Wednesday, July 22, 2015

School Holidays

 The kids have been back at school for a week and a half, and I haven't blogged for months, but anyway, here's some highlights from the holidays!  The order of my photos has been jumbled, but here's Liv, who got to fulfill her wish of a horse ride (pony), at Koombahla park in Wallington.

 And Evie with her new bike that she got for her 9th birthday.

 The birthday girl with her longed for Merveilleux cake

Monday, March 16, 2015

Double glazing

We had our back windows and door replaced today, with timber framed double glazing.  Our old sliding door had become quite difficult to open and close, and last year I discovered a one inch by about 1cm gap in the top of one of the frames, which would let in hot or cold air depending on the season, and spiders I'm sure.  I plugged it up with cotton wool then, but things should be far more efficient now.  They are the windows/door for our lounge and dining area, which can get quite hot in summer, especially in the mid afternoon.  I'm sure a lot of winter heating went literally out the window too.  I'm having trouble loading a before photo, but I'll put it up soon if I can.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Broody chickens

 I really thought I'd notice if this was going on.  I was a bit shocked to find this chicken sitting on 15 eggs, hidden under the pumpkin vines.  She's been escaping every day, which was annoying, I just thought she'd figured out how to get out, and so she kept repeating it because it was fun.  We've attempted to block the gap in the fencing, but she was determined.  One egg per day for 15 days.  Today was the day to start sitting on them, and that's how I found her, hadn't seen her since this morning.
Better do the float check on this lot!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

February garden

 It is getting closer to the end of summer, and we're getting some good harvests, and starting the autumn clean up.  We're enjoying our first blooms from this dwarf flowering gum, after planting it nearly a year ago, I'm looking forward to it growing to it's full height, and being covered in blossom every summer.
 The pumpkins are taking over, though not sure if we'll get a lot of pumpkins from them.
 Avocados continue to get bigger
 Freshly planted dwarf black mulberry
 The new bed chugging along- 35 degrees celcius today, so it's a bit wilty
 Cantaloupe Minnesota Midget
 Watermelon moon & stars
 Backyard beds
 My new echinacea flannelette pyjamas- I'm having a break from making new items for Etsy, and making a few things for myself.  These will be great for winter.
 Liv with Violet
 The next flush of raspberries!
 Andrew's cantaloupe
 Bee enjoying an artichoke flower
Burr comb
The bees are exploding in population now, enjoying tasty treats in our garden

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mid January garden

 Artichokes flowering- the bees love these
 A new garden bed- I've been layering up used chicken house straw, with rabbit poo, chopped up comfrey, banana skins, rock dust.  I've put in a border of comfrey (there are some comfrey roots buried in there that are yet to come up.  My salvia "bee's bliss" is in there, and in a few months, I'll plant an almond tree.  You can see the quality of the "grass" next to this bed, it's quite compacted and sandy.
 Golden delicious apples, only it's second summer.  I had to thin the fruit, as it was way too heavy for the poor tree.
 Sweet potatoes are starting to take off
 The pumpkins are also starting to take off
 The new beds are full of life

 Kiwi fruit plants are surviving, but they need a lot of soil improvement
 Cox's orange pipins getting quite big
 Driveway garden is progressing
 One of 10 (10!) avocados still on the tree.  I've put little drawstring organza bags on them to keep the beasties out, fingers crossed.  Andrew is very excited, he'd be happy with just one reaching maturity.
Part of the apricot harvest, halved, de-stoned and now in the freezer for my breakfast smoothies.  We've been lucky with rain this summer, things are surviving nicely.  I'm just hoping that February is not a scorcher!

Monday, January 12, 2015

David Holmgren's Permaculture garden tour

 Yesterday, Andrew and I attended a permaculture garden tour at Melliodora, David Holmgren and Su Dennet's property in Hepburn.
 The thing I most took from the tour was about improving soil.  We've been attempting to do this for a number of years, but really stepping it up this year.  2015 is the International year of soils, very appropriate.  We have quite sandy soil here (being not too far from the beach), and I have heard from older generations that the area we live in used to be market gardens, which has probably robbed the soil over time as well.

 David in the orange shirt

 The grand old pear tree that dayes back to about 1860.  I think I need to take some time to absorb all the information from the tour, little snippets come back to me, and i need to figure out how it applies to where we are and what we're doing (on a much smaller scale).
15 new plants that came home with us, from Digger's St Erth, Frogmore Gardens, Maldon Market, and Daylesford Market.  I'm reclaiming yet another piece of grass, that is mostly dead dust bowl at the moment.  I'm putting chook poo and straw mulch from the chookhouse, bunny poo, and some ash from the wood oven, just piling it up like sheet mulch.  I've just planted a couple of salvia bee's bliss ( a groundcover sage which attracts bees), and a few comfrey as a border (all from the above photo) in there, away from the rich manure.  When the weather cools in autumn, I'll probably plant an almond tree, which is deciduous (provides leaf mulch), has beautiful, early blossom (bees love it), and it will provide much needed summer shade.