Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

Cheer Up Charlie!

I have to admit that I’m a little fed up with myself lately. I’m in a fug. Feeling flat and uninspired. Knowing that I have no good reason to be unhappy doesn’t help. Just makes me a little grumpier.  Grrr.

And I have had that song from ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ going around in my head for the last three days. That’s hardly fair.

I don’t mind so much that it’s cold or that it’s wet. In fact, I’m quite taken by the fact that we have a patch of real mud in the back yard.

Look! Real mud! It's quite the novelty after a looooong drought.

But I hate that it’s dark so early. I am not excited about coming home from work to see the last light slipping out of my garden. Not excited at all. I think it just shows how much energy I have been getting from being able to get out into the garden and get my hands in the dirt. I really miss those long warm evenings of ‘daylight savings’ time.

The Gippy Garden at 6pm, about half an hour after getting home from work.

...and again without the camera flash on!

But it will all be OK soon. The ‘shortest’ day in my part of the world is on the 21st of June, just three weeks away. Yes, I am counting down. It’s bizarre, but as soon as I pass the Winter Solstice I cheer up. The next day might only provide an extra 0.00001 seconds of daylight, and the next two months are going to be colder and wetter as winter settles herself in, but I know the days are starting to stretch out again and I feel happy.

There. Even talking about it cheers me up!

Just to show you that there is beauty in my garden, and I really have no right to complain!

Of course, all those way up in the Northern Hemisphere (or even those in cooler parts of Australia 😉 ) can feel free to throw virtual snowballs at me for even thinking of complaining. I know that we don’t have what you might recognise as a ‘proper’ dead of winter, or even a proper winter as far as some are concerned!

It is in fact a ‘balmy’ 11 degrees centigrade (51.8 F) outside at the moment…and nights below freezing point aren’t all that common. Snow is a seven-year novelty that doesn’t settle on the ground in my valley (although the near by Mountains do get a reasonable blanket most winters) and I don’t have to face a spring thaw wondering if any of my plants have survived  (as many in the Northern Hemisphere did not so long ago). I can in fact, still grow some things.

My beautiful Japanese maples are still putting on a colourful show. Everything else that is deciduous is already bare.

This is why I love my maples so much!

So it’s time for me to stop complaining and go try a bit of night gardening 😀 Where’s that head torch?

How cute is this? A tiny self sown Japanese maple seedling changing colour just like Mum does at this time of year!


Comments on: "Cheer Up Charlie!" (22)

  1. They tell me there was snow on our mountains, but the foothills hide the snow from us, and now it has melted again. Blue sky, birds singing. Wonderful early winter day here thank you!

  2. I know what you mean. I experience those never-ending winter doldrums every year. Fortunately, June 21 is our longest day of the year here, and nothing but hot days are in store for us for many, many more months. I was thinking your climate must be similar to ours here in Central Florida, though my valley, I believe, has never seen a drop of snow, and we surely cannot grow Japanese maples here. Oh, how I wish we could!!! Too many heat-days, not enough chill-days, or something like that. Your trees are beautiful!

    • Hello FG 🙂 Glad to hear that you can relate to those doldrums! Enjoy the Summer Solstice!
      I’m finding it really interesting to find out about everyone else’s growing conditions and compare them to my own. While I think you and I can grow some things in common (I remember that lovely bottlebrush in your garden), I think you are just that bit warmer and more humid than where I am. Your conditions probably compare well with more Northerly parts of Australia that don’t get snow or even frost!

  3. I totally can relate what you are feeling now. I have been feeling a little down myself recently like what I wrote in my recent post. Talking about it DOES help! I got so many encouragement from lots of fellow gardeners. It is one of the best things about blogging!

    In another note, I envy your Japanese Maple tree as well. I always loved this tree for its beauty, but I can not grow it here in south Florida. Your trees look so beautiful!

