Life, with my dogs, living on one acre in Tasmania. Living on a low income, and with Complex PTSD. I write about all sorts of things. I called my Blog Echidna Home because I have echidnas that live here
I have shared about myself and what my life has been like over the past few months living with CPTSD. It seems to me writing here assists me so much. Seeing my thoughts/activities/feelings in print help me see how far I have come in my life with this illness. Learning to live my life accepting how I move through each day no matter how and what is happening in my life and life around me. I am proud of myself that I keep moving forward no matter how minuscule it may be.
Lets look at what is happening in the garden. Here in the Southern Hemisphere we being our Spring Season very soon; the problem tends to be I along with many others feel the days lengthen and see the weeds growing all the new growth everywhere. I feel the urge to sow seeds. I have to hold myself back and wait wait.. which I have been doing, today I intend to plant a few in pots to germinate in side.
Lets go for a walk around my gardens in the last few days of the yearly Winter season.
I feel like I have done very little during winter, yet when I review the photos I have been doing small things. On top of this each day I walk around and pull weeds out of the paddock area. We have had a very wet few weeks very wet. This has made it more difficult to continue to clear around the fruit trees as the ground is too wet.
The joy of my garden and the hope that I will get seeds in and growing for my own vegetables and food. Rain and colder days are on the agenda for a few more days.
The chooks ahh the chooks sadly I have three roosters, and only five girls. Rupert has been amazing with the chicks but they have all grown up now and I have to attend to reducing the number of roosters, as they will be to much and to mean for the few girls I have. Sadly only one of the female chicks have survived to now. I also lost one of my original hens one of the brown girls. Penny I am not holding out any hope that she is nesting anywhere. My neighbours have also got new hens, and both my neighbour and I have noted that a Sea Eagle has been flying around everyday. This may be part of why my hens have disappeared along with one of the rooster chicks (perhaps not so bad one less for me to attend).
I have been taking my vitamin D as down here we have such low levels of sun over this time of year it is a necessity. It also helps with mood and lessening seasonal affective disorder. (SAD)
It is great to wake up each day, to see how beautiful my garden is looking. I am so thankful to have such a great area to create my space.
I am thankful to those of you who read my posts, blessings to You all. Tazzie
A couple of visitors in my garden yesterday. (Sorry images not crisp). A Silver eye (first photo) native bird. European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)introduced here and mainland Australia 1880s
Photos above: top row. Seeds on damp paper towel. After a few days in the freezer bags roots and leaves out. Seeds began on 26/07/2020 First check 02/08/2020. I watched a gardener who grew here seeds this way. I begin only a few seeds and seem to have had great success rates so far. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SfmRmNMKmA Gary and Robbie Gardening made easy. I am trying carrots seeds this way as I find keeping the small seed moist difficult or keeping them from getting too wet sigh. So willing to attempt this way. ( I did forget the cardboard.) So far I am really happy with them.
It also makes it easier for me to keep growing as much as I will need over a period of time. (that is the plan.) It will be interesting to see how it and how I go!
Salvia in flower, some sprouting broccoli flowering and going to seed, Wattle is coming into flower all about this area love the scent and the bees adore it. Last photo is a bit sad..if you look you can see my red Kale has been well decimated. I went out to pick some for an omelette last Saturday morning and the storm we had overnight had knocked a bit of a gap in a fence on the deck. Just enough to let some hungry critters get to the box. Ahh well, thankful they did not it all, or pull it out. I am thankful that is growing again.
From top to bottom Photos. Nettles beginning to flower. The little love these plants I am hoping they have not been eating the butterfly eggs/caterpillars. The rhubarb gave me a feast of deliciousness. Strange as it seems some critter has eaten the flower head and some of the leaves of the plant. It will be okay as this happens each year.
I have been attempting to get the grass away from the stone wall. Yeah right this is going to stop it infiltrating the beds. An ongoing process. The wall flower looks wonderful and the bees love it.
Next two are hazelnuts I have four and this might be the first year that all seem to be throwing there catkins at the same time. So I may get my best harvest of hazelnuts this year. (as any gardener knows you do not count it a done deal).
Next photo, is a plum tree that had two graft on it. Only one graft survived and it was a nice plum so I did not want to remove the tree. I chatted with an older gardener who suggested I plant another plum close to it. This might help the other tree firstly not only to produce better and more fruit. It might also help make the first tree look more balanced. Well it is worth a shot.
I had been hoping to get more of the preparation about the fruit trees as I have with this tree completed. As yet that has not happened. I do like how the tree has plenty of grass free area, the bulbs will be blooming soon lovely yellow daffodils, and the trees will be in blossom fingers crossed.
The photo next to this is my Gooseberry. I transplanted it as it was really in the road where I had put it originally. The blue twine is helping to spread the branches out to allow more sunlight into the bush. I have put two new plants near it. I love Gooseberries. I only ate my first fresh one last year. I never knew that they could be eaten fresh. I always thought they were only great in pies and jam. Now I Know…I will be cherishing some and keeping the birds off them.
Last two photos are of an Apricot tree Moorepark I have put in this year. It is perhaps the most protected area of my garden, it gets great morning sun and will have sun for a good period of time. Enough hours so I am led to believe to give me fruit in a couple of years.
The last photo is the Diosma in flower and this is loved by bees too. I have sprouting broccoli going to seed so the birds are enjoying them. I hope some seed may grow about the place.
