Monday 14 June 2010

Weekly catch-up

I hope everyone has been enjoying a lovely weekend.  It's winter here so we've been spending some cosy evenings in the lounge-room cuddled up under blankets while watching DVDs. I managed another sketch in my nature journal using a reference photo I'd taken back in February.


watercolour and Pigma Micron pen in A4 sketchbook

We had some cold, icy winds for a couple of days in the latter part of last week and it made for a spectacular cloud display.

It was like a painted sky with stipples and sweeps....I was mesmerised!

Almost like a cottonball effect in large areas

I have good news on the lawn front. You all remember from this post where the landlord finally had a new drainage system installed which left us with basically no lawn? I had to then beg for some turfing which was done nearly two weeks ago.  They arrived at 7:30am sharp and got busy making LOTS of noise which went on for the whole day while they scraped and carted away the damaged lawn surface. They then laid topsoil over what was left in preparation for the new turf.  Those machines sure do cut down the workload for these guys.

The next day, they arrived early and laid the turf.  It feels like heaven to have decent lawn again after it was ruined from all the flooding back in February.  What a difference!

Our yard went from this -

to this -

From this -

To this -

From this -

To this -

We've been watering it daily for the past couple of weeks and it seems to have taken fine.  I'm a happy, little Vegemite again!   The down side is that the owner went with the cheaper option of grass and this particular grass (green couch) doesn't grow well in shaded areas.  The turf guy said that the green couch, in areas of high fences and narrow parts of house perimeters, will eventually die off.  From experience, I know this to be true.  Not much we can do about it although I've never understood why housing estate developers don't just cement or use gravel down the narrow strips of a house perimeter.  Green couch probably works out cheaper for them but, in the long run, they just waste money because the grass dies off and weeds take over....I guess, by the time that happens, it's somebody else's problem.

Today is a public holiday to celebrate the Queen's birthday which I believe is actually in April so I have no idea why we celebrate it in June.....crazy Aussies, I guess.   My Uncle who was visiting from England one year couldn't believe that we have a public holiday to celebrate the Queen's birthday when  apparently, they don't even do that in England.  We Aussies sure do like our holidays!   Rain is forecast for later in the day so that will be great for the new lawn.  As for me, I will probably just potter around at home and do a little painting and laundry.  It's already 9:30am and I'm still in my not the norm for me!

~ love, light and peace ~


  1. so glad you have lawn back!! Looking great!

  2. Hi Serena,

    I love the photos of the clouds. They are just beautiful. I am so happy to see that they finally put in the new front lawn and the back one too. I am really happy for you.

  3. Ha! Us Canadian's celebrate the Queen Elizabeth's birthday in May on Queen Victoria Day. I donno!

    Your sketches still wow me every time! It's something I wish I could master with your sucess. Oh well, practise makes perfect.

  4. Another great sketch. What a pretty bird. Glad you have your lawn again.

    It's just so weird thinking you are in the midst of winter...

  5. New grass...yeah!!!! Have you looked on Google to see if there is anything you can possibly do to keep it from dying off??? I would just keep after it with fertilizer, etc....whatever you can do. My one neighbor who is a horticulturist says we should fertilize our grass here (it is called St. Augustine grass) MONTHLY! I can't afford to do that...fertilizer here is very expensive this year!!! Anyway, I am very happy for your new yard, Serena!!! Congrats on this!!!

  6. Great sketch! You have such a touch with birds, Serena. Aggressive little birds! Are they really noisy?

    I LOVE the sky pictures. I am always gazing at the sky and I love clouds. These were fascinatingly ruffly. ;)

    And THRILLED to see the before and after pictures of the lawn!!! I hope it rained--for the lawn's sake. I am picturing your lawn rooting and you guys snuggled under blankets watching DVDs--hehe! ;)

  7. You got your lawn back!!! YAY! Love the bird you sketched. You amaze me. And those

  8. WE don't have holidays for none of her birthdays, or real one, or the official one. This weekend her offical weekend is marked by Trooping of the Colour and there is a Birthday Honour's List. Apart from that, life goes on.
    Lovely to see the green around your house again. Hope it all takes and you can enjoy the spring and summer out there

  9. Hi Mum,

    This is a great post!

