Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm Engaged!

I got Engaged yesterday! It's so exciting! This is not really garden related news, except that I'm thinking we'll probably have a garden wedding.
I hope my wonderful news makes you smile. I can't seem to stop smiling, myself.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The veggie plants are growing...

Welcome to my blog!
This is the potato plant I'm growing in a new garbage bin. Looking good so far.
The Rocket is growing slowly but surely.

Lots of baby shallots coming up.

We had to build the trellis for the peas and snow peas because they are growing so quickly.

My Man built this beautiful trellis for the climbing peas. It is a work of art.
I visited the Australian Springtime Flora Festival today. We had gorgeous Spring weather for the event, and there was a big turnout for day one, considering it was a Thursday. I didn't buy anything, but as always I came away feeling inspired and full of optimism for my garden.
The stand that tempted me the most was the one for wheeled moveable chicken pens, ready made which come with three chickens and feed. But once again I resisted the urge to buy chickens. For the price they were asking, I could put in three more big square foot gardens for my veggies. I'll stick to buying my eggs from the local farm stand.
I can't wait for the weekend, when we will start planting tomatoes.
I love hiding in my garden.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rescued four FREE containers!

I was walking past the big skip bins at work today, taking a look in as I like to do, and discovered four huge cube shaped bottles. They had held oil for the kitchen vats, and so I 'rescued' them from the rubbish and put them in my boot. Four new square foot containers for FREE! Gotta love that.
Today we ate our first home grown mushroom, and it was big enough for an omelette for two people. It was as big as a bread and butter plate, but as tasty as a small young mushroom. I should have taken a photo of this giant, but we were just too keen to get it in the pan. We'll get a photo of the next one for sure.
The peas and snow peas are reaching for the sky and will soon be needing the support that my Man is building for them. He's using white plastic pipes and twine. The pipes will definitely be needing some help to stay upright. I chose twine because I have read in more than one blog that when the veggies have finished producing I can just throw the whole plant, still attached to the twine, into my compost bins.
I have planted two whole trays of Marigold seeds and that means 60 possible plants. I just can't wait to mass plant those little darlings, and see their sunny faces each day. The beauty of having such a huge untamed garden in front, and sides and back of the house is that I have plenty of spaces to put pretty much any plant I feel like growing. What could be better on this earth than that?
Nine carrots have sprouted! I'm so excited about the carrots, maybe because they are the one veggie I know my teenage sons will eat. The thought of slicing up carrot sticks to crunch on, carrots from our own garden, makes me almost giddy. A little OTT maybe, but it has been a few years since I have been able to grow a thing, and that will make any garden fairy crave dirt under her nails!
My list of jobs in the garden is so long I barely know how to limit myself to one section. The veggie garden is a priority of course, but the front yard has suffered from neglect as I recovered from my back injury for the past couple of years. It really needs a haircut and weed at the very least and this will be no small task. The Camellia's are such troopers, growing and flowering and looking so great despite a lack of TLC. The Bouganvillea is gorgeous, but out of control and almost takes my eye out when I walk under it to get to the hose.
I need to go update the Excel spreadsheet which has my garden plan. Thanks for visiting.
I just love hiding in my garden.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Seeds in the soil...

My peas (above) and snow peas are shooting and they look so yummy, I could just eat them. At last the carrots are finally coming up as well. I planted my second round of lettuce and carrots today. I decided to wait two weeks between each round, to space the picking when they bear veggies. Notice I say WHEN and not IF they bear veggies.
I had a lot of fun planting seeds today. I put in cabbages, chives, basil, corn, marigolds and some cosmos. I need more containers to plant the rest of my veggies!
The space beside my old shed will have to be prepared before I can plant the beans and broad beans. I can't decide whether to use containers like I have in the rest of the veggie garden, or make a square foot garden instead. It will depend on whether I can find the timber at a price I'm willing to pay, preferably used and free!
My girls are still feeling very put out to be fenced out of the veggie garden. Kira likes to be queen of the whole yard, but she also thinks that part of her job is to dig up and inspect any part of the garden that I plant. To make their lives even more stressful, our guinea pig Piper had three babies yesterday. The girls don't like those piggies stealing my attention. I moved Piper and the babies into the veggie garden area because Kira was just obsessing about them, she is such a control freak. I have no idea where she gets that from.
Our original guinea pig was called Pumpkin. Her son and daughter were named Piper and Pedro. Now we have three babies and I'm trying to stick to the 'P' names. I think we have two girls and a boy, and I have called one Petal because she is just a sweet little thing and so soft. I'm not sure what to call the other two.