Yes you get the feeling spring is coming but reality sank in this week with snow falling widely accross the state down to sea level in some locations sadly not at my place. Our main access roads between the Huon Valley and Hobart/rest of the state were cut, people coming home from work had a three hour+ drive in many instances and had to take the long coastal road home but it was bumper to bumper and heavy wind and rain. People were stranded in the midlands on the major highway between Hobart and the North of the State. All unusual and exciting for most of us even those who were late home. I certainly feel for you all that live where snow fall is regular.
We usually have snow on our mountains around here an Kunyani (Mt Wellington) the back drop to Hobart.
Its been lovely feeling capable of writing and sharing a bit of what is going on in my garden and seed growing.
If you are in lock down (as Melbourne stage 4 and other locations here in Australia are) due to Covid, keep in touch with friends, family. Laugh as much as you can, and be kind to everyone. Wear your masks, keep your safe distancing, and hand, cough hygiene. Stay at home and grow something.
The autumn colours of the blueberry bushes on my deck are so incredible. With the lobeilia blue and sweet assylum’s white flowers off set by their varied greenery it is a picture to look at. I love the smell of the sweet assylum and the way it cascades out over the pot bring a softness.
There are still the odd cornflowers blooming and I hope the seeds are spreading all about the garden. Sitting on the table their are strawberries in the brown rounded planter, to the left are some new seedlings of cabbages and cauliflower.
I walked about the garden and noted there was a fig ready to pick. My thought I will pick this after a coffee. I shake my head, I now better than thinking anything about eating something from the garden. I was gone no longer than an hour. Sucombing to Busby’s ability to make me so uncomfortable with his need for a walk. On our return I wallked about the side of the house to refill the bird bath and pick the fig, TOO LATE beaten to it by the birds. I have to laugh. My fig produced a lot of figs this year, Sadly I do not feel most will mature. The beauty of gardening is generally there will be next year.
There is a lettuce growing in the fore ground of this photo above. It is self seeded and I always thought it was druken woman however that does not seem right now. It is tasty regardless.
The photograph to the right is a hydrangea I am growing from a cutting, I feel it may need to be potted up though it does look as if it is lacking some nutrients. To the left is a spinach plant. I just shove things in and hope. I may go out and repot this hydrangea this afternoon to give the spinach more room.
Looking from the deck into the garden there are tiny seedlings growing I am hoping they are a flower. Self sown again. To the back of the photo (left) is a cape gooseberry plant which has a couple of fruit on it not ripe as yet.
Photo above; Some of the seedlings I planted out into pots. I may have to replant some. I have cabbages and cauliflower, along with mignonette lettuce varieties. I have put the brassicas in pots as If I need to replace any of the ones in the veggie beds I can do it easily. I am also being rather hopeful that some will grow OK in the pots. I am aware they have not got a lot of room.
Silver beet with a broad bean growing with it.
One of my biggest problems is trusting my memory to know what things I have in pots and the garden and why. Strange I would imagine my memory would be fine at this. Since I have memory issues from blocking things out. I have absolutely no idea what these two things in the pot above are. For some reason I have cut them off something and popped them in the pots. One as you can see is growing. Any one know?
My first strawberry well first one that I got to enjoy. Sweet and juicy. I am not super hopeful for any more. Mainly since I just shoved the plants in small pots until I could find somewhere better. That was in Spring. sigh.
This photograph below show more of the seedlings I have potted up not to mention all the ones that I have put in my veggie garden beds. It really does pay to be careful when ordering your seedlings. I have shared before that I thought I was ordering individual seedlings and ordered for the number I desired. In fact what I ordered were punnets, so ended up with between 8 and 10 times the number of seedlings I really wanted. Thankfully my neighbour was happy to have quite a few too.
Above photograph. One of my lettuces that was in a pot that I wanted. I knew it was about to go to seed and decided to pull it out and sit the roots in water, It has worked a treat as now the flowers are forming seeds and I am spreading them about. I am sure mother nature is spreading them too. Lovely they will come up all over and suprise me.
Photo above: Does anyone know what the tall leafed plant is in the fore ground I am puzzled by it. Miners lettuce is growing in here and a kale. Miners lettuce has been going and going for years on the deck. I planted a few I had been given and they went to seed and self seed everywhere. I do not mind, they are a lovely green in winter salads. They are also great ground cover, and look pretty when in flower. Also makes good compostable green crop.
Photo above. Broad bean, peas, kale (weeds) all in a small pottery pot. I may have planted the peas. there may be both sweet and green peas in there. Oh dear my pots are so interesting and it will be quite a interesting time watching them grow and see which is more successful .
Poor kefir lime tree needed some love. Yet again it was infested with scale so I wiped it down with vinegar and wiped all the scale off, I noted it was lacking something. Light new growth leaves with green veins lacking iron. Iron chelate solution applied yesterday and leaves looking happier already. 24 hours later. I also gave the other citrus trees on the deck a solution of iron chelates.
Cabbage on the right was full of aphids. I am very doubtful that this poor plant will produce anything. The caterpillars have decimated it and now with the heart of the cabbage a treat for aphids, I am thinking I should cut my losses, and compost it.
So a wee wonder about the deck on a warm if overcast Autumn day in the beautiful Huon Valley.
be safe, stay at home please! Blessings to You all Tazzie
Today it is quite mild only reaching a maximum of 15dC/59dF with showers, wind and tonight a minimum of 4dC/39.2. This weather will continue slowly warming back up again mid week.
