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Seasons Greetings

Hi all, here is my annual home-made seasons greeting card for you all. After this I’ll be posting it on FB and sending it out in a quick newsletter, as well as emailing it to friends. Thanks so much for reading and subscribing to my blog, for reading my books, and for reviewing and/or rating them. I really appreciate it.

The photo is of flannel flowers, which are native Australian wildflowers. When I was a kid, the land around our holiday house was all native plants. I used to pick flannel flowers — carefully and with scissors. Not many because Mum limited the number I picked, explaining we needed to protect the flowers so they could flourish. I used to press them and stick them on a card. I haven’t changed much, have I?

Sadly, that stretch of native vegetation got bulldozed and the land was “developed” which means someone built a hundred houses on it. No more flannel flowers, no more native vegetation, no more indigenous fauna. But the flannel flower lives on. You can buy seeds now, and grow them in your garden. Thank goodness for seed-savers.

Have a wonderful break over the holidays, and stay safe in 2024. I’m hoping for a few peace agreements.


It’s a gloomy, drizzly day here today, but not cold at all, and yesterday when I was out watering the pot plants in my small covered courtyard, I noticed my gardenia had a bud that was about to bloom. I adore the fragrance of gardenias and the first gardenia of summer is always an event,  so I brought the pot inside and put it in my bedroom.

Then I went out for most of the afternoon — an end-of-year/Christmas lunch with a small group of women I went to high school with. We reconnected some years ago at a school reunion, and ever since 9 of us have been meeting every few months for lunch, or to do some kind of activity or see an art exhibition. It’s always a day of good company and good conversation. 

Anyway, I got home last night around seven pm, stepped into my bedroom and wow! The fragrance. It was glorious. The gardenia was fully open and the scent of just that one single bloom had filled the room.

So this morning I took this photo of it. It’s quite a small plant, but it has half a dozen fat little buds, so I’m looking forward to those.

I love all kinds of flowers, but the fragrant ones are my favorite. What about you?

Red velvet geraniums

The other day I pinched a cutting of this geranium that was overflowing in a car park. Naughty of me, I know, but you couldn’t even tell where I took a bit after I’d done it.

I don’t know the name of the variety, but I call it red velvet because it really does look like it. I’ve only seen it around in the last few years, so I think it must be a relatively newly bred variety.

It’s so lush and a beautiful dark vivid red. I have a couple of  dark red pelargoniums in pots, but this is definitely a geranium.

I planted the cutting as soon as I got home. Geraniums usually take easily from cuttings, so I hope this one does. Fingers crossed.