Being Home: What's Going on in My Winter Garden

It is good to be home, although my psyche is adjusting somewhat. I'm not sleeping well - awaking to dogs barking down the road and the banging of workers on the trainline (why do they do works at night?) and other noises that normally don't wake me. It's like I'm waking wih a shock, wondering where I am.

The birds remind me where I am. On the first morning out, standing on the kerbside in Footscray waiting for my son to pick us up, I heard a maggie warble at the dawn. It felt like a homesong and I cried with that emotional part of myself that feels things so keenly. It would be better to be detached, but I've always found that difficult. The New England honey eaters nuzzle into the banksia, yellow candles of light in the winter. Unlike England, there is much colour in this southern part of Australia. The yellow flashes of their wings are cheery. I've missed them, and the magpies that hang playfully off the gums, fooling around.



The banksia I planted last year - the orange one below - only showed one flower the first season, but this season there's about six spectacular cones - enough to bring one or two inside for cut flowers. And the smaller varieties, the groundcover banksia (a variety called Birthday Candles) is cheerfully out too. How I've missed the strange beauty of Australian natives.


It's been very frosty the last few mornings. Our house lacks double glazing, so it's very cold inside as well as out. I get up anyway, leaving the warmth of the bed, to walk around like a fool in the frost, in the magical wonderland of white. The calendula that greeted me so sunnily don't fail in the frost at all - they simply look more magical. They won't ever die, it seems - only in the heat of summer. I'm drinking a lot of calendula and lemon verbena tea, constantly harvesting and drying them. I got home just in time to harvest the lemon verbena before it lost it's leaves.



Although the horseradish didn't survive the housesitters or the bugs, the white sage is thriving. I'm thrilled to have this magical cousin of the garden variety gracing the garden with silvery beauty. It nestles in between the lavender, which is in full flower too.


Everything bows under the frost, even the heavy artichoke leaves. Again, they'll bounce back in the sunshine by lunchtime - anything truly frost intolerant has died off or been snipped at the base for the compost - tomatoes, eggplants and pumpkins are long gone, as are the zucchini. Sadly the housesitters didn't plant the things I would have planted a month ago - lettuce, kale, cabbage - but they'll grow soon enough.


The broad beans have self seeded this year and I let them go for the crop but also to keep the soil fed. I pull the ones from the garlic patch. Left untended, I'm not sure I'll have the big crop I usually get, but since my garlic is spread out with friends all over the shire, I'm sure I can get more seed crop for next year's planting.


A friend flies over with his plane and gets a shot of my house from above. It's nice to get the confirmation of what I see on the ground - the once bare block is becoming a bush block.

I've weeded and weeded and weeded, putting the weeds in the vegetable patch under a sheet of black plastic to rot down and stay local. I've sourced some horse manure to add to the compost, trying to get as much created now so come mid Spring I can be laying it down where I need it. I've collected all the fennel seeds from the self seeded fennel and the garlic chives, and cooed over the bounty of lemon and limes that are doing so well. Fresh lime and lemon in winter is a blessing.

There's so much to do here, and I'm glad I'm home at this time of the year. So many projects are best done at this time of the year, when the weather is cool, ready for the Spring. I'm debating the worth of a polytunnel, and wondering whether I shouldn't just wait for a cheap second hand greenhouse to come up on online marketplaces or word of mouth. I'm listening to podcasts about regeneration of land, mycellium in the soils, stacking functions. My nails are constantly dirty again, the soil biome mixing with my own.

Yes, I'm glad I'm home.

With Love,

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Love the shots of the banksia and the honeyeater. :))

I love reading garden posts from the other hemisphere, the seasons are so different. In winter here, just after Christmas, everything would be freezing solid, probably 2 - 3" of frost in the soil. Nothing survives here unless it is a perennial for Zone 4. Certainly nothing is flowering.

I am glad you are home and able to be out in the garden!


It's always crazy seeing each other's spaces from the other side of the globe in different weatherzones!!! I was almost in a similiar time/weather zone as you for a while! Yes, we are lucky - we get hard frosts, but never snow, and the Australian flowers certainly don't seem to mind. We can even grow lettuce out here year round!

