Barpet's Patch

A journal of my favourite pastimes gardening, farming and sewing.

Saturday, 9 September 2017


We had a bit of excitement in our area this afternoon.  One of our neighbours was doing some work with an angle grinder and sparks caused a grass fire on his property.  We are tinder dry at the moment, not having had any decent rain for a few months.  The fire spread very quickly fanned by a gusty wind and before long the fire had spread to the adjoining property and was fast coming towards our place as well.

You can see in the above two photos, just how quickly the fire increased in size as it raced up the hill with the wind behind it.  

The power pole on the LHS of the road is where our transformer is located, and this was where I positioned myself with one of our hoses to damp things down to try and stop the fire jumping the road if necessary.  You can see my little, inadequate hose in the photo below.  

The two properties opposite us have quite a bit of fence damage, but the four rural fire brigade crews that attended did get on top of it eventually.  It was very lucky that today was less windy than the last couple of days, otherwise I think it might have been more difficult to contain.

From our point of view, it was a good exercise - I had recently been thinking about bush fire plans and such, and there's nothing like a live run to sharpen the mind regarding these things.  We will now be changing some things to be prepared should this, or worse, happen again.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017


Just when you think things are getting better, they get worse again.

Peter is doing well, for that I'm so very grateful.  He has blitzed the driving assessment and the Occupational Therapist is happy to recommend to our GP that he return to driving.  Happy days!

However, we lost my lovely Mum, Lisbeth on 8th June.  I miss her every day, and I'm realising more and more just how like her I'm becoming. 

She was ahead of her time in many ways and she was, and continues to be a role model to me, from gardening to living simply.  I love you Possum.


Now my Dad has been admitted to hospital, with some prostate issues.  Since the moment our phone rang at 740 am on Sunday morning, I've had that familiar tightness in my tummy - the 'here we go again' feeling.

I headed down to visit him on Monday and he's in good spirits.  Hopefully he'll be discharged in the next few days.  He kept saying "driving for four hours to visit me for two".  I just needed to see him with my own eyes, you know?  I'm heading back down to Brisbane again tomorrow to spend a few days there and hopefully have him discharged into my care.

There has been some activity in the garden though.  My brassicas are doing very well and are netted of course.  I also have some beetroot, kale and silver beet in, although, two errant chooks have caused some destruction that will need to be replanted.

The mild winter weather has been handy to get things going early.  I have tomato, bean and lettuce seedlings coming up; and I hope to seed out some other veg next week.

It looks like I may have success striking some apple and stone fruit cuttings; also wormwood.  The African daisies have self-seeded and I need to dig up the seedlings to plant out and share with friends.  So much to do and I never seem to be here to do it bah!

Photos to come.  Best wishes to all.

Saturday, 8 April 2017


In my last post I was thinking about the potential success of growing sub-tropical & tropical fruit here on the southern Darling Downs.  Thanks girls for your suggestions and encouragement; it has spurred me on.  I am planning for a mulberry and perhaps some blueberries.  We have some papaw trees growing on the western side of our carport and they have survived.  When we had frosts I put a couple of old sheets over them and it seemed to help.

The suggestion of rocks or bricks around the base of trees to retain the heat into the night will be taken on board as will all the others.  Peter is getting more active outside now - he seems to like mowing at the moment - I suppose he can sit while doing this - whereas digging is limited as you can imagine.  He's now got a program of hydrotherapy and also exercises he can do at home so things are improving there.  Its more the memory/cognitive function that we may need to spend regular time on.

We have had a couple of chooks who always like to escape the chook yard working in a tractor over veggie garden beds and that is giving me valuable help in doing over the gardens for winter.  I've yet to plant any seeds, having been away more than I've been here the last few weeks due to my Mum being in and out of hospital.  As she says 'getting old is a bugger'.

Anyway, I'll leave you with some weather type pics this morning, mainly because I haven't taken any garden pics in a while.

Looks like it is on fire     

Looking NW towards Toowoomba

 And perhaps a sunset for good measure...

Like my visitor bell? - an op shop find 
I will have some garden pics soon, promise :)