Archive for September, 2013

In which I declare (finally) that I have enough vegetable beds

Mr Gorgeous has been hard at work, and my final veggie patch is done. That man is my hero. The dog on the other hand is hitting a steep learning curve with that patch of turf going from hers to mine. She’s really a fabulous puppy, but still needs places to dig, and things to chew, and her ideas and mine about what’s acceptable are only mildly convergent. I like to think that as the rational adult in the partnership, I will prevail, but the reality is that visitors to the garden will be stepping over small holes, and missing seedlings on October 27th.

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All this digging is taking something of a toll, and I’ve been a regular at the local physio, who assures me that if I would just stop gardening, my shoulder would heal up just fine. This from a lady who causes me more pain than the garden ever has with her teeny tiny needles in my shoulder.

The sheep are still here; they’re doing a great job of keeping the grass down, but are yet to develop a taste for stinging nettle.

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I’ve painted some old black plastic tree pots to put in my new herb garden. This will hopefully keep some of the more invasive herbs like oregano, mint and thyme organised, unlike the previous herb garden, which was pretty much survival of the fittest. I’ve also separated out the fennel, which is said to inhibit the growth of almost every other plant growing near it. The puppy is loving digging out the pots, and we have had strong words, resulting in a tail between legs, and who knows, maybe a dog leaving them alone? I’m not holding my breath. I’ve resurrected the string fence around the top beds, which isn’t enough to keep out a determined dog, but is enough of a reminder to keep her out if she’s just wandering.

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On the new lawn front, it all depends on your point of view. From the side, if you get down low, it’s looking great, but from directly above, there are gaping holes everywhere. I’ve planted more seed, hoping to fill the gaps, but with 5 weeks to go, I may be pushing it!

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In which I prove how hard I’m working!

I am SO STRONG! It’s snapped right through where the metal part is! This fork was given to us as a wedding present 25 years ago, so I guess it couldn’t last forever. Off to replace it with a shiny new one.

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In which I wish my motto was “small and often”

I have done too much in the garden and not enough on the computer this week. Now I have so much to tell you all!

Firstly, one of our chickens has gone clucky, sitting, staring to space, even being willing to let me change the straw all around her without getting startled. I’ve had trouble getting the girls up and going once they go clucky, so this year I decided to give her some eggs to sit on. As we really have enough chickens already, I figured three eggs would be sufficient. So I labelled them to stop my helpful children from gathering the wrong ones, and set them under her. What I didn’t account for was the level of attrition. After 10 days, we are down to one marked egg. I don’t want to give her any more, as the hatching times will be too different, but I really hope this one is alive!

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The labelled egg

I’ve got the potato crop in. I chose three varieties; one for potato salad, one for roasting, and an all purpose. This won’t feed the family in just these quantities, but will keep us in potatoes for several weeks at least.

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Desiree, Kipfler, and Russet Burbank

The garden bed where I’ve planted them is not really finished, but I couldn’t wait any longer. This is the place where we ripped up the old passionfruit rootstock earlier in the year. In breaking news, I had a big win at the local hardware store. I’d been trying to get untreated sleepers to edge the bed, and was going to have to settle for something fairly quick to break down, but the store had just five hardwood sleepers left over from an earlier ordering mixup, which they gave me very cheaply, so I was a very happy gardener. It did involve me getting them home on the courtesy trailer, but even that is seeming less scary these days, since the nice man at the tip showed me how to back one.

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The soon to be boxed up bed

I would consider that our garden has two really big events each year. One is the raspberry harvest, and the other is the flowering of the magnolia. This signals time for our annual family photos, and is one of the main reasons we have stayed in our older house – the magnolia and all the other older trees.

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Magnolia

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Our beautiful carpet hides the missing grass!

We’ve moved the sheep back home as the grass is on the move. There are lambs galore at the moment.

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One of my favourite bucolic scenes!

The garden is getting back into full productive swing after winter, and to celebrate, I’ve gone off shopping again! I need to buy dairy and some fruit, but with two sheep in the freezer, and about five eggs a day, we’re not really needing much at the moment.

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Tuesday’s harvest

We even have too much of a few things, so I was able to give them away. I’m not always so generous with the extras, as I try to preserve what I can, so that I have vegetables through the winter. By this time of year, I have enough veg left in my freezer to make two big (tomato-ey) meals if you’re OK with lots of spinach. I used the last of the pumpkins on Thursday, so perhaps a little less Kakai, and more eating pumpkins this year!

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We are blessed

I’ll update on the grass front in my next post. We have some green, but not a lawn by anyone’s definition!