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Stunning images @riverflows. Can't imagine the garden work facing you.... and yes, it's normal for some things to naturally wither from neglect or whatever while another thing thrives. Your sage looks simply glorious.

Doesn't it look divine? It was one of the first plants I checked. It's all done very well, thanks to my beautiful doula housesitters! They were so reluctant to leave, bless them. She's still ssending me messages askign about the chickens and the garden, so I'm sending her updates every few days! It was nice to get back to a house infused with loving energy, and whilst the work is constant, I don't mind my hands in the dirt! Thanks for your beautiful comment.

!engage 25

Especially that last paragraph made me smile :>)

I'm happy for you, Kylie

and I have to admit that it is - indeed - good to be home, as long as we keep focusing on the things that we love, as much as we can.

Big hug,


Thanks darling. I know we are both at home at kind of the same time - what a journey it's been. So sorry we never met up IRL. Sending you virtual hugs, my fellow HSP. x

:<) ❤️

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Although I´m not an aussie I know exactly how you felt. I always feel like this if I arrive to Australia. The Magpies are usually the first birds I hear as well. You must be so happy to be back home. I really hope I do not have to go through the same shit when we return but so far everything looks fine.

Enjoy the winter days. Hope you can catch some waves soon ;)

How's Germany??? When are you back in Australia? I wouldn't recommend hotel quarantine and I think they'll make you pay for it too. HOpefully things return to a semblance of normal next year.

I´m still in OZ. I meant if we return home to germany most likely on 2nd august. we still haven´t booked a flight as we need to wait a few days due to visa regulations.

In germany it depends on the state you live in and in which country you´ve been. So far it looks like no quarantine for us but you never know as rules are changing all the time.

OHHHHHHHHHHHH I thought you'd gone home, but I knew you'd been there for a while. Yeah, god, I hope you don't get quarantine but I cant see Germany doing that.

Good luck!!!!

!Engage 10

what are those birds eating? It is like a big bunch of cotton candy... (^_^)

Oh, it's a banksia, which is an Australian flower! The other two flowers are also banksia, just different sorts. Cool, huh?

Wow! Amazing... It's my first time seeing this kind of flower...

They truly are alien things - not the classic shaped flower at all! They always make people do a double take and say wow! Very prehistoric, in a way, and very particular to this country.

Beautiful! The Pachamama in her splendor.

Without a doubt, every corner of the world has beauty!

Very beautiful birds and flowers, nice shot, friend :)

Thanks very much - it's with my favourite lens.

Welcome..You are indeed great ;)

Getting your biome back, good to hear, keep those hands dirty. Sounds like a part of you is still used to UK background noise.

Yes I think it takes a while to tune back in, in more ways than one. YOu'd know this, being a global traveller. xx

Amazing pictures, thanks, for sharing this Beauty. May it energize and heal you :)

You are welcome. I feel it seeping into my shadows already!

Good to hear, may the Light flush ‘em out ... Sent you note in discord, btw 🤓

Your garden gave you such a lovely welcome home!
So much happening for a winter garden and so different from what I have at home where wintertime becomes a time for a break as everything lays dormant under the snow - that is unless you've invested in an indoor garden then you can garden all year long!

Thanks for sharing - love seeing what's happening in your Australian garden!

YOu'll get many more posts than this, that's for sure - the garden is all I can talk about pretty much, as we can't go anywhere at the moment lol.

Glad to see you back home and enjoying your space and surroundings my dear. Wish you love and lot of warm energies.💚

Thanks gorgeous, and right back at ya!

What awesome vibes of home. Winter is far from our mind here, but we'll switch out soon enough. It's weird how the summer or winter day lasts forever and it's opposite is almost unfathomable, but it's only three short months.

How quickly the human mind adjusts to time constraints, and gets suprised when they end!!! What! A year already! What! Summer's already over? What! Summer's already here!

Lol we can barely keep up with ourselves and the silly names we give things 😂