Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Catch-up

There has been quite a gap in posts during the summer.  Life, and a few family issues got in the way.  Much of the garden was well watered and covered with pea straw because some of those issues were predictable and I wanted to preserve the soil flora, fauna and fungi with minimal effort from me.  I am dependent upon the soil here and its productive capacity.  This is a microcosm of the earth, really.  We are dependent upon the soil and its productive capabilities, and we need to take care of it.

I have been growing enough food for myself and the chickens (though they are supplemented with feed from the local feed store.

Typical meals have been made from eggs and flour from 'Four Leaf' made into pasta,  sauces made from vegetables and herbs from the garden; bruchetta with garlic, oil, tomatoes and basil; 'eggs and vegetables', being a typical collection of whatever vegetables are ready (carrots, beets, potatoes, kale, cooked in oil with eggs 'thrown in' at the last minute… and on it goes….  there are plenty of options.
I was determined to make a blog post before the end of the month.  I have bits and pieces of notes to myself so that I won't forget some of the ideas that I wanted to add, but for today,  these are photographs taken during March 2015.

Crested pigeons on the birdbath.  This pair seems to be permanent residents.  I ahve a bird-friendly yard, though there is a threat of feral cats (and some nighbour's pets as well) but I finally have a trap… to be put to use in the near future.

 The snail creeper flowered, and a friend has given me some seeds that I will try to germinate in the next few weeks.  The perfume of these 'snail shaped' flowers is beautiful.

 The belladonna lilies flowered again,  though there were less flowers this year.  It has been a very strange year (as far as the climate goes) this year and I wonder how that has changed some of the plants.  Some seem to ahve preferred this dry summer, but some have suffered.  These lilies have had less flowers.

 The blood lilies are spectacular…  the honeyeaters fight over them.  The nectar must be particularly prolific in there….

 As I mentioned,  it has been particularly dry.  We have had very little rain since July and while I have watered the vegetables crops almost daily,  there are some plants that just have to fend for themselves.  This is the 'preickly pear' cactus that I planted a couple of years ago.  It has grown quite large,  but even cacti wilt when there is no rain!

 Autumn crocus.  This is not the saffron crocus which ahs not flowered at all this year.  I will transplant the saffron once the leaves appear, as I think they have too much competition where they are… more of that later.

 The perfumed cactuses have supplied their fragrance to the air by the verandah.  It has been a beautiful spot to sit and contemplate life and how to deal with the afore mentioned issues!

 Banana tree.  I have had a banana tree growing in a pot for about 18 months and this summer it produced two babies.  I have left the main plant and the largest offspring in the main big pot and I have moved that into the back shelter for the sinter again.  This baby was removed (being the most likely to survive the transplant, and it is now in the ground in a very sheltered place, near a north facing wall and  where I will be able to cover it if ever a frost is forcast.  This variety of bananas is supposed to be hardy enough to producec fruit even in Melbourne (Victoria) and so it should survive here.  The dark marks on the leaves are due to my severe pruning of the biggest leaves,  but the neew little leaf in the middle has appeared since hte move.  I think the baby will live.

 The front yard….  I don't often write about this part because I don't grow food there,  but it is quite lovely.  The large trees are kurrajongs (native to New South Wales,  not here) and are very large indeed.  My labyrinth has been destroyed by a builder who behaved in an unbelievable way.  It was becoming usable just two years ago but has been completely destroyed.  My walking meditation place is now under these trees.  I don't have the materials or the energy to re-make the labyrinth.

 The cactus flower again….

 Magpie bathing in the bird bath while I sit on the verandah…  life is good.

 The blood lilies are already producing leaves…. these will grow huge over the next few months.

 …. and my spot on the verandah,  glass of wine, bird bath hidden behind and washing on the line.

Some of these photographs will be familiar to Facebook followers as they have been there previously.  At lesat I am 'back on track' and have made at least this catch up post for the month.

I have had a few comments from blog readers and friends asking where I have been.  I have been quietly gardening and thinking.  My little notes with ideas that I have meant to write about are in a scruffy pile on my desk, and I feel as though I am getting back in control of my own life, at least.