Changing Seasons : July 2020

July is mid-winter in Australia, but the weather here is glorious. Day after day of sparkling sunny perfection. The air is crisp and the light is clear. The nights are cool and extra blankets give a  relaxing, sound sleep.

I have tried to capture that clear light and vivid blue sky. This “fire sticks succulent” glows like a beacon in the late afternoon sun as I approach our garden.

Since March the Queensland borders have been closed to the world and the rest of Australia and since May the only Covid cases in Queensland have been reported from incoming travelers, and they have been promptly placed in hotel quarantine to control any spread.

So July was the month that restrictions due to Covid 19 were slowly and cautiously lifted. The borders were opened and carefully monitored by police and border patrols checking every car, interstate travelers were allowed in.

That is all but Victorians. They are experiencing a terrible second wave, hundreds of new cases every day and many deaths, sadly, mainly from the age care homes. Consequently that state is in lock down from the rest of Australia.

But for Queenslanders things started to come back to a semblance of normal. Cafes and restaurants opened for dining (but with restricted numbers, and “social distancing”). Travel was unrestricted within our state, gyms, hairdressers, schools and many more businesses opened. Hand sanitizers were everywhere.

I reveled in the opportunity to visit friends and family, to lunch out, to go for day trips to nurseries. Get my hair cut. My art group started its weekly art sessions. Monthly calligraphy meetings are all go again. And, of course, I still spent many hours in the garden.july garden jack and birds 005_2669x3238

Jack’s shoulder is making a slow recovery and the specialist has said he will not need an operation, much to our relief, but he still has regular physio sessions.

So July has been a busy month and the blog has most certainly been put on the back burner for a while.

The beginning of the month was very dry, no rain, and then last week we had a torrential down pour, 120mm over 3 days, but the garden loved it and everything perked up, and I don’t have to worry about watering for a while. july garden jack and birds 029_5184x3888The Snowflake bush, in the top right corner, has finished flowering, and has now been pruned.

The new “peaches and cream” Grevillea are now bathed in light.

These are some other flowers flaunting their beauty around the garden.

july garden jack and birds 032_3888x5184In the above photo, on the left hand side, the annual paper daisies are just starting to show flower buds and the vivid orange Kalanchoe is another beacon of light. But on the right hand side, that mass of green leaves have been quite a mystery. Jack nipped a tiny 2 inch slip from a plant (I will not tell you where from…!!!) brought it home and before we knew it was spreading everywhere. This week the flower buds are starting to open.013_3888x5184 What a strange looking flower. I have a plant finder app on the IPad and it identified it as “Plectranthus Amboinicus”, so, of course,I Googled it.

Common name: Cuban oregano

Other common names: Ajwain leaf, Broad leaf thyme, Country borage, French thyme, Indian borage, Indian mint, Mexican mint, Soup mint, Spanish thyme, Three in one

 

Use

The leaves are used as a fresh-cut herb, especially in Latin American, Filipino and Vietnamese cookery. They are mostly finely chopped and added to meat, soup and bean dishes, especially gamey meats, fish, black bean stews (a common fare in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean) and make a good substitute in recipes calling for dried oregano, such as poultry stuffing, pizza and pasta dishes. They are not easily dried, due to their high oil content.

Health use

The leaves contain high level of the chemical compound Carvacrol, which has been shown to have anti‐inflammatory properties and a relaxant effect on the respiratory tract. It is used in remedies for treating asthma and chronic cough.

BREAKING NEWS, ON THE TV TONIGHT... with the virus starting to appear in Sydney our Premier has declared any one from the greater Sydney region (5 million people) will not be allowed into Queensland. The police have just tracked down 3 very irresponsible 19 year old females who flew in from Melbourne a week ago with false information on their border declarations. And they tested positive. They have been taken into isolation and will be charged with criminal offences. They have been going to work as cleaners at a school, moving around going to restaurants, shopping centres and various other places. It is causing great concern.   There is the possibility that our borders could close again.

So Covid 19 still dominates our thoughts. Starting the month feeling quite positive, really appreciating doing the small every day things, almost getting back to normal, ie lunching with friends, getting a haircut, going for a days outing. But now realizing how fragile that positivity is.

