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Mother Earth Takes a Deep Breath.

As many of us around the world are impacted and out lives have suddenly changed so much. There are actually some positive things we should be looking at for ourselves, and the Earth.

Sea Eagle soaring high above me. Huon Valley Tasmania

Many of us I believe will have seen the videos of Venice, the lack of pollution in China. Animals roaming in cities devoid for the most part of humans as we are the ones in many countries now being caged.

If you can I would like to look at how you are feeling. Take a deep breath just as Mother Earth is. She is look about you, the fauna and flora are adapting. It is painful for some animals who perhaps have over bred in areas where people have gathered and fed the wild creature. I certainly have seen videos of monkeys fighting viciously over a bit of food.
We created that too.

So these animals will fight, some will survive and some will be killed, some will die of injuries or starvation. Mother Earth is taking a deep breath and adjusting. While many of the humans are out of the picture.

Kelp Gull eating leftovers of a beautifully filleted salmon

We need to find beauty within our homes, our families, our flatmates/housemates, ourselves. We need to change our mindset, teach ourselves to not be bored.

I was so lucky to see a whale at Pirate Bay Eagle Hawke Neck Tasmania last year.

We also need to breathe. To learn in this time of enforced or chosen isolation to be playful, to unwind, to relax, and let go of many of the things perhaps we see as important.

Close up edited from my one of my original photographs as taken above.

Slow deep breaths. We need to be kind and caring for the people we live with, our neighbours, and keep an eye on each other. Here in my rural area there are about nine properties up our small road. We all know each other to chat with say hi too.

Sulphur Crested Black Cockatoo eating a pine cone to get at the nuts. Their beaks get covered in sticky sap and they drop the pine cones. Any unwary person who has parked under a tree for shade may find their windscreen shattered when they return.

For those of us fortunate enough to be with a roof over our heads, food, water, family and friends we can facechat or Skype, message ring, to keep in touch. We all obviously have internet access; otherwise how would you be reading this?
Even if like me you are isolated whether by choice or enforced, you can remain in touch with those people most important in your life.
Of course it is not the same as being able to touch them, hug them, hold them. We can still laugh with then, share what we are doing to keep us occupied or relaxed. Read stories to or be read to by our nieces and nephews, grandchildren, friends kids, We can still have a cuppa in a group with face time etc.
We can still connect and this is really important. No matter what we are the fortunate ones.


For a lot of us our politicians are working tirelessly to try and provide some form of economic relief for people, businesses and communities.

addit: I and my fellow Tasmanians are now not allowed to leave our homes except to go for essentials, to appointments for health, to work, or for exercise, we are only allowed to socialise with two people. Of course if there are more in your household that is OK.

Two of my neigbours our in isolation mandatory. They know if they need anything someone in the road will help them to get it if he/ she /I can.
I was informed today by someone I trust implicitly that Huonville has 2 people and Cygnet has one person with the Covid-19 virus. Tasmania my State only has a small population 535,000approx. 60 with the virus. My valley Huon Valley has 16,200 people (2016 CENSUS), so perhaps a few more since then. It is concerning when it is so close to you. I will be following all the guidelines we are being given.

Be safe everyone blessings to you Tazzie

A little bit of paradise

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.

Treacle on the wet paw out door mat eating her blackberries



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.

Oh Yum delicious blackberries!
Busby loves blackberries. Cleaning up the left overs
Thanks for the tasty blackberries

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!

Immature waltheim butternut pumpkin 9cm /4inches approx.
brassica bed

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

Happy Birdday to me!

I am sitting writing with a full tummy. My dogs are snoozing near me one at my feet the other on her chair next to me. I feel like a cup of mint tea. I need to go to my deck and pick some mint. I get up and both dogs raise their heads, looking at me tails wagging..I am just going to the deck to get some mint, I tell them. I know they don’t understand the words necessarily just that I am going. So I open the door and the three of us step outside onto the deck.

