Sunday, 29 June 2014

We were there, now we are here!

For the past week, AGA and I have been recovering from jet lag.
We are at present in Melbourne for a few weeks, visiting the family and preparing for our migration in December.
It is a difficult time because AGA's father is still a very ill man.  It has become quite clear that he can no longer remain in the family home because he needs 24 hour care.  At present he is in a local hospital for respite care and it is unclear how long he will remain there as he is recovering from a fall he had a few day ago.  This creeping form of cancer is a terrible thing.  We go to see him every day at present but usually he is too tired to speak more than a few words at a time, and by the end of half an hour he has drifted off to sleep in his wheelchair.

* * * * * *

To counteract the jet lag that a 30 hour journey (including three stops en-route) gives one, we have tried to keep ourselves busy, especially in the garden.
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet we were able to go online in Germany and order plants for our garden in Melbourne.  They arrived the other day in two large cardboard boxes:

Inside the were treasures!

And more treasures!

And there were these:

At first I thought they were dead but they came with this sign:

Then, down to Bunnings (a local hardware/nursery chain that we LOVE) for some potting mix and some dried cow manure:

. . . because we have pots to fill!
These are known as 'citrus pots' and will one day be home to lemon trees when we build a new house.  In the meantime our small lemon tree grows in a more modest pot:

We planted a few parma violet seedlings in this pot but underneath are lots of bluebells.  We are ophinh they will put on a lovely display when they grown and flower:

Meanwhile, the camellias are in full bloom:

There is plenty of work still to do!


  1. Your citrus pots are gorgeous, and practical. Lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits and clementines are easy to grow in the back yard. They smell wonderful, taste great, suit Melbourne perfectly and create delicious jam.

  2. It is interesting that such plants are allowed in. I suppose the company prepares especially for such markets. We saw some lovely peony roses in Germany.

  3. Hello Kirk

    I am happy that you have the garden to occupy you during this trying time for AGA's father.
    I shall keep you in my prayers. How exciting that you have all those wonderful bulbs to plant and I will be eagerly looking forward to seeing them in bloom
    Sleep well

    Helen xx

  4. Dear Kirk - a whole heap of emotions going on here - the huge sadness and distress surrounding AGA's father, tiredness, but then the excitement and anticipation of your future in Melbourne, and the flowering of all those lovely plants to look forward to next spring.
    I thought that you must have gone on a sojourn to the other side of the world.

  5. Hello Kirk,

    All change!

    This is obviously quite a worrying time for you all with AGA's father's condition worsening. We are so sorry and know from our own experiences that coping with the endless rounds of hospital visiting and the stress can be extremely exhausting. You must take care of yourselves.

    The garden can, most certainly, be a source of distraction and support at these times. Wonderful that you have so many good things to plant and to look forward to their flowering. Growing things can be a real source of joy and happiness and we wish this for you both as you make the transition back to Melbourne.

  6. Good morning Kirk! I am sorry to hear that AGA's father is experiencing this - and that both of you as well are having to endure the grief of seeing him suffer. May all the days you share be special.

    To plan, plant and watch things grow from their dormancy is a miracle, and may these special moments inspire you. So good to see you! Anita

  7. Hello Kirk, I admire all of your energy. Even with work and keeping up with art and music, you still have time for cooking and gardening.That is a great photo of the camellias, and that lemon tree looks very fresh and inviting.

    I am sorry about the health problems in your family, and am hoping for the best. Otherwise, have a great stay in Australia.

  8. Dear Kirk,

    First of all, I wish AGA's dad comfort and peace, and I imagine that your arrival and visits are the very best medicine that he could ever hope for.

    And I am glad that at this very hectic time you are willing and able to share all that is happening. Such a momentous move certainly has the possibility of a wonderfully fresh start, and I hope that is the case. I know much is going to happen between now and December, but I will say it now — have a good move!


  9. Such a strange period for the two of you. Joy and sadness. Hope Aga's father is not in too much pain. Thinking of you!

    Take care,

    Madelief x

  10. So sorry for what AGA's father is going through and for everyone around him as well. His sleep is a blessing. I hope the pain can be minimized. Smart of you guys to keep yourselves busy with creating beauty and life at the same time.

  11. I've never ordered plants by mail, Kirk. So interesting to see how they're packed and how they arrive looking shriveled and done for. :)

    I'm sorry to read about your friend's elderly father. It's so sad when family members get old and infirm and beyond day to day help at home. Both my parents were very elderly when they passed away (my dad was 89 and my mom 92) but luckily by the time they, each in their turn, were really sick and needing all around care, they were mercifully gone. 'Old age is not for sissies.'

  12. Your Lemon looks so healthy and vibrant. You must feed it well! Sorry to hear of your stressful time. Thinking of you both. David.

  13. Thinking about you both, and sending positive energy!

  14. Dear Kirk, you posted this in June and it's August now so I'm not sure if you are still in Australia. I do so hope that AGA's father is feeling better and that the side effects of the fall have dissipated.

    I never realized that even a young and small lemon tree could have so much fruit. I so admire your endeavor to make a garden there as you get ready to move. I hope you are having time just "to be" also. Peace.

  15. Finally I am back in circulation and wanted to say thank you for all of your kind comments.