*****************************

Su at “Zimmer Bitch” hosts this monthly “changing seasons”. I really appreciate the opportunity to record the months happenings. And as the years go by it makes interesting reading for me to look back and compare how things change and yet how they stay the same with the monthly cycle in the garden marking the changing seasons from year to year.

 

 

57 comments

    • I had a chuckle at the “impertinent” they sure are, real characters.
      Unfortunately jack lifted a heavy concrete Buddha and has torn his shoulder and roter cuff tendons. Of the 4 that are there he’s torn 3 of them totally away from the bone. So only has one left working… ouch… but he is doing lots of exercises to strengthen existing muscle. Specialist is pleased with his progress.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so glad that Jack’s shoulder is healing, and especially that he won’t need surgery.

    I read about those young women bringing Covid into Queensland and wanted to weep. When so many people are making sacrifices — large and small — to contain the virus, I struggle to understand how a few people can be so incredibly stupid and selfish. Hopefully the impact of their idiocy will be minimal, but honestly …. Grrrr.

    Your garden looks lovely as always and I’m excited to learn about Cuban Oregano. Sounds like my kind of herb.

    Wishing you and Jack a safe and enjoyable month ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it only takes a couple to put us back to square one. It has created panic in their local area, hundreds queuing for hours to get the covid test. I think the general feeling is they should be put in jail. They are going to be charged for a criminal act. Our premier won’t hesitate to shut things down if many more cases are found. Oh dear, one step forward. 2 steps back. Stay safe and keep positive Su.

      I think you would enjoy experimenting with my new herb..🥂

      Like

  2. I’ve never seen magpies getting as close as that. Our daughter and son in law have a few who come to their deck every morning and are hand fed, but they back off quickly as soon as they get their treat. It’s been disappointing to hear this week that a few people have been so selfish and irresponsible, and now have put us all at risk again. I really hope the law comes down hard on them. On the positive side, isn’t this mild weather great. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • These magpies have been coming round for quite a long time and Jack has so much patience with them.
      I hope they throw the book at those selfish women. As well as teaching them a lesson it may stop others trying to pull a stunt like that.
      The weather is certainly a positive, perfect for working in the garden, or doing anything outside.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That is excellent about the Covid-19 situation there. It is not so good here. People did not take it seriously enough, and in some regions, things are shutting down again. It is so infuriating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely colourful garden Pauline. My Nana had a magpie who used to follow her everywhere plus the dog and cats! Interesting reading regarding the herb, which reminds me I must go and buy some new plants for my pots. Here’s no more thoughtless people!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another wonderful Pauline post with great comments I like to read.
    I hope they can all stay safe especially Tony with Trump in charge.
    Don’t let Trump know about the medicinal properties of
    Cuban Oregano he will claim his found a cure.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely to see your garden again PP and hear the news about Jack. Hope he makes a good recovery though it sounds very painful. I never found physio much good for my joint ailments, but it sounds like it is working for him. I fear that younger people don’t take the Covid-19 seriously as they don’t get bad symptoms, but it is a shame they don’t think about other people. And here the holidaymakers are back and everywhere is far too busy for me to enjoy going out much so it’s back to semi-lockdown for us. The light is clear here too, which is why it is popular for artists to visit / live. Nothing like that clear blue sky! Stay safe and well and enjoy your socialising 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw the photos of the swarms of people on the beaches in the UK. Your weather sounds more like our summers. The world is going crazy. Yes stay home, enjoy your garden and stay safe. Thanks for the email lovely to hear from you.

      Like

  7. What a lovely gift to see this post – first b/c you’ve been quiet and that worried me… Now to see these images (and video which I will watch when back at the apartment) — such a joy… You have surely upgraded every single person’s happiness level with this post!

    Love from Ecuador to you and Jack!

    Lisa

    Liked by 2 people

    • dearest Lisa, so lovely to hear from you. What a heartwarming comment. I do hope you are keeping well and this Covid is not affecting your part of the world to badly. Stay safe love from us both.

      Like

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