Sunday, May 16, 2010

3 more gardenias & that is one garden done.

a busy day today at Villa Maria.. dutch husband went down early to jackhammer some more of the bathroom floor up, while I gathered some comfrey and fallen leaves at Inglewood to take down to Villa Maria to enrich the garden. a quick stop at Todarello's fruit shop to buy 3 more gardenias.. then into Springwood to get some lunch then to Villa Maria. [and do you know, that while I was at the deli buying some pastrami for lunch, I bumped into one of my friends from my sewing days.. she looking very glamorous and me in my garden clothes.. hair looking like a fright.. but for once I didn't really care.. after the first initial 'oh no'.. I just didn't care. I love my life.. and I am beginning to love who I am]

[this is the jade plant that the previous owner left for me.. I replaced the pot and this pot is a vintage one that i have had for years]

donning my garden gloves and work boots.. I began digging. My friend Marion has told me to dig small holes throughout the garden and put some leaves and comfrey in it, fill it in with soil and that will encourage the worms. so in the gardenia garden I did that among the plants.. planted the new gardenias.. and then watered them in & mulched them with pine needles that i had also bought from Inglewood.

we make cups of tea on the stove with a saucepan of water.. we don't have a jug there yet and it is very much like camping. we have two plates, cups and glasses. tea bags in a jar and sugar in a container.. making do with what we have.

after lunch, I began to fix the garden around one of the orange trees.. the poor thing is pretty much growing in shale. so I grabbed the sledge hammer and broke all the concrete and rocks that surrounded the trunk.. mulched heavily with cow manure, comfrey & autumn leaves then lucerne... hopefully the worms will come back.. I sure hope so.

[the Marian shrine that Joe built me for Mother's day.. I am planning on a garden around it but still not sure what to plant. I am thinking of taking some cuttings of my yarrow from Inglewood & planting it around the statue.. .. ]
so, a very physical day in the garden.. and all the while I was accompanied by Daisy the blackbird...

Monday, May 10, 2010

an important discovery at Villa Maria & a very exciting happening

over the weekend, dutch husband & I worked hard.. at Inglewood and then at Villa Maria.. we dug out an old weigela to make way for the Marian Shrine, more carpet was pulled up and 3 old bottlebrush shrubs were taken out from the nature strip, creating quite a large pile of green waste in readiness for the council mulching. I also planted two gardenias where the lavenders were.. the plan is to have a whole hedge of them but I am only going to plant two at a time.. now I need to collect some pine needles to mulch them with.. oh and the Marian Shrine was constructed by Joe for me on Mothers Day [photo to come]

then we went exploring..

we knew there was a gate at the back of our property but hadn't been able to access the reserve at the back until we cut the big chain that was around the gate.. dutch husband and his muscles come in handy sometimes!

Joe & I wandered through the gate into what I can only describe as something out of maybe the Lost Forest. He left me there to explore..
I stumbled upon a grove of ancient angophoras..and I know that this in not Druid country, but there was an energy there that took me back eons.

[is there anything more sacred than this?] don't you think that they look like sentinels standing, protecting the space?

and I wandered down a slight slope to find, with a utter delight, a little creek.. I could not believe my luck.. all this at my very back door.. I know that this will be a place to come and sit..[except for the tiger snakes that will most probably share the space with me during summer time]

[my very own little creek]

I feel as if these trees really wanted me there. ... I cannot wait to spend more time with them!

oh & I had something very exciting happen to me while gardening at Villa Maria.. something very sacred. as I stood looking at my gardenias.. a dragonfly flew into the yard.. it flitted here and there.. I noticed it immediately because of the absolutely brilliant gold colour it was - shiny gold, glittering in the autumn sunlight.. it hovered awhile around the yard.. going here and there, like it was exploring, then darted to me, right in front of my face and stayed hovering for what seems minutes but was most probably only seconds..then flew all around me - .. and darted off.. it was one of those times, when you know that you are in the middle of a magick moment. what do you think of that?

Monday, May 3, 2010

little by little, bit by bit..

yesterday was a busy day at Villa Maria.. last night, I was too exhausted to even post. had a lovely long soak in the bath and went to bed by about 9.30! [dutch husband was just as exhausted as I was!]

dutch husband had to be there at 8am to meet the concreter for a quote on a new driveway.. then he got stuck into the bathroom once more.

