Sunday, 30 August 2009

Spring again

After another 7 or 8 mm of rain overnight and the past few really cold days, it feels like spring again this morning.
The pink flowers (I have forgotten their name) are everywhere now. I don't weed them out as they seem to attract bees.

They are even amongst the vegetables here... kale leeks and silver beet.

I finally found a rue flower. As I have written previously, I like rue, even the smell. So do some kinds of flies. They sit inside these flowers once the summer is underway...

Lavender is flowering. This one is a French lavender... amazing perfume and the bees love it. John saw the bees swarming the other day, so they must be eating well.

And finally, a little bean on the red flowering ones. These were planted earliest, flowered later, and now have beans later. The other seeds were all produced in this garden though and are presumably better acclimatised. I will keep all of the seeds from these. I only had 20 seeds, and only 12 germinated. I'll plant more next year. I'm not sure what to expect from these.

This is young celery (below). I photographed it some months ago (with a pottery chimney pot over it) and this is what it looks like now. I took the chimney pot off to compare the covered and uncovered ones... well, in the left is a normal looking celery (like the ones in the shops) though is is still qhite young and needs some more feeding with my stinging nettle fertiliser. On the right is one that has been in the sun all the time. It is healthy, but the stalks are not very long, and that is the part that we normally eat. In fact, I use this sort for any kind of soup, stew or flavouring, but the covered one is producing the pale long stalks with wheich we are familiar. If you look carefully, there is one behind this that is tall, but greener. This one wasn't covered properly, though it is surrounded by pots and plants... it's tall, though not as pale. I need some more dark coloured "down-pipe" before next summer... or sewer pipe. Notice the other chimney pot behind the short celery. I have two of these.

These are the broad beans near the back fence. They are healthier than the first producers (no black spot!) and are flowering beautifully. On the left is a huge bushy melaleuca that I regularly consider chopping down. This year we have had a lot of winter storms with wind from the SE (cold) and this bushy windbreak is too useful. It's not planned this way. The previous owner seems to have randomly planted whatever came to hand. This one is useful though... protecting these tall bean plants from potentially destructive wind.

One of the last striped chioggia beets.... beautiful looking, and tasting axactly the same as the dark red ones... I have some more seeds for these... from an Italian seed company. I usually buy Australian seeds (or save my own) but I've found that for some varieties this is the best source and the seeds have a good rate of germination.
... and plenty of fennel. I'll be looking for some fennel recipes soon. That closest one is actually very large, though this is the side on view. They seem to grow in any direction. I suppose it has something to do with which way the seed lay when it was sown, rather than any geographical or environmental influences.
I also noticed the little radish plants. I put a little row of these in the pot that I'd taken the cauliflowers from. I gave them some blood and bone, as there wouldn't have been much food left there after those big caulis were produced. These are the heritage multicolour seeds and, while not a radish addict, I can't wait to see what they look like!

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