Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sick. But Not Of The rain.

Have you been wondering why I haven't been posting my daily blog of what is happening around the garden?? I have a cold that has gone down into my chest and I am just so tired and have no energy.

Have I been to the doctor you ask?

No, because each time I go they say its a virus and send me home with the advice to take painkillers every 4 hours. So I haven't worried about going.

What I have done is rest and listen to the beautiful sounds of rain on our roof. Watched TV and videos and a few DVDs with the cats keeping me company.

To keep myself from sleeping through the day I have knitted the neck and sewn up my daughter's white cable jumper I finished last winter. Makes for one happy daughter as she loves the jumper.

If you would like to see some of the jumpers I have knitted in the past years click here. Amy's jumper is like my rose coloured jumper. The other jumpers are some I have knitted for Pat.

Now about the rain we have had out the back and going from the news reports, it's fairly wide spread.

Over the last 3 days we have measured the following..

  • Thursday........ 29.25 mm
  • Friday.............. 26 mm
  • Saturday.......... 13.5 mm
How wonderful to hear the rain on the roof and to know the rainwater tank is full and over flowing. Garden is water soaked and plants responding to the nitrogen rich rain. Lawn is greening up and the ducks are happy.

I hope you too have had good rainfalls. Until I post again.......

Hoo roo

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Lest We Forget.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Who's A Pretty Parrot?

Just on 4 pm we had some visitors to our backyard. Rainbow Lorakeets love to announce when they have arrived, by screeching at top volume.

What amazes me the most with the local bird life is that they aren't shy and we can get up quite close to them.

Not much was done today in the garden as it's getting to the stage where I can just watch plants grow and harvest food.

I did get the front lawn mowed this morning but not the back lawn. Tomorrow we should if the weatherman has it right, rain will start to fall in the afternoon. Then Thursday should be heavier again with up to maybe 20 mm of rain.

As I have come down with a cold, I really don't feel up to pushing the mower round on the back lawn. So I'll try and see if I am up to it tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to the promise rain tomorrow and if you have rain forecast for your area, I hope you get very wet as well.

Hoo roo.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Pottering Round

Today is a quiet day in the garden as I have about filled my vegie garden with all sorts of future foods for over the cooler months.

Mostly I have just wandered round and harvested more radishes. Rabbits are enjoying the radish tops with great gusto.

Checked the worm farms and topped up the containers with water, the legs stand in. Turned over the food in the worm trays and have decided not to feed them for 7 days. Plenty of food scraps in their farms and I don't want to overload them and have the farms turn sour.

While out walking Pat & I called into the shops for some fresh bread and milk. So we had a look in the garden section for some "Rocket" seeds for the leafy green area. I saw the seedlings at Bunnings the other day and thought they'd look good added to the salad table.

It's interested how the prices ranged from a kit including seeds, mini hot house and potting mix for just under $6.00 to a packet of seeds for around $3.00. The seedlings down at Bunnings for 6 or 8 cell punnet was $2.99 to buy.

As I'm not fussed to do a 3rd trip to Bunnings (a 2 hour walk) and not using the car for 1 punnet, so we hunted round and found some seeds in Go-Lo for $1.50. Some of the seeds have been sprinkled in the leafy green area and once big enough I will find a more permanent area if needed.

Leafy green area is looking great and the plants are booming ahead. With this problem solved I have also sown Pepe's spring onions he gave me last month. As the seedlings are a good size, I planted them out as singles rather than in a group planting like I usually do.

Counted up the garlic that has germinated and out of 23 cloves sown, 21 have sprouted. As each year goes by I am able to increase the amount sown and this gives more for the kitchen and more for planting out.

Doing what a chook is mean to be doing.... laying an egg. These old draws make great nest boxes and once again less for land fill and harm to the environment.

When the girls are let out the ducks love to get in under the hen house and take over the area. They get all excited and quack heaps as they go under the cubby house. Then it's quiet unless they hear my voice and then its a deep quack from underneath.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Me 2 - Birds 0

Alarm was set for 7 am this morning as I wanted to walk to Bunnings before breakfast. We left the house by about 7.15 and this time I remembered to take my camera. Walking in our area this time of the year is very rewarding as there are lots of parrots feeding off the flowering gum trees.

This can make for a longer walk by the time we stop and watch their antics as they hang and feed from the trees.

