Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Succulents

There was some serious succulent consolidation this afternoon. Things were starting to get out of hand and the succulent corner was becoming a dumping ground for building materials, buckets, dead plants and plants that I'm propagating (read trying to propagate and failing miserably).

Ollie thought that he'd help me out tiding things up, but he spent most of the time sleeping in the sun. I don't blame him! We had such nice weather all weekend!

One by one the pots were weeded out and pared back till I was left with a spotless plant stand that I can look at happily from the bedroom! No more the junk receptacle! Well, we'll have to see how long it lasts...

End of the day results!
Most of the plants have been propagated from 'roadside prunings' (we all do it don't we?!) over the years and a few have been gifted by friends. There's nothing particularly fancy about the plants, they're tough, look good all year round and only need an annual sprucing and some food to keep them looking happy. 

The old plant stand was my grandpa's and is perfect for my little collection of mostly Echeverias (including the good old Chicken & Hens), Senecio 'Blue Chalk Sticks', Kalanchoe 'Flap Jacks', Aloe, Aeonium (that GIANT plant in the old oil tin - how cool is it!), Oscularia (one of the most hardy succulents used for green rooves), Cotyledon and Crassula.

But one of my favorite pots is my 'Boy Pot'. For obvious reasons:

All in  all a good Sunday's work in the garden! Except now I'm sunburnt!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Winter Wednesday #9 For the last time!

I missed out last week, but I'm back on the Winter Wednesday Wagon for the last time!!!
Thats it! No more winter!

Today's final contribution is a few postcards from the winter garden.

The succulents are getting ready to flower.

The native grasses going well in the pig face garden.

The front garden is looking colourful with the Euphorbias flowering.
Grandpa's bird feeder has seen better days...

Last but not least Mr Kooka surveying his domain and saying 'Adios'!

I wonder what Hazel's got going for her last Winter Wednesday?

Thanks to Hazel for hosting such a fun blogging theme. I hope you continue it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thinking about Tomatoes!

So, its getting to that time when us southerners start germinating those tomato seeds...

some of last year's bounty.
I always plant lots of a couple of varieties (and get sick of them pretty quickly) but this year I'm going for diversity! I want to extend my harvesting time and grow lots of interesting varieties AND COLOURS so the options after rifling through the seed box are:

Aunt Ruby's Green
A green beefsteak that is REALLY tasty! Totally changed my mind about green tomatoes.

Giant Syrian
Its a big one! Up to 500g per tomato! Slightly pink, good for sauce, really meaty.

Green Zebra
Pretty greeny golden fruit, juicy, smallish, good eating. Everyone Loves it.

Grosse Lisse
Old school meaty tomato. Never fails.

Costoluto Di Marmande
Heirloom Italian. Big beefy tomato, good for sauce and doesn't make sandwiches gooey. A Winner.

Yellow Pear
I like'em. Never grown'em. Any reviews?

Currant Tomato
These seeds are really old, but they went well last year. I didn't stake them and let them form a ground cover. I like the small tomatoes they are cute and in mini trusses... Average tomato flavour. would be good in hanging basket maybe. Don't have many seeds left.

And now, I'd like to have a shout out to those out there with any purple or black tomatoes who can spare a few seeds! I'm happy to swap whatever you like (if there is anything above of interest). 
I'm having dreams of a Tomato United Nations. Imagine a salad with red, pink, yellow, green, orange, purple, black and stripey tomatoes!!!! 

Goodness, this excitement is almost too much for me!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Preparing for Spring!

Apologies for the lack of posts lately! Joel and I have been so busy in the garden that I'm exhausted when it comes to the end of the day, and sitting in front of the computer is the last thing I feel like doing... BUT I have lots of exciting things to finally show you that we have been working on, all in preparation for the spring! YAY SPRING!

The most significant addition to the garden has been the fence to the veggie garden! Its made out of recycled iron bark sleepers cut into 100x100mm posts with infill panels of reo mesh (the mesh support that goes into concrete slabs). We used reomesh because we liked the rusty colour and it works well with the side fence that Joel built, and also its a good support for out espaliered fruit trees! But the piece de la resistance is my garden gate that came from my Grandpa's veggie garden that I removed from his house when it was sold earlier this year. I think it works well!

