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Sexual betrayal, differences in a relationship and trauma. (may be triggering)

The following post may be triggering to some. If you wish to share this or any part of the following post you must acknowledge that the writing below is the opinion and comment of Tazzie Gee at .
The following is my response to another bloggers Post. All information on Martys blog is at the end of my post.

“What incredible research and statistics. My partner and I tried to be as honest and open in all areas of our relationship. Yet I feel as being his third long term partner, and one after a relationship with a woman who treated him terribly, our honesty and respect unconditional love and not fearing how our words would be taken wrongly allowed us to have a very deep level of love.

My partner had had prostate cancer and this impacted his ability at times, he was deeply ashamed of this. Worried how I would react. We were totally open about it. things improved greatly and he shared that with me he never felt in adequate or a need to perform.

I feel so little real information is shared honestly and openly about sex. The crap that is written in magazines and on TV in movies many books. Expectations and that it will be wonderful. The shame of body image. Aging, odours, natural odours that have the pheromones being sanatised and destroyed by chemicals.

The pornogrpahy industry showing ridiculous situations fantasies, and all that goes with it. Fictional and not reality but often the only way many see the sexual act displayed. Sigh.

Sex and sexuality, expectation and reality. Not being honest, not communicating about what you like, and how before you marry or commit to a relationship with someone who may not really be on the same page or need as you are in the sex department.

I know that my partner and I were very very lucky but we did work very hard at communicating and not judging. When he became ill with his cancer, he told me it would be OK if I had sex with someone else I told him how touched and appreciated I was by his very kind words. I told him it meant a lot to me but he meant more and I knew at this point in his life if I did that even with his blessing it would hurt him. I also told him that I was quite happy if I needed to to masturbate, something he quite enjoyed being present for. lol he found it fascinating.

I feel sex is one thing but a sexual relationship and a commitment to being a couple goes deeper than sex. Many women find masturbation satisfies them better than sex with their partner. Have they shared it with their partner maybe not.

I am a very open and willing person in relationships within reason and my being in charge of my situation(not sure that makes sense) So if any person I was in a relationship with say went off and had sex with say a paid sex worker or an affair. I would much prefer that it was a safe hygiene where the sex worker was not taken advantage off, but a ‘professional’ than if the person had an affair. Firstly I would want to know why my partner had done this, and what I was not willing to do to satisfy the need. If I was nt willing but the person told me and still needed that to help then it would be to me no different to other therapies that help people cope. It is a business transaction, not emotional. If it was an affair, why? would I want the person still to be in my life if they did not want to be with me, I dont think so. As I age Sex is important but it is such a transient thing dependent on so many things. Both parties feeling like it at the same moment, weariness, children, stress, work, finances, body image, making noise and disturbing neighbours, having different desires (consenting adults ones) comfort levels, education regarding sex. some people seeing it as a necessity but not enjoyable, other loving it. Not feeling satisfied by it. feeling inadequate.

It is really a tragedy that so much is put upon sex in a relationship. If you are really having such incredible issues in regard to your partners sexual needs (as long as they are in regard to consensual adults) than perhaps love is not what you have but a dream of what you thought it would be.

I believe you have to be honest before committing to live with someone. Be honest with yourself too. If you can not communicate about sex, openly with the person that might be a red flag.

I have never been married as I see it as a institution by the religious organisations to keep woman powerless and certainly in our history as chattels and owned by their spouses. Even now many religious services continue to have obey for the woman to say to the man but not the other way.

When in fact what you enter into is a a business of sorts. You are supposed to be today a partnership equal(cough cough choke choke)

Relationships like any business takes a lot of work, communication and give and take. Understanding of differences, and respect from both parties. No one owns the other person and or control anyone else. No one is better or worse. But sadly that is not what seems to be reality.

Marriages /relationships evolve over time, change heaps from the early days. My parent who did divorce, told us their children when we were all still a family, that imagine the person you think you are in love with is throwing up or has diarrhea and you have to help them. That they have an injury and can no longer have sex. Or their looks are disfigured would you stop loving them.

My way is not going to be anyone else’s way. We had trust, openness, respect, honesty,

We fought, we would work through the reasons we fought after wards, and we both learnt we were not mind readers. Accepting our minds thinking process, expectations understanding, cultural, age, gender and family upbringing along with our ideology of what our relationship would be was one of unconditional love. along with lots of laughter and communication and not the sort of we need to have a chat. Neither of us were uptight about sex.

Now my partner is dead (10 Years ) his legacy is I doubt I will have another relationship of live in, I know what I need and sex is not the most important thing in any real relationship as time goes bye. The thing I miss most is touch, the little touches that a couple have just in the day to day life, and laughter.

My partner and I were together 11 years, our actual time together was different to most couples in that I worked two nights a week, and stayed in Hobart to sleep on the day in between. Apart from that we were together five days a week. So we spent a lot more time together in our 11 years than most couples do who work five or more days/nights a week.