Something made me think to check the bird bath, so we all go down the stairs, and sure enough the bird bath needs filling. Busby goes of in search of something, and Miss Treacle uses the extensive amenities provided for ablutions. As I fill the bird bath I notice I have left the vegie garden gate open after I watered this morning

last of the Anzac peaches 16/01/2020 (c)Echidna Home 2020

I picked the last of the peaches off my tree, the birds have been eating them so I left some for them and more for me. I tried to dry some but not sure what went wrong. Perhaps cling stones are not supposed to be dehydrated. Might try again.

Oh No it is 7pm and I have already seen a wallaby eating some of the peaches on the ground. I go over look in and make sure no little furry creatures are hiding in my vegetable garden waiting for a table for one, when the stars come out to dine on exquisite fresh locally grown seasonal organic vegetables. It is clear of waiting diner/s, I close the gate gather the dogs and we all head back inside.


Living at 42degrees South of the equator means with daylight saving added the sun does not actually set until 20:50 so it is still blue sky and sunshine as I type. It has been cooler today one of my friends commented she had her wood fire on. It was not cold enough here for that but I did have a jumper and ugg boots on. The joys of living here in the Huon Valley in summer are stunning evenings, long twilight’s and often stunning sunsets. The smoke has all gone and we have had some rain. My garden and water tanks are happy about that.


I was thrilled to see the Grey Shrike Thrush birds have returned to my light fitting in the carport to nest again. I do worry that it is a very precarious spot. I had meant to make sure that it was safe wired so if they did return they were not at risk of the base separating from the top. It is on my list. Fingers cross that they raise chicks and all fly the nest. In researching them I know that they steal eggs eating them from other birds..but so do many other birds, kookaburras will eat the chicks, ravens, crows. I imagine if I removed the nest they would build another. I like that they feel safe here.

When I was out yesterday I also captured some birds along the riverside. I saw a workman, well four sitting at the park having their lunch break. I had decided to stop and take some shots of the ducks.(they are so lovely) I sat in the shade of a tree and watched as one of the workmen went back to the truck I noticed all the ducks turned to watch him and see what he was doing. It was really funny they were in almost exact sync.

watching and walking behind the man

I can only think that it was not the first time this group had stopped here. As I watched the ducks followed the man to the table where his colleagues were eating. I watched as he began to feed the ducks.

It was charming and made me again acknowledge there are many more wonderful people in the world than unpleasant people. I was sad to see only one duckling. If it was the same group that I saw last week there had been three ducklings swimming behind Mamma.

Further along on my way home, I came across a sight of interest, as I said it was cool and smokey yesterday. (again I apologise for the quality of the images, they were taken as Tiff(NEF)) photos and I altered them to be JPEGS so some things lost in the transition. I am working on how to stop this.

ducks a shag and plovers all sharing the one log roost.

This photo was of different breeds of birds all sitting on the log ducks, shag, and plovers. It was windy.

Black swan and cygnets.

The bird below is a Little Pied Cormorant colloquially called a Shag, it was struggling to hold onto its perch. Not sure if it was the wind or just a wobbly bird. They nearly always have such a grumpy look on their faces.

Little Pied Cormorant (c) Echidna Home 2020
Little Pied Cormorant (c) Echidna Home 2020
Little Pied Cormorant (c) Echidna Home 2020
Little Pied Cormorant (c) Echidna Home 2020

All in all it has been a hectic couple of days and it was lovely to be home all day today.

Tazzie blessings to you all.

Its not just echidnas, what if

Bennets wallaby near my house (c)Echidna Home 2019

This little guy just looked so happy chewing away. It was almost as if it posed for me. It is a Pademelon (Paddy melon) They only grow to about 60cm and weigh about 5kg (enough of the lessons).

I am so privileged to have them visit my place. I used to get annoyed when they would pull the fruit tree branches down and nibble the leaves breaking them, but the trees grew taller, and they couldn’t reach any more.

