Thursday, 20 September 2012

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers 2012

Carnival is about to begin.  Ten days of beautiful gardens and celebrating Spring.
We have entered the Carnival Garden Competition for the fifth year. 
In the early years of entering we did so with the idea to let people see what could be attained whilst trying to establish a garden in the middle of the most horrendous drought.
I think we achieved this.  We have mostly used our tank water and our grey water to establish our garden.  We tell anyone who will listen about the way we use our water to gain the best results.
The garden has grown and expanded and is almost how I have imagined it would be over the years we have been here.  I think the best is yet to come as my beautiful trees continue to grow and establish themselves.
I pulled out my garden plan that a drew up on graph paper while we were building - it is almost exactly how I planned it all those years ago.
The hedges have grown and now allow our visitors to wander from area to area and enjoy each part of the garden as they come upon it.
This year we are thrilled with our garden results.
We entered into four categories and came away with three awards.
This year we have won Third Place in the Family Garden, Second and the Outdoor Living Area and
First Place in the Cottage Garden.
A pennant of each colour hanging from the front fence.
To say I am excited is truly an understatement.
So, tomorrow the Carnival begins and we now set up our garden with all her finery for the next ten days as we welcome visitors to our home and garden.
I love to show people, young and old, through our garden.  It's just lovely to share the love of gardening with those who choose to visit. 
Today, the Tourist Information Centre brought a bus load of volunteers to show them the garden. 
These people will now work in the Information Centre during Carnival and tell the thousands who visit our city about the wonderful places they can visit - I do hope they talk about our garden!
It's a few days since I took these pictures, and looking now I realise just how much more the garden has come into flower.  Each day there is something new to look at.
Sixty three years is a long time for a city to celebrate Spring with a Carnival.
Our beautiful city has done and hopefully will continue to for many years to come.
Welcome Spring and welcome to any who choose to find our little patch of garden paradise that we call home.
Let the Carnival begin!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Oranges and Lemons

I harvested our citrus crop on Saturday. Seven oranges and five lemons!
The oranges yielded a similar amount to last year - the lemons were just disappointing - about fifty lemons short on last years total!
I thought I should put them to use.
A batch of Marmalade.
A batch of lemon butter.
I used the recipe from A Year in a Bottle by Sally Wise for the Marmalade.
The Lemon Butter was made using our tried and tested family recipe.
 The eggs for this beautiful Lemon Butter also came from the girls who live at the bottom of the garden.
I used the larger grater attachment in the food processor to chop the oranges - it's not terribly neat or even, but it certainly does the job in no time flat!
I made some little pastry shells to have with the Lemon Butter - I really shouldn't have - it is just too wonderful to leave at one.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Sweet Peas...

The Carnival Judges have been and gone.  Whew!
That was a little stressful.  I felt quite nervous this time.  Haven't felt like that before for judging.
I must be taking it seriously this time!!!! 
This afternoon, I stripped the Sweet Peas almost bare in an effort to help them to continue to flower for another couple of weeks yet.
The result - four beautiful large posies filling the house - two bathrooms and the living area smell wonderful.
Beautiful old fashioned Sweet Peas - just love the rewards of my Springtime garden.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Spring Decorating....

I've started tidying the garden and placing of lovely pieces around - not only for the judging, but to enjoy in the coming weeks as Spring gets into full swing.

I just love the beautiful vintage looking cage - purely ornamnetal.
I love the colour and the shape.   I will probably move it inside too - I love the little terracotta pots that are planted with white viola.
I can see it inside with lovely ornaments and vintage lace draped from the bottom shelf.
This beauty was purchased at a lovely shop here in Toowoomba. 
Teacups and Twigs is a lovely shop at 9 Russell Street, Toowoomba.  If you live locally or stop by Toowoomba sometime, please visit Jane and her lovely shop.
Jane also has a lovely blog which she updates with beautiful things available in her sweet shop.
Say hello and tell Jane I sent you along!!
The freesias which have been in the ground for a few years continue multiply and are stunning this year.  The perfume is divine.
Our sweet peas are also flowering beautifully.  The scent in our garden is just lovely at the moment with all these beauties putting on their Spring display.
A dear old couple who have entered the Carnival for many, many years kindly shared these seeds with us a couple of years ago.
Four years ago, I planted a Wisteria.  I have watched and waited each Spring for the first flower.
This year it has happened.  It is stunning - but not what I expected.  I thought I had planted a deep purple flowering one - I have a pale lavender tinged flower - I don't seem to have saved the tag - does anyone know if it will change as it gets older - or have I been duped!!

Nonetheless, it is still beautiful. 
It is planted in memory of my dear Nana, Eleanor for whom this blog is partly named. 
In around 1940 she planted a Wisteria at our family home at Iffley, Goomburra.  This is the beautiful home she was prepared to sacrifice to allow her sons to further their farming dreams on the Darling Downs.  I believe from recent information that this Wisterial lives on today.  I think I may have to take a drive!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Is Anyone There?

I'm back.  Well, I hope I am.  Life has certainly changed again this year. 
And now Spring is here - already~ 

My newest pride and joy in the garden is this weeping cherry - I must say it was worth every cent I paid.  The garden continues to grow and change and still brings constant joy to me. 
I hope that I will get back into the routine of blogging and bring my online journal up to date.
That is the plan...

The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is almost here again, with judging taking place from this Sunday.  We are busily making the last minute preparations. 
I am so looking forward to sharing the garden with visitors again this year.

What a year it has been so far, children have travelled, we've bought a business (again!!), Mitchell is apprenticed to Brendon, I'm now full time helping run the business and keeping the home running with five adults under this roof, we've made changes to our garden and I've been run up the back of (in my sweet little red Swift)  twice in five months - to say I'm tired is just a little understatement. Plus, of course, many, many other things!   But, life is settling back into a nice routine - if there is such a thing with a seven day business, and I think I am learning to like it!
So, if anyone is still out there who may just check in on me occasionally, please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!!  I certainly have still been keeping up with my favourite blogs even though there has been a severe drought here. 
Looking forward to blogging my way through this crazy, hectic life - and sharing it along the way.