With exceptions of our personal activities. We never were concerned if one of us went to something with out the other. In fact we encouraged each other as enjoying our own time and hobbies social support friends and community involvement in my mind made us more appreciative of all we had as a couple. As we had very different interests and did not necessarily enjoy the social aspects that the other did.

I was not HIS and he was not MINE. We were two adults and our commitment was strong, yet we both knew having had relationships in the past they evolve, things happen and feelings can change. We committed that we were free to leave our relationship as long as we were honest and not angry. We both knew from past experiences there are feelings and changes we had known that indicate it might not be the best relationship to be in. My partner had been physically abused in one marriage, and his wife in his second had an affair with his best friend. In other relationships for both of us there was far more of us giving to the other party, and receiving very little from the other them.

You can not CHANGE ANYONE except yourself. If you are in a relationship and feel you can or are with someone and feel I can make her/him different. You can not. This would be an alarm to me.

I know there are people who manipulate others out there, by being someone very different in the beginning of a relationship and then once the other party has committed to she/he they change completely. DING DING DING, would be in my head. Yet I know for some people out there hope, love, and desire for the person they fell in love with abound to keep them in the relationship.
He /she is only like this when they drink, or take drugs. This will all impact on how you the other party feel and act, how sexual and sensual relationships are between you. How you work through the issues. If you can even bring up the issues. You can not change them, though they will change you by all sorts of ways. GET OUT TALK to someone and leave this person.

I do not have children, but my parents divorced and it took tooo long for them to do it. They waited until the youngest was in their mind old enough 15. I nannied children of divorce who were 4 & 5 and another family 7, 9, 3 It impacts us kids no matter what age it occurs. For me at 15 it seemed just as hard even though I understood the reasons they were divorcing, I had also witnessed the fights, the not coming home, heard the tears, and had the words of anger and betrayal about one party from the other. Yet these were both my parents whom I loved. It would have been better as a child not to have had to endure the years of all the pain and suffering both parties put on the other and us.
(added) Fear is often what is stopping us leaving a relationship. How will I manage, how will the kids be, what might my partner do. As hard as it is to leave surely it is so much harder to remain in a place that has little or no happiness, joy, respect, unconditional love. Pain violence, threats intimidation, abuse, being controlled in any manner are not a loving partnership relationship.

If you can not tell your boy/girl friend, partner/spouse that you are not happy with how they touch you during sex, or what you enjoy, that you love them and having sex with them is wonderful but if they can not bring you to orgasm and masturbation can especially self. This should not be a bad thing where any partner feels embarrassed or shamed. For some of us out there it is the way it is sexually and it is OKay.

It does not mean the other party is a failure or incompetent. It can be a time for sharing how to help each other receive the pleasure.

Some people do not enjoy sex, but enjoy the intimacy holding hugs and kissing. Having sex should not be seen in my view as a given in any situation.
If you are forced by your girl/boy friend to do something that makes you uncomfortable that is wrong. Very wrong against the law in fact. If you believe you are in love no one who loved you in return would treat you in this manner.

If you can never see yourself as being OK with any activity between consenting adults in your relationship than the person you believe yourself to be in love with will assuredly go in search of this from some other source.
Sex is part of life, and we must all be able to say what we enjoy, want and need without fear or any other form of emotional, physical, financial abuse.
As long as it is with consenting adults. (any other form is NOT NEVER OK) !

I would like to add to this, that it is perfectly OK to not want to be in a sexual relationship or any. No one has to live with anyone or marry anyone today. Happy ever afters take huge amounts of effort giving and taking by both parties, and understanding honest, open, discussions about your sexual likes dislikes.

This was my response to the post on Marty’s See below Martys blog C PSTD A mindful way to heal. How Betrayal Trauma Manifests Itself.
Marty’s ” blog is designed for daily support of complex PTSD. Our attitudes and daily effort will determine our misery or happiness going forward.” as this is also my mantra for my own healing from CPSTD (complex post traumatic Stress Disorder) I find his blog so encouraging and informative with other people who are on the way to managing positively and healing from CPTSD.

Blesssings to You, Tazzie

Echidnas and me

For any new people reading my blog, welcome. You may have worked out that I kind of love echidnas. I have posted two previous posts about these awesome animals. I am so privileged to have at least one that visits my home.

Whilst I was reading and compiling the information on the previous posts, I began to notice some interesting things about echidnas, and me. The me who has been diagnosed with complex PTSD.

We are both happy being solitary. We can both be prickly and dig ourselves in for self preservation. We both enjoy digging in the soil, a lie in the sunshine and will spread out out to cool ourselves on the ground, we both like to swim.

They burrow in when unexpected visitors(dogs, dingos, eagles, humans, ) disturb them, and will only come out again after a resonable period cautiously to make sure the visitor has gone. Then go back to what they were doing. Me I hide behind the curtains and don’t answer the door! I wait to be sure the visitor has gone and return to what I was doing.