[this time, pulling a wall division out to open up the bathroom space. Now there will be room for a claw foot bath!]

10am & I arrived with morning tea - coffee from Bakehouse on Wentworth and for lunch some pastrami, cheese & a loaf of organic sourdough..
then I went outside and began a mammoth task - getting the garden back into order.. I actually began to wonder about my sanity.. I also wondered if I have it in me to re-create another garden like I did with Inglewood.. but no turning back now.
I tackled the hydrangeas first.. pruning the plants right back to two leaf nodes, giving them a lovely layer of cow manure, a big soak and then some lucerne..
we dug out 9 lavender plants [there time was long gone] and 5 nandinas.. digging over the soil and laying lucerne to encourage worms. [where the lavender were, I am going to plant gardenias.. it is in full sun and perfect for these delightful perfumed plants] I was surprised that I saw not one worm the whole time I was gardening. the soil is in a dreadful state, but I know with love & care it will begin to thrive in next to no time.

I also took a harvest of comfrey leaves from the garden at Inglewood and put them into a big plastic bin, filled it with water and covered it. My first comfrey tea for Villa Maria.. it will cook for about 6 weeks and will give the citrus a lovely fertilizer. .. I have inherited some lemons, oranges and a mandarin.. and each of them are struggling.. it will take a little time to get them into the healthy state of that of Inglewood's citrus but I know I can do it. like I said, the soil is not very healthy at Villa Maria and will need a lot of TLC.. [while cleaning around one of the orange trees yesterday, I could feel the energy of the tree.. it was breathing a sigh of relief that I was there & I felt nature divas working alongside of me.. I got a strong feeling to hang crystals from its branches, which I will do in the next week.. I do believe that this garden has called me to come help.. well, I like to think that it did!] . we planned our chook pen and where I am going to plant my potatoes..

[so far, from Inglewood to Villa Maria I have taken: two wooden garden seats (to sit on while we drink tea), my Mary statue for the shrine that will be created this month, my gargoyles, a rusty iron candelabra that is on the back verandah ...

and my grandma's lachenalias, which are sitting at the front door.]

[My grandma use to grow these bulbs in a cement trough...and I loved the little flowers ~ just like soldier boys all standing straight in a row ...but I use to call them lackenallys...]

I have also set up a temporary altar on the fireplace.. a Marian icon, a candle. a rose crystal and some incense.. yes, this house will soon become a home. it won't take long.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

a visitor in the garden of Villa Maria

arriving at Villa Maria around lunch time.. bringing meat pies and coffee from Bakehouse on Wentworth for our lunch and then I pottered about in the garden, sorting where I can plant my garlic & discovering that I really do have alot of work ahead of me, sorting where the chook pen can go... a flash of black among the trees.... then again - through the citrus trees and up into a turpentine tree in the reserve that backs onto our yard
the blackbird who is Daisy has come to visit. I could not believe it! I had asked her ages ago if she would come visit me at my new home.. and the very first day that I had donned my gardening gloves there she was..fleetingly, but she was there..

Dutch husband has stripped the bathroom out and we discovered asbestos which of course is not brilliant.. however in his line of work, he knows how & what to do with it to dispose of it properly...
all of this renovation work is taking me back to when we first bought Inglewood.. it is like time repeating itself.. the basket of essentials on the bench - tea, sugar, coffee and a jug.. some muffins and fruit.. very simple...the previous owner had left me a large jade plant.. and I wanted to make it my own.. so I repotted it into one of my large vintage cement pots.. and now it sits on the front porch under that gorgeous light..

later in the day and into the night, we worked hard, pulling blinds down and the carpet up..

[i pulled up the carpet and took the carpet tacks out one by one.. and dutch husband ripped up the wooden tack strips around the edge..]funny that we did the same thing 10yrs ago when we renovated far, we have pulled the carpet up in my 'art studio' and the dining room, discovering the most glorious polished floor boards underneath..

[takeaway chinese for dinner, with a glass of red. while sitting among rubble]
the fireplace in the background is coming out and the carpet will be ripped up soon.. the table and chairs actually go on our verandah but are make-do for the time being.

"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)