Monday, May 21, 2012

Hay in May

I was given a  free bale of hay, and you know me - I never refuse anything free!  I don't really like the look of hay in my tropical garden, but laying it out on the weekend I realized it might be just what the garden needed.  We mulch most of the leaves that fall from the lychee tree to add to the compost bin, but a lot of the leaves that fall in the garden stay there and eventually rot down.  That leaf litter can be a haven for mosquitoes, so a light fluffy layer of hay over the leaves might hide them from the mosquitoes .... just a thought.  Probably not.
 I do think different kinds of mulch is good as each type adds different qualities to the soil.  This will soon break down and blend in, and more leaves will fall on top of it.   I am always moving things around and now have the bricks against the edge of this garden bed.  It creates a  nice even line, although there were not enough for the whole length so I added some pots on either edge and let some plants peek through the other gaps.
Working in the garden in the filtered morning light  is sheer pleasure.
I see against the fence there is another sexy pink lady flowering.  She wanted to hang over the fence into my neighbours yard, but I quickly put a stop to that!
I picked a few flowers and we had lunch out in the garden with our friends.
I have been reading a recipe book called Bali - the food of my island home by Janet de Neefe, and we had Balinese style Paella. What a gorgeous book -  fantastic photos and a little story to go with each recipe!  I picked lemongrass, kaffir lime, tumeric, ginger and shallots from my garden.  I even buried the prawn shells to break down and add their goodness to the soil.  That is totally my kind of weekend in the garden.

20 comments:

  1. Hasn't the weather been fantastic lately? We got a very very light shower of rain yesterday afternoon. It barely touched the ground, but was very refreshing. Your garden is looking so good these days. I think the hay will probably be a great thing for your garden and should reduce the mosquito problem for a while. Love the sound of that paella recipe!

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    1. Bernie,
      I think we have been getting more than you. It is a pity I didn't take a photo, but we were so busy eating I forgot.

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  2. What a good idea adding the hay to your garden beds, no wonder your flowers look devine you put so much love into them.

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    1. I probably do spend too much time in the garden, but there always seems to be some other little job to do.

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  3. Your garden is looking so lush, even though you are heading into winter. What is that gorgeous green and white flower?

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    1. Alison,
      It loves shady moist areas and I have heard it called Amazon Lilly, Eucharist Lilly, or Eucharis grandiflora. It is supposed to be a member of the amaryllis family, but blooms sporadically throughout the year, whereas the amaryllis only blooms in spring here. The flower head always droop down though and I want to prop them up so I can see them :)

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  4. Okay I am so expecting a Balinese recipe on your blog now , balinese food is just beautiful. We use alot of hay on the gardens here and it really does add to the nitrogen levels and aesthetically I like the contrast in colour too ( which is probably more of an artist view point than a gardener viewpoint!)

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    Replies
    1. Kim,
      I just posted it here http://africanaussie-recipes.blogspot.com.au/. I like to keep the recipe in draft until I have tried it and noted my changes. I can never leave a recipe alone :) I agree that the contrast in color does look better than I expected it too.

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  5. Your garden is looking lovely as usual, and this bit of rain we are having will help it along. The straw will break down before you know it and you will have to put more mulch on.

    The recipe book sounds lovely, I love hearing the opinions of different recipes as it inspires me to try some new things, love new things :)

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    Replies
    1. KJ,
      yes it is a continual thing, this mulching. I like to try new things more than my hubby, but he puts up with me, luckily.

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  6. Love that impromptu bouquet...Amazon lilies are faves of mine! I put hay in my last garden, and thought how wonderful...then we ended up with a horrid weed problem. Hope you got better hay than I did. But, yeah, you are right, the more varied your mulch material, the better your soil will be. I like to use oak leaves, pine bark, and grass clippings.

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    1. Floridagirl,
      Those were actually candle holders, but I like the way they are multi- functional. I have used this hay before and it has no seeds, really is lovely stuff.

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  7. I just responded to your message about the edible ferns in Indonesia on my blog before I read yours. The cooking school where I sampled the 'lawar' was Janet's Casa Luna in Ubud.

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    1. Marisa,
      I saw that - thank you. I must say that they seemed to taste so much better there and maybe it had something to do with the ambiance. That is amazing that you went to her cooking school - gosh I would love to do that! I want to try every recipe in her book.

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  8. Your garden is so beautiful and prolific. I would love to know all about your climate and culture there, so I will be reading more as time permits...thanks for coming to visit me, new friend :) Blessings!

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    1. You are welcome and hope you find lots to enjoy. What a nice way to travel the world from our homes. I enjoyed your pretty red cardinal.

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  9. I adore your optimism about the mossies - I think it's misplaced, but I still like it! :-)

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    1. I keep hoping I can find a natural way to get rid of them, but find burning those coils to be the best thing. someone said they were made from chrysanthemums, but I think that is another thing I am believing without doing the research.

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  10. Your al fresco lunch with friends sounds wonderful. I love being outside surrounded by plants.

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    1. It is such a lovely place to hang out - just like one of the expensive tropical resorts without the high price tag. We are so lucky to live here.

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