Australian Echidna Image
Echidnas mating

They keep to themselves with the exception of mating…well no not like me I am not looking at a relationship at all. Being on my own is good. I have never had several males interested in me at any one time. I can totally understand why the female echidna prefers to be on her own. If only human babies could be looked after for a period of time and then be left somewhere and mum only has to pop back in once a day! (I know there is child care and boarding schools) I am not a mother. I do NOT dislike babies or children. This is a display of my humor!

We both prefer to hibernate during winter, but will move if we really have too.

Puggles are very cute and look cuddly but you cant cuddle them.

Puggle, (baby echidna)

In case you are concerned as we all should be not only for the loss of human life, homes and businesses, in the Australian fires so far this year, we should also think about the native animals and the rescue organsitations doing all they can to help those found injured and burnt. There is so much burnt land that the territory is not going to be able to support those that escaped and those that survive their burns and injury will be able to go back to.

This is a young Echidna who had buried itself in the ground, you can see how its spines are all one length where the fire moved over it, it has burns on its legs perhaps trying to escape it is being cared for at Wires.

Echidnas are perhaps a bit more able to survive, than say Wallabies and Kangaroos and especially Koalas. Echidnas will attempt to escape fires by going into torpor, echidnas reduce their metabolic rate and lower their body temperature. This, according to research published in April 2016, gives them an uncanny knack for surviving bushfires. … Echidnas often nest underground in burrows or inside fallen logs, which can protect them from the heat and smoke of the of the flames. In research conducted in 2013 researchers took advantage of a controlled burn being conducted by the authorities in woodland south-east of Perth in Western Australia. They identified 10 short-beaked echidnas living in and around the area that was due to be burned. They had tracked 10 echidna that were found with in the controlled burn area, fitted them with tiny GPS tracking devices and monitored them prior and for 31 days after the controlled burn. (source)

However, while this chilled-out approach to wildfires may well give echidnas an edge, it does not work every time.

This #echidna caught our eye straight away, what an odd sight – what could have happened to its spines? But apparently the bushland around where it was seen had recently been controlled burned! EchidnaCSI @echidna_csi

During their study, Researcher’s team found three echidnas that had perished in the blaze. One was an animal they were tracking, which seems to have dropped into torpor inside a fallen log that caught fire.

Previous research has shown that echidnas can wake from torpor and move off at speed when threatened by smoke. In fact, another echidna resting in the same log woke up and fled – but its companion was not so lucky.

It is not just Bush Fires of controlled burns that impact Echidnas. Human day to day activity does. Echidnas being hit by cars and earth moving equipment digging up or flattening burrows, forestry, increasing populations moving into the bush as towns increase and tree changers move.

Catastrophic fires, the worst drought in history and record high temperatures are taking a tragic toll on native wildlife.

IF YOU DO COME ACROSS AN INJURED OR DEAD ECHIDNA (OR ANY NATIVE ANIMAL) CHECK ITS POUCH! If you can move the animal off the road, and if you cant remove the baby and its alive, contact your wild life rescue service.

Keep the animal warm: Keep the animal dark: Keep the animal quiet: Keep handling to a minimum: Do not provide food or drink.


So this is Christmas

oh look a reindog
another reindog

I am not a religious person. I respect people who are, like any group of people there will be your radical and those that attend the special holiday services only and the majority who do the best they can following their beliefs. Yet Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ. Though it seems more and more people see Christmas as a non secular holiday. So what is Christmas for me?

For me it is about the seasons the Summer Solstice longest day here in Southern Hemisphere and the Winter Solstice Shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere. The life about me of nature. Christmas time here is normally hot and dry. Though we my first year living in Tasmania, I woke up after a night shift to see snow on Mt Wellington (sits behind Hobart) on boxing day.

The days are long during summer here, and we have a long twilight, which is glorious. The growth of plants, and young animals and birds are what this time is for me mostly.

As to Christmas music I grew up on the Christmas hymns that had very little relevance to me. There I was singing about snow and reindeer, wood fires. All the Christmas cards had snow and more irrelevant images sleighs and roasting nuts. Sitting down to a traditional British roast Christmas dinner with hot fruit pudding(at least my Nan and mum would give us cold custard). Sigh..I knew no different sitting in 35+ dC heat in far west NSW on Christmas day. My Nans wood stove pushing out more heat, since that is what the meal was cooked on. It was delicious, so much effort and exhaustion for my Nanna and mother. Yet so strange.

I really REALLY HATE what Christmas has come to mean. The rampant advertising and commercialism. That how much you spend equates to how much you love people.

St. Nicholas “Lipensky” as he appears on a Russian icon dated to 1294 from Lipnya Church of St. Nicholas in Novgorod – Source.