Kookaburra in my garden (c) Echidna Home 2019

I know it seems a bit surreal to me too. I really live with these guys about too.

I also have Eastern Barred Bandicoots, Quolls, and Tasmanian Devils around. Much harder to obtain photos of these guys I keep trying.

This Echidna was moving along the roadside near my home. (c)Echidna Home 2019
shuffling about under the watttles, looking for food. (c)Echidna Home 2019

My favourite remains the Echidna.

The echidna on the right was across the road from my driveway. They can actually move surprisingly fast.








A shuffling snuffling echidna on the hunt for food crossing through my wattle grove.

Close up of the quills. (c)Echinda Home 2019

Easy access to the next paddock. Through the fence. I am sure it is because it has smelt me or heard me as I try to capture its photo. sigh. I never want to frighten it. I was using a telephoto lens, I reckon it heard me moving about. It decided that heading through the fence was its only option.

Through the fence (c)Echidna Home 2019
If you look you can just make out this guys foot, it looks strange as it faces backwards. (c)Echidna Home 2019
Hiding (c)Echidna Home 2019

As I have written before Echidnas are just amazing and unique mammals. I love th above photo as it shows how well their camouflage is. It looks like sunshine is hitting the grass but its the quills, and you can see its eye.

As I write this the horrific Mainland Bush Fires on the mainland of Australia and Kangaroo Island have cost so many Australian animals, insects bugs, it breaks my heart. I look at the wonderful wildlife that abounds my home and I cant imagine them all gone. The overwhelming knowledge that some may be gone forever. There are so many wonderful people who are out there working to find and help, the wild life carers, the firepeople and vets, farmers, those who are ensuring food and water are left and hoping to capture injured animals to help. The generosity of people all around the world, those that are making pouches and wraps..donated items food and are out gathering leaves and shoots for animals that have none in their locations. The baby wombats who have come out of burrows starving as mum has most likely been killed and not been back to the burrow. It is so so tragic. Of course my heart reaches out to all the people and communities impacted.

Tazzie

Garden Update

(c)Echidna Home 2020 Bumble bee came to sit near me as I was weeding in one of my veggie beds

The bumble bees were certainly out in force this morning when the dogs and I decided to get out in the garden. A bit of weeding and checking if the veggie beds needed watering. At present they are all OK, a job for tomorrow I think in the morning. All the ollas have water still in them, and the soil is still damp when I push my finger in near the plants furthermost from the ollas.

As I settled in to weed the birds that come to my birdbath and live in the garden and surrounding area, were singing, and chasing bugs. I watched mesmerised as the Weclome swallows swooped and dove one scared Busby it flew right over his head. The wrens were hoping about and sitting on the fence waiting for me to move so they could come and see what I had been doing and check for any tidbits I might have uncovered. Unlike the black birds who just come along mainly after I water and shift all my mulch and labels about. I don’t think I really mind. Lovely to have the music of nature as an accompaniment to your work.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 Another bumble bee on a leek flower.

I had placed news paper down and was going to lay my free wood chips from the company clearing the power lines. So there is a wonderful mix of all sorts of timber, leaves, bark, chopped up in it. Like many things for me if I really do not focus on something, I do some and get distracted there bye not completing the whole job. So the news papers I laid down to cover the weeds and grass has blown about in the wind we had yesterday afternoon and last night. I am not going to fret about it as I will be able to get more newspapers from my local library to lay down and cover to form paths.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 Three sisters bed is taking off finally.

I am so thrilled that the Three sisters bed is taking off. I actually picked a bean and ate it. It was a bit of impulse that I should have refrained from as it was very small and well a day or two longer and it would have been great.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 oh joy the corn, beans and pumpkins are looking great.

