New plants, toxic plants and climbing plants

Sturt's Desert Rose
Sturt’s Desert Rose

Tuesday and I have Herself at the doctor this morning. I expect to bring her back home and let her lie down for a while.  Our appointment is at 9am, so we should be home by 10:30 and I’ll let her rest until lunch. If she is feeling up to it I may take her out for lunch.   Yesterday I  spent the day clearing the ground – covered it with fertilizer then a Blood and Bone  mix, dug all that through and watered it all in. I planted two new flowering bushes – a Lemon coloured Hibiscus and a new bush called  Mexican Orange Blossom (White flowers) AND I have fenced the area off. Unless they have mountaineering skills ( like some dogs I know)  they should be kept out of the area. Not that I am not thankful for the work in watering they have done, but  I feel this responsibility added to their extensive Guard Duties, is really too much to expect so, fencing it off is for their own good.  I feel that this is a good time to plant these things (black thumb notwithstanding) because whilst it does say  “Full Sun” I am not certain that it means South Australian Full Sun, so, now the bite has gone out of the sun and it is cooler, it might be better and give them time to get established. I have also planted Bougainvillea (Two) along the line of the fence in the hope that they might brighten up the place a bit.  I have two different colours at the moment but I may well get two more during the course of this week and provided they all survive, it should be a nice coloured wall

The doctor appointment well and I think we are clear for a couple of months. Still  waiting to see if we need to go visit the other specialist, 20131008_151606but at the moment, she is not too bad – tired but well.  She should be ok provided she does not overdo things.

Our local hardware store also sells a limited number of plants. Once upon a time we had three Garden Shops – now we have but one. I bought two Bougainvillea  at the hardware store at a cost of $9:50 each. That was the last two they had.  The two I bought yesterday at the Garden shop cost me $16:95 each. This is part of a big chain and since it’s the only place in town they can charge what they like – mainly because the nearest Garden Shop is over 100 miles away. Although— having said that –  I do know a young couple who  had a house built then took a trailer to that particular Garden Shop and filled the trailer with plants for the garden they had started to lay out. In a few weeks I will be going to Adelaide and be there for a week. On the way home I will stop off at Bunnings on Main North Road and have a look to see if I want anything in the way of plants. I’ll probably stop at the Arid Lands B.G. on the way through.  Oh, I did buy one plant the other day and I am unsure what to do with it. I liked the flowers and thought they would look nice. But I decided to look it up on Google and was horrified to learn that it is toxic to dogs, cats, horses sheep and cattle. It also gives off a perfume that  destroys other species of plants around it and encourages the spread of its seeds. It is called Lantana Camara and, I think I may have to be careful where I put it.

We had a little bit of precipitation (not using the other word – don’t want to cause upset)  this afternoon so that helped to get  things settled in – I hope.  In another section I have the trailer parked and I am  digging out the gravel from that area. It is unlikely that I will be able to plant anything there but I will put down weed matting and refresh  the area. There is also a very large area that’s covered in gravel but it’s the cheapest stuff you can get so it does not look all that nice. I will, over time clear all that away and again refresh it  with some decent gravel – granite chips perhaps.

It's a hard life
It’s a hard life

I have never had any problem feeding my associates. Well, not strictly true in that I have to have a gate between them –  one on one side of the gate – one on the other. Chienne  gets right into the food dish as soon as it is put in front of her. She raises her head only when her bowl is empty. The Man, on the other hand, herself calls O.C.D. He has a ritual he has to go through – sniff, walk away – sniff, walk around daddy’s legs, –  sniff, walk around daddy”s legs – sniff, walk away, return, eat. If I fed them together after the first walk away, Chienne would be in there and finished before he came back. Ok, so he’s weird, but I guess he fits in quite nicely. He sleeps a lot and I still carry him when we go for “walks”.

I am still undecided  about accommodation in Adelaide for the State Assembly and I’m leaning towards a hotel closer to town and about equal distance between the two places I have to go. I think that might be the place.

Highways, by-ways and Mother Nature

I can still relate to this
I can still relate to this

Apart from a Football Match (Australian Rules) I have now discovered another reason for staying out of the City – International  OZ-Comi-Con is being held at the Showgrounds. This is annoying because I wanted to go to that this year. My son went last year and bought me a Warehouse 13 T Shirt and had photographs taken with Richard Dean Anderson. However, I have to be at a conference on Saturday morning and be back in time for a Barbecue. However, with these two events, the place will be packed and although I do have to do one thing in town, I might not be able to if I can’t get parked. I will probably drive into town, judge things and either try to park or drive back out again. I might get away with it on Friday morning but certainly not Saturday, although I wont be in town on Saturday anyway. I’ll be navigating the South Road. Joy! I was asked to go to Karrulta Park on Friday which works out good for me. I can pick up the ANZAC Highway which runs into West Terrace and puts me on the side of the road that I wanted to be in.  Well ok, Adelaide is not the world biggest metropolis,   but  coming into West Terrace from any other end means cutting across 10 lanes of traffic to get where I want to be –  South Terrace, North Terrace, ANZAC Highway and Sir Donald Bradman Drive all converge in West Terrace. From there I can head up to Salisbury. This is also a busy place, but far enough away from Adelaide to miss the crowds.