I find the idea of Santa Clause a bit revolting. We make little kids sit on a strange persons knee and whisper in the persons ear what he or she wants for Christmas. Yet the number of kids who scream and cry not wanting to is large, I still observe parents pushing their children towards this person who must look quite scary.

I think what a confused message are we telling these kids. On one hand; don’t talk to people you don’t know ect. then at Christmas getting them to sit on a strangers knee and ask him for presents. I sure as heck would not encourage any child I know to sit on a strange mans lap and whisper in his ear, asking him for presents. We lie about this creation, filling children’s heads with fairy floss, that you only have to ask Santa and you will get what you want.

Santa Clause is Coming to Town

Print of St Nicholas by Alexander Anderson commisioned by John Pintard (1810) – Source

“He’s making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!”

The stuff of nightmares, and still we sing it!

Father Christmas as pictured in Josiah King’s The Examination and Tryal of Father Christmas (1686) – Source

A friends daughter would not tell them what she wanted for Christmas last year; as it was a secret between here and Santa. No surprise Santa did not giver her the gift she had asked for. This poor 6 year old then decided she must have been a very bad girl, and cried and cried. Her parents could not do anything. The child just did not want to do anything for the rest of the day she had believed!. She trusted this strange creation. Imagine then the parents having to explain why Santa did not get her the gift she asked for. Her parents had lied to her! Santa was not real.

I still recall when I found out that Santa was not real. It hurt a lot. I did not believe stuff my parents said for ages and would ask them to prove they were not lying.

Detail from Thomas Nast’s illustration “A Christmas Furlough” for the front page of a 1863 issue of Harper’s Weekly.

The pressure Christmas puts on people. The totally unreal expectations, that it will be a wonderful time. How awful if you do not have anyone to spend this special day with. I am sure that is true for some people. It is also true for many that being on their own is perfection. Or spending it with the people you really want to rather than those you seem to be obligated to by tradition and family expectations is delightful.

One thing I have worked on since my breakdown and being diagnosed with C PTSD is being stronger. I no longer have a sense of obligation to spend time with my family it never ended well. I only want to spend it with people I choose. I say no if I do not want to be about people and will explain it is my mental illness. My real preference is to be at home with just me and my dogs. Sometimes I will be with people I choose to be with and have a really happy, stuff your face and laugh time. Feeling a sense of peace and friendship. Other times the peace is being at home with just my dogs, the birds chattering in the garden and a cup of tea enjoying my space.

Mrs. Claus says goodbye to her husband as he sets off on his journey in this 1919 postcard

Possibly the first image of Mrs Claus saying goodbye to her husband, dates from 1919.

Two covers for the Saturday Evening Post by Norman Rockwell, the left one from 1920, the right from 1922 – Source

Often I would work Christmas morning shift to enable a parent to have that shift off to be at home with their kids. Most hospitals I worked at would do a 6 hour shift on Christmas Day, over lapping a little. I was happy to work 8 as I would get home about 3:30 enabling someone else with family to stay longer with them. It was always enjoyable working on Christmas Day.

Santa Claus Sugar Plums, showing a red(ish) suited Santa Claus on sleigh with reindeer – Source

It is interesting though I now find I don’t miss anything about the stress and pressure of this time. The disappointment felt when I had taken a long time and a lot of thought to find a gift that I really thought the recipient would like. Only to be perplexed at the response. Or worse hurt as happened one year where my gift to my father became the butt of jokes by the whole family for years. I was a student and had made him a T-Shirt he could wear, he had skin cancer and he had been having trouble finding light weight long sleeved casual shirts to wear in summer. I made him one. With a lot of love and thought, it hurt a lot.

Thomas Nast’s most famous drawing, “Merry Old Santa Claus”, from the January 1, 1881 edition of Harper’s Weekly.


In Australia last Christmas some research company found the amount of debt created over Christmas was $1863 for every credit card in Australia.

If you spent $2000 on your credit card for Christmas and only paid the minimum payment due it would take you 17years to pay it off and you would pay $5187.

Cover to the first edition of The Life and Adventures Of Santa Claus (1902) by L. Frank Baum – Source

In another report the use of buy now pay later, or pay day loan companies is irresistible at this time of year for many people on lower incomes. Australian Investment and Securities Commission as of June 2018 there is more than $900billion AUD in outstanding balances and majority of users are 18-34.

Of course not all this is from spending at Christmas, I imagine that it would be an easy way to get money to spend for that must have gift, decorations, food. I can not imagine the pressure and worry about how to pay it back. It is yet another reason I do not own a credit card. I have been caught up in the past when I worked and was younger of oh have I got them enough, and buying gifts for people I hardly knew. It was all to do with tradition and expectation and my wanting to fit in and please people.