Everything seems to be happy with the weather. I had to add some more climbing bean strings as there are so many tendrils they were all entangling themselves along the ground. I sat and sorted them out, winding them up the strings. The corn is growing but it seems somewhat slowly. Any ideas how I can get it taller My pumpkins which are butternuts have begun spreading. Yeah one bed of possibilities.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 Busby came to help out in the veggie garden by chasing the skinks about

Miss Treacle was off doing her own thing. Busby came in to see how he could help me in the veggie garden. He decided that chasing the skinks was the order of his work to help. As long as its skinks and not snakes all is fine. They are way too clever for him.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 Tomatoes the one in foreground has little tomatoes on it. Lettuces growing and capsicum far right corner getting taller.

Both the tomato plants in this bed are flowering and if you look closely you may even see some tiny green tomatoes. Lettuces good and capsicums look as if they just might shoot up. The marigold in the corner has taken off and is flowering. I put it in here to help with bringing in the bees and insects, to help with pollination.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 look closely you will see a tiny tomato or two
(c)Echidna Home 2020 I did not include the brassica bed last time.

I forgot on the previous update to show the brassica bed. It seems the cabbages have been eaten or turned up their toes. Not one out of the four I put in is to be found. The broccoli is shooting and getting tall. Even my nettting did not stop the cursed white caterpillar moth laying eggs on them. Since my garden is small I prefer to remove the caterpillars by hand. Kale in the far left corner and silver beet in the right corner I left them there to attract the moths. Ah but no!!

(c)Echidna Home 2020 destruction and can you see the culprit hanging below

My method for removing the caterpillars is to run my finger over every part of the plant, looking in every nook and cranny. Often as I am doing this I will see caterpillars drop and hang underneath as in the photo above. I just catch them and squish them in my fingers. I continue looking as not all will drop off. It can be really hard to see the little blighters.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 my hand with a young caterpillar from the white cabbage moth

Especially when they are first hatched. This one is pale yellow but as they grow from eating your lovely green leaves they become big green ones. They can be really hard to see on the green stems and leaves. Which is why I don’t just look but run my fingers over every leaf and into the new leaves forming, where ever a wee caterpillar might hide.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 This is a large rwhite cabbage moth caterpillar sadly about to meet its end.

This caterpillar above is larger than the previous one and is more green. We know why that is! So i squish them all. I then cover the plants with my net and fingers crossed I have removed all of these. I will check tomorrow.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 A stunning flower. No idea what it is







If anyone can tell me what this flower is and the plant it is growing on. I was sure it was a vegetable. I thought it was one of the plants I bought home from Crop Swap. Incredible flowers.

It was a pleasant morning in the garden. Miss Treacle came in and sat next to me panting, as if to say come on its too hot out here, I need a nice cool drink and comfy chair to lay in, in the cool inside of the house. She leaned right into me and that was not enough for her. Oh no she likes to make her point. She climbed up onto my lap, and than looked up with her big brown soulful eyes, and looked directly in my eyes. Whats a good dog mamma to do?

t(c)Echidna Home 2020elling me its time to go in way to hot now

The only thing. Inside we went. All three of us. I did a load of washing and hung it out. Such great drying weather. There is nothing I like more than having a shower and going to bed in fresh clean sheets dried by the sun. I hung all our doonas over the rails of the upstairs deck. I will feel so amazing hoping into the sun scented sheets. It makes me feel rich.

Tazzie

Garden Update

I shared about my vegetable garden and some issues with coldness gale force winds a few posts ago. I am happy that now with the warmer weather arriving things are happening. The plants are taking off. As I sit here typing the temperature is 31dC/87.8dF at 19:00/7:00pm day light saving time.