    • Hi Ami 🙂 Now I’ve read your post I can see you have better reason to be a bit down then me – I’m just having a whine! On the plus side, I had a day off today and got out into the garden – which was wonderful!

  4. Heidi, You have my sympathy. I know a lot of people who get the winter blues when the days get short. I’m a morning person, so the part that is most difficult for me is having to get up and go to work in the dark. Because I live in a rural area with low light pollution, though, there is a compensation — the wondrously star-filled nights and moon-shadows of winter. Hang in there; the solstice is coming.

  5. Hello Jean, Your point has made me feel very grateful that I don’t have to go to work in the dark! The light pollution where I am is not too bad either – certainly much better than in the cities…I will have to go out and admire the ‘silver lining’ 🙂

  6. Those are very pretty photos! I like the longer days. I know how you feel. I am always in a better mood when the sun is shining.
    Also, your header is great!

  7. Heidi, I am so sorry you are feeling down, but I would too if winter was rapidly approaching here. But just think, when we have our shortest day (December 21) you will be enjoying your longest! Love the tree pics. Pam x

  8. Heidi, that sapling copying Mama is so cute. And all your photos of the Japanese maples are lovely.

    I can understand the fug, though, remembering how I typically deal with autumn weather. For me, November is particularly hard, when it’s gray and brown and rain-spattered and cold enough to need to wear a coat — although we don’t deal with snow, either. Sounds like your autumn is very similar. There’s something about the lack of light and being forced to slow down and rest that always has me chafing at the bit; you know?

    You’ve done a great job expressing that time of transition in this post, though, if it’s any consolation. 🙂

    • Hello Meredith – it’s great to see that you can relate. I agree – our gardening conditions sound quite similar! At least we can empathise with each other across the seasons!

  9. I used to love my Japanese maples for the same reason. Tough as ol’ boots, and were competitive enough to want to put on the best show at the end of the season. I also agree, that there’s something about rolling past the shortest day of the year, to give one something positive to look forward to…more daylight!

  10. Hi, Heidi! I’m so sorry I haven’t stopped by as often. But I’m here now! 🙂 I’m also sorry that you’re feeling dull. Keep your chin up, though…as you said, your shorter days will turn longer very shortly. I hate leaving for work before dark and returning home after dark. UGH!! But this too shall pass. In the meantime, your photos are really lovely, and your landscape has much color and interest to offer. And DO be thankful you’re not in the snow!! 😉

    • Hi Kimberly – ‘no worries’! I have been very slow at visiting lately too and haven’t visited your blog in a little while either – but will soon!

  11. Heidi, You are making me think about fall and the oncoming of winter here. It is a restless time of the year, lots of things changing. Leaves falling, birds feeding heavy, lots of activity in the woodlands as every thing is preparing for winter.

    I am sure things are about the same in your part of the world. Its late spring, early summer here now as you prepare for winter. Not sure which of our places New Hampshire or Florida you are closest match to. Do you get snow and freezing cold in the winter or just cooler temperature and shorter days?

    Enjoy your evening,

  12. Hello John, I’m not completely sure, but I’m guessing my climate would be roughly half way between the two! We don’t get snow where I live (but we do on the mountains nearby) and we don’t get the humidity of Florida either. What is it like in North Carolina? Maybe that state is closer to the mark!

  13. Hello Heidi, all the colors of those leaves are wonderful. I dont know why i love the maple colors when i only see them in photos and occassional travels to temperate countries. But i love their colors even before i saw them in nature. That little seedling trying to show off like Mama is so wonderful, and i am so amused with it. Even walking in fallen leaves carpeted with those colors seem so delightful for me, but i haven’t experienced it yet. Oh only in my dreams. Maybe there really was a strong imprint of that experience brought from a past life!

    • Hi Andrea, your enjoyment of the maples makes me look at them with new, even more appreciative eyes! I hope you get the chance to walk on a carpet of maple leaves one day soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: