Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The ongoing herb spiral saga....

I have been noticing for the last couple of weeks that crusher dust (which is what was put inside the middle of the herb spiral as it was built up) has been flowing out of the gaps between the rocks. I thought maybe I had been watering too hard as the connection to the soaker hose is right above my mint on the side of the spiral. After moving that there was no change and an even bigger pile of dust around the basil the following morning.
So I began a little detective work and moved a few rocks to find............. a toad hole. Now most people say toads are wonderful for getting rid of bugs etc, but here we have cane toads which are a big pest, and poisonous, so they had to go. As I poked a stick into the holes, and jiggled it around the toads were jumping out left right and center. My, what a sight... they are truly horrible ugly creatures. There must have been a huge extended family - I counted about 10! I hope they got the message they are not welcome. That must be why some of the herbs have been struggling - I am sure their roots have been hanging into a huge empty void! I poked and prodded and then filled all the empty space with wonderful nourishing compost! If that doesn't work then I might have to put some concrete in the gaps to stop them making it into a toad house.
I have been thinking about how I am going to cover the herb spiral in the heat of summer/wet season, and also keep away much of the drenching rain. The only people in this climate that have kept rosemary and sage through the seasons have them covered with shade cloth. I have a little temporary shade cloth, but was looking for something a little nicer looking. Aha - the passion fruit vine has been running rampant so DH and I hammered in some bamboo on either side of the spiral and then suspended an arched piece of fencing wire. I can walk underneath it and as the passion fruit vine covers it the herbs will be nicely sheltered. I hope the herbs will still get enough sunlight, and I just cant wait to see how pretty it looks with the passion fruit hanging down from the arch!
Right now everything is very dry and dusty - There is cane harvesting all around which makes lots of dust and it is months since we had rain - just a light sprinkle last night. It has started drizzling a bit now - it would be good to get a really good slow soaking rain.

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