Little Musk Loroket parrots are everywhere and they make such a racket and at times so busy with what they are doing we can almost reach out and touch them.

When we walked to Bunnings the other day for the bird netting, this fungi was poking it's way through the road spray. Today its right out and the only one in the area.

Once we made it to Bunnings, Pat went to look at a couple of things and I went to the gardening section.

I picked out 4 punnets this time and were as followed.

Second crop of brassica.

  • Green Dragon broccoli
  • Green Coronette cabbage
  • large cauliflower

Last time we bought some seedlings I was unable to buy Endive and was pleased to see I was able to buy some this trip. This will be planted in the leafy garden area.

Also I bought another 3 metres of bird netting to cover the new brassica area.

Three pieces of poly pipe was cut at 2.25 metres in length from what we had left over from the first tunnel we made. I hammered the hook ends of 6 tent pegs closer together so they could go up inside the poly pipe and secure the pipe in place, once the other end had been hammered into the ground.

Three poly pipes all set up and the brassica seedlings all planted out. Once again with worm castings placed in the hole first then the plant afterwards.

This time round the broccoli is at the front, then the cabbage and the cauliflower at the back so I can reach them easy enough to fold the leaves over when it's time to protect the cauliflowers.

All finished and the bird netting over the top. Not only will this keep the birds out, but hopefully the white cabbage moths as well.

Telephone peas have been given such a hiding by the spoggies. So I have resown more seeds and then used the now spare wire to protect the seedlings while they are young. Took some working out to get the wire to sit right, as I want the peas to climb only the trellis and not this wire as well. Then hopefully I can remove the wire when the peas are about knee high.

What a sad lot of climbing peas.

With the talk of vegetables going up in price with the result of this drought, I am protecting my crops at all cost now. Once I didn't mind sharing some of the plants with the birds, but now it's a battle of who is the most clever. I like to think I am winning.

Hoo roo

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Preparing The No-Dig Area

Zucchinis had shown no sign of burning tips from the duck bedding I put there a couple of weeks ago, so it's full steam ahead getting the area ready for planting out brassica seedlings tomorrow as we'll walk to Bunnings again, for our exercise and better for the environment.

It's lucky I like walking as its a slow trip with Pat (due to his health) but we'll use this as our daily walk. The walk and look round Bunnings will take us 2 hours to do.

Anyway back to this morning. I was out in the garden straight after my cuppa an Vegemite and toast. First off I had to set up the bunny play pens for Flossy, Nibbles and Cadbury. After they were all sorted out it was time to start sorting out the no-dig garden.

What it looked like before I started, pumping with goodness and worms. I raked aside the duck bedding as I wanted to put that back on top when the area was all finished. This was raked towards the root crops. I found the soil underneath to be moist and the 3 mm of rain overnight would have been welcomed in my garden.

I was very surprised to find most of the comfrey that I had spread round before adding the last load of duck bedding was about gone. The goodness from these leaves will have rotted down into the bedding area.

I was humming and harring about whether to pull out the parsley and decided at the last minute to leave it in the garden. No sign yet of the parsley going to seed either.

Under the duck bedding was this beautiful soil from what must be 5 years of duck/chook litter, sheep manure, newspaper, bunny bedding and kitchen & garden waste made into compost. Now that seems to look better in my garden than in landfill in my books.

First on went the bunny bedding from their cages, this also included the newspaper that is under their straw to soak up their urine. On top of the bedding was a good dose of blood & bone, watered in.

Then the sheep manure was next. I used the 2 chum bags that my sister & her family dropped off the other evening. This gave a good coverage of sheep poo over the area without it been thinly spread. Once again I used some rainwater to water it all.

On top of the sheep manure went 3 full wheel barrows of my compost. I must say the compost was soft to touch and smelt so earthy. Made me wish someone would invent a touch and smell computer screen. For I know what pleasures a good compost can bring to a gardener.

Okay all done and the duck bedding back over the top of the whole larder brimming with goodness for the upcoming brassica sowing.

Wire over it, just so the birds don't get too excited over the promise of goodies between now and tomorrow's planting. So impressed with the bird netting I am thinking of getting a few metres again tomorrow for this area.

After all that was done I needed to sort the compost area out. Under the green leaky duck pond that compost was transferred into the tumbler with most of the compost from the black bin. What didn't get put into the tumbler was turned back in the the black compost bin.