First Tomatoes on my deck.
I feel that this one was impacted by the weather also on my deck
self seeded carrots appeared in a pot?
seedlings some to go to Crop Swap and others into my garden foreground. Those pots in background are my permanent deck pots

On my deck some seedlings still wait for planting out. As it way too hot today, they sit in water and I hope they will be ok. I have quite a lot of self seeded things growing as the carrots in the small pot, some lettuce (mentioned further down that I think was called mother in laws tongue) I noticed a tiny tomato seedling in another pot that I did not plant so it is most likely a cherry tomato. I am thrilled about it as I don’t recall getting any of these and they produce fruit for so long. The potted tomatoes are growing somewhat better than the tomatoes in the vegetable garden. When you look at the photographs and compare there are numerous flowers on the vegie (vegetable) garden ones, yet no fruit development as yet. Which is quite interesting as these are identified as an early fruiting variety. On one of the deck tomato plants you will notice one single tomato with some damage. I put it down to the dramatic change in temperature we had last week. It is all I can put it down too.

You may notice the plastic containers the seedlings are standing in. I have fostered kittens and these are repurposed kitty litter trays. The white bucket is free with a lid from one of my regional cafes. Thanks D.S Cafe in Huonville. who often put out food grade plastic containers with lids and handles rather than throw them away. They will also save up their coffee grounds for you if you ask. You take turns in this as a few people know of them doing it now.

a beautiful Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) tree in my garden.
A wattle tree damaged by the gale winds of last week.
Pelargonium (col geranium think this is lemon scented one )

This area of the garden is a mostly a blend of natives and some winter and autumn flowering shrubs along with bulbs such as daffodils, jonquils, iris, grape hyacinth, the pelargonium. Salvias. A self seeded wattle grove has established itself. Rreplacing the one that fell a few years ago as most wattles (Acacia) only live 10-20years. Blackwood trees which are Acacias (wattles) too, live much longer. I have found them a little annoying in that they spread their roots all under the garden, apparently not liking competition. Though my two seem not to be to bad with some things about them.

I have noticed that if I do hit a root, they will sucker. As I prefer to be a no dig gardener I don’t encounter this issue often. I have planted a cherry tree way too close well it was not when I planted it but the tree keeps on growing. Weird that; chuckle. The time I do come across the roots are when I am removing onion grass. that sends out deep connecting roots to create a new bulblet and more grass. It is one of my main challenges.

Native salvia on a pathway , with a pinchushion Hakea (Proceacea Hakea laurina )to its left and a Huge Coleonema pulchrum aurea – Golden Diosma on a pathway edge. @Echidna Home 2019
Pot on deck self sown lettuce, borage, and marigold @Echidna Home2019

If you look at the photo on the left above you will notice it has many things growing in it. Self seeded lettuce borage, marigold small flowers I have forgotten the name of, there is even a potato plant in there. I must have chucked one in to see what would happen.

I decided to have some1/2 wine barrels for pots. (picture below) They were relatively cheap when comparing them with pots of the same size. These were purchased when I was working. These have had no treatment to protect the insides from continual moisture, and are over 10 years old now. When I got them the smell was awesome, it was almost port like. I did get them filled fairly quickly as I did not want the smell to turn into vinegar and attract vinegar flies. I love them and over the years I have grown many different things in them. Greens but they had to be protected from possums and wallabies, also the possums and other critters used them to get up on the deck escaping the fencing which is why I have pots right on the edge of the deck now. Greek Oregano grows amongst the barrels as a ground cover, with parsley and coriander self seeded coming up when ever it likes. I have a cape gooseberry plant in the garden here and one in a pot on the deck.

wine barrels cornflowers almost ready to flower in the last barrel. @Echidna Home 2019
This is the actual flower from the bush in the photo with the bird bath to the right @ Echidna Home 2019
Bird bath get so many visitors. Post of visitors on near future. @Echidna Home 2019
Open pergola deck area red Pelargonium (col geranium) ground cover soap wort, white flower tansy. @Echidna Home 2019

