Saturday, August 27, 2011

Back to reality

port douglas This was one of the gorgeous views at Port Douglas in North Queensland that we enjoyed. I can’t say that the actual town was impressive – it seems to be approaching the “Gold Coast” theme of buy, buy, buy. And most of it was cheap crap!

We had arrived in Cairns on the 13th August at 11.40pm and our two good friends were at the airport to meet us – and drive us to their home in El Arish (2 hour drive). A place I had never heard of before as they had always talked about Mission Beach. But their beautiful home and garden is a fifteen minute drive from the beach. Kathy is the gardener and obviously loves it. She even knows the botanical names of all her plants. She had lost six truckloads of garden to cyclone Yasi but you would never know. The climate in winter up there is very beneficial to restore gardens. As she said “you could put a stick in the ground and it would grow”. Sigh. It’s a very tropical garden and there are coconut trees, lychees and the biggest passion fruit I have ever seen. Her mango tree is flowering and she has a few herbs scattered around, like lemongrass. Her pride and joy though, are her orchids and I can see why.

orchid                                    orchid2

The orange and yellow flowers trail gracefully over her pergola and can be seen from most areas of the house. I had a long walk around her garden and was wistfully commenting on the beautiful colours and lusciousness of it all when Kathy said that she was jealous of my garden. Now there’s not a whole lot of colour in winter in a Tasmanian garden (well not in mine anyway), but Kathy loves geraniums, pelargonium's and all the fruit and vegetables that we can grow. I suppose I forgot about all the blossom on the trees right now and the daffodils poking through and the little pansies scattered about the garden!

But what that walk around Kathy’s garden did do was to inspire me to get back out into mine and start planting seeds, ready for spring and summer. We were lucky that the weather was gentle for the first few days of our return so it didn’t seem like a chore. I am happy to report that I have since planted half a water tank of mixed radishes; a large pot of Drunken Woman lettuces; eggplants; carrots; peas; rock melon; tigerella tomatoes; moneymaker tomatoes; black russians; napoli paste tomatoes; spinach; rainbow chard and chillies. I’ve left them in the grow house and that way I will remember to water them regularly as I’m already picking silver beet and broccoli from inside.

The weather is cooler today and I’ve ignored housework for as long as I could but now is the time to drag out the old vacuum and attack the dust bunnies lying around. So I’ll get back to the holiday report another day.

Have a great weekend.