September 2012 - One
Spring returns to The Duckpond

Meet artist Veronica Holland, who lives not far from us in Christmas Hills.
I have loved Veronica's paintings for a few years now, so she was the first person
I thought of to create a painted tile-top table to live in the garden in memory of
my gardening loving parents, Beatrice and George Ashton.

The base of the table was made by another local artist Justin Purser, who also makes
stunningly beautiful gates, should you ever need one.
You can see more work from both these artists as I've linked their names
to their websites.

Sometimes I struggle to keep little plants alive - and at other times I struggle to
keep the same plants from crawling over everything else!
These pink brachyscome daisies are often slow to become established
but they are tough little creatures - able to survive the worst conditions,
so I'm happy to forgive them their misdemeanours.

This hypocalymma angustifolium (sorry, no common name that I know of)
is managing with great difficulty to keep its roots in the ground at the top
of the large raised bed which has been badly undermined with tunnels
by the swamp rats - which I greatly miss (the rats - not the tunnels).
They haven't disappeared altogether, as they're now living down on the
very broad nature strip outisde the fence at the bottom of the garden.

As the years go by, there are bound to be repeats of my favourite shrubs,
and as I have become somewhat philosophical about losses - often
just when a plant is looking spectacular - I have taken to popping multiples of
my favourites in different spots throughout the garden.
This also serves to show which conditions best suit the plant.


Another favourite of mine are shrubs from the thomasia family.
I think this is a thomasia purpurea, and it's growing on the edge of a
narrow garden bed I made in between the east wall of the house and the pond.
With this little chap spreading across the path from one side,
and the large tussock grasses spreading out from the pond,
I am conscious of trying to avoid catching my foot in the long grasses
and ending up in the pond!

The new driveway and paths made from Tuscan toppings, have settled in
and of course it was only a matter of time before the grasses and weeds
found them quite a hospitable spot to germinate.
I suppose I could have taken them out digitally - but that would be cheating, wouldn't it?


.....and as always, we welcome the fresh growth of the ornamental grape vine
which will shade the path outside our north facing windows.
The summer sun never reaches inside, but if the paths outside are also shaded from the sun
it helps to keep it cooler inside.
As I write this extremely belated update (in January 2014), we are into
the fifth day of temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius, and the temperature
inside is still in the low 30s, which is quite acceptable with no need for air conditioning.

next - Spring in Full Swing

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