Changing Seasons : April 2019

Dramatic changes are taking part in the garden. An old asbestos fence has been pulled down between us and the neighbour.

This is looking from the neighbours side. We decided to take out all the plants along the fence line. 20 years of Heliconia and palm tree growth was incredibly hard to dig out. Those Heliconias are certainly invasive and probably still left tubers behind which will sprout back as soon as the weather warms up again.untitled-1_5184x3888It is still a work in progress but I think the plants look good against this colour. The camellias are almost finished but the white blossom will show up against the dark fence. We are thinking of putting hibiscus along here. I have been given some cuttings which are being nurtured along. So watch this space.

Summer has well and truly gone. Autumn is half way through and our winter is looming on the horizon. But winter in the sub-tropics is a time of growth. So now it is time to clear all the summer annuals, prune all the trees and shrubs and prepare for the next wave of growth. Summer has been a fantastic season of rain and rampant growth, as I found out last month when I arrived back from New Zealand. (see here)

I’m almost reluctant to show you the garden as, at the moment, it is looking quite forlorn.untitled-2_5184x3888The summer annuals have been banished to the compost bin and this bed is being prepared for the winter annuals. I’m thinking of putting pansies in here, I love their happy little faces, might pop a few poppies at the back. The native shrubs are slowly making their mark but it will be a while before they take up the whole area.untitled-3_5184x3888Do you notice that bare trunk rearing up on the neighbours side behind the new fence? That is a bottle brush that used to fill in that whole area, it has been given a severe prune and is now letting in even more light which my new natives will love. The bird bath has gone round to the back garden and the lemon tree has been liberated from its pot to take up that space in the sun, (when it next appears!!!) Notice the lemons ripening on the tree?

More things are happening in the back garden, but it is rather like a wreckers yard at the moment so will leave that till next month to show you.

But it hasn’t been all gardening during April. Jack and I satisfied our artistic souls by attending a 5 day art course. 5 days, from 8-30am to 4-00pm, of intense creativity at a “line and wash” workshop.  Cees Sliedrecht, our charismatic and talented art tutor encouraged the 12 of us in the course to extend our abilities and produce twelve A3 works of art during the 5 days. We came home exhausted but so satisfied with the results.

Art Workshop
Cees Sliedrecht our fun loving tutor
Being shown how
Now it’s our turn

Here are some of our art. Six of mine and six of Jacks…


Once again the month has flown by and I am grateful to Su Leslie for hosting this “changing seasons” monthly challenge. A great opportunity and  prod to remind me to keep a record of the ever changing seasons as they whizz by. Looking back it is interesting to see how the garden changes.


  1. Oh, Pauline, you and Jack are such talented souls! Thanks for showing us your art, I always love to see it! And you are such tireless workers in the garden, too….

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  2. Such creative energy bursting through in this post, Pauline – even if parts of the garden are in a state of heavy makeover. Can sense all the plans bubbling away. But so good too to put down the spade for pencil and paintbrush. Lovely work, both.

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    • Yes the garden seems to go through regular chopping and changing and does, thankfully, make a quick recovery. I’ve been quite engrossed in my art since the course. Cees certainly got me fired up. So much so that we have signed up for another 5 day course, with another artist in July

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  3. So that’s where you’ve been, Pauline! Your garden is a work in progress, as you say, but you can see the master plan taking shape. That’s wonderful that you both enjoy art. I really like your architectural drawings!

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  4. Wow, I’m gobsmacked at how good you both are as artists! But seeing your garden, I know you have an artistic soul, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve never heard of a fence made of asbestos. Did you have to take special precautions to remove it? I really like the new fence.


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  5. Oh, Pauline, I love your line and washes, both of yours especially the architectural ones.

    I have no doubt you and Jack will the garden in beautiful shape for the Winter. I’m looking forward to seeing what goes next to the new fence.

