I was about to feed the cat when I heard amphibian croaking…and a few seconds later … rain pattering onto the roof. Yes, rain! The gardeners’ gift. (Probably the camping and picnicking crews’ bane, but that’s tough -WE need this moisture!)

A glance at the calendar tells me it’s December 25. Which means that those of you on my side of the world are probably shredding fancy wrapping paper. And the rest of you are in a bit of a panic, racing around trying to find another turkey because Grandma’s test is negative and she CAN come for Christmas after all. And Uncle Arthur and Auntie Millie will drive her, but “we wont eat much!” Fat chance! I’ve seen Auntie Millie demolish the top tier of wedding cake!

So…why has my blog been as dusty and web-draped as Miss Havisham’s house? Well, things have been a little hectic. The Man was able to get roof gutters licked into shape while the sun shone. And I spent more time dragging hoses around TWO gardens.

The tenants moved out from a neighbour’s house and he, being confined to a southern city, asked us to keep an eye on things. It’s not an onerous chore in his rambling, jungle-y garden.I’ve even got a couple of seedlings for our garden!

Now, I should get some breakfast sorted, but I do wish you all a Happy Christmas. Even more, a safe, Covid-free one.

This is the view from the deck of the house where I’m on garden duty. Rather noice, innit.

And, because it’s been a Dinahmow tradition since 1959, I leave you with Mr Lehrer.

Forest of the damned.

Damned palm seedlings, that is. Foxtail palm, Wodyetia bifurcata. A lovely, lush thing, but rather too generous with its seeds. Ripening to a rich orange, about golf ball size, they hang on the tree for ages, not unlike a 5kg bag of mandarins and are a good food source for bats, possums and some birds.

Then, the few hundred or so that are left drop to the ground, germinate and away we go again.

That’s not grass! It’s hundreds of foxy seedlings! All this rain we’ve had are having has given everything a boost and I spent some time this morning pulling out handfulls of these. Lovely trees in the right place, but this yard does not have the space for so many. Not so long ago, foxies were at the centre of a scandal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Melville_incident

I also pulled handfulls of Cobblers’ Pegs Bidens pilosa, a nasty thing whose seed awns are not only a fecund nuisance, they can be a menace in animal fur or woolen clothing. The unseen corner over the back fence is choked with them; I’ll have to be extra vigilant when the wind blows from the south.

And then, my back having had enough bending, I straightened up and took a camera for a walk…

The Allamanda can’t seem to stop! Daffodils are out of the question here, but I glory in the matching yellow and similar fragrance. And that’s about the colour of our walls, too!

And the rain has been kind to the Gloriosa, allowing another flush before it goes to sleep…

An un-named bromeliad, bought at a school fair, years ago.

Two of our Anthuriums…I rather like the purple.

I’ll leave you with the Soursop (two that we can see, but possibly another higher up the tree).


I suspect many of us are enticed away by the quick-fix of Instagram and suchlike.

And, of course, Facebook has ensnared many bloggers. Yes, I have a presence on that platform, but I have culled a great many contacts who were buying into the bitch-fests. I don’t like hateful comments, especially from people who can’t spell! And it does seem to be a magnet for Brexit and Trump and climate deny-ers and Flat-earthers…

But we’re not about blame here at the Idle Thoughts. Actually, we (and that’s “we” used in the Royal context!) don’t seem to be about very much of anything. Another two months gap in posting. Slacking, Dinah!

A quick update…it has not rained since last Friday. What this means is that I am back to watering some plants! With drinking water! Sacrilege!

I have a few photos to share…undefined…More Yellow Fellows. Dysphania numana cats.

Tithonia, aka Mexican sunflower or tree daisy. Tied back from the driveway and still flinging its gorgeous flowers about. A bit of a thug, but I do love it.

This is a Megaskepasma erythroclamys . And I Googled to see if there is a more pronouncable common name (and you all know how I feel about common names!) Apparently, it’s also known as Red Cloak. Over the years I’ve struggled to keep it alive and this is from a 6″/ 15cm cutting. The rain has been a boon so I’ve planted this and am hopeful of masses of crimson flowers …

And now, my faithful readers, I’d better press the button on this as things might get a bit tricky…we are changing providers and are only part-way through the process.I’d hate to have you cut off in your prime, as it were.