Sunday, August 16, 2015

Honey time

 Andrew pulled out 3 full frames today, they're now sitting in a colander draining out slowly.
 The kids enjoyed a taste

 The almond tree is in full blossom now, and the bees are all over it.  I planted another almond tree earlier this year, because they are the first trees to blossom, and we like almonds!

 This year I've been working on soil improvement, particularly areas that have been very sandy and hydrophobic, and difficult to grow things in.  I've added biochar, followed by aged manures, and a Natrakelp soil wetter, made from kelp.  I've planted a row of sedums (autumn joy) in the above bed, and some agastache 'sweet lili' and salvia rosenwein to fill up the bed, as well as lamb's ears and aloe vera at the back.  This bed grows olive trees, but was hard to keep anything else alive in there.  Throughout the garden I've added 26 agastaches and salvias for the bees, and their drought tolerance.
 The gardens are ready for spring
 This bed is also hard to grow in, so with some soil amendments, I'm hoping that will change.  I've planted lupins for nitrogen fixing, (and they're pretty), wall flowers along the back as winter food for bees, aquilegia in the shady corner, clary sage for bees and beauty, and divided up a few yarrows and scattered them around.  I'll put in some productive plants along the front once the weather warms up.
 A couple of our avocados, we've been enjoying them this winter
A new batch of rose geranium and patchouli soap, good marbling this time.

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!