Friday, October 24, 2014

Baby Fruit

If you have been reading here long enough then you will know that I love gardening. I don't even think I could stop gardening if I tried, I'm addicted to it. Edibles in particular are my passion and I'm forever boring enlightening people with vegetable garden posts. Today I thought I might talk about the orchard. It's a nice place to be, the orchard. The bees like it. The birds like it just a little too much.
This week I have been mulching and mowing and weeding around the trees and giving them all a good deep water. The weather is definitely hotting up and as fruit is made up of a high percentage of water, the quality of the fruit can suffer in dry times. Even more mature trees need a drink now and then to keep them happy. The citrus trees really show signs of heat stress during the summer months, turning up their leaves and dropping them in protest sometimes. 
It's not that bad right now. In fact, it might be just right for the orchard at the moment. There are plenty of baby fruit on the trees and bushes and we are even picking  mulberries and strawberries (if the birds let us). The white mulberry once again disappointed but it is such a nice tree that it can stay. 
Macadamia flowers
 I'm not really in the best climate for growing macadamia nuts but I always like to experiment and see how far I can push the gardening boundaries. I'm not expecting to have any nuts but day maybe.
Cherry- Stella

Tiny pear.

Tiny peaches- Anzac

White currants

Mulberries. Hope's favourite.

And because the orchard is looking healthy and manageable and I was doing some shopping for Grace's birthday which is coming up on Monday, I bought a new raspberry plant today too. You can't have too many.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Things I like

In reality the list of things I like is never-ending. There's something to new to like and love every single day. That's how I am. Some of the things that have pleased me today are.
Alpine strawberry

Alpine strawberries. Both  the alpine and the regular strawberries are fruiting now but these tiny little gems are super sweet and lovely for a snack on the hop.

 Flowers in general and the foxgloves in particular are just starting to look lovely.

Fabric covered journal.
Christmas bunting for a gift
 A few finished craft projects always brighten me up. It means I've had some time to sit and create and explore one of the other facets of what makes me who I am.

Animals! Not a day goes by that I don't deal with animals. I'll admit that sometimes they can cause some stress. Animal illness in particular is worrisome. But all of my animal friends- pets, livestock and the native wildlife bring me joy on a daily basis.

And lastly, twins. We are half way through lambing and so far there has only been one singleton. If one lamb is cute, twins are (in my opinion) more that double the cuteness. The ewes may very well have a different opinion on twins but I don't listen to those types of complaints.

Friday, October 17, 2014


I am as a rule an animal lover. Flies and rats are the exceptions that prove the rule in this case. I even like snakes. Like, not love, mind. Foxes are no exception even after one took a little lamb last night before it even had a chance to take its first steps. I like foxes in their rightful place which is not here in Australia. It was such a big mistake made in the past bringing them here after the colony was settled.

We are vigilant with watching for predators and doing what should be done to keep them at bay but sometimes it happens. Foxes are crafty. It's not the  fault of the fox, he is only doing what he must to survive. If I could, I'd tell the foxes there are plenty of rabbits which he is more than welcome to.

When I first stared farming a loss like this would have maybe brought on a tear or two but I'm harder now. You become accustomed to these sorts of losses. Even the girls don't cry as much and they are fairly sooky. It  doesn't mean that you aren't affected, just that you can take more in your stride.

I am glad that this ewe like most of the others had twins so she still has one lamb because when they lose both that is sad.

No pictures today.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


The herb garden

You have to go with the flow as far as weather is concerned especially when it is so different from one day to the next. In the single figures yesterday and very chilly the last few nights and back to the spring sunshine today. I'm not complaining, there's no use in that. The only time I'll really complain about the weather is when it is HOT and even more so when there has not been enough rain.

 For the life of me I cannot take a decent picture of these lavender bushes. They are really lovely at the moment. If you could visit then you would know. Covered in flowers and bees too. In there amongst them somewhere is a mandarin tree that would probably definitely benefit from moving. One day maybe I'll shift it or maybe it will pluck up some gumption and get growing where it is.

I had some visitors today (my parents) just in time to give me a rest from figuring out where to plant the last of my dahlia tubers. They came bearing gifts of tomato plants of which I don't think you can have too many. I gave them a cup of tea and after a quick visit sent them on there way with a load of wood, a dozen eggs and some sunflower deeds. Then I whizzed around and planted those tubers using the notion of where would I like to see a dahlia flower as my guide. I hope that works.

Our tiniest lamb so far this year is this little girl. She's a cutie and I would call her that if we didn't already have a Cutie.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Of course

 It's raining and it's turned cold so the lambs are being born. Of course. Nothing so civilised as having babies in fair weather here.

The local birdlife (not the chickens) are loving the wet weather and truth be told, so am I.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Finding Time

This past month I haven't seemed to have enough hours in the day. I certainly haven't had enough time to blog much but I have been busy. Playing catch-up some of the time and working through my to-do list which is ever lengthening.
I can't say I took much time out to 'smell the roses', but I did weed, water and mulch the rose gardens so they are in good shape for the hot weather.
I pruned the roses hard this past winter so I'm hoping that they respond well to that. I can say they all survived their haircuts whether they are happy about it or not remains to be seen. There are flowers on some plants and just buds on others and aphids on many but that's a story for another day.
Climbing Iceberg

Graham Thomas

I have squeezed in some sewing too but that's top secret for now.

Hopefully I can find that extra time soon.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wicked Plants

Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart is one of the books I'm currently reading. It does make for interesting reading. A wee bit scary at times too. It's amazing how many innocent and pretty looking common plants can  dangerous. Plants of course aren't really wicked (except maybe stinging nettles) but it does make a good book title.

You can read more about poisonous plants here if they interest you like they do me.

And now some flower pictures just because it's a nice day outside and the flowers are looking good and in some cases even threatening.