    I love the sketch of the bird you, and the before and after shots of the lawn, but I can't stop looking at the pics of the clouds! I LOVE cloud pictures, especially when they are the way they look in the photos!

    Love Brad!

  10. i always thought it was odd that we celebrated the queen's birthday in may in canada...people usually don't know why they have the day off.just get drunk :p

    enjoy the day in your pjs

  11. We have mocking birds who behave in much the same fashion as your noisy miners! They even attack cats who threaten their territory.
    Love the clouds!! And I'm so glad you got your lawn problems solved, well almost. Could you re-seed the area when the grass eventually dies?

  12. In Italy there was an old saying...

    when you see clouds like that which resemble 'sheeps wool' it would mean that a good morning lay ahead.

    cielo peccorino = un buon matino

    it really is amazing!

    ciao bella
    creative carmelina

    I'm back with a full force of creativity and inspiration....come again!

  13. Serena,

    Lovely pics, as usual, you always seem to find the best and unusual shots...Just wanted to say thanks...I just picked up my "Pay It Forward" package. The chocolate cookies are to die for. I will be creating a post on my blog shortly...enjoy your day...Shelly

  14. Oh, those clouds! I can certainly see why you were mesmerized, Serena. Right now our sky doesn't look that blue, either -- the heat haze at 100+ degrees (about 38 C, I think), is muting the color. I certainly can't imagine cuddling up with a blanket at the moment. ;) But I'm glad you're enjoying the gentle pleasures of the restful, cool, dormant season.

    Yay for your new lawn! It looks like a whole different property. I do wish landlords would realize the benefits to be had from maintaining the landscaping around their homes. Ours is notoriously cheap, going so far as to only mow certain areas that are more visible from the street, and leaving the vicious, thorny brambles to take over in other portions. :(

  15. Thanks, everyone.

    Julie - that's the costs a lot of money to maintain a lawn and is near impossible to keep grass alive if it refuses to grow in shaded areas. 'Sir Walter' grass would have been ideal for the shaded areas around the house but it would have cost the landlord more money which was why he went with the cheaper option.

    Rita - I haven't noticed them being noisy but then I've only seen them for short intervals at local parks. Apparently, they are noisy though.

    Jane - Yep, that's what my Uncle said too. Weird that we have a day off to celebrate her birthday but England doesn't.

    Mary - These noisy minors do sound very similar to your mockingbirds as they have been known to harass smaller animals too. As we are staying on for another year, I am considering re-seeding the grass if it dies back from being in shade.

    Carmelina - what an interesting saying...I will remember that.

    Shelly - I'm so glad to hear your gift arrived safely. I hope you liked what I sent.

  16. Meredith - It sounds like it's much the same everywhere. Landlords don't mind taking the rent from you but they don't like to spend out money on the homes they rent. Here, we tenants are supposed to maintain lawns and gardens and we do...although it makes that job very difficult when grass just won't grow in shade and naturally, where grass doesn't grow, weeds take over. I will do my best to stay on top of it though.

    To be fair to our landlord though, he bought this house, brand new, believing that it would be protected from termites plus he didn't know the yard would be useless drainage-wise. He has put out a fair bit of money already so I guess he's trying to save where he can. I believe the builders should be held responsible for the poor drainage issues we had.

  17. Serena,

    I loved the picture and the write up about the Noisy Miner bird. This bird makes me think of our Mockingbird, which also is an aggressive bird.

    It will get together in packs and attack hawks, crows and any other bird that threatens their nesting.

    It's funny to watch a giant red tailed hawk being dive-bombed by a the much smaller Mockingbird:~)

    I'm pleased that you are GREEN again. I hope it will last. Stay warm!