Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting organised.

Look what I spent the afternoon doing: laying out my future vegie garden! The boards are temporary markers - just old weatherboards from the old cladding - but when we build the real beds they'll be made out of recycled hardwood boards (donated by our old neighbour for getting rid of the pine tree). Each bed is about 1m wide by 2m long so I'll have 8m square of dedicated vegetable growing area, although I'm sure I'll keep squeezing random vegies into other patches of the garden.

After I took this photo I got to work digging out a bit of a ramp on the right hand side and levelling out the area where the beds will go (terracing them though in a disorganised 'make it up as I go along' kind of way, Katie-style). It got dark while I dug but I was on a roll so we set up FIL's spotlight and kept working for another hour. Now I have blisters and a warm sense of self-satisfaction for a lot of dirt moved today.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Introducing Scooter

Or Scoots, for short, the newest member of our little family. He's a purebred moggy we adopted a little over a fortnight ago from the Lonsdale RSPCA.

At about six months old he's still very kitteney and a complete menace to house plants (see exhibits A and B), but possibly also the most affectionate cat I've ever met.

Exhibit A: Cat in Norfolk Island bird's nest fern. Prime perching position in the bathroom, apparently.

Exhibit B: I quite liked this little Dracaena, and it was doing quite well from a $3 Ikea pot. Now sadly diminished.

Being a cat-loving Greenie, I intend to keep him inside most of the time; the birds have only recently started visiting our garden (now that there is shelter out there for them) and I've been enjoying watching them: the cheeky magpies, impossibly beautiful rainbow lorikeets, and adorable silvereyes. Scooter can enjoy watching them, too... from the living room window.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A bit grim out there today

You'd have no real idea from this picture just how cold and wet and windy it is outside today. There are the raindrops on the window (for I was standing outside to take this) and a bit of a wet sheen on the paving.

I am torn between going to the shops (to do some SP-free girly shopping, nice but not necessary) and staying inside in the warm looking at pictures of gardens on Pinterest (not Productive). I am also hoping this sideways rain doesn't wash our groundworks down the driveway.

You see, on the slightly nicer days we've had recently, D and I have been busy digging to make foundations for our retaining-walls-to-be. I say 'digging' but mostly I mean 'moving rocks.' You can see my original garden plan here, and for the most part the retaining (the darker lines in that image) will be about the same shape and in the same place, except for right up at the back fence where the ground is so rocky we have decided to forget about trying to make the wall go straight to the fence, and instead there is going to be a little raised area by the water tank where I hope to have a garden seat and some overhanging trees so I can sit up the back of the yard and admire the view (such as it will be: a completed view and organised garden, rather than the Shambles it is now.)

In the background you can see our unfinished chicken coop (a Work In Progress for over 6 months now, oops), the only passionfruit vine I have ever managed to grow well (on the fence), and where that lonely Styrofoam tub is is roughly where I am going to put my raised vegie beds once the retaining is done and that area is flattened out properly.

I am SO looking forward to having this done. It will be a big tick off the To Do list (a huge tick, in fact) and then I will no longer have a yard which looks like a building site. I can hardly wait!

(Winter countdown: 15 days left).

Monday, August 13, 2012

Small and perfect

That's my baby broccoli. I am super happy with it, because it's green and beautiful, and because I get to eat it before the aphids do! First time for everything, oh happy day.

Eighteen days left of winter.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Siberian Tomato Conspiracy

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

These are not my Siberian Tomatoes, and this is not my picture, this is (was) just my dream: Tomatoes in winter! And this is what sucked me in:

"Tomatoes in 60 Days! Plants set fruit at low temperatures, Produce extra early yields, frost resistant, too! Siberian tomatoes really do come from Siberia, producing juicy, flavourful, smooth, round fruit up to 225g (1/2lb) in size as early as 60 days from setting out plants. The plants produce delicious tomatoes ahead of other varieties because Siberians do not require high temperatures to set fruit like other tomatoes - just a few degrees above freezing is all the warmth they need."

(From Australian Seeds, and I avoid promoting websites or products, but they have some interesting stuff and I must reference the quote!)

Way back in March I ordered some seed and sowed it in punnets. It all sprouted beautifully and it was very exciting. Then there was a toddler-related incident and I was left with four intact seedlings out of about 30, but never mind, these things happen. I potted the four babies on and slowly they grew, and later I planted two of them into pots, and the other two into a sheltered spot in the garden by the warmth of a north-south fence. One garden-planted tomato died immediately, the other struggled on. The two potted tomatoes have done marginally better, reaching a whopping four or five inches tall by now. They are nearly five months old, these plants, and will certainly not be flowering, let alone fruiting anytime soon.

The dream of winter tomatoes is gone, and even of spring tomatoes very much diminished, but I live in hope that we may get one or two tomatoes off a plant eventually (and in the meantime, I'll stick to summer cropping varieties!)

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

(Yes, I know I said I was going to talk about seed sowing this post, but I can't find the card-reader so my pictures are all stuck on my camera until I can locate the blasted thing.)

Three weeks left of winter, folks!