Yesterday I was enjoying coffee and a book in the sunshine on my deck getting my vitamin D. I sat outdoors on my deck marveling at how lovely a day it was. Watching the little puffs of clouds float bye. The brown butterflies and white butterflied, bumble bees, honey bees and native bees buzzed about. Birds chatter and song filled the air. Caw of crows, and songs of blackbirds. Wrens and pardolottes.
My washing was drying in my solar drier. Whilst doonas, dog beds and blankets all aired in the gentle breeze and sunshine. So lovely to snuggle under last night. To me that is the perfect scent to go to sleep with. Bliss.
It is has been a while since I wrote about the veggie garden. So the dogs and I ventured outside in between showers. It is not really as cold as I thought lol. Just going from a beautiful sunny 28dC/82.4dF yesterday to this is a bit of a shock to my system.
I shall start with the deck. There is still quite a lot happening on the deck as you will be able to see. So many flowers still going. Cornflowers and sweet peas which I have had since late spring. A beautiful long period.
Things on the deck are doing OK even though they may be getting a bit wind blown and the chillier nights may not be to all the plants liking.
Herbs such as sage and thyme are still growing new leaves, as is the Greek oregano I have that grows about the wine barrels and path. I still live in hope that some of my tomatoes still on the vine will develop enough to ripen as temperatures are to warm up again next week.
I have been getting tomatoes off both areas. The deck ones I have had to pick a bit greener as some critter has been getting in under or between the netting gaps, the night before I have decided I will have those couple for breakfast in the morning. I now I should have learnt by now never ever think let alone say out loud that you are going to pick that fuit/vegetable tomorrow. Exact same thing happened with the grapes. I did score a few and they were delicious.
I have been picking a few beans every day, often eating quite a few as I wander about the garden watering or looking. Similarly with the broccoli I just eat it raw at the time or in salad raw. Too nice to cook.
The corn is swelling. I did try my first cob last night for part of my dinner. It was so sweet and tasty, some of it not so developed. I picked it because I could see something had been trying to get into it. I have a few cobs left. I know that if I were to grow corn next spring summer I will not be doing it in a three season bed. Same thing with the pumpkin. Everything grew well. Everything has produced is producing something but in tiny amounts apart from the beans. The only thing that I feel was really successful and I feel it would have been on it is own is the bean tripod.
I have self sown rocket, red sorrel and a brassica of unknown origin or type just popping up about the beds on the paths of the Vegetable garden. I have not had plantain in my vegetable garden for years and this year I have it. I am so happy about this. This does not bother me in the slightest. Gaia is so generous if we allow her.
I keep thinking I should pick some Rosehips, and make some Rosehip syrup.
The dogs enjoyed being outside between showers, and sniffed, played and rolled about in delight. As I picked and ate some blackberries. I also looked at the wild apple tree in the hedgerow and picked a couple of apples off it. They look a bit green to me.
The middle photograph in the top row is of a watermelon plant that was planted as a seedling back in November. It is only just flowering now. I do not like my chances of getting any fruit. Oh you have to gamble some times. I feel the position of this bed and the metal walls protecting it were to much contributing to it not doing well.
The middle row shows the dogs and I looking at the hazelnut shrubs. I was picking hazel nuts off the branches, and off the ground. Noting that some thing has been eating them. It is interesting to note that almost every nut on the ground still has no nut inside. How do these critters know this? Busby likes chewing the shell and seeing if their is a nut inside. The two he got that I had dropped on the deck both had nuts in them. I can find it hard to distinguish if there is a nut or not. I have four different types of hazelnuts so do not understand why I am not getting fertillised nuts. Something to research.
As the garden heads further into Autumn I am thinking of what I need to do to prepare for next spring.
I have to soon plant garlic. Possibly in the next week. Peter Cundall who was one of the long term presenters of Gardening Australia on the Australian Broadcasting Commission TV. He happens to live up in Tamar Valley in the North of the state. Used to say plant on the shortest day and harvest on the longest. This worked for the first few years I grew garlic but no longer. The season has changed.
These final photos are back on the deck some garlic that was sprouting (not my home grown ones but some I had bought as locally grown) I placed in the pots. The bounty of hazel nuts and all that was left on my Huonvalley Crab Apple tree. The rest show a hodge podge of pots on the deck with cos lettuce, mints, sage, brassica, flowering strawberry plants, cape gooseberry, a small pot with a self sown broad bean and pea.
I personally find gardening wonderful, challenging, and constantly requiring evaluation. I find for my mental well being it is a wonderful place to be. I rarely wear gloves (even with risks of Scorpion stings and Jack Jumper Ant bites) preferring to have my hands connect to the soil. I call it being earthed. For me it brings a sense of well being of contentedness to Gaia. That perhaps things are not so bad in the world.
I was out picking blackberries this morning in what I consider my hedgerow. I know it is not really a true hedge row. I know that here in Tasmania mostly in the midlands and north of the state there are some amazing hedges and hedge rows. I recall driving into Perth Tasmania from Hobart and seeing these amazing structures, quite neglected but quite lovely still.
In spring Tasmania reminds many people of UK.
It is so green and rich looking, from mid Autumn to late early summer providing rainfall has been adequate. Combined with Georgian and Victorian style houses and buildings in towns and cities across Tasmania and rural areas.
Along with hawthorn hedgerows, many planted in the first half of the 19th Century and stone walls. In reality the only similarities are the verdant green of the grass from autumn to early summer, the Georgian and Victorian built heritage that still remains and the patchwork of fields enclosed by the hawthorn hedgerows, many of which were planted in the first half of the 19th century.
The first hedgerows were planted and cared for them which then enabled the family that owned the property to plant crops for the early colony of Tasmania. Sadly for the last 70plus years these hedgerows hae been neglected as barbed wire fencing became more accessible and affordable. Mr Dumarseq a sith generation farmer said.
“We’re slowly now just starting to trim them again, lay them over in the traditional way and bring them back into traditional working order.”
The family has employed one of Australia’s few traditional hedge layers, James Boxhall to work on the property. James has been slowly beginning to trim and lay them as the convicts would have so once again the hedge rows will be back in working order.
Since the introduction of barbed wire, fencing has taken on a whole new form, harsh on the eye, requires mining and high energy to produce and is lifeless. In stark contrast a healthy living hedge is not only a fence or boundary but a nature reserve full of diversity.
Flowering profusely in the spring, highly fragrant, buzzing with insects and the chatter of birds they attract, visually spectacular with painful thorns for the unwary. A sensory overload! Ever-changing autumn brings fruit, prized by the Green Rosellas, the swamp harriers and goshawks cruise the extremities flushing out prey, small mammals find homes among the roots and branches, all while these carbon sinks provide shelter from the elements for our sheep and cattle.
The satisfaction of preserving these ancient hedges and passing on a dying craft has kept people like Mr Boxhall on the job, cutting, pushing, bending and chainsawing the thorny and at times nasty plants back into the shape of the traditional fences.
We must ensure their survival long into the future.
In the UK their benefits are of such importance the government pays land owners to look after and maintain them in the Countryside Stewardship scheme creating gainful employment for many. Here in Tasmania we too should appreciate the great value healthy hedgerows make to the diversity, ecology and charm of the Tasmanian landscape as well of course as the cultural importance of our British colonisation.
Fortunately in 2003 John and Robyn Hawkins employed master hedgelayer and stonewaller Karl Leibscher from Shropshire in the English midlands to teach a small team these traditional skills and to restore the many kilometres of hedges on their property “Bentley”.
James says he has had the great privilege of being invited to the Patrons Event, a competition held this year on the Queen’s estate “Sandringham” by the Patron of the National Hedgelaying Society HRH The Prince of Wales. “I travelled to England to compete in the National Hedgelaying Championships, becoming the first person from outside of Europe to do so”. http://www.omlxi.com/sticks_stones/about.php#james
Along with 35 other competitors from most parts of the UK we were given six hours to lay, stake and bind our 7-yard section of hedge which was judged at the end of the day. Many of England’s masters of the craft were in attendance to advise and mentor which made it an invaluable experience. The chance to meet and talk with Prince Charles about Tasmania and hedges was wonderful, an opportunity I will not forget.
So I accept that my boundary is not a true traditional hedge row, as it is not made from bent trees and woven and trimmed. It does keep my dogs in. I love my hedgerow. It is full of life. It is not for stock and meets my needs.
Looking down the hedgerow.
I do wish I could say this is a fairy entrance into my garden, it is almost as magical. This is a pathway for wallabies and other animals it goes under the apple tree. The blackberries provide a safe escape. Quiet a few years ago I watched a blue tongue lizard eating blackberries just up from this spot. This has been a pathway for all the time I have lived here. I will not fence as I love having the wallabies come in and be part of my garden. So many new people are moving here and fully fencing their properties to keep the wallabies and possums out. I understand if you are having stock or horses, but just to keep the animals that belong here much more then we do out of their pathways and feeding areas not good.
Hedge row blackberries grass and bracken no fencing at all along here. The only small bit of fencing is where the apple tree is and the first bit of grassland as people would come onto our land to pick the apples. No problem with them taking them from the road side.
How lovely the rain has arrived and is falling as I type. It has cooled off.
Hedge rows (neighbours across) is a pine of sorts just a hedge) Mine blackberries bracken and agapanthas.(white flowers) I do not have any fencing along here at all.
Agapanthas I cut and had to go back to pick up because I had forgotten them. The clouds were coming over and as I bent to pick them up I felt two stinging burning bites. Really painful I was in a mass of Jack Jumper ants. I feel they knew it was going to rain. Why they were about the agapantha flowers I am not sure. They were no where about earlier when it was humid so sticky and humid. Below is the photograph I took of two of them and some information about these beasties! (I was also bitten earlier in the week in the veggie garden on my left index finger).
The jack jumper – Tasmania’s killer ant: 2012
By Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Jack jumpers (Myrmecia pilosula) are small, black and orange ants with extremely keen eyesight and an unusual ability to jump. This tiny creature is considered one of the most dangerous ants in the world – and, indeed, the most dangerous animal in Australia! In Tasmania, the death toll from the jack jumper’s sting is about one person every four years – greater than the toll inflicted by sharks or by the most poisonous of snakes or spiders.
They are named after the ‘jumping-jack firecracker’ because of their tendency to jump aggressively towards potential threats to themselves or their nests, and to follow up with multiple painful, fiery stings.
The ant’s fierce-looking, toothed jaws are ideal for holding insect prey in place while using the stinger at the end of its abdomen to jab its victim.
Jack jumpers are so very dangerous because the venom in their stings is one of the most powerful in the insect world; about three per cent of Tasmanians (some 14,000 people) are at risk of anaphylactic shock if stung.
While jack jumpers are common in the bush, their preference for disturbed, sparsely-vegetated and stony ground allows them to colonise roadsides, pathways and heavily-grazed paddocks.
For the same reasons, they can also be common in recently-established suburbs. Nests are typically found under logs and rocks and can often be spotted from the mounds of gravel that mark the entrance holes.
Not one single ant species, but a complex of seven superficially very similar species, jack jumpers hold a key position in native ecosystems.
Despite their notoriety, their nest-building improves soil structure, while their predatory and competitive behavior with other insects and invertebrates helps to selectively enhance plant growth.
They are also a food source for other animals. The most important predator of jack jumpers is the echidna, which – unfortunately for people – avoids disturbed ground and suburban areas.
Below please excuse my dirty feet, I have been working and walking about in sandles all day. Digging and on dirt paths in bare feet. You can see my bites fortunately I am not allergic to them.
The first is on the side of my big toe, and it is swollen quite a lot now it feels like I have a huge blister or pad under my foot when I walk and the top and side is hot to touch and red. There is no pain just a burning sensation which is not unusual. This ant really had a tight grasp on me. It was still attached even when I pulled my sandle off.
Below. The one on my toe is not too bad it has not swollen any where near as much as I feared. (I could not bend my finger for 24 hours after it was bitten, and it itches off and on annoyingly so) It is burning still I know if it had swollen I would have found it really annoying as you can see I have webb toes and it would have impacted both of them. The redness you can see is the reaction but that has disapated and basically where the whiteness is and the small red dot (bite) is now red and the rest of my foot now clean is back to normal. Of course I was bitten on different feet. I can laugh now.
Even with this I have had a wonderful day and so have my dogs. We did our usual run this morning. I picked fruit and stacked some of my wood. I pruned some trees and bushes. (bushes mainly for access for my gas bottle delivery man. ) My dogs were wanting another walk so after their meal we went off on the way home one of my neighbours was out with her two dogs, so my guys played with them as we chatted for ages.
We waved as several other neighbours drove up or down the road. As the dogs played in their paddock.
Another neighbour came and joined us, bringing us each a gift of half a marrow, a zucchini/courgette that has grown huge. I am going to stuff mine and bake it, yummo on tuesday when I have gas again. She also gave us each a jar of her homemade home grown apricot relish yummo!
We chatted for quite a while and her friend came looking for her and stayed for a while and talked with us more. I had to go as Busby was so hot and tired and Miss Treacle was sleeping under the shade of a tree. So we all said bye. All smiling.
As I write I am listening to the rain and Busby snoring deeply as he has been since 5pm (it is now 8pm) and Miss Treacle making mmmering noises in her sleep. Neither of them raising their head if I get up to do something. Not normal. Sleeping the exhausted. It is a lovely night, all dry our tummies full and comfy beds to sleep in. I am not suffering with my ant bites. I have learnt about Tasmanias true hedgerows.
I am so thankful for lovely neighbours, other dogs for my dogs to play with, the rain, the gifts I received to day, the bounty of Mother Earth, I will have more blackberries, and the apples will be ready soon. I am thankful for I am truelove blessed.
It is such a glorious day here in the valley where I live. The sky is blue with puffs and streaks of white cloud blowing over. Its a lovely temperature and being a Saturday many people are out enjoying it. The most enjoyable thing is there is not one mower or chainsaw being used. It is blissful and relatively quiet, except for the birds singing and my neighbours little girl playing and laughing with her daddy.
There is a gentle wind, which will dry my washing out. I use a clothes horse and fencing about my deck to hang it. The pleasure I have when I bring in the clothes smelling of sunshine. Sigh.
I did have three clothes lines but had to have them taken down for my replacement water tank to go in. (I guess that is important information if you are on tank water; ensure access is easy to replace your water tanks.) The plastic ones are easier as you can roll them into position, I do have one plastic one. Not so with the corrugated metal ones.
Corn flowers continue to flower, and provide seed for next flowering season. A sweet pea is growing in the planter, along with some strawberry plants. Only the strawberry was planted in this particular pot. I love my garden for this it self seeds and brings so much beauty for so little work.
I am watching lots of butterflies and bees flying about, along with some white cabbage moths, I feel I am loosing the battle with them and my brassicas. I am having little luck with broccoli forming heads, and the pick again are also not as I hoped. Perhaps I put them in a bit early. Oh well I am eating them and enjoying what I get. I am also adding the leaves to dogs food and my own too.
I spent a while at the begining of the week cleaning the leaves of all the brasscias on my deck before I put them under the netting. Only to discover that I had left it open so the white cabbage moth had laid eggs and caterpillars have eaten the leaves.
So sitting out on my deck just enjoying the day, I am attempting to shoot photos of butterflies the one below is the only one I captured.
I am not sure what it is but all my butterflies look the same. I am not sure if I can attract some others. I may have to research this. It was lovely to see so many floating about my garden.
Earlier in the morning I was watering the garden. I realised all of a sudden that all the bird life had stopped flying and chatting. I just caught the wedge tail eagle as it flew bye, explaining why it is not a great shot.
