Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mrs Green Thumbs

You may wonder where I've been and what I've been doing in my absence. I have been doing ...wait for it..gardening. When you've all stopped laughing hysterically (I'm pointing at YOU Little Miss Sunshine ) I'll show you some pictures. You see, while we were away Mr. P commented how lovely the gardens were at a couple of places we stayed. Neither of us actually like gardening and since we live on a large block we've kind of our garden go back to nature and said that "one day we'll do something with our garden".  I have a black thumb and I wanted to make sure the things I've been haphazardly planting round here were going to pull through before I committed to an entire garden do over. 

I decided that " one day " was this Spring and so I've been madly pulling weeds (which is pretty much the whole garden actually) and working out which bits I need to napalm with Roundup so I can start to have a garden that doesn't look like the deepest darkest parts of the Congo. I'm going to be buying Roundup in 44 gallon drums. It'd be easier to get a crop duster in to do a fly over. Seriously.  And getting my garden to a state where its actually fit to show in it's entirety will take years. But someone said that a  journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step and if I don't start this now I could very well be dead before it even gets close to completion. So I've weeded and pruned and transplanted and watered and fertilised this last couple of weekends and now I can actually show you pieces of my garden that don't look completely feral. 



My rosemary has survived. The basil turned up its toes though. 


 These agapanthus have survived 18 months of neglect. I finally fertilised them and stripped all the dead bits off last weekend. Now I just have to get Lola to stop thinking this bed is her own personal digging patch. Right after I get the cats to stop thinking my leek planter is a toilet. 


Last time I had a ficus I killed it within a month. This one has survived at least 6 and has been under planted with lilies which have also miraculously come back looking healthy and like they might actually make it. 


One of our big achievements-  This garden bed is new and has hydrangeas all along it. Once they're big and bushy its going to look gorgeous. And that retaining wall is new too and looks fantastic as you come up the driveway.  


This is our front veranda. I'm not all that keen on the quilt on the miners couch but I have some fabric coming that's going to be perfect for a purpose made quilt for that spot. I plan on doing some snoozing out here at some point in the not too distant future. 


My potted hydrangeas which I've kept alive for over 4 years and grew from  dead looking sticks. I am the hydrangea whisperer...



I bought a curry plant today to replace the massacred basil.  Mr. P asked what you do with a curry plant. DUH!



And this is the next project. This is going to be my new vegetable patch. Any vegie growing tips anyone? 


Lastly in all the madness that happened in the week or so before we went away I forgot to show off one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received. The wonderful Cynthia at Home Matters 1st sent me one of my favourite things in the world- Pyjamas. But not ordinary every day pyjamas. I got personalised pyjamas that make me feel like a rock  star every time I wear them...see that crown? That's from my blog header ! Are these not the most fabulous pyjamas you've ever seen? 


Sewing happened for the first time in a long time this weekend, and I'll be back to show off the fruits of my labours sometime this week. I even finished something! 



28 comments:

Suzan said...

My garden is dead so it is nice to see new green growth. I actually lost interest in the garden in August. It was too hot to work outside and I gave up on weeds. If I couldn't kill them with Roundup, they thrived! The only thing I bothered with were the tomatoes and after I pulled those up, the garden looks horrid. Time to get out the weed whacker and take every thing down to the mulch.
I wish I were the hydrangea whisperer. I have had one for 3 years and not one bloom yet!

P. said...

Looking good! That hydrangea lined path is going to be stunning. I've been wondering what our friend Cynthia has been up to lately, and now I know! Those PJs are fabulous!

Quiltn Mama said...

Black thumb,eh? My mother once killed a cactus...how, I ask you, is this possible?! My crowning achievement is actually remembering to feed the Co-Defendants never mind any plants! Looks like you're well on your way to all things beautiful and green. Good luck with keeping it a toilet free zone!

Rachel said...

LOL, You haven't met black thumb! The only thing I am allowed to do in any garden around here is dump abandoned water bottles. There was actual green in your pictures! Awesome PJs!

