It has been such a long time since I made any real reference to my continued attempts to earn the appellation ‘gardener’, a practice or profession that many of my ancestors made a living from doing. But that was before we all lost the art of growing stuff and spent our lives as spoon-fed babies, totally reliant on someone else for our food intake, something that many of us will come to regret and eventually die from.
The King Parrots have returned after no show for several months. Always nice to see. I feed them with sunflower seeds and pepitas at least once a day. Swallows are back too, but they are too hard to catch with a camera.
The Cox’s Orange Pippin is about to blossom. Can I hope for apples this year?
So, it is Spring again, as evidenced by the new plant growth and, in my case, the return of the King Parrots to my garden. Well, actually it is already one third of the way through
Spring according to the official and artificially prescribed seasonal calendar that many of us live by instead of ‘feeling’ the start and end of the seasons and/or letting The Sun and Moon tell us when that happens.
I will let the photo captions tell most of the story from this point.
I have to acknowledge that the ideas for the water collection bins and the wicking boxes a few photos down, were not original. They came mostly from the Foodnstuff blog.
The Nashi pear was the first fruit tree to blossom.
These are my hazlenut bushes. A male and female tree are required for pollinating.
A long shot of my little orchard. Four different apples, a Nashi, two blueberries, goji berry and pomegranate. There is a Fig off camera and also existing (and old) Lemon and Peach trees.
In the Vegie garden: Three rows of peas. These are a mixture of sugar snap and snow peas grown from seed that I saved from my earlier harvest, two summers ago now, in Hazeldene. So, it will be interesting to see how they produce. There are also a couple of red onions that sprouted before I could use them. I have never planted red onions before so it will be a nice surprise if they do the right thing.
In the left side vegie garden: Potatoes, and behind them spindly garlic. The garlic I really planted far too late and I am not sure they will do anything much. We will see. The potatoes are simply left over stock of various various varieties, Dutch Cream, Sebago and Kipfler, that I didn’t eat and they sprouted so I cut them up and planted them. Oh, and in the foreground are two varieties of Rhubarb which don’t look terribly happy but they have survived the winter and I hope will pick up from here.
Over Winter I captured a supply of rainwater in these garbage cans with lids upturned and a central hole drilled to let the water in. Behind are a set of wicking boxes where I hope to grow strawberries.
The shrubbery I am creating in front of the house is coming along nicely, most things having survived the winter.
I’m pretty sure this is a Quince. It came with the house.
This is a Camelia Sinensis. The Tea Plant. Maybe one day I will be able to pick, dry and drink my own tea leaves.
For the first time ever, I am producing seedlings from seed in my cold frame, which I built four years ago now. We could still get some frosts. I am quite satisfied with the results so far since all of the seeds are over a year old and I can replace them with much newer seeds.
My herb mound. I am generally very happy with what is going on here. What are Spinach and Kale doing in a herb mound? Well, I am growing them for seed and didn’t have anywhere else to put them before winter.
The other side of my herb mound. Have you ever seen a Parsley plant looking so happy? Lots of herbs are hidden at the moment, but that will change.
Shush, composting in progress. Last year’s closest. Grass recently mown on the other side.
I have plans for all this tree cuttings and fallen branches. They will make a fine base for Hugelkultur mounds, which means I will need to get some more soil delivered.
Cute? Well I think so, and I consider myself lucky to be living here.
Come on plants. Grow, produce flowers and attract some bees and other beneficial insects.
A happy Gooseberry plant.
A happy Chilean Guava. And I am happy to see the little red currant stick behind it, is growing leaves. The mulch, incidentally, is simply fallen leaves from last Autumn, raked over the garden. With Summer coming, and a hot, dry one by all accounts, I will need to add some further protection soon.
By uploading the previous photos in this album I shamed myself into doing something about the unmown grass in my vegetable garden. Here is what it looks like now. Not perfect but an improvement. Such a lot of work to do. So little time. So little energy. Incidentally, the bales of straw and planter boxes closing off the entrance are there to deter the local wombat from getting in, until I can build a gate for that.