Thursday, November 29, 2012

This pot is boiling now.

So it turns out I was wrong. A watched pot really does boil. Just add duck pond water weekly and things really start to thrive...

 ~ A view north ~

 ~ Cucumber I am training along the wire fence ~

 ~ Oregano, curry, sage and rosemary ~

 ~ I sense a glut of beans coming on ~

 ~ Beyond the garden gate ~

 ~ Thai chilli plant ~

 ~ The MOST amazing beans ever ~

 ~ A bean plant at least 8 feet tall ~

 ~ Cucumber ~

  Beans, cucumber, spinach and tomato ~

 ~ Roma tomatoes ~

 ~ Black Russian tomatoes ~

 ~ The entry way ~

 ~ Beans climbing a vine support ~

  ~ Spinach ~

Sam xox

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A watched pot never boils.

Sometimes I feel like my garden isn't doing a whole lot. The daily work it requires often leaves me blind to the progress happening before my eyes. You know the old saying, "a watched pot never boils", well that's how I feel about my garden sometimes. It feels slow. Last Thursday morning I left home to attend some training for work in the city, and did not return home until Tuesday night. The first thing I did after dumping my bags in the hall was to race outside, with flash light in hand, and check on the veggies and ducks. My jaw dropped. I couldn't believe how much everything had grown. The morning daylight couldn't come soon enough. Once dawn broke I was able to inspect the garden properly and take in all the changes that had happened in just a matter of a few days...

 ~ The pretty border of rocket has now grown to cover the entire bed and then some ~

 ~ The beans are as tall as me now and producing flowers ~

 ~ The potatoes are flowering ~

 ~ Zucchini 'Costa Romanesque' grown from Green Harvest seeds ~

 ~ Tomato plants and nasturtiums growing at a rapid rate ~

 ~ Spinach, cucumber and bush beans ~

 ~ Carrot 'Colour Mix' grown from Green Harvest seeds ~

 ~ Yellow pear tomatoes coming on ~

 ~ Celery ~

 ~ Ok, now this has gotten a little out of hand to say the least! The coriander, parsley and basil have grown out of control... can you even make out those capsicum and tomato plants? I promise they are in there... somewhere. ~

 ~ The chickens can reach through the fence from their enclosure and have taken a sample of the spinach ~

 ~ Iceberg lettuce and spinach ~

 ~ Dried grape vine branches supporting the beans ~

 ~ All the green goodness just beyond the chicken run... must be tempting for them! ~

 ~ Spinach and carrots ~

 ~ Would you believe me if I told you I still had quite large bare patches ready for some plants? What should I plant next? ~

~ The cuttings are growing quite nicely ~

Having not taken any leave for six months (heart surgery didn't count!) I was feeling burnt out and loosing my sense of humour at a rapid rate (not good when you're a mental health worker!). Recognising this I took some leave from work and now have the rest of this week to potter around my garden, do some sewing, and spin some wool using my new spinning wheel. Gardening truly is a self care activity for me. It is a way for me to switch off from the stresses of work and spend an hour or two in silence with my hands in the dirt. 

It grounds me.

To create something out of nothing is very special. To produce food that can feed my husband and I, with extra to share with others, feels like a real blessing.

Sam xox

P.S Just in case you are wondering how I encourage growth in my plants. The only spray I have used has been pyrethrum and that was only on the kale. The rest is all natural. I fertilise the soil by pumping the dirty water from the duck pond onto the garden once a week. I also add compost and chook poo as needed. I use bore water to water the garden three times per week via an irrigation system I recently installed myself.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vintage garden chic.

A set of embossed silver knives arrived in the post last week.

A fusion of vintage utility and garden chic.

A thoughtful and unexpected birthday gift from my dear friend in Switzerland.

Sam xox

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The milk carton seedlings.

Following on from my recent greenhouse breakthrough, I wanted to share with you a nifty idea that my sister in law Ally introduced to me recently - styrofoam seed raising containers! This worked well for her in Brisbane's warm climate, so I thought I would give it a try in the temperate climate of Newcastle.

If you don't have the money to buy a greenhouse from your local garden store, or you might just not have the space for it, then this is an idea you might like to try. Simply save your 2L milk cartons and cut the tops and bottoms off and wash them out. Then place them into our styrofoam box and fill with seed raising mix (or compost). Plant your seeds as normal, then keep this box in half shade. The styrofoam box will hold heat and warm the soil, similar to how a greenhouse works.

Once the seedlings are big enough to plant out, you will be able to use the containers as a guard to protect your young plants from wind or creepy crawlies!

~ Tomato, zucchini, and pickling gerkins ~
Sam xox

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

6 weeks old.

From four at four weeks old...

To two at six weeks old...

~ Chippenham & Yorkshire ~

Sam xox