I gave my dogs a squashy blackberry each and how they loved them. So they have had a small feast each of delicious organic blackberries from the bushes that make up my boundary. Miss Treacle was not too sure about them. I had to feed her several by hand and then she decided she liked the a lot. Busby on the other hand just tasted and dove into his serve and then ate the leftovers from me. We all had our fill of blackberries this morning.
The beautiful days have bought some growth in the veggie garden.
The asparagus bed is still giving me asparagus every so often, I have high hopes for it next season.
Onions in the old wheel barrow. Looking lush. The peach tree needs a prune.
Whoa so proud of this capsicum plant(above) I planted it in the asparagus bed and it is doing really well. It has 3 capsicums forming well and more flowers. Who knows if they will grow bigger and ripen or not?
Oh my this bed above is a bit of a disaster. The pumpkins are not happy, neither are the cucumbers. Ahh well a big learning curve lots to read up on for next year. The pumpkins that are meant to be growing (unless I confused the names are butternuts. The wee yellow round blobs are not butternuts. Lucky I can laugh at it.
The chili (at least that is what I think it is ) has another fruit on it, and is flowering. It is purple coloured the fruit. Again all I can do is wait and see what develops.
These tomatoes are Suplice and were supposed to be early developers. I have had five small sized tomatoes of the two plants in the garden bed. There are more beginning to change colour and quite a few green ones. The good news is that at least I am getting some ripe tomatoes. Most people who are growing outside this year are having a bad time with tomatoes.
This is my one and only zucchini I have managed to grow so far this summer, and I am nervous to suggest it is going to develop.. As three others have not but they were smaller than this one. It is not for lack of water so I am so uncertain as to why my squash family are doing so poorly.
I have never had this problem in the past. It is not just in one bed three beds have not really done much. The zucchini has a lot of male flowers and few females.
Red vein something the young leaves can be eaten.
Rocket is beginning to shoot up all over the place, this is great news.
The Corn is looking good, as are the beans, I have begun harvesting beans though I am fairly certain I have created a bit of bad seed scenario. As I have planted two or 3 varieties of indeterminate and one determinate. So I am not sure if they cross pollinate. I really have forgotten so much and realise I was quite gung ho with my summer crops. It is an adventure.
I am fairly happy with the Three Sister bed, it is the first time I have grown squash, beans and corn together. Below is the only pumpkin I have growing and this is a butternut Waltheim variety from memory. It is only about 9cm/4inches long not including the dead flower. Again I have no idea if it will mature or not. Previously I shared about my neighbours lovely pumpkins sadly something has got into his and eaten them. Which is really disheartening for him and I do feel for him. As he has worked so hard on his beds and building his trellis. That is the thing with gardening you can never count your pumpkins or any harvest definitively until it is inside your house, and you taste it and it is delicious.
The beans just keep reaching for the sky, they are now way over my height, probably at about 213cm /7 1/2foot now and flowering and producing beans..Yippe!
Photo above is my brassica bed. It looks like the flash went off, but it didn’t. A very bright light at midday. The kale is the plant on the rear left and is doing really well. I never knew it would just keep on growing.
My broccoli plants are in the foreground. Interestingly the one with the seed heads from my silver beet draped all over it is not as impacted by white cabbage moth caterpillar as the one on the left. To the right background is the jostaberry bush.
The photograph above show the other two capsicum plants that were put in at the same time as the one in the asparagus bed. In hindsight I should have left all of them in the one bed. This is not the best photo of them, as the smaller plant in front has some wee capsicums on it and lots of flowers. The taller one only has flowers. The plant to the right is another pumpkin, variety I have no idea but
it has a fruit growing on it. Fingers crossed it matures. If anyone can assist with help as to why I seem to be having more male flowers I would really appreciate it.
Daisy I put into wine barrel at the front of my deck is very happy as it seems the self sown sunflower. I wait to see what happens with it.
Self sown peas, green peas not sweet peas. I love it when things just pop up, and surprise you especially as I dont think green peas are supposed to be growing now.
Two cabbage seedlings, just beginning, I had some others but someone ate them. So I moved these and hope they will be OK. I have to sow some more.
Ive been tidying up my deck plants, just waiting for the lettuce in the background to seed and I will fix that pot up too. Sadly I lost one of my lemon trees this year, it was in the purple pot. I keep meaning to plant one of them out in the ground. I just never know when is the best time. As they seem to be always flowering.
You can see it is still very dry here, pretty normal for summer. We did have some rain (not a lot on Thursday night and it was quite cool) I am fine for water I still have two thirds of a tank in the metal tanks and my plastic tank is full. I have to work out how to connect it to my others so I can use it on the pump as it is very slow to water the garden on pressure alone. I have also been distracted, forgotten I was watering and emptied the tank. Not good
Actually I know how to do it, it is just purchasing the things I need and doing it. It is just one more thing that is difficult with my CPSTD. Since so many things I have done or had done, have been made worse not so bad when I have done it. Really frustrating when someone you paid has left you worse off than before they came to fix it, and three times came back but made it worse! OK let it go, let it go breathe.
I have a very long list of what I need to do. One list only and no pressure.
Strawberries and brassicas hmm weird.
This is a very healthy eggplant/aubergine and it has flowers, same story as almost all things will any fruit mature? It is the wait and see vegetable garden here.
Busby is hunting gekos, and I love the red geranium it brings such a lovely colour to this part of the garden. There is a curry plant on the left that has seen better days. Soapwort grows under and about the geranium.
Red veined sorrel has seeded and has new young leaves, delicious.
