Friday, December 31, 2010

Vegetable fabulousness!

I saw this fantastic Globe Artichoke the other day at my local garden centre called Bulleen Art and Garden and I had to share. You rarely see globe artichokes allowed to go to flower but I think that I might just let mine go because they look so wonderful! I have a few planted im my front garden amongst ornamentals because of the spectacular soft grey leaves but I think I will have to grow some more to enjoy both fruit and flowers (even though they are the same thing in the case of the artichoke)!!!

I also saw this lovely little paving / edging detail at BAAG that I'd like to incorporate in my brick paving. The tile insets add a lovely bit of interest to an otherwise simple but attractive brick edged gravel path.  They also sell these tiles too...

I highly reccomend a visit to the nursery if you are ever in town.

2011's going to be the Year of the Garden at the Cottage!

Its wonderful to finally be on holidays and its meant that I've had the time to enjoy the garden and make real plans for the garden for next year!

Joel and i have been very busy designing the gate and fence that will hopefully contain our naughty little whippet and its been great seeing it come together to complement our little old house.
The fence structure is cypress pine with just a simple post and rectangular top rail construction.
Fence posts and top rail built.
Continuing the brick edged path to where we park our cars.
The panel infills will be curvy bars that and we will make a gate using the same rusty bars and leaf shaped cut outs to create a quirky feature of the the entry. The gate will be framed with an arbour that I will grow climbing roses over and it will also frame the view to the large Peppermint Gum in the backyard along the creek bank. Its all Very Exciting!

The gravel paths that the previous owner put in were simply timber edged and over the years the edging has broken and the gravel has scattered into the lawn (read weeds). The paths have been laid out by someone with limited creativity and so they don't go anywhere or contribute at all to garden's overall design / experience. BUT I cant complain, as being on a limited budget we are recycling the gravel into our new and lovely brick edged paths!   

The paths along the house have been lined with mondo grass, to retain the mulch and add extra security to the brick edging (its laid straight on compacted earth). Mondo Grass or Ophiopogon japonicus is a fantastic edging plant and can be used as a lawn substitute although not in a high traffic area. Its useful in most difficult areas be they full sun, or full shade all it needs is a bit of moisture on the odd occasion. Simple. I love it! It can have the tendency to take over if its happy but all you need to control it is a shovel and some strong hands.

In veggie news the tomatoes are growing really well and they are covered in flowers!

We harvest zucchinis almost every couple of days and the beans are coming in truckloads. Ill be sure to post pictures at the next harvest! Lets just hope that today's 40C temperatures don't kill off all chances of bumper crop success!

I'm looking forward to sharing the unfolding garden design developments as they come. Yay to free time!

Friday, December 17, 2010

What's for dinner?

Home grown lebanese and yellow zucchinis, red chard and fresh basil of course! They will make their way into a fabulous spring sauce with asparagus and home made gnocchi. YUM

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since my last post, mainly because our council has had free dumping of green waste for the past couple of weekends. This has meant that we have been clearing out the embankment along our driveway that was infested with most of the DPI (Department of Primary Industry) listed environmental weeds! (Well I’m being dramatic, it wasn’t that bad), it was a physical challenge though working in a 1:1 slope! We managed to clear out: English Hawthorn, Ivy, Briar Rose, Spanish Broom, and Japanese Honeysuckle (I’m sensing a theme here). We are replanting with local indigenous plants amongst the indigenous vegetation that we left, Bursaria spinosa (primary food for the Eltham Copper Butterfly), Hymenanthera dentata (very pretty native tree violet) and rampant but welcome Clematis microphylla.
So far I have bought 90 tubes and managed to plant 20 and will try and plant some more tonight. The plant list I have created follows the council’s advised species list as well as what Edendale Farm (community Farm and Indigenous Nursery) had available. I’m trying to make the planting selection as diverse as possible, emphasizing habitat plants for small birds and butterflies, whilst also introducing some new canopy trees and screening shrubs so that the whole neighborhood cant see me walking around the garden in my pajamas in the morning!

Clearing out the weed infested embankment

In vegetable news everything is going gang busters! I will soon be harvesting my first yellow and Lebanese zucchinis, the beans are covered in flowers and have already reached the tops of their wig-wams and the sunflowers have started to produce flower heads well before they have reached their full height of 2.2 metres. The sucessional planting of tomatoes (I mean, late planting really) is in, along with the frying capsicums and eggplants. I’m not expecting much from them due to their small, stunted size and the late sowing. I might give them some liquid fertilizer tonight me thinks… The other tomatoes that were planted a while ago – October maybe – (that were germinated in my mothers hot house) are doing very well and I have already got flowers on my giant green tomatoes! YAY
Mum’s tomatoes are growing so well in their self watering pots and she is already harvesting the truss tomatoes from the hot house! I am so jealous!
Many of the other Melbourne bloggers are harvesting tomatoes too at the moment so I'm feeling a little left out!

The weather has been very changeable lately and it really doesnt feel at all like summer! The other moring I woke up to a heavy mist hanging around my back garden. It felt more like autumn than summer!!

Misty garden in the morning
Timber has already been ordered for the fence to separate the block in two which is great because it will enable me to develop the productive garden and proposed Mediterranean border along the house. I also have a Crepe Myrtle to go in which I will place when I see the proportions of the gate and the new arch that my Dad will make for me. I’m looking forward to choosing the climbing rose and clematis combination for the arch!! Winter this year is going to be great!

I should probably post some pictures of the proposed design I have drawn up for the garden, to give an idea about what I’m working with and what I do for a living! So many things to do and so little time. At least I will be on summer holidays soon and will be able to post away to make up for the lack of posts lately.

I’m looking forward to the summer harvests!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...