Friday, 29 March 2013

Autumn crocuses

This has definitely been the longest gap between posts that I've had... I have been dealing with some particularly nasty issues and, while I am quite happy with the progress, it seems such a waste of time, somehow living in the past.  It must be done,  and so it is.

The garden, unlike the blog, has not suffered.  I have been watering (for we have had almost no rain at all) and mulching, planting and transplanting and harvesting what I need.  The real confirmation of autumn came this week with the appearance of the autumn crocuses...

Vegetable production has only increased in recent weeks too and cooking, eating, freezing or bottling various produce has been ongoing....


... the corn is often eaten out in the garden... so sweet....

... plenty of food...


...  and the potatoes are plentiful.  These are the easiest carbohydrate to grow and there are so many ways to use them!  Potatoes seem to be included in many different styles of food...  so useful.

The autumn bulbs are coming up all over the place....
...  blood lilies....
the honeyeaters love these.  The little patch where I transferred 4 bulbs a couple of years ago is looking good too...

Belladonna lillies...
The "garden" in the back verandah is growing well also....
.... cardamom, chilis, sweet potatoes, ginger and a few other odds and ends, all growing well.  I will soon have a banana plant to add to this little gathering....  it is ready to transplant now.

The other development of note is my labyrinth.  I have had in mind to make a walking place like this before, and I finally have the spot for it.  I had some help (from a bobcat) to level out the area, I had already gathered rocks and bricks and whatever I could find to make the track,  and it has begun.  
There is still a long way to go,  but I am pleased so far.

Today has been a day of more planting (garlic, brassica seedlings and onions) and preparing some new patches in case it should ever rain.  I won't increase the area under cultivation (rather than just covered and protected from the sun) until it actually rains.











Thursday, 7 March 2013

Drought, lilies and wormwood.

This morning,  while watering the garden, I noticed a rather lonely Bella Donna Lily...
 ... this year there are few of them....  probably due to the very difficult year that the whole garden suffers from...  just so little rain for more than a year now,  and almost none since August.  I used to ahve quite a few of these lilies at this time of the year,  but without artificial watering,  I don't know how many will survive.

In the front yard,  the blood lilies are appearing, thick and fast.....
 ... soon the honey eaters will be in "boney eater heaven" in a manner of speaking.....

Looking across the  front yard towards the cactus plants and the goatyard,  the few blood lilies and the one or two shrubs only serve to make the bare, hot soil look more barren.  The fallen leaves are from the large Kurrajong trees which always lose their leaves in the hot dry weather....
This is what most of the yard is like during the summer....  hot dry and barren.

I usually show my well watered productive garden, but this area, unwatered, shows a very different view.  Gardening books tell of water tolerant plants including ones such as this....
Wormwood...   

This bush is big and old, and hides birds nests at times... it is large...  several metres across and high... but at this time of the year,  it has no leaves.  Without huge amounts of water (which I cannot afford) this sort of "drought tolerant" plant is merely able to survive droughts, looking dead and a waste of space.  Drought tolerant gardens are not necessarily all that they are made out to be.

Monday, 4 March 2013

False friends and loyal plants

I have been out in the garden,  picking vegetables and digging potatoes.  I am a bit behind with planting,  but I will catch up in the next few weeks.  I've been rather distracted by more than one insincere friend attempting to make my life more difficult.

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.   Buddha

And so it goes....  the garden turns out not to produce merely food for my tummy,  but food for thought.... for the garden and its inhabitants always live in the present moment and I am learning to do the same.  

This morning I picked an overlooked zucchini which makes these other vegetables look small....
 .... corn....  actually there were three cobs this morning,  but I must have only photographed these two (perhaps I had eaten the other already)... it was a busy morning.
 ... and I dug two potato plants that had died right back, contributing all of their energy into the tubers....
... these potatoes are "Toolangi Delight" and grew from a few that I'd missed last season.  They weigh nearly 3 Kg...   and there are a lot more to come.

I have planted a few brassicas ready for the winter (cabbages, broccoli and cauliflowers... and a few kale seeds)  but there is more to do... jsut in case it should rain.