The tomatoes on my deck are getting larger, and flowering still I just wait for them to ripen. I have noticed some I think they are the mortgage lifter appear to have some blossom rot damage. No idea how that happened. As non of the others have it and they have all been roughly where they are all together since I put the seedlings in. I have basil growing in some of the pots the way things are going I will have to harvest the basil and make pesto.
Brassicas on the deck not looking so great.
New leaves on this poor lemon and lots of flowers, I am hoping it will give me a lot of lemons. Lots of new growth on the lemon and lime too in the foreground.
This is really interesting, this little pot has violas in it an two brassicas. It has never been under the netting and up until this point in time, no white cabbage moth damage at all? I wonder if the scent of the violas is deterring the moth?
My attempt to fix a broken limb well part of it is still healthy. Not sure what happened to the broken bit at the bottome of the tape there. I need to check if there is scale on this plant again. I have recently given it some iron water, not sure what is going on withthe older leaf. I need to look that up.
This is a happy lemon look at the new growth yes.
I am so thankful for today. It was lovely just to be able to spend time in the garden. My back is getting better, and I am hoping next week I will be able to begin to stack my wood. I am thankful that I did not hurt my back severely. I am thankful that I am getting produce from my garden, and that I have been outside for most of the day. I am constantly tired, and a bit flat, but spending time enjoying nature, watching the birds, bees, butterflies, meditating and just enjoying the sunshine have all been good.
thankyou all for your support blessings to you all Tazzie
I have been told by some people that it is to expensive to begin growing vegetables. By the time they purchase soil and pots or planters, the seeds or seedlings, fertilisers, it all adds up. They just can not afford it. Or composting is such hard work.
I was able to pick up pots of varying sizes from a gardening shop in Hobart for free. These were just plastic pots that people bought in to recycle and others could take and use. Rather than just throwing them out. Any second hand pots I suggest just a wash in hot water with dish washing detergent and dry in the sun. I have also been able to purchase from my local tip shop chipped and cracked ceramic pots and garage sales you can also pick up cheap pots sometimes with plants in them. (if you dont like the plant give it to someone and keep the pot). Also look out for hard rubbish pick up days.
However you do not have to have plastic pots or lovely ceramic pots to grow plants in. You can use all sorts of things. Tin cans, have been used by many people for a long time to grow veggies. I have used large veggie oil cans and biscuit tins. Drill a few holes in them, they are a pot. Plastic storage boxes can be used, polystyrene boxes, I can usually get mine for free from seafood shop veggie shops sometimes my local supermarket.
Now for soil, here is a wonderful Youtube Channel Robbie and Gary Gardening Easy. Wonderful for those who want to begin to grow some veggies. Robbie grows veggies in her own soil/compost that she makes from scratch. It is so easy and involves little work. I have been doing it and it is brilliant! She saves all her kitchen scraps puts them in a plastic container, or container with holes drilled in it, uses the weeds she pulls up before they seed, and places them at the bottom of the container. She puts her scraps straight into the container, waters it a bit, and places a lid/cover with a weight on it to stop animals getting into it.
Because you have drilled/put holes in the bottom worms will make their way into the scraps and begin to break down the food scraps into wonderful soil/compost. Add dead or leaves and paper if you wish. Robbie can explain her system here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6eSaIEz2rQ
I also compost in place, meaning I will just put any leaves I pull off or that have fallen off I leave there in the area to compost in the bed. I will break up the stems and some plants such as legumes I leave the roots as when they break down they release nitrogen in the soil.
Some advice I will give you about seeds and seedlings. When I first started my vegetable gardening here in southern Tasmania, I was caught out by buying seedlings that were totally inappropriate for my location. The nurseries and gardening centres were selling seedlings, so I assumed they would be fine. Unfortunately no. Some were way to early for planting outside, and were actually for people to grow in hot houses/green houses/poly tunnels situations. Or were just not seedlings that were ever going to do any good down here.
One of the problems with purchasing seedlings from large garden centres and nurseries is that the seedlings may not have even been grown for this area. Same problem can occur with seeds. Some seed do not grow for me so well from big suppliers. I am in the fortunate position that we have a couple of relatively local seed savers who have began businesses that have seeds that they have grown and saved from the fruits, here in the area I live. I see a big difference in how they perform to how the others I have in the past purchased.
Being involved in a seed saving community group, and my local Crop Swap group has been marvelous as I get seeds and seedlings for no financial cost. Where seeds and seedlings as well as produce and anything related to veggie growing and food, can be shared. For the seed saving you grow one variety of say a bean that year, and you try to keep it pure. You can share some of the fresh peas or beans and then the majority you save for seed. Sharing and some will be saved so we have a supply of local seeds available if there is a crisis such as the bush fires here last summer (2018-2019) the crop swap group grew seeds and gave seedlings to the people who had lost their veggie gardens due to be evacuated and their veggie gardens were not watered so died. A simple thing the group did but such a welcome and unexpected thing. Others grew trees to help replace trees for free.
My growing awareness of the importance to monitor flowering of my veggies especially the brassicas, as they will cross pollinate, as will tomatoes, and other vegetables. I am also much more alert as to flowering weeds. Some I am happy to have flower as bees and birds will feast on the seeds Some such as sorrel and dandelions can be eaten. Scotch Thistle I love the flower it is wonderful as the root goes deep, I will let it flower and then take the flower off before it seeds.
