This morning I had a little walk around the garden before starting on all my jobs. Sometimes I get so caught up in all the things I want to do and build and grow, that I forget to notice the lovely little things where I am so lucky to live.
Our old wooden clothes horse has been in my family as long as I have! My mum’s “family heirlooms” are always practical and so when it finally broke beyond repair, Ben suggested it could have another job; outside, trellising the tomatoes. It’s funny because he always hated it as a clothes horse and I had assumed he would jump at the chance to ditch it for good. It may not be the world’s best tomato trellis, but it’s better than nothing, and we are lazy gardeners so it suits us fine! I think it looks quite at home amongst all the greenery.
Here we are in corn town with our gigantic basil and lemongrass monsters. During summer it is so nice to have these big green buttresses close to the house. It makes it seem slightly less like a huge earth oven. When the corn is big it will be even better!
At our last house, there was a fountain and pond in the small courtyard and so we cleaned it all out, Ben fixed the pump and we got fish! Quite a lot of little fish. I would spend hours sitting pond-side beneath the dense canopy, procrastinating from study, watching them. They would come to the surface and watch me too. Actually, they probably just wanted to be fed treats. They came with us when we moved out here and though sadly not all of them survived (we moved on the hottest, longest December weekend possible), we soon had three fish tanks inside full of fishlings. We had one big tank in our bedroom which I could watch for hours.
But keeping fish indoors is a lot more work than keeping them outside in a pond, and after a year or two, I got pretty sick of the pump noise, the delightful waft of fishy water, and the constant cleaning (which I usually left for Ben to do, how nasty). So we converted a half wine barrel into a little pond by stapling a plastic liner to the top inside edge, which we covered by U-nailing down lengths of split black retic pipe over the top edge, and moved the fishlings outside. Its not fancy, but it works and it didn’t cost us anything! Three fishes have survived the transition outdoors – one paradise fish is an original from our rental in East Fremantle! What a trooper.
I think they are much happier to have their fish privacy, little dark places to hide under rocks and plants, rather than living behind glass to be gawked at by silly humans. I mean, I still gawk at them, but they have the option to flee if they want! Their little home is wedged in the corner of the herb bed, so there are lots of unsuspecting insect victims that come to visit the fish. Hehe. And we like to find grubs and worms for them, as a treat. Spoilt fish!
The blue wrens have been coming to visit a lot lately. A brightly coloured boy was pecking around near the back door this morning, but he was too quick for me to picture him. This little bird in the pic only has a blue tail (the colouring of either a girl or adolescent male), and was quite friendly, with lots of happy-sounding twitter as she bounced around our capsicum plants. They like to do a group pass along the back verandah and chomp down all the spiders and bugs that accumulate due to the aforementioned laziness. We leave the webs as we’re always keen to recruit spiders to fight the bloody flies for us! If only we could find something willing to take on the wasps and save us the chore…
There’s a hint of fence to be seen here, but not much. A self-seeded rogue pumpkin has completely swamped the straggly bougainvillea. We have another bogan (not that kind!) which we’re training to screen our bathroom window, doing much better than this poor little guy. It’s no worries though, he was a freebie. I plonked him there, hoping his thorns might deter the kangaroos from knocking down the fence rails. All it has done is alter their course! Cheeky buggers.
Still more pumpkin tentacles are helping to shield the growing lawn from the harsh sun. Our house was built facing the wrong direction, and really the hillside opposite would be far more comfortable in summer. As it is, we get burning sunlight which is truly unbearable from about midday onwards, relentless until about six or seven when it disappears over the hill. It would be the perfect spot if you wanted to build a gigantic oven…
I’m not a fan of summer so its easy for me to forget what’s so good about this place at this time of year. But you can’t have everything! Before it gets too hot, its worth enjoying those small things that make you smile. Even if the jobs have to wait.