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.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rain- Hooray

 Most likely if I paid any heed to weather forecasts I would have known last week that there was some rain just around the corner. Lots of rain and it's absolutely, positively wonderful even if the herb garden is decidedly wet.

The ducks are relishing every drop. They have plenty of new puddles to explore and splash about it. Lucky ducks.

I spent yesterday inside staying dry. Today I said no way, donned my raincoat and went outside anyway.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Today's a long day

Obviously today is no longer than any other day and I certainly won't find enough time to do everything I want to do (as usual) but Grace is due home from her school excursion to the snow so it seems to be dragging by waiting for the bus to arrive. I'm sure it would feel even longer on the bus. My how I have missed her this week. I hope she has taken lots of pictures and has lots of stories to tell. I also hope she wasn't too cold.
I have been busy this morning crossing things off my to do list. The herb garden is weeded except for the path which I really don't like to do. I really wanted the garden tidied up so that I could see what plants I'd like to buy myself or maybe receive for my birthday next month. The list is long!

This Romanesco broccoli is looking particularly stunning. The camera hasn't done its colour justice, it is much more vibrant but it does show its wonderful form. It's a must grow in this nerds garden.

This winter I planted two types of broad beans. One type just wasn't enough. In reality, I am just a sucker for the romantic names and descriptions that they use in seed catalogues. They are both in flower now so I'll wait impatiently for the beans.

Broad bean- Aquadulce

Broad bean- chocolate flowered
 Now I don't think two varieties are enough, next time I'll grow the crimson flowered ones as well. They are very pretty.

 I've been doing the odd row here and there of a knitted dishcloth. I'm giving this one along with some yet unmade bunting to a friend who has a birthday coming up. I hope she likes it. I think the colour is very sweet.

And because we all need some extra inspiration now and then, I've been drinking lots of my new favourite tea. It's deliciously spicy and warming. Most likely not everyone's cup of tea (sorry) but it is mine. I can't vouch for any special powers that it has to inspire anything other to sit down and savour it. I am going to go and do some yoga though so maybe it does work.

I hope you are having an interesting day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday 12/8

The weather can only be relied on to be unpredictable right now. The few spring-like days were replaced this morning by a fiercely cold wind and low temperatures. It can also be relied on that it will be dry with not a hint of rain around which isn't a good sign for the spring and summer ahead. We'll see!
The shed garden

 What have I been doing? Well besides taking some time off on Friday and heading off to have lunch with some fellow bloggers, I have been busy. Doing some tidying up in the paddocks, gardening, the usual household chores and missing Our Grace while she is on a school camp at the snow. I did have a cold for a few days too but I'll forget about that.

Finger lime- Rick's Red

Yesterday I weeded and pruned in the shed garden. It's a low maintenance area which gets watered rarely and weeded even less. I did find some new little finger limes on my tree. It has been in the ground for a few years now and last year was the first time it produced on mass. By the looks of it, it should do well again this year. When I bought my tree from Daley's, I couldn't find them in the garden centres but now they are quite readily available. I might get another one of a different variety if I can work out where to put it.

After recovering from helping Tim lift this beast into place , I've been left the task of putting it back together. So far I have managed the doors which were easy enough and the grate in the firebox.

I'm not good at jigsaw puzzles because I lack the essential patience but I am hoping to make an outdoor pizza/bread oven out of it. If not, it is so heavy that it will just have to stay put and taunt me each time I walk by. We'll see!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Garden Share

"The Garden Share Collective is a group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills. Creating a monthly community to navigate through any garden troubles and to rival in the success of a good harvest we will nurture any beginner gardener to flourish. Each month we set ourselves a few tasks to complete by the next month, this gives us a little push to getting closer to picking and harvesting. The long-term goal of the Garden Share Collective is to get more and more people gardening and growing clean food organically and sustainably." These are Lizzie's words who hosts the Garden Share Collective. There are plenty of links on the Garden Share site catering for all types of gardens. And if you're not a gardener then maybe you will be inspired to get started.


 This past month has been quite a slow time in my garden. That's quite ok with me because I know in just a little while, it will be full-steam ahead.

 The cooler weather is just right for tidying up and doing the heavier chores. Our empty compost bays have now had a good clean up and are ready and waiting for action. Only one bay is full at the moment and I'll turn it this week or next. There's never enough compost!

 Harvesting in July
  • the last of the limes (that are looking like lemons)
  • lettuce
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • herbs
  • daikon
  • peas
  • cauliflower
  • 1 lonely broccoli (but more are on the way)
  • turnip

 Purple sprouting broccoli are starting to tease with loads of little sprouts. I just hope that they don't succumb to some sort of bug. They look good so far and I'm looking forward to them.

 Lettuce are doing really well. The crunch of a good-old Iceberg is nice but the cut and come again varieties are my favourite to grow.

Cauliflowers are going from strength to strength. Plenty of lovely white heads ready or almost ready and my successive sowings are coming along to replace the spent plants. Sometimes it all works well... sometimes.

  • not much at all
  • potted up some small scented geranium plants
  • nothing new in the vegetable garden
I have daydreamed about planting though and August is more conducive to planting. I use Gardenate as a loose guide as what to plant when. It's not exactly right for my climate but it gives a good reminder.

To-do in August
  • sow seeds
  • turn compost
  • gather manure
  • source mulch
  • avoid bee stings (2 stings on the face on Thursday...ouch)