Garden Share Collective

Thanks Lizzie at Strayed Table for getting all these together.TheGardenShareCollective300pix1

Well Spring is well and truly showing its face. Flowers are smiling at me, fruit trees and deciduous trees are in bud, leaves are popping and showing signs of life. Birds are sharing their joyous chatter and everything just looks clean, pretty and bursting with energy.

I’ve been picking oranges from the now very healthy tree. The broccoli and kale are nearly done but I’m still getting side shoots from the broccoli.

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I started some sweet potato in the greenhouse and have planted them out into one of the greenhouse wicking beds. I don’t really expect to get a crop of tubers but the leaves can be used like spinach and in stir frys. Good little root system! IMG_5358 The broad beans are growing beautifully, but no sign yet of ‘beans’. Researching I found mention that they don’t usually appear until it warms up enough for insects to do their thing with pollination. Sure hope this little guy has done a good job!IMG_5355 My worm farm is apparently a nice place for slugs to take up residence. This is just a few that were ‘relocated’ never to return. I’m sure their offspring will though!IMG_5345 I’ve tidied up my pots, adding fresh potting mix, thinning our any dead wood and fed them. All my seedlings are doing well, tomatoes growing rapidly and the cipollini onion seed that I heard about from another blogger are up and nearly ready to transplant. Time to do some cucumber, pumpkin, beans soon and all those other summer crops. The Brussel Sprouts still are teenie weenie, don’t hold out much hope there.

First tulip opened today.IMG_5417Two Corella birds sitting in the oak tree watching down on me.IMG_5428And this magnolia says it all!IMG_5270And this magnolia says it all!

You don’t see until you look.

After reading a post from Sarah at The Garden Deli about hidden and undiscovered flowers that act as nectar and pollen attractors for butterflies, I thought I’d take a sneaky peek at what was happening in my garden. We see VERY few butterflies here apart from the dreaded white cabbage butterfly which is rated as foe, not a friend. They were conducting a ‘Big Butterfly Count‘. I might check that out, sounds interesting. I wonder if they are as obsessed with ‘big things’ over there as we are here? Maybe someone has a ‘Big Butterfly’ at the front of their business or at the entrance to the town. Would be far prettier than a ‘Big Pineapple’ or ‘Big Yabbie‘ like we have!

Anyway, I am home for a few days trying to repair a damaged knee (fell during my marathon of work a couple of weeks ago) and today was an absolutely beautiful day. It is very frustrating on such a day not to throw myself into another round of jobs and just be a bit passive, but due to the injury I really need to take heed. Something I don’t do very well!

Alas,  I found no butterflies and no hidden flower gems in the lawn, but I sat with a cuppa for a while and was entertained by some hover flies and bees in the veggie patch and garden. I deliberately left these broccoli to flower for that purpose, so it was nice to see it had the desired effect.

IMG_4859Incoming bee for landing.

IMG_4894 Hover flies everywhere and look at the pollen on that bee!

The beautiful jonquil flowers also had some visitors.

IMG_4938Flowers on the broad beans, and the supporting wire I installed is doing a great job.  Can’t wait for a harvest from these.

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Almost a celeriac!

I was chuffed at seeing how well one of the celeriac plants was doing and one morning it looked a bit lop-sided so I went to investigate and obviously something other than me thinks celeriac is worth having a chomp on. Bugger, it looked like it was going to be a cracker too!

IMG_4766Could this be the guilty one?

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Genetics.

Does how you paint go into your genetic profile? Father & son here, made me giggle.

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Plight of the humble bee.

The bee is one of nature’s most amazing creatures. Its social habitat, ability to pollinate a huge variety of food plants and the production of their beautiful honey is just some of their interesting factors. Unfortunately, worldwide bee populations  are under threat. Indiscriminate use of pesticides and fungicides  are leading to a massive reduction in bee colonies. Viruses and diseases are taking their toll and some consider genetically modified crops are adding to reducing resistance to these diseases. It is with this in mind I am conscious of planting many ‘bee friendly’ plants in our garden. We should all be mindful of these great agricultural helpers who reportedly travel an average 800km in their lifetime. Even if you are not in the position to have a garden you can help by sponsoring a beekeeper and beehive. Go to www.amazingbees.com.au and see what you can do to help. Was very happy to see this little worker on my young lavender plant.

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Spring, joy oh joy!

What a welcome start to spring! The weather this weekend was absolutely beautiful. Sunny, light breeze, bees a buzzing and great for getting stuck into jobs in the garden/yard.

With the chooks being confined to their house more, I thought it best to have a dust bath in there where they can do their ablutions. I grabbed an old tyre from the discard pile at a local tyre centre, trimmed top curve off and filled it with sand, some toppings from where they choose to do their bathing in the garden and some diatomaceous earth (DE). DE is a powder made from fossils and is purported to be great for mite control as well as a host of other conditions. Apparently the sharp cell structure from the diatoms of the DE kills mites. I’m all for trying to treat these things organically, so we will see how it goes.

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I’d bathe in that!

Good to see some birds

Native birds are starting to appear at our feeder, so far crimson rosella, lorikeets, king parrots and galahs. It is really interesting watching the hierarchy of them coming in to feed, they all take their turn and get very ‘snippy’ if one variety comes along at the wrong time. Although galahs aren’t our target, they are obviously spreading the word. I don’t think there have been any where near as many mynah birds recently, that’s a big bonus! Hopefully, once we get some of the bird attracting plants established we will be able to cut back on the manual feed.

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Strawberry heaven!

I planted some new strawberry plants into my self watering ‘Auto Pots’ and put them in the berry hut. These pots have a great little valve that releases nutrient enriched water into the reservoir of the pot as needed. Can go away for weeks not worrying about watering and it means the problems that sometimes crop up from overhead watering are eliminated.

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I am on the hunt for a small fridge or freezer that I can use as a stand for the nutrient solution that is in the olive drum on the pile of bricks. This drum holds approx 80 litres and feeds into the pots in 4mm tubing.

Potatoes/Spuds

My spuds have gone gang busters and grown too high for the bird proofing I installed, so I have to raise the height so when flowers form they wont be cramped. No drama just used some slightly longer bamboo stakes to elevate the poly pipe a bit.

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Dinner of a quiche made with home grown broccoli, asparagus and eggs from the girls and it was lovely testimony as to why we do this!

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No sooner than the last leaves of the oak tree have fallen, new ones are appearing. Next years compost in the making!       IMG_0548      Plasterer has finished the bedroom and hall ceiling. Photos yet to be taken but we are very happy with it!