'Petal' 1 day old

Next weekend my Man will be helping me to get the Grosse Lisse tomato seeds into the soil. I want to plant my biggest crop ever. The recipes and preserving ideas I'm learning reading all the amazing blogs in here are such an inspiration. In past years, I have only ever grown enough tomatoes to eat and fill my freezer with sauce. This year I would like to grow capsicums (peppers) and chilli's so I can make salsa as well. My Man is growing a nice crop of garlic, so I will need to find out how to preserve that, too.

The mandarins are still covering the tree, as though I haven't already picked a hundred of them. They are so delicious and the guinea pigs just love them. The girls beg for a segment of mandarin when I peel them for the piggies, but unlike the piggies, they never actually eat them.

Thanks for visiting. x

I love hiding in my garden.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My 85c bucket garden...

This is my new garden, all ready for planting tomorrow. A double row of 85c buckets filled with compost and vermiculite. It's cheap and was fast to put together once I had all of the elements home from the garden centre.
I have searched 2 months for a free source of used timber or other material to make up my square foot gardens. Having no luck at that, I decided to go for the cheapest thing I could find that I could use over and over.
I am really looking forward to getting my seeds in the dirt tomorrow. I have a plan, but it's written in pencil because I'm sure I'll swap things around when the time comes to plant. A whole lot of seeds in the dirt, and a whole lot of empty spaces for the seeds to be planted next week and the next.
Our home made compost is rich and black and just gorgeous. I'm finding some bits of paper and other things that haven't rotted down completely, but mostly it is so good I'm almost jealous of the seeds being planted in all that goodness.

I bought a new hose for the tap on the old corrugated iron water tank. The hose came with a very simple trigger attachment, maybe because the water restrictions still require us to use an attachment and not just a running hose. I had to smile as I screwed the fitting onto the tap. At long last, after living here in this place with the big old garden for two and a half years, our water tank can be put to good use supplying rainwater to my veggie garden.

Living without fresh tomatoes from the garden has been so hard. I just can't wipe the smile off my face knowing that it will be Spring in just a couple of weeks, and my tomato plants will be greening my garden. Tomorrow we'll plant lettuces, carrots, shallots, peas, snow peas and rocket.
I am still hoping to find some free materials to build some real square foot gardens, like the ones in all the amazing blogs I read. I refuse to buy new timber. My buckets will do just fine for now.
I love hiding in my garden!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pancakes and Baby Lettuce

I made pancakes for breakfast on Saturday. We usually have maple syrup on them, oh and sometimes ice cream as well. I was about to find the bottle of syrup when I noticed the lemons from my tree sitting in the fruit bowl. The sight of them took me back in time, and my mouth watered as I remembered how we used to have pancakes at my grandmothers house: a generous sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of lemon.

They were so delicious. There's nothing as tasty as the flavour of a memory.

Great news from the seedling front. Two of my lettuce seeds have sprouted. Yay! I have taken photo's of them, but I am no photographer. I'll load the best of the blurry photo's below and I'll see if I can improve my camera skills to take a better shot soon. I want to do them justice.

I know it's a terrible shot, but look, if you squint your eyes you can make out two pairs of little green ears in the middle. My babies.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Perfect winter

I had to take this photo of my Tibouchinas against the gorgeous wintery blue sky. I thought it might cheer me up on days like today when it is too rainy to play in the garden. It makes me smile as I look at it. That was a great winters day.