I ask is this make believe Christmas world really worth this too YOU? It isn’t too me. So I will be spending my Christmas day with my dogs, Eating some things I may not have eaten for ages or not. I may watch TV, garden, go to the beach, sit on the deck and read with a glass of wine or not. I may visit my neighbours for a get together. Most likely. No stress no frustrations, no hassles take a plate share it bring your own drink. Simple easy. I can also change my mind and not feel guilty. I may just stay in bed and read or sleep all day! I am able to do what I want, with who I want. Saying NO thanks is a positive improvement another bonus of my break down.

Santa Claus as illustrated by Frank A. Nankivell in Puck, v. 52, no. 1344 (December 3 1902) – Source.
Norman Rockwell’s cover of Boys’ Life published December 1913 – Source.

When it comes to Christmas, we become collectively blind to the fact that the vast majority of people aren’t able to celebrate it in the way we’ve been told we should, creating feelings of inadequacy, failure and guilt.I I think of the single parents, the homeless, those on Newstart, and other low income earners. Who are struggling to pay for electricity and food without the pressure of Christmas. The incident of domestic violence increases over Christmas holidays. 2018 saw an increase of 20% to police and help lines over the Christmas New Year holidays. Those families where alcoholism, gambling mean there is no Christmas.

I know in my area there are houses that are rented out over winter and then let as Air B n Bs for the summer. The tenants are virtually homeless now, as rental property in the valley is very hard to get. Those mature woman living in there cars are the fastest growing statistic requiring Newstart. Happy Christmas to you too!

I know many organisations religious and non provide Christmas lunches, but not if you are in the rural areas and not close to town. In small towns people will be ashamed at times to look as if they are not able to have a good Christmas or for help or be seen at a organised lunch.

Japanese illustration featuring Santa, artist unknown – Source

I can only imagine how many people will go to bed on Christmas day night exhausted and concerned about what will happen when the credit card or loan payment is due. Alcohol fueled fights increase among families at Christmas. The utter fact we are pushed into feeling obliged by our parents, our churches, our families or even our own dreams of the perfect and wonderful Christmas, that we have seen on TV in the movies or magazines. When instead the reality is not so. That see their children are disappointed with their gifts. That the family argued.

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, December 25 1930 – Source

I am not adverse to the decorations and charm of the twinkling lights.

I am no longer caught up in the way Christmas is meant to be.

It is really OK to like being on Your own at Christmas. You do not have to apologise, be happy that like me You have found you Happy Christmas place.

A poster by the U.S. Food Administration. Educational Division, Advertising Section, ca. 1918 – Source

Financial pressure and stress, emotional pressure and stress, time pressure and stress, it seems to me that today the idea of Christmas is not what Advertising, shopping centres, cooking shows, there is NO PERFECT CHRISTMAS!! Well maybe if you are really rich and have someone else do everything for you.

A poster from the Office for Emergency Management, War Production Board, circa. 1942 – Source.
image portrayed by Haddon Sundblom for Santa’s first appearance in Cola advertising in 1931, drawing inspiration from Saint Nicholas’ image.

Back to Santa Clause images I have included in this post demonstrate the evolution of Santa Clause note that Cocoa Cola did not give Santa a red coat, the beard or even the rotund tummy. All were used prior to 1931 when Coca Cola used Haddon Sundblom for advertising and his image took of as the ‘traditional’ way Santa Clause looks. Santa and the Christmas we seem to celebrate in the Western world is all made up!

So this is Christmas John Lennon and Yoko Ono

So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong

And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun

Ans so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

War is over over
If you want it
War is over

Garden Update

I shared about my vegetable garden and some issues with coldness gale force winds a few posts ago. I am happy that now with the warmer weather arriving things are happening. The plants are taking off. As I sit here typing the temperature is 31dC/87.8dF at 19:00/7:00pm day light saving time.

First Tomatoes on my deck.
I feel that this one was impacted by the weather also on my deck
self seeded carrots appeared in a pot?
seedlings some to go to Crop Swap and others into my garden foreground. Those pots in background are my permanent deck pots

On my deck some seedlings still wait for planting out. As it way too hot today, they sit in water and I hope they will be ok. I have quite a lot of self seeded things growing as the carrots in the small pot, some lettuce (mentioned further down that I think was called mother in laws tongue) I noticed a tiny tomato seedling in another pot that I did not plant so it is most likely a cherry tomato. I am thrilled about it as I don’t recall getting any of these and they produce fruit for so long. The potted tomatoes are growing somewhat better than the tomatoes in the vegetable garden. When you look at the photographs and compare there are numerous flowers on the vegie (vegetable) garden ones, yet no fruit development as yet. Which is quite interesting as these are identified as an early fruiting variety. On one of the deck tomato plants you will notice one single tomato with some damage. I put it down to the dramatic change in temperature we had last week. It is all I can put it down too.

