• Though perhaps not beaming, the garden is at least cautiously smiling following 20mls of rain this week.
I spent the day in the garden yesterday. Other than dragging dripping hoses, it was the first real garden “work” day for weeks, pulling our dead plants, deadheading roses, and generally tidying up in an effort to polish away a little of the sadness and lifelessness of drought. If nothing else, it brushed away a few cobwebs from the garden and my bones – long sedentary days in the studio are not good for the body.
The new garden by the shed has shown the most stoicism, still looking reasonably cheery despite only an occasional drop of water here and there. 
When the drought breaks in earnest, there will no doubt be gaps in the garden’s smile.  There’ll be plenty of rethinking and replanting to do, and these tough plants will be at the top of my mind. 
I will include a list of the plants I have found most drought hardy in my next newsletter – if you haven’t signed up already, the link is in my bio. Hope to see you there!
  • A tiny garden in the palm of my hand.
  • Stormy morning skies and a little shower overnight = soggy donkeys and high hopes for more rain today. 
It's hard to stay focussed in the studio when the smell of damp earth calls, yells even. Windows and doors are open, and Arlo has burrowed beneath cushions on the old velvet chair in true Dachshund fashion, so here we'll stay and wait for the sound of rain on the tin roof. I hope you can hear it at your place 💙
  • Martin Luther King once said "Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not". There is undoubtedly more that we do not know about this planet of ours than that we claim understanding for. It's an odd thought, a challenge for our collective ego, and an idea being explored in my current work.
Shadows shift and change and move with the hours, days and seasons. They are ephemeral, treading lightly and quietly, though changing the way we see and perceive. 
Driving home from town recently, my boys and I commented on a sudden dulling of light across an otherwise glary landscape. Momentarily puzzled, we realised the sun was shielded by one large cauliflower cloud. It seems silly, but we have had literally no clouds of the sort for eons, so it took us by surprise.  These days, shadows like this one are hope, for rain, and more.
  • Missy Chickens is at it again. She's found the last remaining patch of green in the garden (thanks to grey water), and is dining out on curl grubs and grasshoppers.
She's lucky I'm quite relaxed about the garden at the moment, we're purely in survival mode waiting for the drought to break, with aesthetics on the back burner. Consequently she's in full mulch scratching mode and saunters past the dogs with a "you can't touch me" air. We even found a stash of eggs laid in a dog kennel. Bold.
The dogs know she's out of bounds. They lie on the verandah like melted starfish, chins and bellies pressed to the boards where it's cool, and follow her with their eyes. She swaggers past...slowly.
If Missy Chickens was a person she'd be a brassy broad, a go-it-alone kinda gal with a penchant for a mixed grill in a roadside diner, probably washed down with bourbon and a roll-your-own cigarette. You get the drift. 
Happy weekend all😊
  • Some little paper flowers for your weekend. They'll form part of something a bit different, a specimen of sorts. Keep watching!
There is so much whimsy weaving its way through the pieces for my next show. Imagination and daydreaming are plentiful, fueled by much thought about not what we do know about nature, but rather what we don't.
My usual practice is to complete a piece before moving on to the next, but this time the studio is littered with parts and pieces, works evolving, growing and unfurling quite organically. A nice change!
  • Crispy. The best word to describe the garden now. Despite it being generally "drought hardy", everything needs a drink occasionally, and this is a dry camp. I am making the most of the few plants that have flowered and bolted to seed, knowing that seed saving will be the only way to preserve plants and redevelop areas lost. Perhaps too I can share some seed with others who have lost their treasured gardens in drought and fire.
Of course, we feel incredibly lucky that our district has not been burning like so many others, though the season is still young, and the landscape a tinderbox. 
Throughout summer, firefighting gear and my husband's RFS kit is ready to go. It's a common scenario in most of rural Australia. Inevitably there's at least one callout, thankfully usually minor. A year or two ago, he and our fabulous local crew fought a fire on our boundary, while other members manned firetrucks in our houseyard just in case.  Fire safely extinguished, they gathered on the verandah, refreshments in hand, rolled out stories of fires past and silly buggers using welders in a fire ban, and devoured the Christmas cake fresh from the oven. A small price indeed for the quick response and care that they provided.  We are lucky to have them, and now is a great time to show them some love!