We have also created new beds ready for planting soon that edge the veggie garden fence. I'm thinking corn, and sunflowers in this area...

Pegging out the line of the brick edging.
Recycled brick edging all done!
We now have 5 fruit trees in, and they have all been shaped to the fence. You might be able to see the apricot tree tied to the fence below.

The berries are also in their new bed where the bucket is, towards the end of the brick edging. these are the berries that I propagated from my mums patch. I cant wait to have fresh berries soon! Lots of poo and wood ash went in. Ill add some chicken poo soon from the compost... A nice tasty brew!

I also fashioned a new tee-pee for my climbing rose 'Black Boy' with left over reo bar. I think it looks great and when the rose flowers the big red blooms will look great against the house and with the rusty colour of the reo. Not to mention having a pretty rose to look at from the window!

I love this time of the year with the promise of Spring... I can almost already smell the roses!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Winter Wednesday # 8

We're getting closer to spring now! The mornings are cool, but without the biting chill and there are little buds swelling all throughout the garden signaling the coming warm weather.

Late winter is the time that the Native Clematis comes out to flower. The Small Leaved Clematis Clematis microphylla is indigenous to my area (and also much of the eastern sea board of Australia) and fills the bush with masses of starry white flowers.

Its a clumping climber that likes to mass itself on top of shrubs and fences and can even climb reasonably large trees! It doesn't damage the support it is growing on, like many exotic climbers and so is safe to grow on structures like pool fences and small buildings (as long as there is something for the little stems to wind their way around).

This little starry beauty greets me in the morning:

In a few days the whole plant will be a mass of creamy yellow.

Its well worth a try in the garden if you have room. Its not fussy about where it grows. Its happy in pure clay, sandy loam or even a rocky bank! It grows quickly too. This one was planted 8 months ago and already is a lovely dense mass of foliage and flowers (and it never gets watered at ALL)!

My kinda plant!

Hazel's got the secateurs out this morning. Pop over and have a look!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Winter Wednesday #7


I don't even remember when I planted them. It must have been AGES ago but finally I am harvesting them, sweet and juicy after the first few frosts!

I have to say that Leeks are the EASIEST vegetables to grow (I'm liking the CAPS aren't I!). Some people seem scared of them but I think if you can grow silverbeet then you can grow leeks.

I started off sowing the King Richard seeds in punnets and when they were 10 or so cm tall I washed off the soil as delicately as I could and buried them in little furrows almost half the way its length. And that was it. I didn't hill them any more than I did when I planted them and look what I have consistently ended up with (see picture above)! Long sweet stems no thicker than 2.5-3cm in diameter with hardly any soil between the leaves! I generally hate buying leeks because of all the washing I have to do, so from now I will continue to plant leeks in the garden.

They also have very pretty (generally white or light pink) white pom-pom flowers when they go to seed and could be planted in an ornamental garden for maximum productivity and aesthetics (and they are cheaper than paying $10/bulb for a giant ornamental allium).

Allium gigantium (source)

Leeks in a soup,
Leeks with chicken,
Leeks in a pie
And don't forget leeks in a stir fry!

Thats enough rhyming for today.

Linking up to HAZEL the Winter Ambassador.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Garden update: Veggies in Late Winter

So, its been a while since I last did a veggie garden update, but not all that much has been happening due to the cold and lack of light after work! I have noticed a few things that have put a smile on my face!

The broad beans are FINALLY flowering! The most prolific are the heirloom Egyptian variety which is covered in flowers compared to the super tall hybrids shown in the front. Its been quite a while since i planted them. I wonder if any one else has noticed how slow this winter has been?

Egyptian Broad Beans
Earlier in the winter I transplanted my three old asparagus crowns from the chicken coop to a new purpose built asparagus bed in the patch. I was worried that I had killed them because i was rather brutal with them but this morning I noticed their happy little heads poking out of the straw!

Fiona has also reported sprouting asparagus in the last few days, so me thinks spring is finally on its way!!!

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