Monday, 24 November 2014

The answer lies in the soil ...

I am not sure what the expression "The answer lies in the soil" means, exactly. I kinda think it means that to solve anything, one needs to go back to basics. I am a gardener, and I adore getting down, and getting dirty. But, the expression has a wider and more general application. Gardening is becoming more onerous, as my balance and vision become more neurologically impacted. What more sedentary activity to replace it with. I adore reading - bought myself Colm Toibin's "Norah Webster" on Saturday - but reading can only be done for about 30 minutes at a time.

So, I went into Lincraft on York Street and bought some wool and needles. Will graduate to crochet early in the new year. Lincraft is a chaotic store that stocks sooo much. And the prices are reasonable, although the quality is not crash-hot.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Strand Arcade (1891)

The heading for this post is not true, of course. 1891 is, indeed, the date on the shingle above the entrance to the gallerie. However, 1n 1976 and again in 1980, the arcade suffered extensive fire damage. In appearance, if not function, it was restored.

The Strand is the last survivor of five glorious arcades built between 1881 and 1892 , faithfully reproducing the galleries of Paris and London. The other four were: the Royal Arcade; the Piccadilly Arcade; the Victoria Arcade; and the Imperial Arcade. Many of them were designed by Thomas Rowe, after whom Rowe Street - may it rest in peace - was named.

Developers, nowadays, seem to raze entire city blocks en-masse and build interconnecting passageways here, there, and everywhere. These are NOT arcades ... (sniff, sniff).

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Parsley in flower

This is my Italian, or flat-leafed, Parsley. I used to only grow curly-leafed Parsley, but my daughter - our chef - only likes the Italian version. So, flat-leafed it is, then!

But it went to seed. Quickly. We used it, but not fast enough. Quite beautiful, is it not? To my eye, it resembles the Queen-Anne-Lace that I saw along the roadside when I spent two weeks in Saint-André-de-Roquepertuis, in the Languedoc, in the south of France.

Perhaps, it is just wishful thinking on my part ...

Friday, 21 November 2014

Herbal jungle

Here are four of the herbs I have in my front garden this season:

(Above): Oregano, which I use for anything remotely Italian;

(Left):Rosemary, which is great with lamb, although lamb is very expensive;
(Left): Basil, which is a great all-rounder, but also excellent in tomato salads, and, of course, in pesto, although pine-nuts cost the earth;

(Below):Chives, which I love, together with Spring Onions, and Silver-beet (aka Spinach) in a Risotto.

Yes, the purple flowers have dropped from the Jacaranda that straddles our western fence.

Two of these herbs are attached to a trellis on said fence, in the newest rage, a vertical garden.

Tomorrow, I will show you what happened to my Parsley.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Tangerine dream

My grand-daughter, Juliet, is 13 months old. She is just starting to paint, and express herself. The soundtrack to this work is a succession of gasps and giggles as she realiees what she is doing, and that SHE is making the marks appear.

Umm ... she was a mess by the end, especially when she tried to wash her hair with the paint-brush.