Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cat thyme

I've never seen a cat go crazy for cat mint, but 2 little pots of cat thyme from Diggers arrived this morning, and I just noticed that Jonty has discovered them.  One has been knocked off the back porch, the other is being, hmm,  enjoyed by her.  Better get out and plant them before they are destroyed.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spring is (almost) here!

 Yet another month goes by.  We've been experiencing some very spring-like weather, which has been great to get the garden moving along.  We've added 4 new garden beds in the backyard, for a little extra growing space for both edibles and some herbaceous perennials to attract bees and beneficial bugs.  We'll get rid of some more grass, by adding some gravel paths.  It will also remove the dust bowl effect when the grass dies off in summer, leaving sandy soil
 We have also just had solar heating installed to the front of our house (the highest panels you see in the above photo).  The front of our house (the bedrooms) was a bit cold, but also had a mould problem in winter due to the walls being made of concrete bricks with render over them- they simply didn't breathe.  This should provide enough warmth and ventilation to dry out excess moisture.

 Grape bud burst, a little later this year than last.
 A cute little pottery birdbath I found in an op shop in Anglesea.  The sunlight washes out the colours a bit, but it's like a watercolour.  It's probably not meant to be a birdbath, but that's ok.
 First blue egg of the season today!
Daffodils never fail to brighten your day.
And that is August in a nutshell.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Another month goes by...

 Wow, nearly a whole month since I last posted!  School holidays have come and gone, and we're in the depths of winter.  One of our original 3 Isa brown chickens died a few weeks ago, so we decided to add another 2 chickens, to bring the flock back up to 8.  This is Moss and Sage, our 2 new Australorp hybrids (crossed with Isa Browns), purchased at the Newtown Farmer's market.  They've been treated pretty badly by the others so far, and are currently hiding.
 Our citrus trees are bringing some colour and flavour to our garden, the above picture is of our mandarin tree, which has small, but very tasty fruit.
 This is our orange tree, which we'll leave a while longer before we pick them, they should grown a bit bigger.
 The lemon tree never fails, even after we gave it a big haircut last year.
 Interesting fungus in the woodpile next to the wood oven
 A bit of winter cheer- paperwhite jonquils
 And in the kitchen- freshly made mozzarella, and chicken stock

Monday, June 30, 2014

Happy birthday Evie!

 Evie turned 8 yesterday, on a cold wintery day, good for being inside.  They day she was born there was a frost- I remember because the back deck was slippery on our way out to the hospital.

 A musical marble run will be the highlight of the school holidays I think, it has little xylophone segments that can be slotted in in various combinations.  They play a note as the marble runs over them.
It can go together with her basic Quadrilla set, to make a bigger one.  There are endless possibilities with this game, and it should keep them entertained for years to come.  Happy birthday Evie!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lake Elizabeth

 Yesterday, we completed the Lake Elizabeth loop walk for the first time.  We've been there at least 3 times before, started the walk, and turned back as we weren't sure how long it was, and hadn't allowed enough time.  Perhaps because the sign says 3.5 hours return.  We did it in less than 1.5 hours, and we didn't rush.
 There is some spectacular scenery there, as the lake was formed in 1952 when there was a land slide caused by record rainfall.  Lake Elizabeth is situated in the Otway Forest, near a town called Forrest.
 Platypus are plentiful here, but you have to arrive early in the morning, and perhaps take a canoe ride for a chance to see them.

 We saw lots of fungi.

Friday, June 20, 2014

In the garden this week

 Kale, radishes, leeks, lettuce, all chugging along

 Chilli's still adding some colour, as well as garlic, mature leeks, raspberry canes that need taming and a trellis
 Winter colour
 A new front fence that Andrew has been working on for the past month, with some help from my Dad.  They've done a good job haven't they?  There's still a few bits to finish off, and a passionfruit to grow along the wires.  We now have a no junk mail sign.

 Lots of little oranges
 Silver Princess blossoming
 The 2 new chickens, I think they're about 15 weeks old now.
 And a new back fence went in yesterday (as well as 5 new fruit trees!)  Our neighbour had a big canopy of plumbago and something else with an orange flower, that was growing over our side, pushing over the fence, and creating lots of shade for us.  With the canopy now gone, and a new fence up, we've been able to fit in some trees on dwarf stock.  There's 2 new pears (Corella and Conference), an apricot Trevatt, which fruits after the 2 Moorparks we already have, an apple Cripps Pink, otherwise known as Pink Lady, and a cherry Lapin, which fruits after the Stella we already have.  I'll gradually mulch this bed with the chook straw I clean out every week
I've done another fruit/nut tree count, and now we're up to 33, which doesn't include the kiwi vines, the passionfruit that will go in, or any of the berries.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

What happens when you don't have a no junk mail sticker

We've been replacing our front fence for the last few weekends, and our new letterbox went up this afternoon.  I don't have a new 'no junk mail' sticker yet, so look what happened within a very short time.  20 catalogues!  A small part of what is wrong with the world.