Sunny Saturday.

What a bottler of a day! Not too hot, not too cold, not too windy, just right. The kind of day where you’d be nuts if you stayed inside. It was also our state election in Victoria today, which I must admit I feel very ‘ho hum’ about. I used to take my politics very seriously and stress over how I was going to vote, but these days I think they are all pretty much ‘tossers’ and put their ego well before commitment to leadership and democracy. I do feel though, that you need to cast your vote seriously or you don’t earn the right to complain. But that’s enough of that!

As in the iconic Aussie Bob Hudson Newcastle song where he sings “don’t you ever let a chance go by” this week I did just that. We had been advised that Vicroads were going to remove the tree on our nature strip (verge to those outside Australia), so I taped a bloody big sign around it asking the tree people to leave us any mulch and if possible the wood from it’s removal. Didn’t think anything would come of it but lo and behold- 2 great big piles of beautiful wood and a great big pile of mulch that we can put to really good use under this pin oak. IMG_6546 Bit of a work out for Mr ATMT as a fair amount of it had to be chain sawed into smaller lengths and we will need to split it into good oven sized bits at some stage. IMG_6561While he was working on the wood I began fitting the posts to our large wicking bed. As well as giving me somewhere to tie my tomatoes to (cordon), these posts also make it easy to bird proof with netting or add shade cloth when it gets too hot. I suspect that may be the case this summer! I didn’t take a photo but this is what they are like on the other beds.IMG_2297I had a lovely time ‘pottering’ around in the garden today. I picked some Elder flowers and I’m going to have a go at making some Elder Flower Cordial. I have never tasted, seen or been told what this should be like so it will be interesting. They are however the prettiest flowers so worth having just for that.IMG_6550 Elder flowersI got into the greenhouse and had a tidy up and hung racks so the tomatoes in there can be trained and supported. The sweet potatoes on the right here are going berserk.IMG_6572 IMG_6570It was nice to sit back and like what I saw in the ‘patch’. It’s really starting to look like it’s been there a while, not only the 1 year it’s been.  The garlic is about ready to harvest,I’ll do a separate post about that.IMG_6568The grapes are getting bigger,IMG_6573and the magpies tried to beat me to the hammock.IMG_6564A lovely tea of snow pea, broccoli, chicken and ginger pasta to top off a lovely day.

Off to the zoo tomorrow, I’m excited.

Thanks to Lizzie at strayed table for hosting the hookup for the monthly Garden ShareCollective.

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Wet One day Wonderful the next!

Yet again a wet, cold miserable Gippsland Day on Saturday! With the forecast for a nice Sunday we took the opportunity of attending the Baw Baw Garden expo on the yucky Saturday. Did this for a couple of reasons, one was that as soon as the sun comes out crowds were sure to appear and make it very difficult to talk to the exhibitors we wanted to see and with so few nice days having been gifted in the weather department this year it would be nice to just enjoy the garden and work at home on one of the many projects.

I am very excited to have finally placed an order for our new greenhouse. I decided on a Sproutwell Prestige 3000. Slightly bigger than my existing unit and  better ventilation in hot weather. I am quite excited about this new investment, as this year I have grown all of the vegies and flowers in the garden from seed. With the price of seed punnets these days it won’t take long to recoup the cost. This and the opportunity to extend the growing season plus add few items not normally suitable to our climate and it becomes a great addition, not to mention a great cubby for me!

Always on the look out for great ideas, I was impressed with this little find!

There was a lady there selling these bags made of fine net mesh that looks quite durable and stretchy. The objective is to take them shopping with you so you don’t need to use those ‘tear off the roll’  plastic bags. I must admit, the only things I use those bags for is grapes, everything else goes in loose, much to the chagrin of the checkout operator!

We also purchased a new Cercis canadensis (which I admit I cited as Cercis pallustris in my spring post, will need to correct that!). We have one of these near my pizza oven and it is a joy to look at all year round. Different qualities in different seasons and they are all lovely, displayed on their delicate zig-zag branches.

Sunday 14th

Woke to see a few grey clouds and I thought the forecast had been wrong again, but within an hour or so the hardly seen lately sun appeared and the day just got better and better! I had to do some boring ‘clean up to make the house look better for prospective buyers (PB’s)’ jobs but I even enjoyed doing those in the sun. The jungle that had emerged in our garage spouting has now been put into the compost and the carport and drive way is now nice and tidy. Unfortunately still too wet to mow so the PB’s will have to imagine nice, neat grass areas.

It is traditional in Melbourne and Victoria to plant tomatoes out on Cup Weekend but mine have been doing so well in the greenhouse they need to go in or they will start showing signs of stress. This will be the first major planting in the new, big wicking bed so I am a bit excited! These ones are the San Marzano variety which is similar to Roma and will be used in making ‘passata’, tomato sauce and for drying. I have yet to plant out the Gross Lisse and a couple of specialist varieties, but I need to allocate space for them first. Still working on a wicking bed staking system  because you cant just hammer in stakes like in a normal bed as you would puncture the water reservoir liner. Might need to check out the scrap metal bin at the tip and be a bit creative!

The namesake of this blog is bursting into life!

Garlic galore!

As I ponder if there is anything else I need to record, I hear a crunching sound behind me. The king parrots have discovered the new growth of the grape-vine on the pergola outside our back door. Just beautiful! But oh dear, looks like I had better get up and clean under the eaves for the PB’s!

Aspiring Asparagus!

My newly purchased Mary Washington asparagus crowns were showing signs of shooting so it was time to get them into their permanent(ish) home. Last week I marked out a bed with temporary edging and am now planting the asparagus and a couple of grape vines. This bed is alongside where I plan to put a greenhouse at some later stage. There should be sufficient sun for the grapes and once I have removed the tin from the roof of the old shed the timber can serve as a framework for the vines and in turn shelter the greenhouse in the heat of summer. As grapes are deciduous there should also be enough sun to heat the greenhouse in winter. Fingers crossed please!

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I attended a grafting workshop last year and had a go at grafting a cherry that is supposed to be a smaller variety than most. This has been sitting in a bed all year and appears to have taken well, so today we planted it into the new vegetable area. I have no idea how it will go or how much it will impact on the rest of the area so we will just have to wait and see.

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As an added bonus I picked the first bunch for the season of cheery bulbs and some hellebore (winter rose). I just love having a vase or two flowers on display in the house!

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