Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Life in a faster lane

I have finally made it to a faster lane on the internet. This morning we had satellite dish installed to allow us to have internet access that is quicker than the 28kbps that I am accustomed too.It is unsightly but hopefully it makes things quicker and easier. I already have a problem though. When I upload an image to blogger, the internet 'disconnects' and I have to click connect again when I publish the post. Here's to happy, speedy blogging.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Garden Beauty

Last week I borrowed the book Velvet Pears by Susan Southam from my local library. It is a lovely book and full of beautiful images of her garden, Foxglove Spires at Tilba Tilba, NSW. Although I am not envious or jealous of what others have, it has made me want to add a bit more beauty to my own garden. My garden is more practical than pretty but there is no reason why practical can't be pretty too.
A wheel barrow full of weeds might never be pretty but it has made room to add some bulbs and underplantings of herbs and groundcovers.
Dahlia: Lemon Snow
My favourite dahlia is always pretty. The only improvement I think could be made with dahlias is the addition of fragrance.

I do see the beauty in the vegetable garden although it is mostly just a practical area. This summer I have grown flowers amongst the vegetables and there is a certain beauty and joy in having an abundance of fresh herbs and vegetables that are homegrown and nourishing.

One of my favourite herbs is lavender. I have many varieties which flower at different times so there is usually at least one bush with flowers for us and the bees. The best part about lavender is that you can enjoy it just as much or maybe even more with your eyes closed.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

School Tomorrow

I really don't like the last weekend of the school holidays. I didn't like it when I was at school and I don't like it now that I am a parent. I like the days to be carefree with no timetable to follow. Time for lavish morning or afternoon teas and no driving to music lessons or sporting events.

Tomorrow however, it is back to routine. The books will be back out first thing and we will get down to some serious study after a luscious break. Fresh and ready to learn.

The holidays were productivetoo. The children had fun and a few spats as well and I got a lot done in the garden. I have also started to make a list of some of the things I would like to plant during the winter. More fruit trees will be going in when they arrive from Thistlebrook Nursery but at the top of my ornamental list is to plant some silver birch trees. I love the look of their bark and hope to make a little glade edged with the silver birch.

I am having trouble posting pictures tonight so this a bit of a boring post. I always prefer to see some pictures on other blogs and mine too. Hopefully things will be sorted by the next time I post.
Until then,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Lot of Weeding

A lot of weeding, that is the disadvantage of having a larger garden. There is a lot of lawn to be mowed too.

I have been tidying up the herb garden during the last few days. There are a few patches that are bare patches now as I culled a few plants which had become woody and too untidy.

The herb garden measures 8 metres (26 feet) by 10 metres(33 feet) and has a path of white scoria. The path is underlayed with weed mat which does go some way to preventing weeds coming up but there are still the odd few to remove. As it is school holiday time and the weather has been beautiful outdoors, the exercise in the garden has been all pleasure.

As a reward for my efforts, I am going to go into town this afternoon and buy a few plants to pop in the empty spots. I think I will try something with a little colour.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Big Garden Bonuses

The advantage of having a large garden for me is being able to not just grow food for my family but be able to grow things for fun or interest too. I like to gather seed and plant catalogues and if a variety has an interesting name or looks a little different , I like to give it a try. Hence the many varieties of potatoes growing in my vegetable patch and the large collection of seeds in my seed box. I especially like heritage/ heirloom varieties. We are enjoying the Sapphire potatoes at the moment .

Kipfler, Pink Fir Apple, Banana, King Edward and Coliban.
The name of these pink skinned potatoes escapes me but they are my favourite variety. I purchased the seed potatoes originally from The Lost Seed in 2008 and I don't think they sold them last season.

They made the prettiest mashed potatoes. Very pink. When I lived on a suburban block, my potato growing was limited as it was difficult to rotate crops due to lack of space and other warm weather crops were grown in preference.

We have grown a modest crop of peanuts too. They are a fun plant to grow and don't take up too much room and would probably be ok in a large pot.They do need a warm summer though.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Busy weekend

I have had a busy weekend. Weeding, weeding and weeding and then some planting as a reward after all of the hard work.The kohl rabi have been badly affected by white cabbage moth so I have had to resort to spraying them and the other brassica crops with Bacillus thuringiensis to help control them.

The gourds have been harvested and are now drying out. They are a fun thing to grow but I have absolutely no idea what I will do with all of these.

I planted out a tray of broccoli and cabbages and also sowed a few seeds- peas, snowpeas, onions, radish and some lettuce.
I hope that everyone else has had productive weekend and some rest time too.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gardening fun

After being away from home it is an even bigger treat to get out into the garden. Yesterday I didn't manage to have any gardening time until just before dinner and even then it was only to pick a few things. I had to take care of the usual post holiday chores- unpacking and washing. There were five loads of washing which now has to be folded and ironed.

King Edward and Sapphire potatoes

Dinner was simple. The potatoes are ready to harvest and last night we enjoyed some just dug, washed, boiled and mashed. A mix of King Edward and Sapphire potatoes which have been prolific this year even after the 28- spotted lady bugs feasted on he leaves.

Sapphire potatoes

The sapphire potatoes are quite striking and made a purple tinted mash which was fun

Finger lime

Todays gardening is revolving around the orchard. I have four new fruit trees to plant. A loquat to replace the one destroyed by the grasshoppers last year. A Nules mandarin because we love mandarins. A feijoa (apollo) because growing as many different types of plants as I can is my vice. Lastly, a Finger Lime because I have wanted one for ages. This order of trees came from Daley's Fruit Tree Nursery in Kyogle. I have been ordering from them for a few years now .Their service and packaging is great and the plants have always arrived in excellent condition.

Bye for now,


Saturday, April 3, 2010

A City Interlude

Our little family took a trip to Sydney this week. Preparing the garden and the livestock for a week of no supervision is a little daunting so I only do it when I have to. The garden and animals were just fine except for some cabbage moth damage to the kohl rabi.

My son attended an awards ceremony in Sydney on Tuesday so it was a must attend event. The ferry ride to the event was short but fun for two country girls.

The ceremony was at Customs House at Circular Quay. What a lovely library they have. I enjoyed the pre-ceremony time browsing the shelves and reading the magazines that my local library doesn't have.

We used the opportunity of being in Sydney to attend the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The dahlias in the picture above are just for decoration, not part of the floral competition. The standard of competition in all of the events is very fierce. Although I enter our local show I am a little too lackadaisical for this event. Though I did notice that our turkeys were of a standard that would have been competitive, I'm not sure they would enjoy the six hour journey there and back.
Now we are home again enjoying aschool holidays and puppy sitting Mia.
Bye for now,