25 July 2022

Fragility Quote

It's been a while since I've created any photographic quotes.

This leaf embedded in the creases of the pavement stopped me in my tracks.
In its compromised state I see both beauty and fragility.


13 July 2022




Love 'em or hate 'em.

Sometimes it is a plain good ole fashion compromise when your other half loves yuccas and you simply don't.

Well, this is my situation with yuccas.

I officially sold 'Mia Bella Gardens and Homestead' to a brand new family...and now I live beside a beautiful lake.

The property here is just as beautiful as my previous home, just more of a blank canvas.

A lot has been done here since my arrival here a year and a half ago.

We have removed enormous old and dangerous trees.

The wood has been milled to be put back into the new house which will be built in the next year.

We have tidied and cleared a lot of clutter as well as created gardens and seating spaces that blend nicely with the existing cobbled courtyard (off our creative and artists workshop), brick garden retaining walls and pizza oven.

The sun during winter is lost by 3pm, and we all gravitate to the 'Top Garden' for the last of the day's sun.

This is why the mini courtyard was put here.

Now back to the yucca situation.

I am not a fan. 

I know what they do once they get their roots established if planted in the garden.

They sucker.

They grow enormous.

And eventually takeover!

If you cut them down they regrow!

So this is why the compromise happened

- not to plant them in the garden, but to make a feature of them in pots.

At least in a pot, they can be controlled a little easier.

Garden Pots
Wine barrel look-alikes.

Not wood but high density resin from recycled material that is also lightweight and UV resistant.

The brand is Northcote Pottery.

We already had a smaller set of these, so got the large size for the Yuccas.

Already in a reasonably large bucket pot, they were removed, and quite harshly root pruned by a little more than half.
This yucca is the Spanish Bayonet variety which if planted in the ground will grow 15ft (4.5 metres) and clumps that require attention to stop it from becoming too invasive.
It's interesting that the Bayonet was once used to make clothing, footwear, and baskets. 
The white bell shaped flowers were a culinary treat eaten fried or raw.
A summer flower spike can be up to 2ft (60cm).
This variety is now grown as more often as a security plant because the leaf blades have a sharp point.
They were then potted into the new barrels
using a good quality potting mix that contains a slow-release fertiliser.

Cobblestone Courtyard

Watered and placed into their new position.

They make such a nice addition to this courtyard.

Cobblestone Courtyard


The eye is drawn to the beautiful cobble detail (a bit wet from rain).

But then lifts to the bare fence behind the courtyard.

Yuccas in pots


The potted yuccas make quite a statement in their resin replica wine barrel pots.

They now soften the view to the fence.

I think I am 'almost' converted into a yucca fan!


Other Yucca Facts:

They can be grown as an indoor pot plant.

Native of South Western and Eastern United States, Mexico, and parts of Central America.

They can withstand temperatures minus 12 degrees Celcius.

The leaf tips are extremely sharp!

Even when removed from the garden it will regrow from any remaining roots left in the ground.

The flowers are beautifully creamy white and need full sun to bloom in summer.

There are many different types of yucca. 

Some varieties -  have edible flowers and fruit, and can be used for shampoo, soap making, or as a herbal remedy for arthritis. 

It is easily grown from a new spike offcut.

#yucca #plantfacts #pottedplants

18 May 2022

Creamy Mexican Chicken Soup

Mexican Soup

 A mildly spicy but creamy soup is full of goodness and flavour that the whole family will love.

Precooked rotisserie chicken adds to the flavour, though you can leave it out, add another can of beans and change the cream cheese to a vegetarian variety, and you will have a still delicious soup. 

It's a lot of cans of this and that,

but when you haven't a lot of time to whip up a hearty meal,

this easy recipe is a true go-to.

It is ready to eat in just 25 minutes!

Mexican Soup


2 x diced red onions

(You can use white onions but the red is much sweeter to taste)

1 x diced red bell pepper

2 Tablespoons Olive oil

1 x 400g can of chopped organic tomatoes

1 x 400 gram can of salsa beans in a spiced sauce

1 x 300g corn kernels (drained)

2 cups of chicken stock

2 cups of shredded cooked rotisserie chicken

1 teaspoon each of turmeric, smoked paprika and cumin

4 'generous' Tablespoons of Philadelphia cream cheese


Fry the diced onion in olive oil in a large soup pot.

When it is soft add the diced bell pepper.

Add the canned tomatoes, beans and corn kernels.

Then the chicken stock and spices.

Bring to boil.

Remove from heat and add the Philadelphia cream cheese.

Stir until creamy.

Add the shredded cooked chicken.

Warm through but do not boil.


Top with a garnish of parsley and sliced red pepper.

Serves 6.

Mexican Soup

Serve with warm bread rolls or crunchy toasted bread as an accompaniment.  

The printable recipe is HERE

You will find a pounds and ounces to grams and oven temperature conversions HERE

Grab a cuppa, and visit

 my Fine Art America gift store


'Tracey Lee Cassin Design'  


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