Monday, December 7, 2009

My Garden

I am finally finished the move.  Believe me that took a lot out of me.  We are still cleaning the huge manatee of the other house.  It was filthy when we moved in but of course they want it spotless when we move out.  There is a bit of work to do before we get our bond back.

But here we are in our new house.  It's gorgeous and I am settling in for a long stay.The neighbourhood is the most beautiful I can remember living in.

But that's another post.  Today I am here to talk about my garden.
The gardens here are rock hard, and as I have not yet started a) buying 
straw bales to puts stuff in or b) amending the soil, I have come up with a way to start my planting anyway.I bought buckets!  A lot of buckets, right now I have 28, and at 50 cents each they are a relief on the pocket.  Caine drilled 4 holes in the bottom of each bucket and 6 holes in the sides and I have been planting into these.

Let me take you on a tour. first I will show you pics of the backyard that I took before I put had any plants.

You enter the back yard from the laundry door and come across this rock walkway and a small garden that I plant on eventually using for hardening off seedlings, as it has dappled shade.
Notice the sick looking pineapple?  that was a resident when I got here.  I gave it a tug but it doesn't want to move.

this area int he photo below is 
rife with bees, swarming around the multitude of pink clover flowers we have growing in our yard (Hooray!! pollinators!!!)  There are both honey bees plus a smaller kind that I had to research before I discovered their name.  They are a fly sized glossy dark blue bee and are called Blue Mason Bees. These fascinating little buzzers do not sting and do not make honey.  I wonder what they do with their day

 This is the shot down the slope.
I am dying to amend the soil and plant some 
passion-fruit (both red panama and yellow gold panama) down along the fence-lineI would also love to chuck up some trellis all along the fence-line and grow fruiting vines.

The back of the house, and that's the kitchen window.  If I took this photo today you would notice the herb pot on the window sill.  This has recently been placed and has some parsley and chives in it.  I would love to install a little window in our window screen so I can reach out and grab some herbs when I needed them for cooking.

A small veranda, I am going to put deck chairs here.

The sloping garden.  This has some potential.  I am imagining pumpkins, cukes and melons and zucchini's.

the strip beside the house, I love this area.  Sunny and flat!!

And the compost bin!! this is in the corner of the sloping garden. what a bonus! I was going to buy one and now I do not have to.  I am getting rather religious about kitchen scraps.  Yesterday I emptied the 
stinkiest kitchen scrap bin I have ever smelled.  I immediately felt sorry for the neighbours and decided it was time for a layer of dried grass clippings. So that is going well.

and that my friends is my backyard the day I moved in.

Now for the best part.. the Plants!!!

November 18th I planted a Purple Capsicum. The fruits are not so much purple as black, and should have a bit of a bite to them I am told. It's zooming along now, with some big juicy baby capsicums on it and plenty of flowers to open. This photo is already outdated.  

On the 20
th I planted some tomatoes deep in their pots so they will create extensive roots.  Green Zebra, a green tomato withdarker green stripes which is going to look like this when it fruits.

But now looks like this.  It's gotten a lot bigger 
since I planted it. 

Mortgage Lifter, this is a pinkish tomato that gets huge.  (up to a kilo!) This tomato was developed by M.C. Byles (went by Charlie) of Logan, West Virgina in the 1930s.  He was a good marketer and sold his seedlings for $1 each. After 6 years he was able to pay off the $6,000 mortgage on his house. This tomato’s story has helped keep the strain alive. 

It looks like this now

Tigerella, this is a smaller tomato that is red with yellow striping.
It's going to look like this

but looks like this now.

And black Russian

I tried growing this before but but it was wrought with problems due to mismanagement.  This little sucker was also facing problems early.  Jai hit it with a soccer ball, snapping it at the base.  WE immediately placed it back together and buried it deeper in the pot, after nearly a week, it seems to be doing OK.  I THINK it may survive.

On the 21st I planted two yellow watermelon plants.  The smaller "pollinator" promptly withered up and died within hours.  But the other has powered on and is after hand pollination on the 5th of December, it is now sporting a robust (and rapidly growing) melon. After pollination, it did exactly what my books said it would, the stem thickening and turning downwards.  The melon is getting visably bigger every day, it's amazing.

I also planted some basil, three different varieties.

One called limelight. it's a 
chartreuse curly leaved basil that is hiding under the purple basil rather selfishly taking up all the room.

A few purple opals which have shot up and are thriving. as you can see.

And a sweet basil which is also doing very well.

On the 26th of November
I was off to 
bunnings to buy more buckets and I planted two Black Jack zucchini plants, which I joked have already entered the think they know everything stage.  They are barely twenty centimeters tall with their third leaves and have male flowers buds a plenty.  I showed Jai and told him that the zucchini plants thought they were grown up too.. He wasn't impressed.  I thought it was funny!

I planted some 
Asian greens which consist of

Red mustard: Now I just saved this plant yesterday, it had a serious case of the baby green 
you can see the damage

Mizuna: this was also affected although not badly.