You may notice the plastic containers the seedlings are standing in. I have fostered kittens and these are repurposed kitty litter trays. The white bucket is free with a lid from one of my regional cafes. Thanks D.S Cafe in Huonville. who often put out food grade plastic containers with lids and handles rather than throw them away. They will also save up their coffee grounds for you if you ask. You take turns in this as a few people know of them doing it now.

a beautiful Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) tree in my garden.
A wattle tree damaged by the gale winds of last week.
Pelargonium (col geranium think this is lemon scented one )

This area of the garden is a mostly a blend of natives and some winter and autumn flowering shrubs along with bulbs such as daffodils, jonquils, iris, grape hyacinth, the pelargonium. Salvias. A self seeded wattle grove has established itself. Rreplacing the one that fell a few years ago as most wattles (Acacia) only live 10-20years. Blackwood trees which are Acacias (wattles) too, live much longer. I have found them a little annoying in that they spread their roots all under the garden, apparently not liking competition. Though my two seem not to be to bad with some things about them.

I have noticed that if I do hit a root, they will sucker. As I prefer to be a no dig gardener I don’t encounter this issue often. I have planted a cherry tree way too close well it was not when I planted it but the tree keeps on growing. Weird that; chuckle. The time I do come across the roots are when I am removing onion grass. that sends out deep connecting roots to create a new bulblet and more grass. It is one of my main challenges.

Native salvia on a pathway , with a pinchushion Hakea (Proceacea Hakea laurina )to its left and a Huge Coleonema pulchrum aurea – Golden Diosma on a pathway edge. @Echidna Home 2019
Pot on deck self sown lettuce, borage, and marigold @Echidna Home2019

If you look at the photo on the left above you will notice it has many things growing in it. Self seeded lettuce borage, marigold small flowers I have forgotten the name of, there is even a potato plant in there. I must have chucked one in to see what would happen.

I decided to have some1/2 wine barrels for pots. (picture below) They were relatively cheap when comparing them with pots of the same size. These were purchased when I was working. These have had no treatment to protect the insides from continual moisture, and are over 10 years old now. When I got them the smell was awesome, it was almost port like. I did get them filled fairly quickly as I did not want the smell to turn into vinegar and attract vinegar flies. I love them and over the years I have grown many different things in them. Greens but they had to be protected from possums and wallabies, also the possums and other critters used them to get up on the deck escaping the fencing which is why I have pots right on the edge of the deck now. Greek Oregano grows amongst the barrels as a ground cover, with parsley and coriander self seeded coming up when ever it likes. I have a cape gooseberry plant in the garden here and one in a pot on the deck.

wine barrels cornflowers almost ready to flower in the last barrel. @Echidna Home 2019
This is the actual flower from the bush in the photo with the bird bath to the right @ Echidna Home 2019
Bird bath get so many visitors. Post of visitors on near future. @Echidna Home 2019
Open pergola deck area red Pelargonium (col geranium) ground cover soap wort, white flower tansy. @Echidna Home 2019

I am really hopeless at labeling the plants in my garden, I have had plans of ensuring that I will keep a record of everything I plant, where and when. It begins well yet every year I get lost. It has been worse the last few years since my breakdown, it does bother me at times. I look at the seedlings I have now and note several have lost their tags in the wind. I have no idea what they are. It is made harder as I have lost quite a few due to the wild and changeable weather we have had over the past weeks. I recall reading and watching videos and all gardeners said the same thing LABEL LABEL label. sigh. I can not worry or allow myself to get distressed by this as I will fixate and this is not good for me. So I am fortunate that at the moment with medication that is helping me (even though some of its side effects not so good) I prefer me now to me before this medication. I am able to ustilising my work that my psychologist has helped me with to be aware of when I may be starting to fixate, and I acknowledge that I am, that I need to do something else to move my mind brain and bodily reactions away from what ever I was doing. It is working generally so I am pleased.

Peach tree lots of peaches and new growth @Echidna Home 2019

Looking at the photographs of my garden you will observe that it is not a neat and tidy garden. It is a work in progress yet it will never be a tamed garden. Nature is not tamed, and I do not believe in mono-culture as anyI healthy way to grow anything. I want and encourage all sorts of birds, insects, wild life to visit. The garden has many areas (or the trendy word rooms) native areas, sunny areas, areas I am happy to share with the wild life such as Echidnas, possumes wallabies, bandicoots. Others such as the vegie garden and deck seedling area and lemon and lime trees are fenced to discourage wallabies and possums.

Notice the mish mash of garden structures and items used. Over the years I have gathered pots from the Tip Shops (rubbish/Waste tip shops that sell items that can be reused or repurposed at a reasonable price(though like many charity shops prices are rising). I use unusual things that are not actually designed for this use but do work. If I happen to be out on a big rubbish pick up day in Hobart I will have a bit of a drive around to see what is out there. I also purchased the corrugated metal garden beds at a huge discount.

