Creative gardening solution

The orientation, overshadowing, and patio roof provide a welcome respite from the searing Queensland sun in Summer.

Our compact courtyard is challenging when it comes to choosing plants. Areas receiving photosynthesis fuel in Spring and Summer are ignored during Autumn and Winter.

The raised bed next to the spa is on its fourth bout of planting. Fingers crossed the golden cane palms will flourish with agaves and mother-in-law’s tongues.

We have run out of ground space, resulting in the need for creative alternatives. The distance between the six feet high fence and the neighbour’s house is just wide enough to accommodate the depth of a self-watering trough.

So far these pretties are enjoying a daily slot of sunshine.

Glamping, sort of

My husband informs me people can’t get enough of tiny houses listed on AirBnB. In this vein we are enjoying a long weekend, 125 km west of Brisbane. Our compact stay comprises a galley kitchen, living/bedroom, toilet, two chair verandah, and spa bathroom.

Perched on the crest of the Great Dividing Range, 700m above sea level, Toowoomba is a country city. The temperature is around 10oC lower overnight and a couple of degrees short of Brisbane’s dailies. Where we chill our room overnight to 22oC at home, we heat it to the equivalent here.

The electric frypan is a hit, serving up mushroom risotto for dinner and scrambled eggs this morning. There is even an espresso machine to get the cockles going.

This is the closest I intend to get to glamping!

A 9000 step site seeing tour around the centre yesterday, enabled us to shake off our humdrum workaday lives and enjoy tree-lined streets and parks.

Last night, as we soaked our weary limbs in the spa, large enough for two silly old buggers, we toasted life. Mountainous foam infused with lavender and rose geranium essential oils and the room lit with pink vanilla scented tee lights perfected our quality moment.

Tropical croton 

When living in the U.K. I tried to keep a croton. Attracted by contrasting bright vibrant splodges against the darkest green background, this indoor plant, in the cooler climate, received plenty of attention. Then one day, inexplicably, all of its leaves dropped off. Like other specimens that did not survive my care, the croton species fell firmly into the ‘too hard’ basket. 

Fast forward twenty years or so, I realised that, given the right environment, the croton is relatively hardy. We have two in a pot, in the garden, in Sydney. They seem to prefer being in part shade, tucked in amongst other plants. 

This particular beauty appears to be thriving in its tropical, Port Douglas home.