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.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A day at Heronswood

 A week ago we went to Heronswood gardens at Dromana, on the other side of the bay,  Heronswood is a Diggers garden.
 You can see how close it is to the ocean here, but it's quite elevated.

 Heronswood House

 Baby chickens

 The herb garden
 Echinops- I hope mine flowers this year!
 Allium Drumsticks

The remains of the cafe that burnt down last summer at the back