A flower arrangement

I am not very interested in flower arrangements. Mostly guests get something I just randomly pruned from the garden, but I do try sometimes. Here is what I consider one of my more successful attempts. I call it Baby Tears with Zebras. The zebras are not eating anywhere near fast enough and are now threatened to be totally engulfed by the Baby Tears. For those of you not in the know, Baby Tears is a plant.

More tiled Ortelius

The bathroom will now be a place where you can lie and journey to places which indeed exist but not in our time. A time when Papua New Guinea was massively out of proportion, when ships were firing cannons at each other (oh, wait, they still do), when the Suez Canal had not yet been dug, and strange sea creatures surrounded Iceland. Magellan had just failed to return on his journey on the Victoria, pictured below. Or rather, the Victoria returned with all the information, but Magellan himself didn’t. You can’t have everything. The imagined coastline of Terra Australis in yellow underneath the Victoria, which connected with Tierra del Fuego in South America. Of course.

maptiles5iceland iceland2 iceland3There are explanaitons covering Iceland and it is needed. Such a complex place, with danger in volcanoes, poral bears on icefloes, animals which will kill you if you eat them, glaciers, seacows. Rudimentary knowledge of latin helps here. Pour more hot water in the bath, the perpetual nives is making me cold!

And no, I haven’t made any of it up. It is all a gridded copy of Abraham Ortelius maps, with maybe just a little rearranging of ships to fit, and cropping. The little fat thing with horns below, for instance. I take no responsibility, blame Ortelius. It is possible that I am repeating myself, I have written about the maps before and it will probably not be the last time either.

maptiles3 maptiles2 maptiles

Spring garden


Spring! The last frost is gone (only two weeks ago) and the garden is at that wonderful point before you have to hack away with a machete to keep it in check, yet growing nicely. See the waterlily leaves in the wine barrel? Just starting.


I had to put my hand out as a size comparison for the blooms on this rhododendron. It is incredible. I didn’t plant this, it would have been planted by Alf Hedland, the old gardener at the Botanic Gardens who once lived here. He was keen on rhododendrons, I’ve been told. Thank you, Alf, from the bottom of my heart, for all the beautiful plants you left.


Rhubarb, doing its spring thing. I don’t provide breakfast at the Pip, you have to provide your own. I can give you a recipe and the rhubard however, just BYO yoghurt.

Recipe for Stewed Rhubarb – great breakfast or dessert!

Buy some plain or vanilla yoghurt. Pick a stalk or two of rhubarb, cut off the leaf and destring the stalk, chop in pieces. Get an apple too (though not necessary) and chop. Or squeeze an orange, not necessary either. Put all in small pan on the stove with some sugar and a little water, bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with the yoghurt.


Loganberry just starting, might not be loganberry, lost the label… See the difference between the stone walls in the back and the front? The back were original, they are all volcanic lava. Lightweight stones, no substance at all. This is because Wombat Hill is a volcano, and around Daylesford you see this stone a lot. The stonework in the rest of the garden I added, and it is made from stone from Pyrenees Quarries in Castlemaine. This is a playground for lovers of stone. If you are on a budget, there is a large pile at the back where they put the stone which they don’t want. Odd shapes and sizes, too odd to lay easily etc. You can fill a trailer for a very small amount of money compared to the other stone, if you are prepared to work with all the irregularities. I am! They also sort the slate out in good and odd, and you can get a pallet of odd if you are lucky with your timing. It sells the minute they put it out, usually.


The raspberries are not ready, but there will be a fabulous crop this year. I tried to make the bees stay in the picture with their fat little legs as they are working hard but they refused to cooperate, were too busy to appear on camera.


Blueberry in the foreground. Apparently, these bushes can grow to quite big sizes but I am yet to see it. They are in their second year only, have seen little growth so far except for one bush which is a little older. I dug it up from my garden at home and moved it. That it survived at all is a miracle as blueberries dislike their roots being touched. You even have to be careful when weeding that you don’t upset them. They also fail to thrive if you give them tapwater. Fortunately, the whole garden is on rainwater but that hasn’t helped yet. But I can see several berries starting to form… Hooray!