I do not really get irritated with many things but one of the things that does irritate me is the way comments (awaiting moderation) just vanish into cyberspace. This happens on a couple of sites so I’m not really sure if I should continue with these sites, or just go. Of course, this could be a roundabout way of telling me to go anyway  :o)

The drive to Adelaide was uneventful – thankfully. A lovely day and a good drive down. I  I did turn off the by-pass onto

 Sturt Desert Rose

Sturt Desert Rose

the South Road  and I have to say that I am impressed. No detours and the elevated roadway was all but completed – just some cosmetic finishing touches. A super road – but then it’s cost enough so it should be. Well,  that’s that section finished, now the fight starts about where the government is going to borrow the money to start work on the next section. My one criticism  is that because of the cosmetic work being undertaken, traffic on the new 8 lane (4×4) roadway was restricted to 60kph – less stress, no detours, but not all that faster in getting to Kurralta Park. I did manage to get the last photograph for my report at West Terrace before heading off to Salisbury. After the conference on Saturday I decided to make a detour that would see me back on the South Road and the

Lovely Day!! (38c)
Lovely Day!! (38c)

new highway again. This was amazing because the South Road Highway now blends into the Salisbury Highway, which then joins the  Port Wakefield Road and a direct run home on Highway 1. Bonus… I was home in plenty of time to feed the dogs and get us  over to my son’s place for the Barbecue.

Since I came back from Adelaide it’s been raining almost constantly. It’s been good in that my 22,500 ltr water is overflowing as is the 1350 ltr. water tank. The small  tank I use for watering plants – when they actually survive that is- which is not very often. The Hibiscus and the other bushes I planted have all died so we are slowly coming to the conclusion that the previous owners, who had a thing for concrete and gravel, may well have  made sure that nothing will grow on the little area of soil they left. What I am thinking about is weed matting and woodchips and give up this one-sided, unequal struggle. Mother nature is bigger than me  :o)

Barbecue, dogs and movies

Saturday and I spent the morning  helping to run a fundraising Barbecue for the RFDS. We were only there about three hours and managed to  raise about $340, which is not  bad. Herself had a good night last night  and after I laid out her breakfast I  set off to the BBQ. I did call a couple of times to make sure everything was ok. It’s not been all that bad of a week and we were able to relax for a bit as things calmed down. Monday we are at the hospital again and we’ll see how things go from there.  I have been giving the Man a medication that was recommended to me and we have noticed that he is crying a lot less and is much more active. Well, yes, I still have to carry him for a bit, but just to get his wind back, you understand, not that he needs it, of course  :o )  On the other hand, if he didn’t run around like a mad thing and expend all his energy in the first five or six minutes, it might be a tad different.

Not sure where I got this from, but it works for me.
Not sure where I got this from, but it works for me.

Monday and we are back to the hospital again. This afternoon she goes to have an  Echocardiograph, which is an ultrasound of her heart. They are, I believe, doing this because she failed the Stress Test last week. Well, she didn’t actually fail it, she couldn’t walk on the treadmill as fast as they wanted her to so they abandoned it. With this test the rules are that we MUST be there on time or the test will be cancelled. Should not be a problem. This will be our last appointment until Friday, so after today, provided all goes well,  I should be able to wind down for a little. I don’t know – perhaps it’s just me but I really fail to see what these tests have to do with a blood loss, but I suppose they have to eliminate other possibilities.  I am supposed to go to a meeting next Wednesday and I think I might just be able to fit it in. However, it means taking a coach to Adelaide and a coach home. I can get the 6am coach, go to the meeting then get the 6pm coach back home, ready to take her to the Specialist on Thursday. I really need to attend this meeting because I  have to write a report and it would be better that I was there and talk to people rather than simply write the report from the information I have to hand – comprehensive thought it might be.

