Winter

There is something simply stunning about the range of grey that exists in this place. Even as a child I was struck by it. I would slip out of the house at night in winter, heavily rugged up against the bitterly cold wind, and wander out into another world transformed by the eerie light of the full moon.

But these photos were taken in the morning:

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Garlic

So autumn is a grand old time to plant garlic.
I was gifted with a lot.

Some of it was sprouting already, which is awesome. Always nice to know what you are putting in the ground is fertile.

I did fairly extensive prep and planted the vast amount closer than recommended, 10cms apart and rows the same distance away ish. Rather than the recommended rows 40cms apart.

To plant garlic you pull apart the bulbs, and plant the cloves individually. The old roots should be removed as they’re never going to come back to life. But the cloves grow another root plate.

I think it’s awe-inspiring, all the wonderful things plants do.
And so the garlic is in, and it’s almost all going great. I mulched heavily with sugarcane mulch. It’s not straw (which is recommended), but I prefer sugarcane to most other mulches, so I went with what I know and like.

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Now in return for the garlic I need to manage to strike some raspberry canes. Not sure how challenging that will be. I’ve been putting it off even through I planned to cut them down to nothing. I didn’t sting up wires for them to train onto and they have become fairly unruly. On the plus side if I can strike cuttings I can keep some back for myself as well.

Today I collected seed from my garlic chives.

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I also broke off some or the seed heeds from the sweet basil, but they are looking like more trouble than they’re worth right now. Still I haven’t had much success with basil and these pants have managed to live long enough to set seed. That’s a big plus as far as I’m concerned it’s a sign that the gene line should continue.

The difference between dill and fennel escapes me. I had planted something earlier that was one of them, but I can’t recall which. I harvested some of it’s seed today as well. Having ripped them out ages ago, and noticed it was still there on my rubbish pile. Some of it has self-sown. I love that. I’ll leave it there even though it’s an awkward spot, until I find out which is which. My hunch is that i have fennel.

Nettles, the stinging kind, have invaded the patch. I should do something with them other than just rip them out. I was thinking that I should learn about uses for the other weeds that are local here too. Mallow, purple saltbush, chicory, horehound, boxthorn, and a bunch of others I don’t know the names of. There must be something that I can do with these things.

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The mallow plants are horrible. They are such a pain in the butt to pull out once they get established they hold on for dear life. Digging them out is my only option. But they are much better than the caltrops (which we call bindii) cos the bindii hurt like hell.

Oh, and my passionfruit marigold is flowering! It looks like a daisy-like marigold (this is where my vocabulary falls down). But the foliage smell divine. It doesn’t have a growth habit like a marigold though. It’s more shrubby. I am very glad I bought it when I bought those violet varieties. And speaking of my violets, they have all survived (with minimal care) and some are flowering at the moment. Little pink blooms are just barely peeking out from behind the leaves.
I’m used to the violets NannyGnomey has here. There grow like weeds, and I think they’re just standard viola odorata. The blooms grow well above the leaves and proudly announce themselves. I always breathe deep when I walk past.

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I think violets are my all time favourite flowering plant.

The website that I ordered my violets from (www.honeysuckle-cottage.com.au) has clove pinks as well. I’ve been thinking about grabbing some of those too. I like the idea of having a plant with a story in my garden.

I have so much parsley, both curly leaf and flat leaf varieties, I’m not should what to do with it. I’ve never been much into tabbouleh. If only I had that much basil I’d be in pesto heaven.
But the basil was delicious on my pizza last week. 🙂

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Resurrection

Autumn.
The unrelenting heat fried my motivation this summer. I was a bad gnome and let laziness (and the dark side of bipolar) get the better of me.

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Irises

I weeded some of Nanny Gnomey’s iris rows this afternoon. Look there are actually irises in there afterall.  I suspect that the over grown grass has been protecting the emerging plants from the nasty frosts so far.  I am hoping to do a little bit every few days (everyday would be setting myself up for failure) until the rows are mostly grass-free. But it’s the nastiest of nasty invasive grasses.  Continue reading

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New skills

This summer has already been a scorcher and it’s made me flee the garden. But not to fear there are always projects on the go.
I have been apprenticed to GrumpPa Gnome.
Yesterday I conquered some of my fear of Mr Makita the circular saw.
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And in my future is Mini Grinder, Big Grinder is more than I can handle.
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I am yet to want to touch the gas powered nailgun. And I am very much a wuss when it comes to heights. Brother Gnome came home for christmas. He should be renamed Monkey Gnome as he looked far too confident and capable up in the rafters with barely-there improvised scaff. I know that my fat flabby arms cannot hold my bodyweight should I fall (let alone pull me back up) and that the concrete 8 feet below is rather hard and unyieldy.
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But checkit, Nanny Gnomey and I made a wall. Well some of it. GrumpPa Gnome says we bicker too much. That would be my fault.

In other news:
I managed to scour off all the skin from three of my fingertips on my righthand. Now im starting to grow back shiney new skin- real shiney at this stage fingerprinty bits are lacking, but its terribly thin skin at the moment.

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The first of the corn has been harvested. And eaten. Yes it was delicious. And the first cob selected was a double!
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I am still labouring under the idea that I can learn guitar. There are pretty new strings on my guitar. Making it easier to play (they are a lighter guage) and fun! Plus yesterday I got a bunch of different picks to play with – different textures, sizes and thicknesses. I even got a couple of thumb picks (brought on by not having a great deal of skin in some places). I’m liking the thumb picks. I managed to practice and fool around for 2 hours before the ache in my thumb joint became unbearable. This is a good thing. Longer and less painful practice means faster progress, yes?
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Why yes, that cute little tin has been repurposed and is now for putting picks in (not tampons anymore).

The avocado tree has loads of baby fruit. And the rest of the orchard is looking great.

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Plodding along

Things continue to move around me, and I’m missing it because I have been perpetually sickly. Life waits for nothing.

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What I think of as my healthiest tomato is working on a little something.

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I think I'll be harvesting these beets soon. I haven't really done beets before so am unsure of pretty much everything about them.

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The corn is looking fine. It's taller than the fence and makes excellent noises.

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The sweetpea seeds the gnomlings planted have come up!

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Not looking too ridiculous now that everything is growing. Some holes have been filled in after plants have been eaten. Anything available is pressed into service.

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We have come a ways, long road yet to travel. I'm thinking barkchips on the paths, there are hundreds of bindii's coming up - aka three corner jacks

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I love violets. I acquired some different varieties, very exciting!

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Nanny Gnomey's pumpkins are doing well. I hope mine spring into action soon.

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The first fruit

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What GrumpPa claimed was an apple tree. It's fuzzy. Not a kiwi as they grow on a vine...

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A picture tells a thousand words…

This gallery contains 21 photos.

In an attempt to make this a less wordsy update than usual, I’m going to the other extreme and using lots of today’s pictures. Today I mulched the fruiting strawbs. I’m not sure how it will effect the plants or … Continue reading

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Plague!

There’s a plague on my crabapple trees. It’s in the wisteria and it’s all over the grass in a 30 metre radius. According to the internets, after a quick google search, I have identified them as plague solider beetles.  They are little black and red flying insects, their undersides reveal that it’s mostly the wings that are black, the insect itself is an orangy yellow.

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This branch didn’t have that many.
According to mr google it’s probably a spring time mating swarm and the group will desperse in a few weeks. Which would be fine, but the sheer number of them I find intimidating and I have to mow that part of the garden…today.

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Apparently they won’t be terribly destructive.

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This doesn’t bode terribly well for my bee keeping aspirations…

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