Karen said...

Far from a black thumb I think. The cold is settliing in where I am and your gardens look inviting!! Now I want super cool pajamas too :)

Susan Standen said...

Well done you. I abhor gardening and my idea of doing it involves secateurs and cutting back with a vengeance. Then I go back inside and wait to see what I damage I have done over the following weeks.

AnnieO said...

Lovely veranda and plant beds. I seem to recall that I have some planting beds, though they are so covered with weeds it is hard to tell where the original plants are. At least the sprinkler system still works to keep the weeds green! It is a terrific amount of work to redo and MAINTAIN a garden. Someday I might get brave and follow your lead. I'll look forward to seeing a photo of you in your new pyjamas, lying upon your new quilt on your fresh veranda!

Seams Inspired said...

Look at you, Garden Gertie! I've only grown tomatoes, some years successfully, some not. I have no tips, cause my thumbs are blacker than black. Will look forward to watching your garden grow.

Wow-oh-wow is all I can say about your snazzy PJs! What a lovely, lovely gift. Enjoy them, as they are much deserved I'm certain. Happy Monday! :)

Cynthia L. said...

Hello Shay! So good to see you back and good to see you in the garden! You are a woman with determination and I know you can manage a garden. I am not sure if you will be able to keep the animals out of the beds! I fail at it. I have even planted cat nip to attrack the cats - they snubbed it and pooped in my favorite flower beds!

Glad you are still happy about the pyjamas! You are a great woman and friend and deserve that and more!

Terri said...

Wow! You have been busy, Shay. Love your garden and your new pjs. What I want to know is how you got that beautiful Hydrangea to start from a dead stick. You know how I love to start little plants...
Hugs

Kate said...

Wow, really great first steps on your 1000 or so for the garden. It all looks terrific. Maybe you'll inspire me to do something with our version of the Congo.

Great new PJs! Looking forward to seeing what's going on in your sewing room.

Kris said...

And the shocks just keep coming! Not only have you been gardening (and keeping plants alive for MULTIPLE months!!!!!!) you also finished stuff? You are a cruel woman Shay. Here we were feeling all superior and you've hit us with a whammy! That's it. I probably can't go on now.

Well done you!

Sue SA said...

Wow I am impressed! Your gardening efforts have certainly paid off. Now I do claim to also have a black thumb, but just planted half a vegie garden, (the other half is under construction) and our large block looks fairly good. Well its weed free and has some flowers. My only secret is mulch (I hate weeding) and having plants that survive the atom bomb. Agies are up there, so are Clivias (must be in shade) and my personal favorite, Iris. I too have a hydrangea, but it doesnt look like that! My excuse is that I planted it in the wrong spot. For vegies I put in spring onions cos they are apparently easy to grow, freckled lettuce (from farmers market, guy claimed they were hardy/easy), beans and snow peas (apparently wrong season for snow peas though), one cherry tomato (cos I thought they were hard?), spinach and zuchinni. I have sucessfully grown zuchinni before (never spelt it sucessfully!) in a decade that is long past, when I also grew pumpkins and corn. Pumpkins and zuchinni take up heaps of room, produce heaps and make you feel good because you have an abundance and can give away vegies - which I always think is the ultimate show off and thats what I am aiming for - to prove to myself that IT(vegies beds DH laboured over) was "sucessful"!!! PS LOVE love love the PJ's

Shocking Hocking said...

good on you shay :) - love your first steps - now, for your veggie garden - do a 'no-dig' garden - it's easier to put together and keeps on getting better each year - just google 'no-dig garden' and find out the layers - you can have it done in a day - start collecting newspapers now - all my veggie beds are no-dig and they;re really successful. Toms and beans and peas generally need supports so some stout sticks and heavy duty twine will do the trick.....and I spent the day in my veggie patch yesterday in my pj's - it's defo a pj friendly activity - have fun - look fwd to reading about adventures in your garden

AMW said...

