Changing Seasons December and the year that was 2019


How quickly this year has flown by. It has been a busy one. It started with a visit to my family in New Zealand. Always a pleasure and a joy.DE5B352F-1DBC-4E70-86AC-597E91E08ECEApril we spent 5 unforgettable days of intense creativity at an art workshop in Grafton, learning the new skill of line and wash drawing, under the guidance of our talented charismatic and quirky tutor  Cees Sliedrecht

Being shown how

I so enjoyed the experience of being totally immersed in art that I jumped at the opportunity to attend another 5 day art retreat in July. This time in Tumbulgum a quaint little village in the Tweed Valley. This time it was learning the finer details of acrylic painting. (I have already booked a water colour workshop for us in July 2020)…



Being immersed in art and surrounded by like minded people at these workshops had my creative juices flowing, so back home both Jack and I spent more time in artistic pursuits, drawing, painting, visiting art galleries and consequently my blog took a back seat and for the rest of the year I only produced one post a month and that was dedicated to keeping a record of our garden, another passion and love of my life.

In the past 18 months there has been quite a change on the garden front. It was a shady tropical landscape But  I decided it needed a make over and a new look. To create the native/cottage look and grow more vegetables more light would be needed. The palms were really taking over blocking out the sun. They would have to go…

The photo below is Jack clearing the palms 18 months ago (see the action here)

garden pruning 008_3000x4000

What a difference it has made. Here is what it looks like now bathed in sunlight…garden december 039_5184x3888The Poinciana is the star of the show this month with its flamboyant red flowers welcoming you into the garden. The pumpkin struggled to survive needing copious water and being treated constantly for powdered mildew. But it managed to produce 2 pumpkins.

The central bed has been a blaze of colour all spring, but now in the constant heat of the relentless sun (no shade now) the spring annuals have finally finished their productive cycle and been relegated to the compost bin. But their babies are carrying on with self seeded marigolds popping up everywhere.seedlings 001_5184x3888

Below is this centre bed in September (see more here), spring time over here.

But the bromeliads did not like the full sun and scorched quite badly. So it is now going to be a change of plan…

I have removed the broms from the top. (you can see in the second photo how scorched they were.) And it is going to be transformed into a rockery, watch this space, a work in progress…

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The area has been cleared of annuals and just the perennials left, but, oh dear, look at the Pentas. The caterpillars have ravished them. I don’t mind too much as I love to see butterflies and without caterpillars there would be none. They haven’t found the other Pentas in another part of the garden. Yet…

There is one shady corner, native violets, busy lizzie and cat’s tail Acalypha make a pretty show.

Most of the veggie growing has been put on hold till summer is over. But the eggplant/aubergine soldiers on, and the new strawberry plants are being hidden under netting to protect them from predators. garden december 028_5184x3888Jack’s Desert Roses simply adore this weather and the third generation of seeds are loving the heat and humidity in the green house. Jack is also experimenting with grafting.

garden december 026_5184x3888

On the climate front we have been so lucky to miss the bush fires that have been causing havoc in large parts of the country. And being near the ocean the sea breezes keep the temperatures to a bearable mid 30’s. After last months total absence of rain this month 73mm have fallen in this area. Though many areas are in total drought and have been for years, with dams starting to dry up around the country.

I will finish with a gallery of what is in flower this month.

These final photos are of the Pony Tail Palm it has been here for 20 years and for the first time it is putting up a flower spike. I’m looking forward to seeing it open. Hope it doesn’t mean it is going to die…

dec garden 017_3888x5184dec garden 018_3888x5184

Well that is 2019 all over. Thank you Su for hosting this monthly challenge, take a look here for what other bloggers from around the world have done in December. This is a great opportunity to keep a record of the changes.

As I post this 2020 has arrived here in Australia. I wish all my “blogging buddies” a fantastic year ahead, thank you all for visiting my blog and I really appreciate your comments. Health and happiness to you all.


    • Thanks Tina I may be more active in the blogging world this coming year. I am so thankful we have been spared from the terrible catastrophes around the country at the moment


  1. Great post thanks for revising all our activities for the year.
    It has been a wonderful year for us, we had a couple of frights, that reminded us we are mortal and to enjoy every moment.
    We will endeavour to make 2020 a good one and wish everyone all the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Sylvia. I was given the Pony Tail Palm as a small pot plant as a moving in gift back in 1998. The friend has since died so it has special significance to me as I think of my friend every time I look at it. Best wishes to you for the coming year

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How wonderful to see a post from you today and to see all the beauty you and Jack have created a/o nurtured this last year (and in years prior, of course.) I’m thankful the fires have missed you and certainly pray for rain to come soon. May the upcoming year be crammed full of blessings!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have so enjoyed strolling in your garden this year Pauline, and reading about your art adventures. I’m glad that you and Jack are finding time for art and look forward to seeing your creativity in that realm also.
    Wishing you both a very happy, healthy year ahead, filled with creativity, fun and plenty of water.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your garden is fabulous and forever evolving, I love the energy you and Jack put into it and your artistic talents. I am so glad that your health scare has not turned into anything more serious and I wish you and Jack a healthy and happy 2020 and hope that at last I shall make it over there and be able too visit you both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jude I would love to have you visit and we can sit and chat on one of the garden benches. I hope your health improves and I send best wishes for you and your family


  5. Happy new year dear Pauline .. yours and Jacks immense diligence and work has paid dividends in your beautiful garden . It’s a showcase as to what can be achieved .
    Lovely to hear and catch up every now and then to your arty creative doings here’s to more in 2020 😉
    I’ve been watching the new feeds about the devastating fires further south .. such loss .. and sadness let’s hope things resolve sooner rather than later .
    Love Poppy x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely to hear from you Poppy, hope you are keeping well. Will you be doing any blogging this year? I missed seeing your posts “pop” up in the reader. The fires are just catastrophic and cannot see any end to them.


      • I’m definitely working on it all Pauline .. it feels quite a challenge but am determined . There . I’ve said it Lol Thank you … it’s always a boost to find old blog friends who remember me and are so welcoming however long I’ve been awol 😉 xx


  6. A year of creating art and gardens–what could be better? I’m so happy to hear that your health is good and that you are not in the fire zone. So much devastation, it’s heartwrenching. All the best to you and Jack for the new year. I hope it’s full of love, fun, and beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have had a great year. Lovely to hear from you Brenda. I keep watching for an update blog from you…. Best wishes and have a good year of gardening and creative crafts


  7. Your garden looks like a paradise! And such a treat for my eyes over here in the northern hemisphere! (Although winter foliage has its own charms) Happy to see you also had an artistic year–your line and wash drawings from the linked post were fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, lovely to have you drop by for a ray of sunshine after all the rain you are having in the “old country”. Rather hard to do any gardening in the UK at the moment. Hope your winter is a short one

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Poinciana is spectacular! However, I have seen only a few, and only in San Diego. There are supposedly some in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara too. I can not imagine why it is not more popular in Southern California. It may not be resilient to the mild frost here I don’t know. It does not get very cold here, but some tropical plants are very sensitive to even a slight bit of frost.

    Liked by 1 person

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