Monday, September 1, 2014


California poppy- Red chief

September is my favourite month of the year. There is a good chance that I have said before that one of the other eleven months is my favourite but that's just not true. September it is. It's early spring which is really pleasant. The days are just a little bit longer and warmer. There are flowers all over the place. And, it's my birthday month. I like birthdays. I always feel a bit of a buzz of anticipation for my new year ahead.

Today I have been pottering in the garden just a bit. Weeding here and there. Actually weeding bed one of the vegetable garden, one bed of the rose garden and one of the flower garden. If I don't keep at it bit by bit, it all comes unstuck and I can't handle it.

Even the vegetable garden is getting in on the pretty flower act. This is flower on the purple podded pea plants. No scent that I can detect but I think it would be almost sweet enough to take on the sweet peas in the flower garden.

Tonight's dinner is a simple stir fry made with beef from the farm and whatever vegetables look good this afternoon. The yellow podded peas are definitely in. I had trouble with birds at the beginning of the pea growing season and some shiny foil and cds sorted that out. Now it's two-legged thieves. Thankfully though the peas have reached the critical production level of enough for the raiders and enough for the cook. No real complaints about girls raiding my garden, that's what it there for. That's exactly what my father told me yesterday after he visited. Hmmm.

It's not all pretty flowers and yummy produce. You have to have the compost to make it so. I turned this heap this morning. It was too wet and quite sticky and heavy. I'm sure it will be good to go soon enough with a bit of stirring.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Garden Share
 The Garden Share Collective is the brainchild of lizzie from Strayed from the Table. It's a fun way to link up and share what's been happening in your garden over the past month and what you hope to achieve in the next one.

August has been a mixed bag weatherwise. Frosty some days and warm enough for short sleeves on others. The best news for the month though is rain. 95mm in fact which is the highest monthly tally we have had for 2014... so far. The paddocks are green, grass is growing and I'm itching to plant.

Our bees have not had much of a rest over the winter. Quite a few eucalypts have been in bloom and now the wattles are joining in. The gardens are just a secondary source of fodder for the bees really but I really do think they enjoy all of the flowers which are coming out now.

 Harvesting in August
  • lettuce
  • rocket
  • herbs
  • peas
  • beetroot
  • radish
  • daikon
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • lemons
  • rainbow chard
Certainly enough variety for winter but a little light on in quantity. I can't give up the greengrocers just yet.

broad beans

Yellow podded peas

Rainbow chard

Purple sprouting broccoli

 Thanks to the Garden Share Collective I was out and about taking pictures today. All was well on Friday but sometime between then and now, birds had decided to raid the lemon tree.

So some spur of the moment lemon harvesting in my ad hoc basket. It's the same basket I use sometimes for some high risk egg collection. I think lemon drizzle cake might be in order.
There is that springtime feeling now so planting and sowing just feels like the right thing to be doing. I sowed corn last weekend. Three punnets worth and once they are doing well, I'll pop in another batch. I also sowed directly some radish, lettuce and kohl rabi.
It's September that will be the big seed sowing time though. All of those frost tender vegetables will go into the greenhouse.
To-do in September
  • make compost
  • turn compost
  • mulch the fruit trees
  • seed sowing
  • mow
  • check bee hives
  • shear sheep
  • collect manure
  • and loads more things I can't think of. Plus deal with the minor dilemmas that always crop up
Happy gardening


Friday, August 29, 2014


The solar panels are up and running and the sun is cooperating too. I'm really happy about it. Greener energy is something I've always wanted to employ. It's one more small step towards making our home more environmentally friendly.

 The wattles are enjoying the sunshine too.
 So are the bees.
Almond in flower
 The almond also.
Almond blossom
But I think I'm going to have to do some hand pollinating just to be sure because there wasn't a bee to be seen on the tree today. I'd grow it just for the blossoms anyway, they are just that pretty.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A list while waiting

 I just took this picture. There should be solar panels up on that roof but I'm waiting quite patiently for the installers to arrive. They are only two hours late and after a quick chat with them, they think they will only be 3.5 hours later than scheduled. I wish I knew that earlier.

