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Showing posts from March, 2009


It's such a lovely spot to sit and read, here in this room. But I spend even more time just gazing out the window. Reflection: John 6:40 (New International Version) "For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."


And turning around a little more we see this wonderful old filing cabinet. Its a big piece of furniture(54 drawers in all) The timber is Silky Oak, popular in Queensland from whence it came. It was on the verandah of my parent's home, storing stuff for my father's business. I cleaned off the old paint to show the lovely timber beneath but didn't remove the patina of age, revealed in the repairs. Reflection: Ephesians 1:17 (New International Version) [Paul writes] "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better."


Another view of the same spot. The earthenware pot is one of my favourites, a keepsake from when we lived in Papua New Guinea. Reflection: Isaiah 64:8 (New International Version) "Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand."


Soft focus seemed just right for this shot. Reflection: Proverbs 15:1 (King James Version) "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."


And below the embroideries in yesterday's post is an old wireless. It is working and yes the roses are from my new rose garden. Reflection: John 10:27 (New International Version) [Jesus said] "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."


I recently bought some cyclamen for indoor colour. They are cheaper than cut flowers -- which my garden isn't producing in enough abundance at the moment. You can see some of my embroidered handiwork on the wall behind. Reflection: Psalm 8:3-4 (New International Version) "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?"


We have a small verandah at the back of the house. The perfect spot for nurturing my begonios and the perfect spot for an alfresco lunch on a warm sunny day. We have pull-down plastic blinds because there are very few weeks when it's perfectly warm up here. Reflection: Psalm 19:7 (New International Version) "The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple."


Did you notice the glass birds on the window sill in yesterdays photo? These are my bluebirds of happiness, outside we can usually see brightly coloured parrots in the trees which make me happy to. I only found out recently from PJ's blog that bluebirds exist in real life. Reflection: Ecclesiastes 2:26 (New International Version) "To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind."


I think a good garden should be enjoyed from inside and outside so decided to give you a look at things from within. I set myself a photographic challenge ... to do as many interesting photos as I could sitting on the sofa in the sun room. My rule: I could bend, twist, slide up and down it's length but had to be on the sofa. It provided all sorts of challenges with light and composition. Here is the first in the series ... the breakfast room, a lovely spot to catch the winter sunshine. Also a lovely spot to watch the changing seasons ... you can see the maples are just beginning to colour. At the back is a stand of Lilly Pilly trees that mark the boundary with the neighbour ... these are evergreen. Reflection: Luke 11:35 (New International Version) "See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness."


It is not an elaborate nesting box behind the sacred bamboo -- it's the gas furnace for our central heating. The colour of the leaves suggest it's not too long before the heater will be springing into life. Reflection: Exodus 20:8 (New International Version) "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

Pretty pot

I have pots at the bottom of three of the supporting posts. This one is looking particularly pretty at the moment. Reflection: Psalm 27:4 (New International Version) "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple."

Odd one out

This leaf on the Virginia Creeper is the odd one out ... but not for long. It's always one of the first plants to fully colour up for the Autumn. Reflection: Ephesians 2:19-20 (New International Version) Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.


I'm torn between loves ... roses, begonias, grasses and now fushias. Lucky there is enough room for all of them. This is a new begonia I added recently. Reflection: Matthew 6:24 (New International Version) "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."


I'm in love. Now I've been more diligent at watering the garden the fushias have flowered. I want more of them, they are so beautiful. Reflection: Psalm 80:17-19 (New International Version) "Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself. Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, O LORD God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved."

Compare this

The other day I showed you what the cockatoos are up to at the bottom of the garden. Here is their work among the pine trees at the top of the garden. Reflection: Galatians 6:3-10 (New International Version) "If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load."

Bad berries

These are the berries of the Cherry Laurel, deemed a weed by those who like to make just about every plant in a non-native garden bad -- certainly anything that makes berries. I agree with some of their choices (blackberry and privet to name two) but I have never seen Cherry Laurel seedlings pop up in the garden. Reflection: Galatians 6:1-2 (New International Version) "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

Step up

Come on up through the garden. I will show you some more autumnal fruits. On the right you get a glimpse of the last of the red berries on the vibernum that I showed you the other day. Reflection: Galatians 5:24-25 (New International Version) "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

More fruit

While I am on the subject of autumn fruits I thought I would show you a few more fruits from around the garden. These are from the walnut. Unfortunately they don't deliver on their promise. The climate here doesn't seem to be right for them as they mould on the tree instead of ripening and dropping from their pods the way they should. Reflection: Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Autumn fruits