Another thing that you can do is if you buy a cos/romaine/butter/iceberg lettuce is sit the base in water to keep fresh and as you use it, it will often keep growing. Cut the top of a pineapple and plant it you just may get a pineapple plant growing, spring onions place the bulb bit in a glass with some water so the roots are in it and it will grow more greens. I have even had a cabbage grow more when I sat it in a bowel with some water,
I recall a farmer saying to someone I knew that if you missed weeding one year it would take you seven to eradicate it. (he did not use weed killer) I have been working hard on a couple of weeds this year that have prickles that get into my dogs coats and my feet.
The other important thing I wish to share is You do not have to grow heaps to start with. I personally began with some garlic, and asparagus. Rather expensive to buy every year, but both really easy to grow. Garlic you can grow in pots. You may be able to grow some asparagus in a large container. I am not sure. Ginger and Tumeric I will bring mine indoors over winter. I have only planted them recently and they may grow may not.
Garlic grows form a clove, each clove will grow into a bulb. I need about 150cloves of garlic a year minimum for myself and my dogs, I also need to plant for the next year so I will be looking at growing about 50 cloves minimum. If each clove produces a bulb with 6 cloves I will have enough for the next year. hmmm Might plant more..lol
Herbs are expensive to buy and fairly easy to grow in pots. Lettuces grow beautifully in polystyrene boxes with holes in the bottom. As do spring onions, and chives. Strawberries too. If you grow lettuce grow an assortment. You can grow carrots in pots.
I really want to encourage people everywhere to be growing their own veggies, to ensure they have fresh and healthy produce.
Which does bring me to one area that can be of concern. If you do have a garden you really need to be aware of what possible sources of contamination may be or have been in your area. I had a flat in Hobart that thankfully I was not growing veggies in the ground, but neighbours in houses were. It turned out the soil in the area had been contaminated by the zinc works. It was never told to you when your were buying property in the area impacted, and the only way most people were alerted to the problem was a flyer that was put in letterboxes, saying that people should be checking for contamination in the soil, and to speak to council. We were on the opposite side and down from the zinc works but the wind blew contaminants over to our area. Apparently it was not common incident but happened several times over the years.
Similarly in Broken Hill in NSW lead levels in some children (and adults) were extreme levels the children were living in houses near the railway line and the BHP trains would go buy spreading lead filled dust as they went past. Peoples had tonnes of soil removed from their yards, their roofs, inside their homes under the roof. Yet people had been growing and eating vegetables in their gardens.
So growing many vegetables, herbs and some fruits in pots is possible, It is only as limited as your own abilities, and finances. Start with just one or two containers, think of something you really love to eat but find it to expensive to buy. Research it online and give it a try.
Please check out the Youtube channel I put above. I am not in anyway involved or gaining anything from promoting it. I just find wonderful and it worked for me.
I had my second tomato ripen and ate it today. I was so thankful to have it as it was delicious and worth the wait.
I am so thankful to the Goddess for all I have harvested enjoyed and prepared for later on. Thankful to having the space, the provision of food helps me on my low budget. It is a blessing to be able to grow what I have and share and enjoy it.
It is Lammas the celebration of the harvest. The Godess, (Mother Earth) Gaia, thank You for all I have harvested over the summer. Sweet tasty peaches 18kgs so wonderful to share with friends. My attempt at dehydrating my peaches was a failure. I have picked 4.5kgs of plums.
My garlic and the scapes wonderful. A few green peas grew and were lovely as were the broad beans.
Lettuce and spinach, kale, silverbeet. Rhubarb Apricots from a friend, nectarines and cherries oh my delicious cherries from a local orchard and blue berries sigh summertime fruit in a temperate climate. Lemons, the flowers sweet peas, corn flowers, nasturtiums.
I notice my wattle trees are in flower! This is really strange as they usually flower around August. In fact September 1st in Australia was known as Wattle Day.
Wattle Day is a day of celebration in Australia on the first day of September each year, which is the official start of the Australian spring. This is the time when many Acacia species (commonly called wattles in Australia), are in flower. So, people wear a sprig of the flowers and leaves to celebrate the day.
Mother Earth is in some turmoil.
While some Christian communities may still practice a “blessing of the loaves” on Lammas, it is a tradition that is beginning to diminish. Nowadays, most Christians who want to celebrate Lammas do so by attending mass or by adorning their house in fall symbols such as corn husks, wheat strands, apples and other traditional harvest symbols.
The loaf was blessed, and in Anglo-Saxon England it might be employed afterwards in protective rituals: a book of Anglo-Saxon charms directed that the Lammas bread be broken into four bits, which were to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain.
Lammas has coincided with the feast of St. Peter in Chains, commemorating St. Peter’s miraculous deliverance from prison, but in the liturgical reform of 1969, the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori was transferred to this day, the day of St. Alphonsus’ death.
In the Northern Hemisphere it is Imbloc on the 1st February 2020.
Imbolc today for those in the Northern Hemisphere
Unlike Samhain, which transformed into the much loved night of Halloween, Imbolc is one Celtic festival that hasn’t quite survived through history. Although Christians still celebrate St. Bridget’s Day in Ireland and children still learn how to make crosses at the start of February, little else remains of the ancient Celtic spring festival. However, Saint Bridget’s cross, made from rushes and hung around the home just as the Celts would have done, is as good a reminder as any to the festival’s ancient and mythological origins.