I guess I’ve been lucky to get away with not having to wear maternity clothes so far. I’ve still been able to wear some of my regular tops and dresses, although they are starting to get shorter around the tummy and knees. Or I’ve been buying dresses and tops in bigger sizes. But since the weather has cooled down I’ve found I have no trousers or jeans to wear. The other day I tried on a pair of my trousers thinking that I could squeeze into them – wrong! I tried on another pair just to be really sure – wrong again! So over the weekend I decided it was time to go to the mall and find some maternity stretchy trousers (uh oh). Luckily the task was not too daunting. I managed to pick up a pair of trousers from Target and a pair of skinny jeans from Old Navy….yes, I did say skinny jeans. I did find some boot cut jeans at Kohl’s but I think I’ll be returning those as they are not very flattering.
I also bought some tummy sleeves from Motherhood. These are pretty clever and handy. They’re kind of like a tube top which you wear around your belly and can disguise unbuttoned trousers or regular tops which are starting to get short.
Anyway only around 2.5 months more of having to wear maternity clothing, so not long now…
The canna lilies were an experiment, I took a few of the seeds from my friend at http://homeowned.blogspot.com/ and planted them sometime earlier in the year, watering when I remembered.
I didn’t really expect anything to happen, as I heard you were supposed to nick the seeds before planting them. Well I guess that isn’t true. Look how they have grown, pretty fast. The leaves are looking a bit dry and I think a grasshopper has been nibbling on some of them, but not bad for a freebie plant.
Anyway do you remember my little bougainvillea plants?
Just look at how they have thrived since being planted in the ground and over this summer:
Our neighbours put up some trellis along the fence and also planted some climbing vines on their side. I love the way the plants have all intermingled and are growing through the trellis. It looks pretty tropical or even pretty and tropical.
2 x Korean Short Rib tacos
1 x Spicy BBQ Chicken taco
1 x Spicy Pork taco
1 x Beef sliders (2 per serving)
1 x Korean Short Rib burrito
1 x bottle of water to wash it down
The plan was to take the food home to eat but when it showed up we couldn’t resist, so we ate it there and then on Ventura Blvd, along with all the other Kogi peeps. The tacos were great, sweet and savoury, sliders were not burger patties at all but made from bits of korean short ribs (Brandon loved those). Burrito was a breakfast burrito with eggs and korean short ribs. All in all delicious, tasty, mouth-watering, more-ish (if there if such a word) and it only came to $21, $2 a taco. We can’t wait for Kogi to visit the Valley again, we’ll be there.
Well in the end after visiting a few different Bed Bath and Beyond stores (which happen to have different inventory) we found these thermosave curtains. These ones have been up for a while and will be here to stay. They do actually make a difference, the AC doesn’t have to work as hard and will go off during the day, which would never happen before.
Prior to the garden makeover I tried to grow various bougainvillea plants in pots. Unfortunately they didn’t do too well and ended up losing all their leaves and bracts (I’m sure I even killed a few in my attempt). So once the garden was complete I was ready to plant the surviving bougainvilleas into the ground. What a difference a year makes – the plant is flourishing with leaves and bracts, it looks so much happier. It’s actually starting to grow through next doors trellis.
Here is another bougainvillea that we planted. This one resembled a stick when it was planted.
I thought I should try and be green and grow my own vegetables. In the past I have tried to grow tomatoes in containers and various herbs which didn’t really survive. I probably spent more money on the pots, soil and water but still it was worth it, especially when you take that bite of the first ripened tomato – tastes so much better than store bought ones. I decided it would be a good idea to build a vegetable area at the front of the garden. There is a lot more space towards the back but as there is no faucet (tap) at the back I thought it might be hard to water and maintain. When we were redoing our garden we discovered that underneath all the weeds there were some brick paths. Anyway we managed to salvage the good bricks and they have come in handy as borders for the trees and plants and also for the vegetable area. So here is my attempt at vegetable plot #1.
I decided the vegetable area didn’t look quite right with the Cape Plumbago in the back so I decided there was only one solution, to transplant it to another area of the garden. I was torn as to whether it was a good idea to move it or not, knowing the plant may well not survive the move. Oh well too late, I went ahead and did it as I needed the space for the vegetables. Update, the Cape Plumbago is not doing too well but hopefully it will recover. I have come to find out that plants are very resilient. I added some bamboo sticks as support for the tomatoes and here is attempt #2 of the vegetable plot.
Yesterday we increased the size of the vegetable plot to accommodate some climbing french bean seeds. We also added some much needed fertilizer and some stepping stones to make it easier to walk through the area. Attempt #3 and this is probably the final version.
As you can tell from the photos I did not really plan out the vegetable plot, I just planted them randomly, which may or may not be a good thing. The inventory so far: cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, zuchinni squash, spring onions, chinese leek, rosemary, pineapple sage (smells exactly like pineapples when you rub the leaves). Elsewhere I am growing peppers, fennel and mint. Let’s hope all the vegetables grow well together and don’t start growing into one another and fighting for space.
We have a west facing front room with giant windows which effectively turns our living room into a terrarium during the summer months. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while but yesterday we purchased some ‘Thermosave‘ curtains. They are made with an innovative thermal coating that blocks out light. They apparently help the room stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter and more importantly help save on energy costs. Our AC is on most of the afternoon during the hot days so I’m hoping this will help. I guess today will be a good day to test it out as it is supposed to get into the mid 90’s (that’s around mid 30’s for all you metric readers). I just stepped out in the garden and it is hot it is ony 10am.
The curtains already seem to be making a difference although I’m not so sure about the stripey pattern. Another alternative would be to just buy the curtain liner and attach it to the existing curtains or pole. I’ll have to go and hunt for them at the stores and try it and decide on which one is best.
Doing some research about energy saving curtains led me to discover the Coolaroo Shade Sails, a shading structure from Aussie. I like the fact that it would help block out 90% of harmful UV rays while still allowing a cool breeze to flow through. It also helps to reduce the temperatures underneath the sail. I think this would be great for the back patio, which has no shade at the moment. We just bought some new cushions for our seats so it would be nice to be able to go out there and sit down. I just have to try and figure out how it all works before I go ahead and order one.
I’m also going to get myself a good sun hat, one which has a wide brim and will protect my face from the UV rays.
Being a keen reader of other blogs, I decided it’s about time that I started my own blog on garden musings and more. I spend a lot of time (well a substantial amount of time) tending to my plants and being Ms. Greenfingers, so I decided this needs to be shared with others.
We bought our home nearly 2 years ago. The yard was simple; a huge lawn albeit the grass looking a bit brown, chain link fence going around the perimeter, lot’s of pretty ivy. Little did we know how invasive that stuff was. We were just happy to have all this space. We had moved from a tiny shaded pigeon pooped balcony, where nothing ever flourished to this large open expanse, “Yeah we can deal with it”. Well after the rainy season we realized we couldn’t be more wrong. The yard had turned into a waist high weed haven attracting neighbourhood cats, possums, flies – not a pretty sight and a huge variety of weeds. We tried to fix things as best we could and make the garden usable but it was nearly impossible given the large area.
Anyway to cut a long story short we hired Carlos to help us landscape our garden. The project itself was a huge task, which I think even Carlos had perhaps somewhat underestimated. Anyway after a month or so the garden was ready and wow what an amazing difference. Now we have a green lawn, fruit trees, bamboo, a patio, a functioning sprinkler system, outdoor lighting, a real fence, a gate that opens and a very healthy palm tree.
Hope you enjoy reading my blog. I’ll try and update as much as possible although you know with all this nice weather I’ll be out gardening. Feel free to leave comments, and suggestions are most welcome.