Thursday, September 30, 2010


Some little sod has eaten two out of four of my Delicata pumpkin seedings. I went out to give them a drink this morning and found my poor plants. I thought, at least if the buggers are going to eat my plants they could have the decency to eat the whole thing and not just nibble at the stem so that it snaps off! BAH. I guess gorging on the first plant left no room for the second in tiny insect stomachs.

At least the other two are OK and I am busy drinking too much coffee so I can use the grounds as a caffiene barrier around them:

Today SP hung out on the grass while I did the rounds. I wonder if she'll be a gardener like her Mama?The broad beans are being pollinated by the honeybees.

Both the strawberries and the snow peas have their first flowers.

The bluebells finally have flower shoots too. I was starting to wonder if they were going to flower at all this year.
The coriander flowers look like lace. Even though I want the big pot, I'm leaving the coriander to it's own devices so that I can collect the seed and replant it.
Lastly, a little peek inside my kitchen. Yesterday on our way home from an ABA meeting (Australian Breastfeeding Association) I stopped by the side of the road and collected some wild freesias. Now the kitchen smells quite floral, but not as strongly as when I brought some of the jonquils inside.
They're very pretty with their creamy petals and sunny yellow details.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Everything is growing

Not so much to report today; just a few happy snaps to share:

These are one of the potatos I planted in big pots half full of soil; they are growing so quickly, quite amazing. Desiree, I think. The plan is to top the pots up with more soil as they grow taller, although I will have to look up how big they should be when you start doing that. I think they look kind of lush and nice.

Second photo, very exciting: broad-bean flowers and lots and lots of them! Very pretty with those dark eyes and grey veins in the petals. A few days ago there were only a few open and when I looked today they seem to have gone a little bit manic and taken off. I've only just got around to staking them. I had 180cm bamboo stakes and thought I'd cut them down to 60cm and when I was busy sawing them the saw blade shattered into three pieces! Bit of a surprise, no idea they were that brittle. I still have another row of beans to stake too.

Last photo, just because: SP on the lawn exploring the grass :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Baby

I got a new baby in the post last week, all snuggled into a box and tucked into shredded newspaper, and now she's sitting on my breakfast bar, waiting to be planted. This is my black mulberry tree, and I am ridiculously excited to have one :) Memory here: one of my mum's work colleagues farms on the Eyre Peninsula. It's hot and dry; the family live in a giant tin shed. The adults put down tarpaulins on the ground and shake the mulberries from the tree, which is enormous. We kids gorge ourselves on the dark fruits and run in and out from under the tree's overhanging branches. It's another world under there, cool and dark and light-dappled. Now I have my own treeling, and whilst I don't think I'll let it get to it's potential 10 x 10 meters, it will take it's pride of place in the middle of the lawn.

In other news the air is becoming warm and the garden is blooming. The old rose along the fence, near the letterbox, is shooting into life with pink-blushed leaves. At least one nasturtium has shown it's floral face, and it is a golden yellow with red cheeks, and I have my first correa flower gracing the rose garden.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


On Sunday I finally got around to pulling out some of the weeds that were colonising the front lawn and rose garden. I got two buckets worth out of the lawn alone. Thanks to all the rain, the ground was very soft and they came out beautifully. Rather worrying was the number of soursobs I pulled out. This little South African number (Oxalis pes-caprae), introduced into Australia as a garden plant, is a serious space/light competitor and even though I'm told they aren't taken very seriously, as they aren't around the entire year, they are the bane of my gardening life. And this is why: This little bugger had a root over 60cm long! It was out of the rose garden and the roots were under the mulch, not the soil, which is why it came out intact.

All along the roots grow little bulbils and it is those thingums that are the real problem. Soursobs spread by bulbs, and lots of them, in fact a lot of the time they don't set seed at all. The bulbs are quite obvious in the photo below. It's a long, long process to get rid of them. As I prefer not to spray poisons in my garden, I'll be pulling these suckers out for years to come. I'm hoping the key will be to never let them get out of hand in the first place. So, one bucket of weeds for the compost, and all the soursobs to go into the green waste bin, along with their bulbs!

I finally got out the back as well and stated to clear swathes of weeds. Quite embarrasing, some of them had become quite enormous. Wish I'd taken a photo of some of them with something for scale, but all I have is a photo of three piles of weeds which don't look nearly as impressive her as in real life. I think I'm going to leave them just where they are so they can moulder and break down into compost and get dug into the soil later.

Weeding is quite therapeutic sometimes. There is something very satisfying about pulling out all those plants you'd rather not be there, especially when you have a personal vendetta against some of them. I have to say, however, that all the thistles and grasses made be wish we had a rabbit to eat them. I have fond memories of collecting thistles for our rabbits and guinea pigs when I was a child, of letting some of them get big just so the critters could have a treat.

Monday, September 6, 2010

More storms

The sky fell in over the weekend and we had more rain in one go than we've had in 10 years. Pretty damn cool, provided you were inside and not out in it. Our backyard was awash, fortunately our drainage is quite good (as you'd expect, considering we live on the side of a hill) and there's not left to show for it now apart from lovely damp soil, and some very happy plants. If it was warm, it would have felt like the tropics but, alas, it was icey cold at times. The hail was quite dramatic but didn't hang around long enough to get a photo.

During one of the brief dryer periods, I heard a crashing about along the fence line and went to investigate. I found we had a special fluffy-eared visitor, with a lovely white-splotched bottom and beautiful red-brown fur on his shoulders and the top of his head.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Some perspective for tea.

The power went out lat night for an hour and a half. I faffed about for 10 minutes in the twilight gloom looking for matches to go with the candles we bought after the last blackout, before I managed to locate a lighter in the desk drawer. Then I had my three candles on the mantle-piece, amongst my pot plants, lighting up the living room.
Then I went online, onto Facebook, with my mobile phone and had a bit of a tongue-in-cheek bitch about the power going out, and being reduced to eating broken crackers and pate for dinner.
Then I realised, that TIC or not, that had been an incredibly dumb thing to say. What was I thinking? In the same day that there is a 7.1 earthquake in Christchurch, and the day after Pakistan experiences it's latest bombings in amongst the floods (and the cricket scandal, let's not forget!), and I manage to be online, on my fancy mobile phone, in the middle of a blackout, eating my crackers that I found in the darkened cupboards in my kitchen, with the vegemite, and the jam, and above my flours and sugars and cocoa, with pate that I found in my fridge with the milk and the butter and the cheese and the eggs and the fresh vegetables and stock-in-a-carton and yogurt and tamarind paste and curry paste and tomato paste ...
I had food, and more than enough of it. I still had hot water in the tank. I had candles, and a lighter, and a torch, and a phone. The house wasn't particularly cold. SP was safe and warm and fed, asleep in her bassinet on top of her sheepskin and rugged up in her wraps.
A blackout for a few hours is perhaps not such a big deal, after all.