Monday, September 6, 2021

Winter Hiatus - Hello Spring!


Plant alter

So I missed winter, on my blog completely! It's been a peculiar year of big changes. We're on the last push to finalise David's family estate, and our eldest moved into town with some friends. So many things had to be rearranged, moved, stored and eventually used. It's an ongoing process. This is some of what I've been up to lately, in our new outside area.

The large planks were found under David's family home, in Brisbane. They were used for a stair repair to their old Queenslander, many moons ago. After being de-nailed and cut to size, they're now a plant stand, The besser blocks were given to us by my mother, many moons ago too. So it basically cost the fuel money to Brisbane, where we also collected a lot more building supplies as well.

This is what our outside area looked like (about four months ago) after our eldest's 18th birthday party...

Earlier, in May

I had plans then for my plants, and I'm happy to say, some of them are coming to fruition. Because with our new shaded area, I can keep plants and not have them bake in the sun all day. This very small change outside the back door, has made it a new destination I'm constantly visiting, to fuss and potter around my plants. When I really just started this area for a small kitchen garden to graze briefly. But it has become so much more.

There were necessary reasons to make changes too. Like our daughter moving into a small house in town, meant she couldn't take her birds with her.  

New friends

During winter, they would come inside at night where it was warm, then have their temporary cage brought out during the day. So the table has become a destination point for them. We chat to each other, when pottering around my plants. Otherwise, the wild birds keep them company, which they like to converse with vocally. 

The Cockatoos, King Parrots and Rosella's, like to graze the nearby trees. While many smaller birds, fly in, and catch the bugs which somehow manage to get trapped in the shade-cloth. I have some options I'm working on now, so insects can escape easier - but I wouldn't be surprised if they find another way to get trapped. I think they just get confused by the light.

Cage Flip

We moved our daughter's large bird-cage, out of her room, so her birds can live outside, all the time soon. I just need to predator-proof it, better. I'm also going to ditch the straight perches, and find some natural branches for them to use instead. We certainly have enough of them laying around! 

My goal is to surround the cage on either side with plants, ensuring our new bird friends, will feel less exposed. It will also offer some wind protection. Right now though, the bottom shelf of the cage, is storing some new propagation boxes, I'm experimenting with.

Plant babies

These propagation boxes, have been helping multiply my indoors plant collection. As I like back-ups, in case anything happens to the parent plant. In under a month, I've managed to get some impressive root growth. The box creates humidity, that prevent plants from drying out before they take root. 

This is my first time with the prop box, so I'm going to try something similar for other plants on the property, I want to multiply. I've tried propagating them in the past, and they just haven't succeeded. Because we get more of the dry heat, than the humidity, during warmer months. My prop boxes, have been working throughout winter though, so here's hoping!

Anyway, this was just a quick update, as I have more plants to pot! I hope you're all keeping well, and if you have any garden plans in your future, feel free to share them.


  1. Nice to see you back in Blogland, Chris. I have been slack with my blogging this year as it is hard to get motivated. You will find it a big change without your girl but at least she isn’t far away. It has been a cold winter up here on the hill with that dreadful wind blowing so I haven’t worked in the garden like I normally do in winter. I did do some gardening today though as the wind died down for a while.

    1. Hi Chel, and thanks! It's really good to be back. The overnight temps drop in Toowoomba, and when the wind blows, oh-my goodness!! So I don't blame you for wanting to stay warm inside. It doesn't get too cool here, during the day. Thought still cold enough. I can't believe we were outside until 6pm tonight. Wow, the days are getting longer.

  2. You have been busy, I love your plant steps, they look good. Can you tell me more about the prop box, I've never heard of them, I did google it, but the results were for something completely different.

    1. Thanks so much M, and great to see you again. I sure can share more about the prop boxes, and also have some helpful youtube videos that helped me. I will post about that before the weekend. 🙂

  3. Hello Chris, good to see you're still around and still growing plants. That area under the shadecloth looks fantastic! It's been ups and downs here with the lockdowns and not being able to go shopping for garden stuff. The winter has been colder than I remember, but maybe I'm just getting old! And we've had lots of rain....not quantity, but persistent showers which mean in and out of the garden every 5 minutes it seems. I haven't done much propagation but am just starting to think about tomatoes and other summer veggies.

    I've spent the winter doing a lot of clearing of vegetation on the property....summer and the threat of bushfires are starting to make me more nervous. I want it to be more keep the trees and ground cover, but have a lot less shrubbery. Most of our small native birds have been chased away by the Noisy Miners, so it won't matter if there are less shrubs. Cutting and burning bracken is a constant job.

  4. Hello, Bev. Great to see you too. I've been thinking about my blogging friends, in the south with lockdowns. They've been longer than ours in Queensland, that's for sure. I just recently stumbled on a way to propagate tomatoes in water. I didn't think you could do that, because I thought they would rot. Apparently if kept in a bright location though, it works.

    Maybe you could consider planting succulent shrubs, if you're concerned about bushfire? The Elephant bush can survive temps to -3C temporarily. You get the benefits of a windbreak and bird habitat, but no bushfire risk. As their leaves are full of moisture. If you plant a thicket, little birds will even nest in them. I actually have a few on the south, and SW of the house. It provides a little shade, and I don't have to worry about termites being attracted to them, or bushfire.

    Anyway, great to hear you've been out in the garden - and let's hope bushfire season is a non-event for Australia, this year.

  5. I tried to comment a couple of days ago, but google kept giving me an error. I'm trying again! I think your shaded area is fantastic. This past summer, I've discovered that so many of the things I grow are happier with a little shade when it's so hot out. I am too!

    1. Oh wow, sorry about the Google grief. Thanks for popping by again. It definitely took me a while to bight the bullet and just get the shade up, even when I knew it was best! As it's about a 3-4 meter flat area, behind the house, before it starts going downhill. On five acres and I still have to work with limited space, lol. Had to get the design right. But you won't regret installing shade though. I can't believe the things I can grow now!


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