Thursday, December 16, 2010

GBBD December 2010

I'm late. I went to post for GBBD yesterday, and as I was uploading photos, Google informed me that I had reached my free photo upload limit and that I would have to pay for more uploads to Picasa. I immediately paid and tried again, but was informed that it would take 24 hours to process.

"Better late than never" as they say. But they also say "Never judge a book by its cover" which left me hugely disappointed when I bought a book with a picture of Jamie Oliver on the front assuming it was a car manual.

And don't get me started on "You can't have your cake and eat it".

Anyway, here's what I started on yesterday.

The months just fly by. It's the 15th again and thanks to May dreams gardens it's time to look over what is blooming.

To be honest, blooms are a bit thin on the ground this month as summers heat turns the plants thoughts to survival rather than beauty, but I suppose the idea is to show the changing of the seasons rather than show off only in the good times. It's nice to look around the world each 15th and see where it's winter or summer, drought or flood, and what each of us grows and cherishes.

 I'm very fond of native violets. They are tender yet prolific.


 Small flowers on my Maraya.

 The white Agapanthus is almost done

 Tiny flowers have started in the Bromeliads

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Welcome. (Not a gardening post)

Our friends and neighbours, (the garden gnome people), have a new addition. With  all the girls around, Declan is thankful that there is another little bloke around to be mates with. So welcome little Luke.

Here is a slightly blurred photo of the Dads being Dads.


My sister flew in from Hanoi on Sunday. She and her husband are bigwig hotel  management types, and some years ago after a holiday in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia where they fell in love with tropical south east Asia, they requested and were granted transfers to Hanoi. Since then Lachlan, my nephew, was born, and I see far too little of him. Although I feel sorry for my brother in law spending Christmas without his family, frankly he can suck it up 'cause it's my turn. (Sorry Mick)

And what a surprise I had waiting for them. Let me paint a photo picture.

 Imogen was so excited that Aunty Rabbit was coming.
 Lachlan was a little wary to begin with.
 Grandad, ( my dad) kept an eye on his boy.
And why had they come? The uninitiated might think that Christmas had something to do with it, but no. They came all this way just in time to see the the piece de resistance. My very first cucumber. I know you find it hard to believe that they travelled all this way for my humble first cucumber, but that's family.

I think I'm starting to morph into an Italian immigrant from the 40's. i.e. I'd like to turn my small block into a thriving market garden with rows of produce, chickens scurrying hither and thither and a long table for family lunches with plenty of good wine. I started with leafy veggies and found that they are are fairly easy to grow and maintain and tomatoes are not much harder, but I'm getting into a greater diversity of food plants. The cucumber is the first triumph, and the capsicum aren't far behind. I wonder if Alison would notice the lawn if it went missing.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I turn my back for five minutes...

I focus about as well as Imogen's cardboard tube that she uses as a telescope. With final exams over the last couple of weeks, plus an assignment due I had to really push myself to concentrate on study. Now it's all over bar the shouting and in a few weeks I should have my results.

When Imogen was born, an income took on a whole new meaning. Manufacturing was rapidly dwindling in Australia as imports from Asia were just too cheap to compete with and with another mouth to feed I decided to expand my horizons and spent the next three and a half years finishing work in the afternoon and heading off to class, finishing between 9 and 9.30 before heading home.

It has been really hard, but ultimately really worth the effort. And now, with the longer summer nights upon us I get to come home and see my family and potter in my garden once again.

And boy does it need it. It's been longer than five minutes, but still the degradation is amazing. These are but a few examples.

 Half the veggie bed has succumbed to the heat.

And the rest has gone to seed.

 But then an amazing thing happened. Super-girl arrived to help save the day.

 We used her gardening muscle and soon had things in order.

Super-girl and I removed some failures and some onion weed and planted some Escallonia Iveyi, ( the one with the white flowers), and some Berberis, (the red foliage). When it grows it should fill the area and prop up the purple fountain grass. I also put in a Japanese maple. Never had one before, so I hope I've done it right.

I put the "door" on the veggie patch to stop the long hot afternoon sun from doing damage, and tidied it up, keeping what could be kept and planting new where the old had been removed. It's not generally planing season, but the weird weather has made it far more amenable to plant new plants that should be able to take root well in all the rain.

My buxus japonica, now around 10 months old, has reached a stage where I can begin to shape it. I think it will be next season before it is a proper hedge though.

 And finally, the lawn which was a barren desert when we moved in has started to look better.I keep lawn to a minimum, but what I have I like to look good.