Saturday, November 30, 2013

Garden Share Collective- December
I'm joining in with other likeminded folks and sharing a peek into what will be happening in my garden in December. Lizzie is the host and you can see what's happening in other gardens here.
We have had variable weather this spring. Hot, dry, cool, wet. All of it. The one thing that we could count on though was wind. It has been very windy this spring and I'm more than ready for the wind to move on. It has made planting a bit hit and miss, trying to time things just right.
I am going to be doing quite a bit of planting over the next month. Almost anything can go in the ground now in my parts except for the plants that prefer cooler growing conditions (so no peas, broadbeans or brassicas).
 It seems from my records that this November was light on in the harvest department. It's an in between time in the vegetable patch but possibly with better organisation I could cover the gap between winter goodies and summery vegetables better.

The standout harvest in the past month has been strawberries. Enough for the table and enough for a jar or two of jam. Not enough to become bored with them unfortunately.

Not too long now and other fruit will be ready for harvesting too.
 It's hard to believe that this plum was just one of the blossoms on the tree back when I did my first post for the Garden Share Collective. Not quite rip yet though.

Peaches are coming along and without the netting, we would have none. There has been a band of white cockatoos hanging around and then there are the resident birds who think nothing of tasting every piece of fruit.

The netting didn't save me a single cherry. Hope can work her way into the nets unlike the birds and she would have some on the way to and from school... goodbye cherries (and loquats too).

 This is my finger lime tree with decent sized fruits on it ripening. I've had the tree for a few years now and it has had flowers which amounted to nothing but this year, here they are. I was a bit worried it might be too cold here for this type of tree even though I've made it a nice little micro-climate. Patience does pay off in the long run.

 Corns shouldn't be too far away either. Yum.
 Red onions. I hope they are nice a hot. I'm on the hunt for some pickling sized onions so I can make some Dressed up onions.

And how the chickens haven't found and 'harvested' this rainbow chard I do not know.

To Do in December
  • reap what I have sown
  • lots of mowing- the recent rain has given us a lawn
  • more planting and seed sowing
  • turn the compost
  • weeding
  • feed the garden as needed  with liquid manure, worm tea and green manure
  • and take a bit of time to enjoy the start of summer, Christmastime and the school holidays(which start on Friday)

Friday, November 29, 2013

 We had a lovely time at Grace's formal dinner at school on Tuesday night. It's amazing how grown up everyone seems when they dress up for a special occasion.
I'm short. Who knew?
It's back to reality though. The past two days Grace has been camping out under the stars and doing farm work. And, it is raining so I'm sure when she arrives home tonight there will be no sign of glamour what so ever. Lots of stories though I'm sure, she is my 'story girl'.
Not so sunny "Sunny Corner"
As I said, it is raining. It is completely delightful here today. I've been outside wandering around because I don't mind walking in the rain a bit. My tanks are full to overflowing so that is good news for when it is dry again.
I've also been plotting and planning more plantings. The soil will be ripe for it now that is soaked with all the goodness that only rainfall brings.

Now though if you want to find me, I will be sitting on the veranda somewhere near the gardenia writing cards and letters. The gardenia is my favourite flower (when it has finished flowering, I'll find a new favourite) if it lasted longer as a cut flower before turning yellow/brown it would be perfect.

Writing more real letters- 'snail mail'- was on my list of things I wanted to do in 2013 and I have been. I missed having penpals.  I joined up #postcircle a little while back and that has been especially nice. I've also been writing to a couple of other bloggers, sending out random little notes,parcels and cards and just having a merry old time. I don't know anyone who doesn't like to receive something sweet in their letterbox. I will be continuing this 'resolution' into 2014 and forever actually.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Onwards to the end of the year that is. I really feel like 2013 has flashed by in a hurry and this last month particularly so. School ends for us on December 5th and I am truly looking forward to spending the tail end of this year mostly at home with my girls. I have a few outings planned but definitely no last minute rushing about shopping. That's the plan anyway. Tonight we have a formal dinner for Grace and she is quite excited. Right now I should be helping her with her hair and I shall in a bit.

 I have been busy making a few Christmassy things. I was quite taken with this free pattern which I can attest to being a quick, easy and pretty thing to make. This one is winging its way to other places but I am going to make another for home.