I am really hopeless at labeling the plants in my garden, I have had plans of ensuring that I will keep a record of everything I plant, where and when. It begins well yet every year I get lost. It has been worse the last few years since my breakdown, it does bother me at times. I look at the seedlings I have now and note several have lost their tags in the wind. I have no idea what they are. It is made harder as I have lost quite a few due to the wild and changeable weather we have had over the past weeks. I recall reading and watching videos and all gardeners said the same thing LABEL LABEL label. sigh. I can not worry or allow myself to get distressed by this as I will fixate and this is not good for me. So I am fortunate that at the moment with medication that is helping me (even though some of its side effects not so good) I prefer me now to me before this medication. I am able to ustilising my work that my psychologist has helped me with to be aware of when I may be starting to fixate, and I acknowledge that I am, that I need to do something else to move my mind brain and bodily reactions away from what ever I was doing. It is working generally so I am pleased.

Peach tree lots of peaches and new growth @Echidna Home 2019

Looking at the photographs of my garden you will observe that it is not a neat and tidy garden. It is a work in progress yet it will never be a tamed garden. Nature is not tamed, and I do not believe in mono-culture as anyI healthy way to grow anything. I want and encourage all sorts of birds, insects, wild life to visit. The garden has many areas (or the trendy word rooms) native areas, sunny areas, areas I am happy to share with the wild life such as Echidnas, possumes wallabies, bandicoots. Others such as the vegie garden and deck seedling area and lemon and lime trees are fenced to discourage wallabies and possums.

Notice the mish mash of garden structures and items used. Over the years I have gathered pots from the Tip Shops (rubbish/Waste tip shops that sell items that can be reused or repurposed at a reasonable price(though like many charity shops prices are rising). I use unusual things that are not actually designed for this use but do work. If I happen to be out on a big rubbish pick up day in Hobart I will have a bit of a drive around to see what is out there. I also purchased the corrugated metal garden beds at a huge discount.

Again purchased while I was working. It takes a lot of time to make enough soil to fill them that I have at times resorted to buying bags of the cheapest potting mixes and adding my leaf compost, worm castings, mushroom compost, sea weed, and other nutrient rich items such as weed tea, worm tea, manure, and straw, wood fire ash from my wood heater. I use it because I don’t get the bark taken off my wood. I also end up due to the process of my excellent North Pacific Wood Heater with charcoal (bio char) brilliant also for the garden. (No affiliation with North Pacific Wood Heaters. I also add the dogs chewed no longer desired bones to burn in it as well. giving calcium.

Old wheel barrow walking onions (Egyptian) @Echidna Home
flowers growing over the grave of my dog who died last year. @Echidna Home 2019

Everything is beginning to really take off now. It will be interesting over the next few days to see how everything is going. I refilled the Ollas (see previous garden post) and watered with seaweed tea before the hot day today. In Tasmania it may seem like the temperature is way hotter than what the gauges actually display the sun seems to have a stronger heat here. It was not unusual to get folk from Queensland (and other places)here on holidays coming in to Emergency with some serious sun burn blistering and or dehydration.

Three Sisters bed (Beans, pumpkin, corn)
fore ground three sisters bed, tomato capsicum lettuce and egg plant bed @ Echidna Home 2019.

The corn has taken off as have the beans and some of the pumpkins and zucchini have flowers but they have not taken off as yet. I am happy with this bed so far so good. It is interesting isn’t it to plant out seedlings from the same punnet that have gone into a bed that you have made to be suitable for growing these vegies, watered each one similarly only to see some not thrive or die. I am pondering what I was growing in that bed last especially in the bottom left hand corner as that area is not doing so well.

Brassica Bed @Echidna Home 2019

Interestingly the brassica beds seedlings of broccoli and red cabbage are developing at very different rates. One of the broccoli seedlings already has a head beginning on it?? The red cabbage seedlings are struggling. Unlike the seedlings on the deck. So I am not sure what is going on there. I have left a kale to go to seed in this bed. It self seeded last year here but other than it I did not grow brassicas in this bed.