Quite apart from falling branches it is a bit dangerous to sit under the Liquid Amber at this time of year. The cockatoos make great sport eating the spikey seed pods and snipping off twigs. There is already a lot of debris gathering under the tree and they've barely started. Reflection: Galatians 5:19-21 (New International Version) "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." [I am going to work my way through more of this the passage over the next few days]


I took a walk down the back to get a picture of the broken branch I wrote about last week . I am still at a loss as to why a branch as big this would rip itself off the tree. Also, when I look up into the canopy through the newly made gap I realise that this is a very tall tree. Reflection: Matthew 4:5-7 (New International Version) Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"


The leaves are on the brink of turning. I'm eager with anticipation. Reflection: Hebrews 11:1 (New International Version) "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Misty morning

We woke in the dark yesterday morning because a thick dripping wet cloud had enveloped our world -- not so much rain as heavy mist. It took until midday to lift. Green leaves like this won't be around much longer. Reflection: 1 Corinthians 13:12 (King James Version) "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

Bird feeder

I don't actually feed the birds, there is plenty to sustain them naturally in the garden. But I leave the feeder there because I think it looks interesting. We visited an Open Garden scheme garden on the weekend. I was inspired to believe that it will only take a little effort on my part to turn this into a 'real' garden. Reflection: Matthew 6:26 (New International Version) Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Divine nature

I never cease to be amazed by the cycle of nature. These tiny cyclamens pop up under the Cyprus each year ... first the flowers and later their pretty patterned leaves. Before I moved here I thought of cyclamens were only hot house plants sold in florist shops. What wonderful wonderful Autumn weather we had yesterday. Sunny and crisp and the gardens fresh with the recent rain. Perfect for Alfresco dining so did that instead of gardening! Reflection: Romans 1:20 (New International Version) "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."


As autumn arrives summer fades. These are the hydrangeas that were so blue in the summer time. Julie asked some time ago whether this was an old garden, given the old-style plants within it. The answer is yes it's old with trees that were probably planted 100 years ago and hardy plants hanging on despite neglect. But it's also new with recent landscaping and quite a lot of new planting done 10 years ago. Reflection: 1 Peter 1:3-5 (New International Version) "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."

Living water

We have installed a rainwater tank on the south side of the house. The plumbing was connected up yesterday ... now we wait for the rain to fill it. Of course after weeks of rain it's now dry. Reflection: John 7:37-39 (New International Version) "On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified."


When I arrived home from work last night it sounded like Winter, the wind was wooshing through the pine trees and the wind chimes were clanging feverishly. Even the stars were sparkling like a winter eve but the temperature was mild. The wind chimes play the pentatonic scale, the same as playing just the black keys on the piano. Reflection: Wind always reminds me of the book of Ecclesiaties with its dark observations on the meaning of life. This verse is just the beginning of a list of things found to be 'chasing after the wind' Ecclesiastes 1:14 (New International Version) "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind."

Big fall

While I was mowing down the back yard on the weekend I discovered that a huge branch has fallen down from the Liquid Amber. This photo was taken a week or two ago. You can't see that fence in the background any more ... now it's a tangle of dying branches. I'm glad nobody was sitting down there when it happened! Reflection: Proverbs 11:28 (New International Version) "Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf."


And here's the other herald of Autumn the ginger flowers -- their fragrance is divine. I have had vases of them in the house for the past couple of weeks. As they only flower for a short time and I want to make the most of it. Reflection: Proverbs 27:9 (New International Version) "Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel."


Belladonna lilies are also known as Naked Ladies because they pop up from the ground without any leaves which follow after the flowering. Two years ago in my Blue Mountains Journal I posted a Naked Lady. It gets a surprising number of hits ... from no doubt disappointed searchers. And from the point of view of tasks being done, I'm feeling good because I mowed the grass this weekend and the lawn is all looking neat and tidy. Reflection: Genesis 2:25, 3:4-7 (New International Version) The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame ... "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both

It's Autumn

The Belladonna lilies are trumpeting -- it's Autumn today! We have been beginning to feel its arrival for the past couple of weeks. Each year at this time of year the beautiful fragrance of the Belladonna and Ginger Lilies on the morning air tell me Autumn is on its way. Musing: Genesis 1:14 (New International Version) And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,