Friday, April 26, 2019

twenty five

This past week...

I used every spare second I had to throw clay pots on my borrowed wheel. I have a whole post in my head about being a beginner that will hopefully make it onto the blog before too long. It's such an interesting and humbling process. I am completely addicted though and am wondering if I might have to buy my own wheel when the borrowed one has to go back.

Our coffee machine broke!!

A nearest and dearest had a health scare and thank goodness is now clear.

I fought long and hard with one of my kids and then we made up and now our relationship is heavenly. If only it could stay this way.

I went to gym five times! I think that must be my record.

The world got a little less colourful when we lost Cam @curlypops last Tuesday.

We thought we were definitely destined to run out of water in the next few days but this morning farmer Bren went up the hill with a ladder, climbed up and peered in the tank and discovered it is half full after all. YES!!!! Not quite enough for a bath, but possibly enough not to worry.

We rediscovered Roman Mars and the 99% Invisible podcast.

We had our first camp-fire cooked bbq dinner of the season.

We picked armfuls of flowers.

I still haven't labelled the dahlias.

We pulled more of the summer crops out of the garden and replaced them with winter ones.

We went to a few garage sales and bought a cane chair, a punching bag, some paints and brushes, a tin of buttons and a tub of wool.

I crocheted four granny squares just to see if I still could.

We started the countdown until we see Indi.

We discovered that our kitten loves eating cucumbers.

We picked and podded thousands of beans.

My niece stayed with us for a few nights.

Miss Pepper swept up three cratefuls of golden leaves that had fluttered down from the grape vine and landed on the back deck and become a sludgy, slippery mess.

Farmer Bren turned some beautiful wooden bowls.

I spent ages searching instagram for beautiful ceramic shapes.

We started watching The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and we're absolutely loving it!!

I started knitting a blue beanie just for something to do with my hands on a big driving day last Friday.

We're still picking and eating tomatoes and cucumbers and strawberries.

I finished reading Flames by Robbie Arnott which I absolutely loved and last night I started by Nathan Englander (my mum called it 'a romp' when she handed it over - I'm actually not quite sure what that means - but I'm intrigued).

That's all I can think of off the top of my head but I might include some more if I think of some.

How about you?
Quickly tell me a couple of things that you've been up to.
If you feel like it.
I'd love to know.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

See you in a week.

Love, Kate x

Friday, April 19, 2019

country dahlias two

It's a magical feeling to find yourself back in a place you visited exactly a year before and notice how much you've grown. Last year we visited Country Dahlias near the end of our first season as flower farmers. Jenny's two acre garden has Australia's largest collection of dahlias with 2,250 different types and over 20,000 bushes.

Last year we'd planted two rows of tubers; we'd staked them, irrigated them, made peace with their pests, picked their flowers, dead-headed them, sold them and given them away, and absolutely fallen head over heels in love with each and every plant. All in all it was a great first season and when we arrived at Country Dahlias all we knew is that we wanted more. We were completely overwhelmed. We loved the colours, we loved the shapes, we loved the pom-poms, we loved the huge ones and the mini ones, and we wrote a wish-list so long that it went over the page. This is the blog post I wrote back then.

A couple of weeks after we visited Country Dahlias last year we experienced our first frost and the end of the season. We let the plants die down, the weather closed in and we dug up their tubers in weather so cold and wet it hurt. We tried to keep the varieties named and separated but by that time the main thing was to get them out of the mud so they wouldn't rot. We brought them in and buried them deep inside boxes of saw-dust from Bren's lathe. We only had two rows but it felt like quite a big job and had us looking over lovingly at the rows of perennial flowers that were independently and quietly taking care of themselves.

By early spring we were itching to get our tubers out of the saw-dust and into the ground. We watched some YouTube and learnt how to divide them and then in November we planted them all. Five rows this time. And again they bloomed like crazy and we adored them.

This year on what feels like it'll become our annual pilgrimage to Jenny's I still had that same heart full of love feeling and I still felt so full of joy I could burst, but we also felt like more seasoned dahlia growers. We recognised so many of the varieties - some even by name, we thought a lot about practicalities - like stem length and strength, we tried to find gaps in our collection, and as always Bren was on the hunt for the perfect white. And this time we only ordered 10 tubers - I still can't believe we were so restrained.

I still can't believe we're so close to the end of this season. I'd really love to have each plant labeled with its name and colour and description before we lose them, but I've had the tags cut out stacked in a neat pile for weeks now and it still hasn't happened. There's always something more pressing to do. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend my friends. Whether it's filled with matza or chocolate or something completely different, I hope it's delicious.

Lots of love to you wherever this finds you. Where is that by the way? And what will you be eating?

See you next week!

Love, Kate


Friday, April 12, 2019

toast and tea

I've dead-headed the dahlias.

I've picked a little bunch for my bed-side.

And a bigger bunch for the kitchen.

Farmer Bren has cut a hole in the roof of the shed and plumbed in an old wood-heater.

He's making tea and toast on it as we speak.

And putting the finishing touches on a beautiful new wooden bowl.

While Miss Pepper sands and oils the letters she cut out on the scroll saw.

And I'm absolutely busting to get the pottery wheel my friend Petrus leant me out of the car and to give it a spin.

I hope you'll forgive my quick post today but as you can see I've got toast to eat and bowls to spin (hopefully).

How about you my friends, what are you up to this fine Friday?
Are you ticking off jobs or are you taking it easy?
What are you cooking, picking, making and thinking about?

I hope you have a beautiful weekend.

See you next Friday.

Love, Kate x

Friday, April 5, 2019

dahlias at dusk

Last night as Bren was filling and rolling the haloumi and salad roti wraps for dinner, I looked out the window and saw the golden glow on the flower garden. Jazzy had already had a shower and gotten into her pyjamas but Pepper was still dressed (and covered with texta drawings). I asked her to grab a pair of secateurs and to follow me outside.

The breeze was still warm from the day as we walked up and down the rows snipping and chatting and snapping. We were spoiled for choice and quickly picked an armful.

After almost 10 years of blogging I know that the fewer photos I take of a scene the better and the quicker when it comes to editing and choosing, but still the light was so perfect that I couldn't help myself. Between 6.50 and 7.04pm I took 34 photos. How fine it is to live in the digital age.

I am savouring these moments of floral abundance. I am trying to imprint their headiness on my soul. I walk the rows often running my fingers over their soft petals and bouncing them off my palms. I spend minutes watching the bees collecting pollen. I love seeing the flower petal confetti covering the floor. I hope that the few who still haven't flowered will put on a last minute show. I dead-head them to encourage more growth. I pick them at every opportunity. And I adore them and tell them so often.

These past few days I have noticed that some of the stems are starting to be thinner and not able to hold up their heavy headed blooms. I have seen the dahlia faces open up with their centres blown. I have been trying my hardest not to feel sad about these signs of the end of the season but instead to admire their new phase.

You know what? I wish I could give you this bunch of flowers for your weekend. I love the thought of you holding them in your arms, turning them over to look at each one, taking them home and into your kitchen, filling up your favourite vase with water and them arranging them just so. And then as they catch your eye over the weekend you'd be reminded of how grateful I am for your company. How much it means to me that you come here each week and read my words. How my stories have meant something to you. How you've seen my girls grow over the seasons. How your comments make me think and feel and wonder.  How even though we've never met you still feel like my friend.

Thank you!!

It just occurred to me that I don't think I've ever asked you what your favourite flower is. I'd love to know.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend my friends.
See you next Friday.

Love, Kate x

Visit my other blog.