Red Currant and Jostaberries, (Cross black currants and gooseberry) @Echidna Home 2019

This is three bushes here a red currant and two jostaberries. The Jostaberries are a gooseberry black currant cross. They have fruited super early and not huge volumes. I seem to have an influx of (Imported sadly)black birds and they seem to have managed to beat me this year at them. Glad I had a good crop last year and made some jam and froze some. They all need a prune and you will notice the very long grass about them. I was going to remove it, until I noted the seed head were formed and that many smaller birds are eating them. It will be cut soon as it is a fire risk. I have so much stuff about that I have been hand pulling the grass, about a lot of this area. I do tend to mulch in place. Last year I forgot to turn the piles and keep an eye on sprouting things. The strange spring and early summer has seen such huge growth in everything. I kind of blinked and missed it ooops tooo late! At least the birds are getting food.

fig in wine barrel and one of my water tanks (plastic) @ Echidna Home 2019
Gooseberry bush @Ecidna Home 2019

My fig tree which had figs on it but with the cold snap then hot days and cold again the baby figs dropped. I am hopeful that it will fruit in Autumn. It is in a half wine barrel. The Gooseberry bush did not produce many flowers this year, I have managed to eat four gooseberries which were delicious. Perhaps again the black birds beat me. I am not going to let them nest in my eaves next year if I can get out on the roof and fix where they are getting in.

unhappy passion fruit. @ Echidna Home 2019

Tragedy alas and alack, my poor neglected passion fruit is really struggling. I have bananas ready to go in to give it some nutrients, but I really think I need to move the poor thing. I have a place in mind, but…I may have missed the boat for this year. It was doing OK last year, flowered and I got a couple of smallish passionfruit off it. For some reason I added a lot of old manure to the bed, and I have a feeling that it needs to be not as well fed as it is at present. It is on my list to keep an eye on it and a possible move as I do believe I am likely going to loose it if I leave it here. In the bed just at the back of this photo is a plum tree from memory I am hoping it is a prune plum. I cannot see any fruit on it at all. This is only its third year so it is still young. It is very healthy.

Rhubarb @Echidna Home 2019

The Rhubarb on the other hand is doing brilliantly . I harvested so much from it recently taking it back to maybe two leaves, and look at this baby it has flourished in the last three weeks. Go baby go.

my two metal water tanks @Echidna Home 2019

jWhat can I say about these tow magnificant hard working life saving structures in my garden. These and the plastic one near the fig tree are my total water supply they stand about seven feet tall and in a previous post I said how many litres/gallons they hold when full. I am so very very appreciative that they are all full to the brim. I am very very fortunate, and feel incredibly wealthy knowing all being well I will have plenty of water to see me and my garden through summer and autumn. I had to buy a new tank two years ago, just over $1400Aus/$965USD. I am thankful I could do it without having to borrow money. I was very lucky in that it was developing a leak on the side, and the roof of the tank had rusted really badly. I could have just put a tarp over the tank top but with the leak in the side it was best to save for a new one. The tank was over 30 years old and it gets a lot more wear and tear than the second one, as the run off water from the roof nearly all runs into this one directly and is connected to the second tank and they fill up together. Currently the third tank is not connected to my pump, the plan is to connect it as I now have hosing long enough to reach the whole of my garden on an outside tap that is on the pump pressure and not gravity fed.

wood chip for garden and one of several Eucalyptus trees about my home @ Echidna Home 2019

Part of my more natural and native garden area, if yo look closely you can see a huge pile of chipped material, bark branches, from all sorts of trees. The local council or electricty company were clearing the trees and branches any were that were impinging on the wires. I heard them and went down to chat to the guys as I had two things I was wanting to ask them. First one I had a tree that had self seeded and would grow into a huge tree, it was under the power lines, on my land (just). I asked them how much they would charge to take it out. At this moment it was only a sapling, in another year it would be a big tree as Acacias develop fast. I sort of said if they could help me now it would not be such a task next year. The lovely man grabbed a chainsaw and took the tree out. Big thanks. I then asked if the truck would be full of the chipped tree material before they left and if so would I be able to have it. He said he would just check with his boss. The boss came over and said yes I could have it as it would save them a trip to the tip. When they dropped it off I was again very appreciative and offered to pay them. The boss said nah it was ok, and one of the young guys said its usually a slab of beer. lol (carton of beer) the boss smiled as I apologised and said nah it was fine. I do believe that most people are lovely. I hate to think how much it would cost to get so much delivered to my home. Again I felt fortunate and wealthy.

