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Silver paint

Here are the close up results of the silver (actually silver chrome) spray paint I used on the few bits and pieces gleaned from my garden in my quest to make a hasty “Christmas tree”.

The first pic is of the seed heads from a gone-to-seed parsley plant. I’m saving the seeds to plant parsley again. I almost didn’t notice them lying in a corner of the garden, drying out, and when I did — wow! So elegant and pretty, and slightly reminiscent of a star. 

Below is a dead protea flower that I’d picked to put in the guest room a few weeks ago.  Beside it is the flower head  after  I sprayed it. 

And the pic at the bottom is of some seed heads I picked up from the ground when walking Milly-dog down beside the creek. I think they might be acacias (from the look of the seeds) but there are so many varieties I haven’t a clue which. But I thought they came up quite well with the spray paint.

A hasty "tree"

What you can do in a hurry with a can of spray paint . . .

I like to make things, and at this time of year my mind turns to making Christmas ornaments. For a few years I really enjoyed making paper ornaments — there are loads of instructions on the web, and I’ve tried most of the easiest. I do like a good result for not a huge effort.  (The post I linked to has links to instructions for making them if you’re interested.)

For a while I made tiny ones and hung them from a few spray-painted twigs arranged in a vase. I really liked how the slightest breeze would send them twisting and turning.

And for a few years I made lovely “dangles” using crystals and pearls and other beads. They were lovely — but they need a big tree, or somewhere to hang them from.

I’ve sometimes used things from nature — seed pods and twigs, (picked up after they’d fallen and dried out) — and I spray them with silver paint (actually chrome paint is better — shinier).  I have to say, I love the look of them, especially against a dark background.   I also spray-painted some dead fronds from my old tree-fern. They dry in gorgeous curls that when hung, twist in the breeze. In my old garden there was plenty of raw material to gather and play with, but that’s gone now.

This year, with the Christmas things still unpacked, and with people coming for a friends Christmas dinner, I’d run out of time to make anything new.

I needed a hasty Christmas “tree”. When I went out to my much smaller garden and surveyed it for Christmas possibilities. I wasn’t feeling too confident. Apart from the beautiful “Silver Princess” eucalypt, the gum-nuts of which are naturally silver, I couldn’t imagine what I could use. Most things here are still green or flowering.

But looking around I found quite a few possibilities; a spray of dead bamboo leaves from a potted bamboo — bamboo is so elegant, isn’t it — some seed-heads from the parsley plant I’m drying for seeds, and a protea bloom that I’d picked a few weeks ago to go in my guest room. There were also a few native seedpods I’d picked up while walking the dog. I put them together with some clippings from the greenery in my garden and made this very small Christmas sort-of-tree.

Really I should have given the seeds and flower heads at least another spray painting — they’d be much shiner — but I didn’t have time, and I think they worked okay. 

The tiny “tree”  started off on the dining room table as a centrepiece, but then when I needed the space for food and drink, I moved it to the sideboard with my curly twigs and a couple of Christmas cards behind it and it looked quite cute. (see right)

Do you make your own ornaments and decorations?

Spring Flowers

I’m afraid I’m not doing very much that’s interesting or exciting at the moment — I’m pretty much staying at home working on the latest book — Clarissa’s story. So prepare yourselves for posts about flowers and possibly vegetables for a while — I know, so exciting. <g>

I also owe some of you responses to your emails and I’m sorry for the delay, but I’m heading toward a deadline, and so have put off a lot of things. But I will try to keep up my responses to the comments on this blog, so thank you for posting here.

I got a lovely surprise the other day when I went out to bring the bins in. The bottlebrush (callistemon) bush on my nature strip (verge) had burst into flower and was covered in brilliant red blooms. The wattle birds and other nectar-feeders were already clustering around it. So I grabbed my secateurs and cut some of the flowers that would probably brush up against a parked car. Don’t worry, there’s plenty left for the birds and bee

Then I noticed that my protea bush also had a flower. It’s had lots of buds for ages and I was waiting for the first flower to open so I could see what it looked like — there are so many different varieties of protea. But some stinker reached over my front fence and picked the first flower just as it was coming into bloom, so I had to wait another week before the next one opened. Luckily it was on the opposite side to the fence. So here is my current vase of lowers in the living room — red bottlebrush, one lone, bright  protea flower that looks quite space-agey, and a couple of leftovers from the bunch I bought a couple of weeks ago.

As well, a pelargonium cutting I took ages ago — I can’t remember when but I think it was pre-covid— suddenly flowered in the little courtyard and delighted me. I used to have one just like it that came as a cutting from my godmother’s garden and I loved it. But it died some years ago during a drought, and I’ve been looking for a replacement ever since. I’d forgotten I’d taken this cutting and had no idea what color the flowers would be, so when I saw these gorgeous dark crimson blooms flowering, I was thrilled.

I love plants that remind me of people. My godmother is long gone, so it’s nice to have a remembrance flower. She also gave me bluebells that brought her to mind every year when they flowered, but sadly I had to leave them behind in the old place. But I’ll get some more for the new garden.

And finally in bloom are these bright red alstroemerias that were from Dad’s garden. I remember I dug up a small clump and shoved them in a pot, then forgot about them.

With no care or attention, they flowered that year in the pot, and then proceeded to grow through the bottom of the pot in my old garden. From then on, every year they flowered gorgeously for months with no attention, not even watering. And I spread them throughout the garden.

I did manage to bring some of these with me, and this is the first lot that have flowered, sitting on the back deck. Aren’t they pretty? They last ages too as cut flowers. Florists usually have them but I’ve mainly seen them in pastels and whites, not this clear, bright red.

So that’s my thrilling life for the moment. I could show you my broad beans, but will restrain myself.  And now . . . back to the wip (work in progress).