Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing.
Today’s writer/gardener guest is Cindy Tomamichel from “Down Under” and will be sharing some insight on what gardening is like on the bottom of the globe.
Catherine, thanks for having me! What a great idea to find out about a garden from a writer’s perspective. I do enjoy reading about other people’s gardens, so I hope that my garden from Australia has some interest for others as well.
Since my last post on Catherine’s blog, I have moved to a small town in rural Australia. From the suburbs to being surrounded by dairy farms has been a big shift!
The area is different soil (sandy and rocky) and drier, so it has been challenging. The previous owner has established a large garden, full of beds of mixed natives and exotics. While it has been good to have something established, it also means a lot of plants have reached old age. The last few dry years have been very tough on gardens.
One thing of great interest is the change in wildlife. I have a bird feeder, and several water pots. So far I’ve seen cockatoos, galahs, corellas, rosella parrots, lorikeets, wattlebirds, wrens, honeyeaters and winter visiting bower birds.
We have also had a bower bird nest in the year, which was wonderful – I spent ages searching for bits of blue things to leave out for them to decorate the nest (see photo below).
We also have blue tongue lizards that must also be laying eggs, as we got an influx of baby ones last summer. A nocturnal possum gallops across the roof most nights, sounding like a baby elephant and freaking out the dog and cats.
This Summer was a bad one for local bushfires. We had quite few that started from lightning strikes in inaccessible forest areas, and they quickly threatened towns. We were safe enough, but the area was covered in dense smoke haze for days (see photo) and burnt gum leaves floated down into the yard, which made the danger seem very real.
Australian trees have adapted to bushfires over a long period of time. Many have seeds that only open with fire, or seeds that need smoke to germinate. A lot of gums have what is called epicormic shoots after fire, so even if the tree is burnt, green shoots appear along the trunk. Others have a thickened area at the soil surface called a lignotuber, and can sprout from this.
This Summer saw days over 40C (104F) and one day of 45C (113F). I set up a small sprinkler, and filled up some more water pots for the birds. I had over a dozen different species visit during the afternoon, including several cockatoos who just sat in the water. The garden suffered, with the leaves of fuchsias simply shrivelling up, and quite a few trees got scorched leaves. I have been replacing dead plants with ones that survive, mostly natives, but other hardy exotics such as succulents, rosemary and Chinese lantern bushes also do well with little water.
I used several photos of local gardens and plants in my book “5 Minute Vacations”, and often post photos on my Instagram account.
About the Writer/Gardener:
Cindy Tomamichel is a multi-genre writer. Escape the everyday with time travel action adventure novels, scifi and fantasy stories or tranquil scenes for relaxation.
I have a time travel romance series Druid’s Portal, set in Roman Britain, with the second in the series due out May, 2019. My “5 Minute Vacations” makes a lovely gift, and is designed to help you relax with scenes of nature and peace.
Amazon Author page: https://amazon.com/author/cindytomamichel
Five Minute Vacations
by Cindy Tomamichel
Need a break?
You are not alone.
Instead of reaching for another coffee, take a short journey with me. We will visit places where you can replace some of your current stress with a moment to cherish.
No exercises to do. No program to follow. No guilt for not being a better person.
Just relax into these tranquil scenes, and give your mind a five-minute vacation. In these pages, you can escape from the everyday, and find your happy place.
You can find Five Minute Vacations at Amazon