 Now that I am sending out letters galore (there's always room for more penfriends on my list if you're interested or know someone who might be), I am trying to think of little things that are light in weight to add to my cards and letters.

This little garland of birdies is winging its way to somewhere faraway too. And I am busy gluing and cutting and stitching another set just for me.

I was going to talk about the garden but I do need to be hairdresser right now.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Baby ducks

Bu firstly a couple of things that are on tonight's menu. Artichokes and silverbeet. A little bit of steam and a little bit of butter to dress them up and voila. Yum.

Amongst the usual chores I've been doing some furniture moving today. For a long time we have not had a television as a part of our lives but we do now. I'm not sure why we are bringing it back other than that some of us (not me) like to watch a movie dvd every now and then and I have my favourite exercise dvds. Much easier or more enjoyable to view them on a television  than on the computer.

Now the duckling. We have turkey chicks too but they are proving even more difficult to capture on the camera than this duckling was. They do not care for the paparazzi, not even a little bit. You will just have to take my word for it, they are cute.


Monday, November 18, 2013

A happy parcel

This morning I didn't feel too happy. Last night our dog decided to bite Grace on her face (without provocation of any kind). A trip to the hospital, three stitches to the lip and a course of antibiotics and home again. Today Grace is a bit miserable and the rest of us are tired from the late night (2am is really too late to be going to bed). I am just angry and sad. And glad that the injury was not worse than it is.
There was no time to dwell on it though, jobs must be done. Today was the day for some lamb wethers to go to market which meant an early start loading them on the trailer and driving them in to the saleyards. Later in the week I'll be advertising some of our younger Suffolk ewes (and the two that always escape).
On to the title of this post. A happy little parcel or two did lift my spirits. A lovely parcel as part of the D2E forum Christmas ornament swap.

A sweet angel card, a garland of fabric holly leaves and a Christmas pot mat from Deb. And I also received a few packets of seeds from Mr Fothergills.

I'm still none to happy about the dog but my day has brightened.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

In the garden today

Finally after being home  from holidays for a week I think I am back in my groove. That is, I've caught up on things and can just use my usual routine now. I'm not sure why going away makes for so much work when you get home (at my home anyway). That means a leisurely time in the garden on Sunday afternoon. Picking things for lunch or dinner, being hounded by flies (which is not at all leisurely), pulling a weed or two and giving everything a nice soak.
What caught my eye today was.
 A very nice looking black prince. Here he is hiding amongst the sweet corn.

 Those same sweet corn are looking good now. They struggled a little at first with the dry weather but they are through playing catch up and are looking lush. I'm looking forward to the corn.

The yellowest of yellow snapdragons. One of my favourite cottagey flowers because I remember growing them when I was small. I still like to pick a blossom and 'snap' it.

And the santolina is in flower which is really rather pretty. Usually it is a subdued grey coloured shrub but right now it is stand out yellow. I like it a lot.

It hasn't been all work and no play this past week. Just no blogging. I have been busy making and creating in my sewing room, writing lots of letters, baking, flitting into town a couple more times than I would have liked and even sending out some early Christmas cards and learning much about Western Sahara while Hope finished up her school project. Life is not tough here.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Where have I been? To the seaside. We spent a week at the coast and it was good. No to-do lists, no chores (well not many) and fairly good weather too. I have missed my blogging friends.

 The thing that amazes me most about the beach is the sand. I am still finding it and I don't think our car will ever be sand -free again. That's not too high a price to pay for fun.

 Big sunsets at the coast. Living in a valley, the sun drops down behind the hills early and doesn't look so spectacular.

The wildlife was rather friendly too and didn't mind being photographed at all. Tim made mention of how funny it is that we were stopping to photograph kangaroos when they are in plentiful supply at home. Oh well, this one was too hard to resist.

When we did arrive home on Saturday it was to dry, gusty, hot conditions. There hadn't been a drop of rain while we were away and the garden was suffering. I was almost ready to not bother. Thankfully an afternoon nap and a storm put me in a better mood.

Everything has had a generous water and a good soak of rain and all looks up again and ready to take on the summer growing season.

Now a rainy day is giving me the luxury of having some time to write letters and cards and enjoy some craft making.