• Daily Life

    Mini Miracle

    One of the tiniest, daintiest, cutest little creatures I get to deal with has a back story of incredible strength and resilience, having bounced back from the brink of death to literally be thriving. I’m referring to our dwarf wattle, who is blooming brilliantly in what is proving to be a remarkable journey testifying to the power of nature. The wattle, a miniature shrub version of the better-known acacia trees like the golden and silver wattle, was grown from seed that I brought back from Australia. The dwarf wattle seeds initially sprouted extremely well, but I made the mistake of…

  • Daily Life

    Bouquets!

    Mrs. Kangaeroo never ceases to amaze me with her brilliance in whatever she turns her hand to (the sole exception being her choice of men, but let’s not point out that one too much!). Today, it’s bouquets to her. Or, from her, to be more accurate. Our wattle trees are finally starting to bloom thickly, if not quite spectacularly, but Australia’s national flower still looks wonderful as it signals the onset of spring in Kangaeroo Corner from its silver and golden varieties. Early this morning, Mrs. Kangaeroo instructed me to bring her a couple of branches, and I acceded immediately.…

  • Daily Life

    Garden of Weedin’

    Spring has sprung (for today) at least, and the garden at Kangaeroo Corner looks resplendent thanks to early morning weeding, a mow and planting plenty of new plants. Weather helped, too, with delightful sunshine and warmth as the temperature topped 20 for the first time this year. I had planned to transplant some plants bought over the winter next week, when we have a holiday, but circumstances conspired against me and I won’t be able to do it that day, so things turned out perfectly by forcing me outside from just after dawn. With last year’s lawn woes in mind,…

  • Daily Life

    Bloomin’ Slow to Flower

    Argh, the wait for the spring blossoms to bloom in Kangaeroo Corner is proving to be annoyingly long. As noted yesterday, my gut feeling is that this year has been dark, even if it was a warmer than usual winter. And the bleak, cloudy nature of many days has, in my opinion, delayed the onset of flowers and blossoms in the garden. My unofficial Fountain of Strewth Meter attests to this feeling. The solar-powered fountain spouted consistently over the winter last year. It’s performance was sporadic this year, though. I thought it had something to do with the motor, but…

  • Daily Life

    Budding (and Blurred)

    Spring can’t come quick enough, not just for me, but also for the blossoms in Kangaeroo Corner. For weeks now there have been signs of flowering in the garden. The silver wattle (acacia dealbata) has shown signs of budding since at least the middle of February, looking to repeat its wonderful bloom from last year when the tree turned into a series of puffy, yellow flowers. Next to it, the golden wattle (acacia pycnantha) seems poised to burst forth in a blaze of aureate befitting its third year in the garden and flying the flag as Australia’s national flower. Also…

  • Daily Life

    Glistening…

    Today greeted me with the pitter-patter of raindrops (and a hefty dose of demotivation), so I spent the predawn hours vegging out with the idiot box on and gazing into the garden, appreciating the raindrops glistening on the leaves. In days of yore, I wouldn’t have been deterred by the not-quite-drizzle level of the rain and just gotten on the bike. I should have done it today, too. But I am struggling to see and have lost my nerve, particularly when cornering or riding on potentially slippery surfaces. It was enough to keep me sedimentary. So was a demoralizing public…

  • Daily Life

    A Fern Native Action

    Some massive changes at Kangaeroo Corner this week, which is pretty apt for the early summer, but there has been some man-made actions, too, with a tree fern poised to take center stage. As mentioned earlier this week, the nandina had to go as it was killing all the other trees. We got a bloke in who meticulously removed the tree. He gently cared for the golden wattle and alpine cedar gum located precariously closely to the powerfully spreading endemic plant. And it seems he has saved these two trees. We then had a powerful typhoon that sent ceaseless rain…

  • Daily Life

    Wattle Day

    It’s officially Wattle Day in Japan today, and I’m absolutely delighted to have a thriving wattle growing in our garden. I guess a little explanation is necessary. March 8 is Mimosa no Hi, literally, the Day of Silver Wattle. The flowers mark International Women’s Day, and the idea of giving women silver wattle (called mimosa outside of their native Australia) emanated from an Italian communist politician in the 1940s because the beautiful yellow flowers were more readily available than other floral items frequently presented to women around the world at the time. It’s not a national holiday in Japan, and…

  • Daily Life

    Wattle Happen Next?

    It’s becoming increasingly clear that spring is not too far away, and the wattle tree in Kangaeroo Corner is giving hints of something about to spring into action. March, which starts tomorrow (der!), is traditionally a coldish month, with a warm day every few days here and there. This winter has been mild, especially when compared to the chilly one last year. But it’s still too bloody cold for too bloody long for my liking. Nonetheless, starting today we have a week of relatively warmer weather forecast. And I’m excited for the garden, particularly our wattle tree, which looks poised…