Another tyre was added to that composting area and it's now 3 tyres high. That compost came from under the yellow leaking duck pond. By this time I was ready to call it quits and just dropped the yellow cover back over the left over compost. I'll transfer that to the black compost bin sometime this week.

Think I have done enough for 1 day.

So there you have it, part of my no-dig garden topped up again and ready to feed us over the coming months with more caulies, broccoli and cabbage. Instead of mini caulies this time I'll grow the full size ones.

Hoo roo.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Me 1 - Birds 0

Poxy birds are having a field day eating all the leafy greens in this area. So late yesterday afternoon Pat & I walked to our local Bunnings and purchased 4 metres of bird netting and 20 metres of poly pipe for the frame.

I have used old wooden stakes to hold the netting down on the pavers around the ground area.

This morning Pat spotted some spoggies sitting in top of the netting, guess they went else where for their breakfast.

There is enough poly pipe left over to do another area and I will more than likely use this in the no-dig area when I plant our the second crop of brassica seedlings. Also I am wondering if this will keep the cabbage moths out as well. Time will tell on this I guess.

For you information the cost of this effort against the birds was $18.20

Netting was $11.04.

Poly-tubing 19 mm X 20 m $7.16

With Blogger playing up I had spent some time updating my main web this morning. Which isn't a bad thing as there are lots of fresh updated photos and the vegie garden.

So if you would like to see what is growing click here.

I'm very excited to think this battle has been fought and won by me. Next battle is the pea area as the birds are attacking them as well.

Hoo roo

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Trouble with Bloger

I am having problems getting the photos loaded up today.

They don't seem to want to load onto my site properly. Sorry about this.

Vegies Going Gang Busters

This morning I was up early and out in the Friendship Garden planting out plants and seedlings I was either given or bought the other day at Bunnings. It was so nice out in the garden at the early hour of 7.30, well it was early for me.

Trying to get out of the habit of laying in bed and listening to the breakfast team on the radio. As enjoyable the breakfast team is, they aren't following me out into the garden.

The lemon balm I have planted towards the edge of the garden so people can rub their hands over the plant and enjoy the beautiful smell. Linaria was spread round the garden and hoping they will self seed as time goes by. Cat mint is planted towards the front of the garden. Amaranths planted in the centre of the garden with room to grow. Blue salvia is towards the front as well.

Radishes are swelling and already I am thinking of raiding them, to thin out the seedlings. Pat can't understand this and wants to let them get bigger.....chuckle. Think I'll have to do a raid when his back is turned and eat them out the back and feed all leftover evidence to the rabbits. There will be so many radishes in a week, we'll be sick of them.

I love snacking on radishes when using my computer or watering the garden. Munching on a freshly pulled crunchy radish while out watering is so rewarding.

Dwarf beans are up and hoping to get a good harvest from them. Blue Lake beans didn't do too well this year and so, thought I'd try a bush bean in cooler months. Planted a crop of beans late last year and had a better crop. So hoping the same again this year.

Well that is about it from me today

Hoo roo.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

This And That

Noticed on a few blogs I visit they have been posting a photo of where their computer sits in the house. SO I thought, why not?

That's Harley, Pat's Siamese tom cat. Harley loves computers, he just perches on the back of the chair and watches the screen.

If I was to turn around I'd look into the kitchen.

Just to the left of my chair is a plastic bin that all paper goes into the can't be shredded for the compost bins. The shredder is on the right hand side of my chair.

Jonquils are now starting to pop up around in the Friendship Garden. With all the bulbs out the front it should be another stunning display.

Roses are filling up with rose buds after I gave the bushes a light prune back last month. Buds are nice and healthy and hoping for a stunning display of beautiful highly perfumed roses.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gifts And Plants

Today was a busy day around the home area as it was payday for us. So this meant a trip to Bunnings as I wanted some blood & bone and a look in the pots of colour area.

I wanted a bit of colour for the Friendship Garden in the way of self seeding rather than replacing them each season.

I bought a

  • Blue Salvia
  • Linaria
  • Echnacia
The echnacia just needs the flower cones cut off and was sold for $3.50 down from $7.95.

The wood we took up to Pete & Liz's place yesterday was well received and below you can see the pens and keyring that Pete made.

Amy took her pen to work, so she could show her work mates. As you can see the pens are beautiful. The keyring takes pride and place on my house keys ring.