Again purchased while I was working. It takes a lot of time to make enough soil to fill them that I have at times resorted to buying bags of the cheapest potting mixes and adding my leaf compost, worm castings, mushroom compost, sea weed, and other nutrient rich items such as weed tea, worm tea, manure, and straw, wood fire ash from my wood heater. I use it because I don’t get the bark taken off my wood. I also end up due to the process of my excellent North Pacific Wood Heater with charcoal (bio char) brilliant also for the garden. (No affiliation with North Pacific Wood Heaters. I also add the dogs chewed no longer desired bones to burn in it as well. giving calcium.

Old wheel barrow walking onions (Egyptian) @Echidna Home
flowers growing over the grave of my dog who died last year. @Echidna Home 2019

Everything is beginning to really take off now. It will be interesting over the next few days to see how everything is going. I refilled the Ollas (see previous garden post) and watered with seaweed tea before the hot day today. In Tasmania it may seem like the temperature is way hotter than what the gauges actually display the sun seems to have a stronger heat here. It was not unusual to get folk from Queensland (and other places)here on holidays coming in to Emergency with some serious sun burn blistering and or dehydration.

Three Sisters bed (Beans, pumpkin, corn)
fore ground three sisters bed, tomato capsicum lettuce and egg plant bed @ Echidna Home 2019.

The corn has taken off as have the beans and some of the pumpkins and zucchini have flowers but they have not taken off as yet. I am happy with this bed so far so good. It is interesting isn’t it to plant out seedlings from the same punnet that have gone into a bed that you have made to be suitable for growing these vegies, watered each one similarly only to see some not thrive or die. I am pondering what I was growing in that bed last especially in the bottom left hand corner as that area is not doing so well.

Brassica Bed @Echidna Home 2019

Interestingly the brassica beds seedlings of broccoli and red cabbage are developing at very different rates. One of the broccoli seedlings already has a head beginning on it?? The red cabbage seedlings are struggling. Unlike the seedlings on the deck. So I am not sure what is going on there. I have left a kale to go to seed in this bed. It self seeded last year here but other than it I did not grow brassicas in this bed.

Red Currant and Jostaberries, (Cross black currants and gooseberry) @Echidna Home 2019

This is three bushes here a red currant and two jostaberries. The Jostaberries are a gooseberry black currant cross. They have fruited super early and not huge volumes. I seem to have an influx of (Imported sadly)black birds and they seem to have managed to beat me this year at them. Glad I had a good crop last year and made some jam and froze some. They all need a prune and you will notice the very long grass about them. I was going to remove it, until I noted the seed head were formed and that many smaller birds are eating them. It will be cut soon as it is a fire risk. I have so much stuff about that I have been hand pulling the grass, about a lot of this area. I do tend to mulch in place. Last year I forgot to turn the piles and keep an eye on sprouting things. The strange spring and early summer has seen such huge growth in everything. I kind of blinked and missed it ooops tooo late! At least the birds are getting food.

fig in wine barrel and one of my water tanks (plastic) @ Echidna Home 2019
Gooseberry bush @Ecidna Home 2019

My fig tree which had figs on it but with the cold snap then hot days and cold again the baby figs dropped. I am hopeful that it will fruit in Autumn. It is in a half wine barrel. The Gooseberry bush did not produce many flowers this year, I have managed to eat four gooseberries which were delicious. Perhaps again the black birds beat me. I am not going to let them nest in my eaves next year if I can get out on the roof and fix where they are getting in.

unhappy passion fruit. @ Echidna Home 2019

Tragedy alas and alack, my poor neglected passion fruit is really struggling. I have bananas ready to go in to give it some nutrients, but I really think I need to move the poor thing. I have a place in mind, but…I may have missed the boat for this year. It was doing OK last year, flowered and I got a couple of smallish passionfruit off it. For some reason I added a lot of old manure to the bed, and I have a feeling that it needs to be not as well fed as it is at present. It is on my list to keep an eye on it and a possible move as I do believe I am likely going to loose it if I leave it here. In the bed just at the back of this photo is a plum tree from memory I am hoping it is a prune plum. I cannot see any fruit on it at all. This is only its third year so it is still young. It is very healthy.

Rhubarb @Echidna Home 2019

The Rhubarb on the other hand is doing brilliantly . I harvested so much from it recently taking it back to maybe two leaves, and look at this baby it has flourished in the last three weeks. Go baby go.

my two metal water tanks @Echidna Home 2019

jWhat can I say about these tow magnificant hard working life saving structures in my garden. These and the plastic one near the fig tree are my total water supply they stand about seven feet tall and in a previous post I said how many litres/gallons they hold when full. I am so very very appreciative that they are all full to the brim. I am very very fortunate, and feel incredibly wealthy knowing all being well I will have plenty of water to see me and my garden through summer and autumn. I had to buy a new tank two years ago, just over $1400Aus/$965USD. I am thankful I could do it without having to borrow money. I was very lucky in that it was developing a leak on the side, and the roof of the tank had rusted really badly. I could have just put a tarp over the tank top but with the leak in the side it was best to save for a new one. The tank was over 30 years old and it gets a lot more wear and tear than the second one, as the run off water from the roof nearly all runs into this one directly and is connected to the second tank and they fill up together. Currently the third tank is not connected to my pump, the plan is to connect it as I now have hosing long enough to reach the whole of my garden on an outside tap that is on the pump pressure and not gravity fed.