Interesting post recently with reference to the Oscars. The writer asked her followers to list their three favourite movies – mine being, Casablanca – The Man Who Would be King – A Man For all Seasons – these are the three I would take with me to a desert island, but I have to say that there are “Runners Up” that I like:   Hatchi -55 Days at Peeking – The Day after Tomorrow ( yes I know the science leaves a lot to be desired, but I like it), Shadowlands – The Remains of the Day –  On The Beach (with Fred Astaire not the remake) Braveheart – The Lion in Winter. I would quickly get fed up with the Lord of the Rings, but I would take the three Narnia Movies with me and one other probably surprising selection – Yankee Doodle Dandy – with James Cagney.

I have some worry about the Man and he is not only slowing down but there is a loss of strength and control in his back legs. He still runs about the house like a mad thing, but he does lose his balance a bit and falls. Still,  he gets up and carries on. As soon as we get herself settled again, and whilst there does not seem to be any immediate concern, I will get him to the vet for advice. Other than that, this is a long weekend and Monday is a public holiday, so I have the weekend to sit down and contemplate the heavens – or something.

Coming and Going

No words necessary

It’s 3:27 am on Friday morning – the storm has finally passed and Chienne has settled down. Not a great storm as storms go, more a light and noise show than anything else. However, enough to keep Chienne’s stress levels up. There was some rain once the light show started but not as much as I thought there would be. I have switched off the alarms and put the phone on silent.  I need some sleep. Trouble is, I am now wide awake although I cannot promise that I will be by lunch and I really have a lot to do including medical appointments for herself.

I should have an early night but that wont happen. I will be too busy crying to be sleepy :o) No,  not because my team lost  – if they won I would be too stunned to be crying – but because we have a big barbecue in the morning and I will be cutting and slicing onions for a good part of this evening.


The Fete went very well and I think we  cleared a reasonable amount. Sadly, the barbecue did not go as well as expected  but I think we just about broke even on that. Things that were not sold we donate to Lifeline to sell in their shop. Anything we consider to be  close to the “Junk” side we  donate to the council rubbish dump. Surprisingly enough not a lot  is “donated” to Council

Sunday and I headed off to Adelaide again. We will stay overnight and see the Specialist in the Morning and hopefully be back on the way home in the early afternoon.

Stock Photograph – mine didn’t turn out.

All being well we headed back on Monday and yes, I did make a slight detour at the Harbour Town Shopping Centre. Spent about an hour there before heading back home – ariving at 17:40. Was a long day and glad to be home to play with my  Associates.

Play Pens and cancelled functions.

The Air Ambulance of the RFDS

The RFDS have a very busy period this weekend and today they are out at an auction in another part of the area – yet another property that has been taken over by a compulsory purchase order for use by  the military. This is even more land that is now closed of to the  rest of the world so the military can play their games in an area larger than most European  countries. I said this to a military person and the reply was ”  have you any idea of the range of modern tank shells?” My reply was , ” no but  do they cover an area larger than say, Holland, Belgium, Denmark?”  The SA Government Web Site extolls the virtues of South Australia as a  Defence “friendly” State with the largest land testing range in the world – 127,000  square kilometers and to that we can add another 24,000 square kilometres that they now control in this area. Not a bad play pen for a defence force smaller  than that of  Switzerland.

The sun has not been shining for the last two days and it’s still not shining People are out at  the Auction and I’ll be interested in hearing how that went. I have my  thing tomorrow and again next Saturday. There is another function this Sunday, but I’m out of that one.


Pause, think.
The cupboard on the right is now gone and I have that area to use.

I decided, after consultation with the trader, to cancel my  event for today. It’s chucking it down  and the wind is playing havoc in the area, so there would be little or no protection. I sent the girls home. I went our to the other function that we were also running and having navigated my way through ( a power boat licence would have helped) a sea of water and mud, saw nothing there and departed. There is no cover there at all so if that group decide to do that, a) I think they would be foolish and  b) they could be setting themselves up as potential clients of the  RFDS  because we are on our way to breaking even more records. I used to say that “we don’t do floods, just big puddles”  – this last month I am not quite as sure as I was.

I will be heading off to Adelaide in the morning so Herself will feed and water the dogs for the next two days.  The electrician has completed the work so I will have to give John a call and get him over to help me move the  big old cupboard and get it to the dump. So now that that’s done I can think about what to do with the space and I will have a look for a good sized toolbox that will fit in that area and can hold all the barbecue tools. Should be a good asset to the area and part of my rehabilitation of the  place, and it’s good to get rid of that redundant  electrical wiring. It’s getting there…slowly

It’s not even halfway through winter and I’m over it.

The Christmas Plant.
One of my Plants – this one was given to me as a gift.