Plants I got from Pete & Liz were a fig tree, couple of rosemary plants for the Friendship Garden and a shrubby tree. The plant on the left at the back is a Polygala Multiflora and it's a lovely bushy plant with purple flowers on it. . So Pete started one off for me.

Tomorrow I'm going to plant some of them out into the garden and the rest will be left until a bit bigger or towards the winter weather.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Our Trip Up North.

Today Pat, myself & Amy traveled up to Port Augusta for my Uncle's funeral. As it's just over 3 hour trip, we were ready to leave the house just after 7 am. James couldn't get time off work to come with us.

When I opened the front door, I was greeted with this stunning sunrise. Just had to get my camera before it was gone.

On the way home in the afternoon I was very tired and trying not to fall asleep in the car. So to keep me awake I pulled out my camera and 118 photos later we arrived home. So thought I'd share a few of them with you.

Flinders Rangers on the left as we headed back to Adelaide. This road take you through the Flinders Rangers to the other side, which is mostly farming communities.

My sister Susan is an artist and paints these ranges as well living just the other side of them. Check out her site to see some beautiful paintings of the Rangers.

Freight train that went under a bridge near Port Pirie. Some of these trains can be 2 kms long.

Tin Man made out of 44 gallon drums. My Grandma used to live in Port Pirie and we'd go past this and sometimes we'd get fish & chips for tea on the way home. Tin Man looked bigger when I was a little kid.

There was a car load of kids and Mum would tear off a piece of newspaper with some butcher paper and give us some chips and a bit of fish. We'd also pass a glass ltr bottle of coke round the car as we ate our tea. Great memories when I see Tin Man.

Loch Ness monster lost??? Someone with a bit of time on their hands, near Lochil had used car tyres to make 2 nessies then placed out on the salt lakes.

These are wonderful when traveling as after spending time behind a Sunday driver on a Monday, these passing lane save people from running over the slow car in front of them.

For some reason cars were doing 80 to 90 kms on a 110 km road. Too much traffic or too many corners to be able to pass them safely. So when we came up to a overtaking lane we could pass safely.

Only thing was once we got onto these passing lanes, the slow cars in front would then do the speed limit of 110. Once the passing lane was gone, they'd slow down again.

We heard other people who traveled from Adelaide had the same problem. So it wasn't our imagination.

I traded a box of jars with lids and a pile of eggs cartons with My dad and step mum for 2 jars of freshly dried parsley. I'd even have given them the parsley with out the trade, but don't tell them this....wink.

Tomorrow I post photos of the plants we collected from Pete & Liz's place when we dropped off a dead plum tree, composting worms and pickles I had made.

Hoo roo

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

4 Bags Of Gardening Gold.

I'm late posting today as I was waiting for my sister to come and drop off some sheep manure for me to use in the garden.

While I waited for them to call in, I was busy else where in the garden and house. Today was an ideal day to dry some parsley for when I have none in the garden. Also when I use dry breadcrumbs in the kitchen I like to use dried herbs as well.

My Fowlers Vacola Dehydrator is a much treasured item in my kitchen for drying food from my garden. I only use the 4 trays and so far haven't needed to go and buy any more trays for drying food on.

The parsley was started to dry at about 10.30 and was finished by about 4 pm .

The stalks and leaves not used weren't wasted at all. I chopped them up and some was added to my worm farms and the rest mixed in the evenings wet mash for the poultry.

Four bags of sheep poo from my sister and brother in law was dropped off late this afternoon. Deb, Paul and son Ashley were here long enough to drop this off with 2 preserved jars of their own peaches and a cat mint plant for the "Friendship Garden". They are off to Kangaroo Island with their daughter and her partner for a weeks holiday.

In return through out the year I give them vegie from my garden in return for the sheep manure from under their shearing shed. I'll use the sheep poo in my vegie garden when compost is mixed into the soil, towards the end of winter. Making the green manure area even better for the garden by feeding the soil and then the soil feeds the vegies.

When I open these bags up, I am transported back in time to when I was a kids in the outback with my family. Either walking and climbing over hills or helping out at crutching or shearing time.

I'm a very happy gardener with my 4 bags of garden gold.

I will more than likely not post tomorrow as I have a funeral to go to about 3.5 hours away up north.

We'll be calling into see our gardening friends dropping off the plum tree limbs and composting worms for his worm farm.

Hoo roo.

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