiful. And those sunbirds… Soon you’ll be plagued by them!

    I hope you and “the girls” had a nice lunch? Are there many of the neighbourhood children left?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very few ankle-biters these days. i did think it was because they’d grown-up…now I’m wondering… (cue spooky music and demonic cackle…)
      I just read the other day that a high percentage of sunbird hatches don’t make it. 😦


  6. You’re Tiki idol looks great! Genuine, authentic, and very stylized! A one of a kind.

    At a gift shop in Hawaii, they sold green plastic versions–mass produced, made in a place other than NZ. I was disappointed.

    Yours looks so much better, exotic and evocative. If I ever make it to New Zealand, I’m definitely going to try and get the real thing. Thanks for sharing it with us.


  7. Lovely treasures! And I thought that jasmine was some kind of down under cauliflower as well!! When I lived in San Diego, friends has a hedge of jasmine and I found the scent overpowering and not at all pleasant. They loved it.

    Nope nope nope to the spidery link thanks. I even skimmed quickly past your photo once I caught a glimpse. Just can’t. I will, however, check out the link to Jeromy’s wares!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You do seem to like green stones! I do too but it (green) doesn’t suit me so I have to steer myself away from it.
    I’m fascinated by the sun bird nesting habits, are they tiny?
    And I, too, thought the jasmine was a cauliflower.


  9. Thank you for the photographs, it all looks”lush”, full of life … while we are her in the process of turning grey all over, grey skies, grey light, grey land. You know when it is cold when the trees are wet, not the leaves or boughs, but the whole trunks that turn black.
    I very much like your jewellery, the green pieces. I like to wear rings now and then, but have only few. It is silver, and one or two with black stones. But I would never buy me rings or other things, it is all in all a bit limited what men do wear isn’t it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I do know what a European winter is like! And yet, for all I grumbled about the slush in the streets and getting out of a snug bed in the D>D>M to go to work…I miss the sharp definition of seasons. Must be my English blood!
      Funny you should remark on men and the jewels they do or do not wear…in earlier times, of course, those with the money piled the rings and chains on.But today, when more than 90% work ornament is mostly reduced to a wedding ring.


      • teehee … when a man dons a tiepin today he’s qualified as an Apus … I was stared at when I wore an (admittedly clunky) golden ring from an uncle with a big black stone. Forget wearing a seal ring.

        (Sorry, afk now.)


  10. Only 50 years ago I heard men who wore ANY sort of ring referred to as “poofters.” I remember some friends who chose matching wedding rings being laughed at.My father never wore a wedding ring, though he did have a Masonic ring.


  11. have never had any success with that jasmine here in Sydney either, maybe it needs a cooler climate? your big golden orb spider looks beautiful, I used to be frightened of spiders until I started honouring them for their wonderful weaving but still don’t like them on me & would probably faint if I ever met a bird eating spider…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mo, I think that Grand Duke needs to be established WITHOUT COMPETITION. So, not much good in any garden of mine!
      I was a terrible arachnophobe as a kid, but eventually came round to appreciation.


  12. What a delightful way to start my grey, windy day! Anything that was blooming has faded away here and reduced to twiggy messes. Leaves are everywhere and green grasses are no more. Love your jewelry. I forget to wear mine at home, but always wear earrings when I go out! LOL xoxo


  13. Nephila would look lovely spray painted silver and used as a brooch, would make a wonderful Christmas gift for an elderly lady or a blind person. What talented birds you have. I once made a Macramé hanging basket at school that looked very similar to the bird’s nest, I remember the look of horror on my mother’s face when I presented it to her and sheer panic when I told her she could hang it up in the living room window for passers-by to see.


    • I remember my mother having a spider brooch when I was very young and scared stiff of spiders. Oddly, I liked her brooch -“gold” legs and a big fat pearl body.
      Yes, the sunbird nests are cute and much neater than any baskets I ever attempted!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.