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Bathroom Orchids

bathroom orchids

I so love having fresh flowers in my bathroom these days. My bathroom “Worth the 30 Years’ Wait” has hanging baskets all around the edge, lilies along the side, and I’ve discovered orchids.   This orchid is right next to the shower-   I can admire it while I soap myself.  It is the forth orchid to flower this year, and so far my favourite with its delicate mauve centres.

I’ve never been huge on growing flowers before.  A nice fertile bit of soil and a choice of what to plant in it and an edible has nearly always won out.  I do like the beauty of many flowering edibles – they feed my native bees, attract predatory insects, and yield seeds for next year’s planting.  Right now I have mustard with bright yellow flowers – great for salads and going to be brown mustard seeds for sprouting and for curries and for pickles.  I have the waxy white flowers of kailan, or swatow broccoli, again wonderful in salads.  I have the purple flowers of endive, going to be seed for next year but mostly just because. I have dill flowering with yellow umbrella heads, good for salads and seed as a spice, and for attracting predatory hoverflies, lacewings, wasps and ladybeetles.  I have Queen Anne’s lace planted for the same purposes.  Soon there will be the lovely little blue flowers of Nigella that I grow for its peppery seeds for pickles and curries.  I would have nasturtiums for salads too but the wallabies found a hole in the fence again and they love nasturtiums even more than I do.

But flowers grown just for themselves are a rare thing for me and I’m discovering a whole new indulgence.

This river lily is growing under the towel hooks. Back when my mother was a girl, orchids and lilies in corsages were a gift for a special date.  It feels very luxuriant to have them all the time.


{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Joy August 28, 2016, 8:33 pm

    Funny, our wallabies don’t bother with nasturtiums but love sweet potato foliage and grevilleas, yet we are just on the other side of town to you. Love your bathroom.

  • Linda August 29, 2016, 5:44 am

    Yes, mine love sweet potato too, more even than nasturtiums. And then the bush turkeys finish the job by digging up the tubers. My grevillias survive though. We’ll have to make sure our wallabies never invent a way to talk to each other!

  • Katie August 29, 2016, 9:33 am

    I just had to click on your bathroom pic once more. It is truly the most beautiful bathroom I have ever seen. If I ever have an outdoorsy bathroom I would have orchids and ferns …. and pebbles everywhere.

  • Angus August 29, 2016, 4:17 pm

    Hi Linda,

    My wife and I love what we’ve seen of your bathroom, and are inspired by it. It epitomises the “creative solutions to problems” aspect of permaculture. We’d love to see a bit more detail about exactly what you’ve done. Also, I’d love to find out any tips or tricks you’ve done in your kitchen — is it similarly radical?

    Many thanks, Angus

  • Linda August 31, 2016, 12:47 pm

    Hi Angus, I did plan to do a post about rocket stoves for bath heating, since that was a big trial and error process and it might be good to help others avoid the error bit. Someone else has asked for more pictures of the bathroom too, so I guess that’s now on my list. I hadn’t thought about kitchen in those terms, but perhaps it is radical – it’s not very much like the kitchens I see in Bunnings. The main things I think that make it different – a tiny fridge – fridges use a lot of power, and I find eating fresh and minimising waste both work better with a tiny fridge. A big central bench that several people can work at at once. Three slide out buckets under the bench for chook food, recyclables, rubbish. Open pantry shelves with everything in glass jars, and quite a stock of dry pantry staples – beans, oats, flour, lentils etc – helps avoid supermarket trips. An old fashioned double sink with a draining board either side and no dishwasher. I actually don’t mind washing up at all – I think it can be a bit of daily mindfulness – some of my best ideas happen while washing up! I think good systems for washing up is one of those old-fashioned skills that, when you have them, make chores like this quite nice. And whether it is two plates from lunch or a 12 person dinner party, the system handles it. And sometimes we need to be very frugal with water, and power. And our greywater doesn’t “disappear” so I like a lot of control over what is in it. With a 4.5kva solar power system, on sunny days we have power to waste, so I bake bread in a George Foreman electric oven, cook beans in a crockpot slow cooker, make coffee and cook meals on an induction burner. On wet winter’s days we have the Rayburn slow combustion stove going. For summer dinner parties we have a charcoal barbeque. So there’s a gas stove but it is not often used and we use very little non-renewable fuel for anything in the kitchen. An aversion to single-purpose kitchen gadgetry and a love for beautiful kitchen tools designed to last generations.

  • Angus September 1, 2016, 7:57 pm

    Thanks for the detailed comment, Linda. That’s really interesting and helpful. I’ll give that some thought.

    We do a few of the same things as you — have 20L buckets of some dry goods, which is awesome.

    Do you find that open shelves get dusty/sticky?

    Cheers, Angus

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