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    • We are having more like NZ weather, plenty of rain (at least in this part of Australia) but I’m not complaining the garden loves it. Thank you for the kind comments


  6. I have said it before and I will say it again, you and Jack are so talented. Love your drawings. Especially Jack’s little cottage and the doorway. I am sure you will both work miracles in the garden and I look forward to seeing the results in the near future when you take us for a wander around the yard. Enjoy your next art course! Have fun 🙂

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  7. Is asbestos easy to get rid of? To remove the old floor in the kitchen of my former home, the room needed to be sealed off. Those entering the area to remove the floor had to wear sealed up space suits and respirators, and seal the doorway behind them when they entered. All the material they removed needed to be sealed in bags before removal, and the area needed to be vacuumed before they could open the seal. It was very expensive to dispose of the debris, with is considered to be hazardous material. It was a bit ridiculous for something that I had lived with for so many years.

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    • Yes much the same procedure for the fence removal. But of course couldn’t seal the area off, but had full protection suits on while we actually were gardening over the other side of the fence!!! We are still alive….

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  8. There is so much to see (I had to wait to be back online for the images to load 😦 ) and I will look at this again when home later today… Wow!

    First, it’s always hard for me to ‘undo’ something |I’ve planted, to first watch it grow and be nourished and doted on – until one day everything is crowded and needs a makeover…. I find it extremely hard, and I suspect it was difficult for you too.. Ah, but then the rewards are great, and keep getting better with each month as it adjusts to the changes.

    The art! Wow! I look forward to studying this at home! Thanks for this inspiring post!


    • Thank you Lisa for those lovely comments. It is hard to move things around in the garden, but we have a son just bought a house and has started gardening and loving it so my surplus plants have a good home to go too. We loved the art workshop so much and learnt so much, so have now booked in to another one in July. This time it is with acrylics. Not on the blog so much at the moment as gardening and art take up quite a lot of my time, but will pop over to see what you are doing.🤗


  9. I’ve been wondering where you’ve been, Pauline, and I can now see what has been keeping you busy. You’ve certainly made some changes in your garden, but it doesn’t look all that forlorn, just biding its time until the next growing period. What a talented pair you are with those lovely artworks.

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    • Gardening is an all absorbing pastime as you know Jane. Hope you are getting some better weather. Quite good here at the moment. Busy putting in winter annuals. Thanks for the kind comments

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  10. Pauline ! What hard work you’ve thrown yourself into since your return home . Love how your garden is coming along, a true revamp . Are thise pansies in yet ? Mine planted last Autumn in a tin bath are just about ready to go on the compost .It’ll be a trip to the garden center for Summer plants unless I too can find another plant to release. Certainly won’t be a lemon tree Lol
    Aha and now .. your paintings and Jacks . They are really lovely ! A delicate touch of the brush and pen indeed .. and next time Acrylics !
    Happy for you Pauline x

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    • So lovely to hear from you Poppy. Yes the pansies are in and doing well after I worked out how to keep next doors cat off them!!! The lemon tree is looking so much happier now it has been released. Thank you for your kind comments, I was so inspired by our lovely tutor at the art course that I have been doing quite a lot of sketching. I really looking forward to the next course. Are you still painting?


  11. Wow, Pauline. First, you have been working like crazy on your garden. I know it must be a lot of back-breaking labor, but a labor of love just the same. I also LOVE your artwork, and Jack’s too. That course sounds wonderful. I’m curious about sitting at the tables. Did you have something set up that you were painting from, or were you drawing from photographs or just from your imagination? I’m sure you are very proud! 🙂

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    • The course was fantastic, we loved it. We did go out and do 3 of the drawings “plain aire” and the other drawings were from photos our fabulous tutor supplied for us. Came home so inspired I’ve been doing more art and not really had much time for blogging, and of course this is a very busy time in the garden. I’m also booked into another 5 day art retreat in July, I’m addicted to them….thank you for your lovely comment


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