Nasturtiums @Echidna Home 2019

This is a very small thing to many people, for me it is massive a joy and I am in great awe. After 20 years of trying to grow nasturtiums. I gave up and just through the left over seed in this east southerly position and shrugged my shoulders. Look look I have nasturtiums! (is it wrong to be disappointed they aren’t the brilliant red I really wanted)? I will look past this and just celebrate that I finally have managed to grow a plant that is in many peoples mind a bit of a weed. The bees love it and I am going to try and make poor mans capers out of the seed balls. Happy dance..

Mock Orange ( Philadelphus mexicanus )and Hellibore @Echidna Home 2019

Philadelphus mexicanus Evergreen Mock Orange. A beautiful plant, with a delightful aroma. It is in a pot. It was going to go in a sunnier location. (east-south location ) morning sun and protected from most gale winds here. I thought it was the Philadelphus coronarius Mock Orange, which is an old fashioned plant in Australia. That is deciduous. I wanted it to loose its leaves and let the winter sun in. It also appear to have more flowers. Mine is flowering and the perfume is lovely. For summer it would be more appreciated growing on a western or northern face to give some sun protection. I will have to look up and see if both the roots and plant can be cut back so I can move it to a more suitable location for us both. I also am not able to move it as it has grown into a hellibore that is covering a porch roof and there are some wee birds nesting. There is no urgency as it will always be the native birds over plant location/pruning.

Maple tree and mushroom blocks Native bush (i cant recall name @ Echidna Home 2019

This photo is still in the east south postion and you can see a maple in a pot, more nasturtium a salvia that gets huge a native that I can not recall its name but has a lovely lilac flower and the birds love. You can also see in foreground are mushroom compost blocks I get from a mushroom grower in my region. For a gold coin donation. They are made from sawdust untreated, lime and something else that I can not recall. I get mushrooms from them for ages when I look after them I have heaps of dried oyster mushrooms in grey and white, along with brown mushrooms . Brilliant kitchen and garden resource especially as oyster mushrooms are $18AUS per kg /$12.21 USD 2.20LbS . I put it in the composting areas with manure and let it combine with other things as I mentioned previously. The only problem is they sit in plastic bags and that is a concern they cant be reused and end up in my rubbish. Or If I can I leave them behind in the bins when i pick them up.

Bay tree @Echidna Home 2019

In a pot near an entrance way to m home sits my bay tree. It is 13 years old and is a wonderful addition to my kitchen garden and as a plant. Bay trees can be huge so having it a pot keeps it manageable. It get pruned and is recovering splendidly after it had a severe prune in winter. Near bye are two Daphene plants that when in flower give off a enticing perfume as I enter my home.

I have not included my orchard area, in this post, nor my paddock I will keep that for another day in the future.

The final photo for this post is a small selection of flowers from my garden. I love the scented flowers and these varities of sweet pea are so strongly scented. I have a vase in my upstairs toilet and they perfume the room, no need for artificial chemicals here at Echidna Home.

who needs air freshners and other chemicals when you have a garden full of Scented flowers. Sweet Peas, Corn Flowers

I do hope all who read this post are safe from the fires across Australia, and I continue sending my rain dance and thoughts to drought and fire ravaged areas. Having been through the fire and smoke issues and the concerns packing up and unpacking several times myself and not certain what might be happening I am happy to support anyone if you need to just share your concerns.

Tazzie

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