Monday, March 21, 2011


Look at that! Our first crop of blueberries! It's cheating a bit, because all those berries were on the bush when I bought it. I should have pulled them off so the plant puts its efforts into growing, but I couldn't help myself. This variety is ripe when it's pinky blue, which I find a bit more appetising than the usual deep purple-blue, to be honest.

Blueberries are so, so expensive here ($4 to $8 for about 5oz/ 150g), so I thought I'd try growing my own. Apparently the low chill varieties do quite well in Perth. I got one bush berry (Sunshine Blue) good for our climate, which is the shrubby one, and one, um... taller one (high bush they might be called?) called Delite. I can't find out much about it, but the label says it's low chill. I can't wait for them to start flowing for next season.

I'd planned to plant out the garlic today, but I'm laid up in bed, sick. I got bitten by someone else's dog at the dog park, and it got a nasty infection that's completely wiped me out, which is about the strangest reason I've ever had for a sick day. My boss told me that if anyone complained to him that work from me was late, he was going to tell them that "the dog ate my employee." Groan.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

High seas

From the Cabbages and Roses website

I'm mad for this grey ships fabric from Cabbages and Roses (they also do some great women's clothing). It comes in a duvet cover, but only for a single bed. I think they're implying the print is too childish for adults. I do not accept this. I could buy the fabric by the metre and make a duvet cover, but we all know that won't actually happen.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Peace through organisation

Thanks to Our Fearless Leader and her tutorial on folding fitted sheets, my linen closet is a little oasis of calm. All my bedding actually fits in its alotted shelf. Try it, you'll like it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Roses with thorns

I planted out some new roses in our front garden this weekend. I'd never given great thought to roses, but before we moved into our place it was vacant for a year, and the only things that were still alive were the roses (and seven(!) grapevines out the back). Since then I've killed a couple of drought-tolerant natives, but the roses have just happily bloomed away.

We had three red Camp David roses. Not what I'd've chosen, but they're tough and they smell good. A really fifties-style, velvety, bright red hybrid tea rose. I've just cut a couple of put them in a vase for the first time. I can never decide whether to cut flowers and enjoy them inside or leave them outside to admire whenever I leave the house!

I bought a fourth Camp David to keep things symmetrical, and then two Jude the Obscures (one for each side of the path). I love their big, creamy cabbage-heads, and they smell so beautiful - like roses mixed with grapefruit! A funny match with the crisp red Camp Davids, but I like it! I also like the name. Hardy's Jude the Obscure is such a grim, dreary novel that it seems like a nice gift to the fictional Jude, that, one hundred years after publication, one of the best David Austin roses was named after him. That's got to be worth something.

Hopefully they're not planted too close together. I'm hoping they'll make a bit of a thicket to screen our house. And, as BCB just told me that a couple of girls that live in our street were assaulted last week, and the word around is that someone in the street is dealing, I think we can do with all the thorniness we can get!

(our street has a pretty unusual composition. Drugs and muggings are simultaneously expected and completely unexpected. I might blog about it sometime, I think).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Don't see Miss Manners doing this, do ya?

So Australia's Queen of Ettiquette, Ms Ita Buttrose, has released her first book in, um, I'm not sure how long. A while. And this is how Penguin have chosen to go viral with the advertising.

Yep, it's pretty terrible. But I don't see Miss Manners willing to give rapping a shot, do I? My mum loaned me her copy of Every Occasion: The Guide to Modern Etiquette before my wedding and whilst it cracked me up (it has sections on how to address anyone, from the Pope to an Able Seaman; and an illustrated section on how brides can dress to suit their figure, with an extremely grumpy looking bride labelled 'heavyset') it was full of solid, practical advice. I'm going to have to see if the Heavyset Bride made it in to the new Guide to Australian Etiquette.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Spring Planting

Image from The Shifted Librarian

The spring bulb catalogues are coming out here, and I'm all about the pretty flowers this year. I think I can be organised enough to put lots of stuff in our front yard. I just hope it gets enough sun. It faces South. The basil and the roses and the spring onions have done well, the agapanthus (which I do not care for much anyway) and the lavender has done poorly.

I'm planning loads of jonquils and freesias for the scent, and ranunculas for the colour. I know the freesias will do okay, because we've got some naturalised ones in the area. I'm crazy about parrot tulips, but I don't know if they're tricky to grow or not... I suspect in our slightly dingy and deshabille terrace garden they may come more tatty than rococo.

Tell me, are parrot tulips tricky things?