wood chip for garden and one of several Eucalyptus trees about my home @ Echidna Home 2019

Part of my more natural and native garden area, if yo look closely you can see a huge pile of chipped material, bark branches, from all sorts of trees. The local council or electricty company were clearing the trees and branches any were that were impinging on the wires. I heard them and went down to chat to the guys as I had two things I was wanting to ask them. First one I had a tree that had self seeded and would grow into a huge tree, it was under the power lines, on my land (just). I asked them how much they would charge to take it out. At this moment it was only a sapling, in another year it would be a big tree as Acacias develop fast. I sort of said if they could help me now it would not be such a task next year. The lovely man grabbed a chainsaw and took the tree out. Big thanks. I then asked if the truck would be full of the chipped tree material before they left and if so would I be able to have it. He said he would just check with his boss. The boss came over and said yes I could have it as it would save them a trip to the tip. When they dropped it off I was again very appreciative and offered to pay them. The boss said nah it was ok, and one of the young guys said its usually a slab of beer. lol (carton of beer) the boss smiled as I apologised and said nah it was fine. I do believe that most people are lovely. I hate to think how much it would cost to get so much delivered to my home. Again I felt fortunate and wealthy.

Nasturtiums @Echidna Home 2019

This is a very small thing to many people, for me it is massive a joy and I am in great awe. After 20 years of trying to grow nasturtiums. I gave up and just through the left over seed in this east southerly position and shrugged my shoulders. Look look I have nasturtiums! (is it wrong to be disappointed they aren’t the brilliant red I really wanted)? I will look past this and just celebrate that I finally have managed to grow a plant that is in many peoples mind a bit of a weed. The bees love it and I am going to try and make poor mans capers out of the seed balls. Happy dance..

Mock Orange ( Philadelphus mexicanus )and Hellibore @Echidna Home 2019

Philadelphus mexicanus Evergreen Mock Orange. A beautiful plant, with a delightful aroma. It is in a pot. It was going to go in a sunnier location. (east-south location ) morning sun and protected from most gale winds here. I thought it was the Philadelphus coronarius Mock Orange, which is an old fashioned plant in Australia. That is deciduous. I wanted it to loose its leaves and let the winter sun in. It also appear to have more flowers. Mine is flowering and the perfume is lovely. For summer it would be more appreciated growing on a western or northern face to give some sun protection. I will have to look up and see if both the roots and plant can be cut back so I can move it to a more suitable location for us both. I also am not able to move it as it has grown into a hellibore that is covering a porch roof and there are some wee birds nesting. There is no urgency as it will always be the native birds over plant location/pruning.

Maple tree and mushroom blocks Native bush (i cant recall name @ Echidna Home 2019

This photo is still in the east south postion and you can see a maple in a pot, more nasturtium a salvia that gets huge a native that I can not recall its name but has a lovely lilac flower and the birds love. You can also see in foreground are mushroom compost blocks I get from a mushroom grower in my region. For a gold coin donation. They are made from sawdust untreated, lime and something else that I can not recall. I get mushrooms from them for ages when I look after them I have heaps of dried oyster mushrooms in grey and white, along with brown mushrooms . Brilliant kitchen and garden resource especially as oyster mushrooms are $18AUS per kg /$12.21 USD 2.20LbS . I put it in the composting areas with manure and let it combine with other things as I mentioned previously. The only problem is they sit in plastic bags and that is a concern they cant be reused and end up in my rubbish. Or If I can I leave them behind in the bins when i pick them up.

Bay tree @Echidna Home 2019

In a pot near an entrance way to m home sits my bay tree. It is 13 years old and is a wonderful addition to my kitchen garden and as a plant. Bay trees can be huge so having it a pot keeps it manageable. It get pruned and is recovering splendidly after it had a severe prune in winter. Near bye are two Daphene plants that when in flower give off a enticing perfume as I enter my home.

I have not included my orchard area, in this post, nor my paddock I will keep that for another day in the future.

The final photo for this post is a small selection of flowers from my garden. I love the scented flowers and these varities of sweet pea are so strongly scented. I have a vase in my upstairs toilet and they perfume the room, no need for artificial chemicals here at Echidna Home.

who needs air freshners and other chemicals when you have a garden full of Scented flowers. Sweet Peas, Corn Flowers

I do hope all who read this post are safe from the fires across Australia, and I continue sending my rain dance and thoughts to drought and fire ravaged areas. Having been through the fire and smoke issues and the concerns packing up and unpacking several times myself and not certain what might be happening I am happy to support anyone if you need to just share your concerns.


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