Anyway, while I've been waiting, I've made some jam. Strawberry and scented geranium. The recipe is here. It has set nicely and does have a pleasant rose and strawberry flavour but like all jams, it's too sweet for me.

I also tidied up my incoming penfriend letters from this year. And made this list after reading Mel's.

Making : a knitted dishcloth.
Cooking : roast chicken and vegetables. Well I will be cooking it a bit later.
Drinking : Yorkshire Tea.
Reading: magazines from the library.
Wanting: to get the washing dry on the clothes line today.
Looking: at postcards I've received.
Playing: with snail mail goodies
Deciding: what to give Tim for Father's Day.
Wishing: I could travel to faraway places for a holiday.
Enjoying: this last bit of winter before the bust spring season.
Waiting: for the solar installers.
Liking: this picture of my boy. He's the Storm Trooper.
Wondering: where to get some geese.
Loving: sowing summer vegetable seeds.
Pondering: expanding my vegetable garden.
Considering: some diet alterations.
Watching: Midsomer Murders. I'm a tragic.
Hoping: that Grace's orchestra application is successful.
Marvelling: at how easy it is for days to slip by.
Needing:to do some exercise.
Smelling: fresh air.
Wearing: jeans and a hoodie.
Following: this blog.
Noticing: that there are wattles galore.
Knowing: that we have to get started shearing the sheep .
Thinking: about doing some ironing.
Admiring: all the lovely gardens shared online. I even admire the not so lovely but practical ones.
Sorting: My letters. In fact my whole bedroom is getting spring cleaned bit by bit.
Buying: a gift card for a friend of Hope's.
Getting: ready for September. My birthday month.
Bookmarking: this tea wallet tutorial.
Disliking: driving. Always the driving!
Opening: a letter from a brand new penfriend.
Giggling: at myself.
Feeling: a little bit cold.
Coveting: a new kitchen and floating timber floors throughout the house. Might as well go all out.
Helping: I helped a friend with some knitting.
Hearing: a peewee/magpie lark on the verandah.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Today's messy spot

 Shamefully my rose garden is a mess. Weeds galore! My excuse is that it is winter and the rose bushes really aren't that appealing anyway. What an excuse. Really I'm just a bit of a shirker and I could probably show you a different messy spot every day.

Anyway I have been working there this morning. I really couldn't ignore it anymore. It's a really nice day for it too.
One wheelbarrow full of weeds and about ten more to go. I didn't bother shaking too much of the soil off. It doesn't go too far anyway.
The chooks aren't free-ranging today, it's a town day. For me not them so they are having a blast with the weeds and the soil and whatever they scratch out of it. Hopefully not too many worms, I'd rather they stayed in the garden. 
And I found my lunch in the garden too. Three lovely little potatoes which have been hiding out in the garden  and storing well over winter. Just enough for a meal for one. YUM!
It is such a lovely day today. All of the windows are open and everything feels fresh and light. Perfect! Spring is so close. So close that I did sow some sweet corn seeds in my mini greenhouse. I couldn't resist.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Around the garden today

I really should be doing something. Vacuuming. It can wait. It's sunny and a little bit windy but I'll ignore that. I'm going outside and throwing caution to the wind and sowing some seeds for spring. Afterall, fortune favours the brave. I hope! Just a few seeds straight into the soil- zucchini and some less tender radish, bok choy and carrots. Maybe some for the little greenhouse too.

Snow pea futures

Rocket/Arugula in flower.


Rainbow chard

Amish deer tongue lettuce

Charles and Amanda

Arrow in a sunny spot
I hope you're having an interesting day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Thank you compost

Half way through the month and I thought I best cross off a job from my to-do list. Turn the compost. Firstly I had to remove some weeds. If you can call chickweed and volunteer broad beans weeds. The chickens don't call them weeds at any rate.

I'm glad I got this job done today. I found a pumpkin hiding amongst the 'weeds' . Thank you compost heap, what a nice surprise.