Mibuna: (right)I just picked not only a caterpillar off this one (this caterpillar was a different green and had darker stripes on it) but a grasshopper.  I understand why, I love the taste of this stuff too.

Tah tsai: (left) this stuff is also delicious.  No problems yet.

I planted some (4) iceberg lettuce.  I have to plant more halfway through the growing season, cause I want a continued supply of these It's strange to think that these loose plants will form tight heads like the label states.  It will be interesting to watch these develop. 

I planted some mini rockmelon (2 or was it 3) These have male flowers but no females yet.

I planted some celery (4) I am keeping up 
with the planting schedule on these ones too cause I love celery and would love a continued supply.

I also planted Eggplant 
listada di gandia. it's a beautiful white and purple striped eggplant.
It has flowered and the flower has died but is hanging on.  I think I have a baby 
eggplant developing.

On the 27
th I planted some Sparkler radishes from seed.  The emerged 5 days early and I was optimistic... 6 days later one of the cats started digging and depositing in the planter.  I lost more and more radishes.  I have now made the planter cat proof with some bamboo skewers and and have planted a whole heap more.  Wish me luck!!

On Saturday the 5
th of December I Planted:
Comfrey.  This stuff is a great natural fertiliser.  Just much up some leaves, chuck in some water and leave it to steep like a tea for a few weeks.. The plants love it.

amended information PLEASE TAKE NOTE:
Comfrey liquid fertilizer - can be produced by either rotting leaves down in rainwater for 4–5 weeks to produce a ready to use 'comfrey tea', or by stacking dry leaves under a weight in a container with a hole in the base. When the leaves decompose a thick black comfrey concentrate is collected. This must be diluted at 15:1 before use.


A Cucumber vine- Crystal Apple.  I have wanted to grow these for a while now.  They have their second leaves and are looking healthy.

Bought a mini red watermelon.  I was 
originally looking for another pollinator and extra vine of the yellow watermelon but they were all still the same shipment and were looking a little shitty.  I have to find out when bunnings gets their seedlings in.  So I bought the Red ones.  No flowers yet, it has to get a bit bigger.

Bought another lot of 
tomatoes, all repotted deep to their first leaves.

romaI'm using lots of tinned tomatoes so a few meals with fresh romas would be lovely

This is what it looks like now, very small.

grosse Lisse, these get big, I'm looking forward to it.

And this is what they look like now, also very small

apollo 3, Don't know much about this tomato, except it is a early to mid variety and can also be grown in colder areas

It's tiny

A mighty red.  This is another big tomato.  All eventually these will need staking.

And yes it's tiny too.

Some Rainbow silver beet.  This stuff is so pretty.

A curry plant, I couldn't resist.

And some snow peas which I have no photos of becuase they still need to go out.

SO that makes 33 different vegetables so far.  All growing well.  I have delevoped a bit of a tomato fetish and I think I will be buying more even though I allready have 9 varieties.

What do YOU think.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just found out Im going to be without the net and home phone for 10 whole days.  This makes me paniced.  I want to blog and chat and research!!
The story goes, optus doesn't own the exchange, and Telstra has demanded that optus gives them ten days notice to any changes to the exchange.  So I have to wait to be able to comunicate with anyone.
Right now im taking a last hurried slice of internet while everyone is packing around me. 
Im almost crying..
Not cool, not cool at all.
Just found this beautiful flowchart thanks to my wonderful creative mother @ hashiworks
Please visit this wonderful blog.

Moving day.

So today is the big move.  I'm feeling quite unorganized but we are taking the first big load over today. Yesterday most of my library came over in piles and boxes, and are now heaped unceremoniously in the new garage. The house, my friends is beautiful.  Light and airy with room to stretch out and really live.  Air  conditioning, a dishwasher and a laundry shoot are just some of the thrills of my week this week. 
But the outside space?? The outside space is wonderful.  Just wait,  This is only my first post for the day, I'm  going to take some photos and blog a little more later, so you can see for yourself.

On that note I was checking the mail when I left the new house and I discovered to my delight that I had already received my catalogue from select organic/Eden seeds yesterday.  What a fast turnaround, only 24 hours from my order time!  Then again they are only in lower beechmont, which is a 40 minute drive from my house. 
I have decided I love seed catalogues!  I have two now.  One from tesselaar bulbs, which I didn't find that interesting because it was the Pre summer range.  I prefer the bulb catalogue with Daffodils etc in them.  This one has mostly orchids bromeliads and succulents in it.  But this Eden seeds/select organic  catalogue was quite decent.  I've been carrying it around in my purse since I grabbed it out of the letterbox at Christina Ryan yesterday.  I will make my selection from Eden seeds, as the organic seeds are a little more expensive at 3.20 a packet.
Ive got my eye on all sorts of strange and unusual vegetables. 
Update with pics later.  Believe me it is beautiful.