Australia, like Florida, is generally associated with  sun, sea and sand and fairly laid back lifestyle. Much of the time this is generally the case but these last few years have been a trial and our weather has been very strange. We had some hot weather for a couple of days last “summer” and the same the “summer” before that but we have not really had what Australia would call a “summer”.  It wasn’t so long ago that I was saying that I was not too fussed about the heat and looked forward to weekends and barbecues. My barbecue  has cobwebs on it at the moment. I only used to a few weeks ago when we had a gas failure and no gas for four days so I cooked everything on there barbecue. The long warm, sunny evenings sitting outside with the laptop and a glass of wine- seem like something from another time and place  We have unprecedented rain and flooding and only last week two mini-tornadoes struck Adelaide causing a fair bit of damage.  Cold, wild and wet and this is global warming??? I think we should re-write the Song ” I come from a land down under, the place of rain and snow and thunder”  Raining Monday and a good part of Tuesday. It’s Wednesday and thus far it’s dry.

I  have to head off down to Adelaide this week. Normally I would call the Dog Rescue and see if there is any dogs requiring transportation and take them down with me, but this time, it’s not my car so I won’t be able to. I might try and organise a trip to Adelaide the following week – at least an overnight trip. Tomorrow I will get the Standard Roses and  plant them as soon as I get back from Adelaide.

Winter is closing in – rain and cold.

Sunrise over Whyalla JenkinsGoodness, it’s been over a week since I wrote anything. It has been a very busy week, but not in the garden. On Monday and Tuesday I was away at a funeral, on Wednesday we had a thunderstorm at 3:30am – neurotic dog, acute hearing, had to sit up with her until she calmed down. I had a call on Wednesday but I was just too tired to accept. On Wednesday, workmen put a drill through the gas main. No explosion, but the primary school and the university were evacuated. It is now Friday and we are still without gas. Fortunately, I can take care of cooking by using the barbecue, washing and heating are different issues.  It took until Saturday afternoon before gas was restored to the west of the city. It is interesting how much we depend on services and we  have difficulty in coping when they are interrupted. As I said, I used the barbecue, the side burner and the two burner camping stove, so we were ok. Others were not so.

On Thursday I went through to Port Augusta to look for Standard Roses, as well as a few other things, but to no avail. I came back (152 klm round trip) empty handed. I did manage to get some special degreasing stuff that I will use on the driveway. I don’t think it’s been cleaned ever. I hope to be able to do that this coming weekend.

Tuesday:  Over the weekend I was not able to do much. The boys were over most of the weekend and the youngest was back from  OlympicDam – in the far north of the State. and with the gas not returning on Saturday morning, there was consternation on how we would feed everyone. I didn’t think it would be a problem since we had a barbecue, but as I said, the gas returned on Saturday afternoon and all was ok.  I still have not managed to get my Standards but I did buy four new rose bushes which I will plant  over the next day or so.

We have had a lot of rain over the last week and I have not really had an opportunity to do much outside and I really need a dry day to do the driveway. Certainly most of it is covered in but I need dry weather or the driveway itself would never dry – particularly the covered section – which is most of it. For example I took the dogs out for a walk the other morning and it looked like it was going to be a fine day. I was not long back in the house before the dark clouds came over and it was raining again. I think it’s going to be a long, wet, cold and damp winter.

Where has all the weather gone?

The way I see planning is when I gt up in the morning and I think, “I will do this today”. Long term planning is as follows: Today Barbecue with family: Sunday, Church:  Monday, Garden: Tuesday. Garden, take herself out to Ladies Group: Wednesday Take herself out to ladies group, work in garden: Thursday, go to Adelaide – and that’s far enough ahead for me. And even then Thursday is not definite because I have a meeting out of town on Saturday. We have the barbecue today and Andrew heads off up north for another ten days.  The place will be quiet again. On Monday I should have all of the edging completed and on  Tuesday I hope to get the decorative  chips delivered.

This is the area I wanted decked/Now here we are on Monday- so let’s see how the planning is getting on. Oh look, it’s chucking it down and since I do not have welly boots and a raincoat, I will not be working outside today. This means that in my attempt to plan working in the garden, I am already a full day behind. Should have stuck to just getting up in the morning and deciding then. But now that I decided to “plan” I will spend the rest of the week feeling guilty that I am behind schedule. From the hottest start to April in 40 years, to heavy and continuous rain in one fell swoop, is about par for this area. And we had a family Barbecue on Saturday evening and I had moved the table and chairs out to the open area (lovely evening) and we had a good night. I didn’t move them yesterday so now my table, the tablecloth and all six chairs are soaking as is the padded seat on my park bench. You just gotta love the weather here at times. I took the dogs out for a walk last night and had a cap and a heavy jacket on.  Crazy weather at the moment. This time of the year  should be warm and pleasant not fluctuating between wet and cold and bursts of mid summer heat.