01 September 2010

Ode to the first day of Spring

It's been a long time since I posted anything here. So this is a modest beginning to what I hope will be my blogging comeback! Friends have asked if anything's wrong to account for my recent silence. Quite the opposite.

We've both been doing very well. Allen's been busily engaged in a rehab program for the past three months, and this will continue for another six weeks. At home, he's working every day on his presentation for the upcoming national conference of the Australian Aphasia Association in Sydney. (We'll post that here in a few weeks, with accompanying photos.)

As for me, I've been working many hours each day in the garden, making up for almost two years when all I had time (or energy) for was borderline garden maintenance. I'll be showing the results of some of my work in future posts.

For now, here are just a couple of photos of a few highlights on the terrace and in the garden.

This beautiful orchid was a gift to me from JW. For me it's a living reminder of her late husband, our very dear and much-missed friend RW. He grew these and other orchids, so when we visited JW a few years ago on our way home from Sydney, she gave me one to take home to Qld. Since then the plant has sat in a corner of the garden, in what should be a perfect microclimate, but it has never bloomed – until now. This year the plant threw up two long flower spears, each of which has a half dozen exquisite blooms. That has to be RW wanting to share the better luck we've enjoyed in 2010.

Not far away from the orchid, two of my begonias are also blooming. (I'll try for a better picture in sunlight; this one was taken as the day was darkening.)

In the light-coloured pot between the two begonias is a ponytail palm I offered to rescue from Zoe's terrace, where it wasn't able to compete with her showier native plants! I'm not actually a great palm lover – most of those I own I inherited with the place, except for half a dozen I planted around the swimming pool. But I am rather partial to ponytails because ten years ago, when I was recovering from breast cancer, my mother sent money with my sister, who visited during my recuperation. N had instructions to buy a plant for my garden. I selected a ponytail palm, and planted it near the pool. For quite a few years it grew and developed into a fine fat specimen. Then, mysteriously, something – I think maybe termites – ate through the 'bowl' at its base and the plant collapsed and died. Now, I have another down near the pool, but I'm still partial to this little orphan.

Finally, today, my little Brazilian cherry bush (it's not big enough to be called a tree) is in full flower. I included this fruit in an earlier post (Summer bounty), where I also showed a photo of the jam we make with it, which is a great favourite of ours. This year the plant is flowering so profusely that if even a quarter of the blossoms develop into fruit, we'll be swamped.

Even from way up on the house terrace, where you look down on this area of the garden, you can clearly make out the snowy appearnace of this little beauty. The hundreds, maybe thousands, of little flowers may be individually insignificant, but en masse they turn the plant into one big powderpuff. Now let's hope that mushroom compost I've just spread underneath the canopy does its stuff. There must be a dozen bottles of Brazilian cherry jam here!


Nan said...

At long last you're back! (Not that I don't like pumpkin AND pastry, mind you..) And I remember the Brazilian Cherry fondly from when we stayed there. It was always a treat to eat while standing at the bush, despite the accompanying wince that always followed from the tartness. Welcome back...

Stafford Ray said...

Yes, welcome back and glad to read you are both improving and thank you for your insightful comments. Of course, as an American born Australian, you bring a unique point of view!

Anonymous said...

Doreen here...(computer still down.and I'm.on Raina's)..I will subscribe to your wonderful blog when I'm back up and running, sis...
It's really looking and sounding great...and I do so love hearing Allens wonderful memoirs..now how about yours sometime?

About me

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I started this blog in 2009 when I became a full-time caregiver. My husband had been diagnosed a few years earlier with primary progressive aphasia. Over the next four years until his death in 2013, we went on a journey of discovery about this rare condition. My blog is about what I learned, how we both coped and how the journey deepened our love and appreciation of each other. Allen’s journey is over, but mine goes on.