Wow! Impressive with the garden. Can't wait to see the veggies come up... And the gift from Cynthia is fabulous! Love them!

Sooli said...

So now you could start a blog called 'Gardening in My Pyjamas' then?! We have gone for the native plant look here (gives me an excuse for it to look a bit wild although the bloddy soursobs give the game away that I haven't been weeding!). I have a philosophy around here which is I plant you and you grow and if you don't like the way I water, you don't deserve to be here and I'll find some other plant who'll appreciate me! Give your plants a good talking to and tell them who's boss, that's what I reckon!

Marg said...

Right it's not funny any more. Who the hell are you and what have you done with the hate gardening and vegetables Shay? Should I be calling in the FBI or CIA to find out what's happened to Shay in Hawaii. Despite you obviously being an imposter I think you have done a great job with Shay's garden, it really is looking lovely.

Cynthia's pyjamas are fabulous aren't they, you'll need to wear them for Face time so I can really see how great they look.

Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

Darn
Now you're making me feel guilty about my lack of gardening. I used to be a mad keen gardener but quilting gets in the way!

Yes those PJs are just the best.

Lucky you!

Linda

Amanda said...

I'm very impressed with your gardening efforts especially hydrangeas we gave up on them at our house, shade and watering gets done. Our gardening is definitely a Darwinian experiment truly survival of the fittest. Most of our plants have to survive on little or no care. Our vegi patch while small did yield quite a bit last year though we let it rest over winter. We did make an early start this year and the tomatoes are in and the strawberries have been replanted and we are already reaping the rewards from that bit of work and have picked a heap of strawberries already. The herbs that we planted last year and didn't survive amazingly self seeded and we have heaps this year so the basil might come back (ours did)

Rachaeldaisy said...

Wow, look at you go. Rows of Hydies and Aggies. Herb pots overflowing with leafy goodness. Those pyjamas are the best!!

Dianne Neale said...

I do believe you've got the bug! I could give you a few tips on tomatoes!
First plant 27.....

Mistea said...

Gorgeous PJ's!

Hydrangeas perfect for lining up - enjoy.

Enjoy working in the garden.

thea said...

Love the new pjs. What a fun gift! Did you get any tips on veggies? I'm wanting to grow some myself this next year. tomatoes, squash, a couple of herbs, and maybe a pumpkin or two.

Anyway, your garden is looking pretty good. Did you grow a new thumb?

Cindy said...

Oh my gosh!! How sweet are those pj's?? That was so nice! Once again you had me exhausted by the end of this post. I think reading your blog is replacing my excercise routine. It gets my heart beating faster than riding my bike. OH! Would you mind sending a whisper to my hydrangeas? They could use a little shout out. :)

Katy Cameron said...

Oh man, gardening, you are a far better woman than I! I live in a 1st floor flat, so I don't have to worry about it, which is probably a good thing as I can't even get my pot plants on my beautiful south facing window ledges to survive...

Anywho, enjoy the new jammies!

Jindi's Cottage said...

Well move over Don Burke & Peter Cundall (can you tell it's a while since I watched a gardening show!) here comes Little Miss Green Thumbs Mrs Pyjamas! I can see the show now...Gardening in My Pyjamas!!...Basil does that to me too, stupid herb has suicidal tendancies...they are the coolest pj's EVER...what an awesome pressie...Rock On!...

Kirsten's Cooking said...

Love the pj's, love the plants, and I love hydrangeas!!!

I've had success with green beans and tomatoes....I assume mr.p is going to eat said vegetables?????

Elizabeth said...

Those PJ's are the coolest ever! So cute! Cynthia did a beautiful job.

Your garden is amazing! I'm so jealous of your hydrangeas! Mine bit the dust a couple of years ago. I think it was getting too much water. Maybe I'll try again sometime.

Also, I can't believe I didn't comment on this post. I read it. Not sure what happened. I meet myself coming and going these days!

Oh, and that miners couch on your front veranda -- that is lovely! I can't wait to see what you do with it.

xo -E