Wednesday, March 23, 2022

The fairies and the fishes

 I have been busy planning for my trip overseas, making the garden as maintenance free as possible.  At first I thought I would take the fish and plants out of the pond, but in actual fact it seems more work.  The main things that takes up my time, is removing leaves that have fallen in the pond, and dealing with too much rain which causes a lot of slime to grow.  I have rigged the umbrella  to be a little higher and hopefully it stays in place all the time.    I took out most of the fish to give to my stepson, but then noticed lots of little ones growing, so I obviously didn't remove them all!  lol!


We had a huge amount of rain and  wind lately, and my arch came crashing down, so that area has had to be re-configured. I have moved most of my orchids there, and they get a  little more filtered light than they did on the fence..  A facebook group called orchid growing for dummies has been very helpful, so hopefully I get a few more flowers.  

One of the orchids  I have found hard to manage is the ladyslipper orchid vine, and I have been continually digging it up and removing it.  I realized that I would need to be quite vigilant and the garden where the vine had been was too deep and inaccessible, so I cleared out an area to provide access. Before I knew it, I had created a fairy glen!


I will get some solar operated fairy lights to hang around the candelabra, and either fill the area around the birdbath with stones or mulch.  I am thinking mulch, because I do have  a lot of stones in my garden.  I am hoping the orchids will be happy hanging here on the fences.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Worm cafe

 I am so blessed to have a hubby who supports all my crazy hobbies. and we set out over the weekend to spend our Christmas gift card on a worm farm.  It was a combined gift, but of course I made the choice and it was gardening related.!  As most of you know I am a huge fan of my tumbler, but it is getting on in age, and suddenly didn't turn very easily anymore.  Hubby drilled a couple of holes and the trusty tie wraps came out.  What on earth did we do before tie wraps were invented?  

I realized I should keep the tumbler as light as possible.  My daughter in law said that they partly compost veggie peeling and kitchen waste in their tumbler and then finish it off in the worm bin.  What a great idea I thought.... so the idea of a worm farm was born.  I settled on the worm cafe as I like the flat edge design, and for now it is under the eaves right next to the tumbler.  What a great design - nothing is thrown out - even the cardboard packaging is used to line the base bin.


Then a brick of coir is soaked and added... now, since I have lots of worms in my tumbler ever since I started the inground compost worm bins I didn't purchase more worms,  so went digging in my tumbler, to find none!



Not sure what is going on, but supposedly everything gets eaten up overnight, and then the worms disappear.  So I loaded the compost up with lots of yummy peels, and will hopefully be able to harvest a whole load of wriggly worms in the morning!  I made sure not to turn it, because one turn of the tumbler, and everything mixes up and disappears from sight.


Do you do worm farming?  What tips do you have?  


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Coiled baskets, my new hobby

  I have been interested in making baskets for  along time, and last year I purchased an online class on making baskets from the garden.  I found it really messy and required a lot of space to collect all the bits and pieces so really did not pursue it after the initial spurt of creativity.  The same school offered a course on coiled baskets which I had been greatly admiring, so I bought that course as a Christmas present to myself!  It is run by the same lady as the baskets from the garden - Ruth, who I found very easy to follow.  It is super easy to go back and check the instructions.

craft school of oz

Oh my!   am I hooked!  This was the first basket I created.  I made a little lid in what I considered an African design - like a rondavel, which is a "round house" This was t shirt material wrapped around string and sewn with crochet cotton.



From then on, there was no stopping me.  as you know I am very keen to recycle materials instead of sending them to landfill and this is a perfect way of doing that.  At one stage I made necklaces out of t shirt material, and I still use that for tying up plants etc.   I have quite a collection of cut up t shirts and I keep them in a little footstool right next to the couch.  Perfect for picking my project up and working on it, and then packing away easily when I want to take a break.  I organized the fabric into colour themes, since my daughter is always telling me to use a colour wheel.


The first one used rope as the center core, and I decided I wanted to use recyclable materials so used four strands of t shirt material as the core for this one.  I used some pretty wool for the stitching.  All kinds of materials being used up!  



The class showcased a round mat made with denim, and here I used the jean seams as the core, which turned out a bit lumpy.  The colour variations come from using the right and wrong side of the denim.  I used crochet cotton for the stitching. 

Next I wanted to try some silk, as I had some scarves that I had painted that of course I never wore.  I think they work better as baskets.!  the silk was a little slippery to work with.  The little yellow one has the silk folded over the core (T shirt material again).  The blue one Was a scarf that portrayed the beach extending out to the ocean and it really seems to work well here.  I was thinking of maybe sewing a shell onto the top for a handle.  This time I twisted the silk around the core, which does leave exposed cut edges 



Now, I wonder what to do with my little collection of baskets, and when I asked the grandchildren, the girls all said they wanted  a pink one!  I might have to make a few more of these.....

I spoke to my sister in law and she said that during the pandemic she has been knitting stuffed animals - she has  a whole family residing on her couch.  Oh dear, are we all going to drown in our own crafts?  Tell me, do you find since you also have more time at home are you creating more?  What do you do with your creations?  


Monday, December 6, 2021

It is December already!

 Looking back I seem to now be posting once a month instead of once or twice a week.  Maybe this is my new normal.  In fact I told my daughter in Germany that since the garden is established there doesn't seem to be as much to write about as when I was designing and building up the garden.  She promptly decided to fix that!   She has signed me up to a 6 month seed delivery!   How blessed I am!


How lovely that they include her note.  I received my first package and that is a fairly good choice of seeds for this time of year, although the cucumber might just get downy mildew.  I only planted half the seeds.... hedging my bets.  You never know with the wet season.  

I already had some basil growing along the edge of the new long raised beds, so planted out the basil all along the edge. I think it is the same kind - Mammoth basil.   Lots of pesto in my future if they all come up.   I was speaking to my daughter and saying that I only plant one seed per hole, why plant two just to pull up one?   I like to think every one of my seeds will come up, are you the same?   I see some tiny little shoots already after three days, so that is positive!

The other plants in the bed are new guinea bean - a real wet season staple.


In other news, my asparagus is sending out lovely long shoots of tender tasty lusciousness, but only one every couple of days.


I started some Christmas baking.  Gingerbread men, and my moms crunchies as they can be frozen.  A few decorations have been put out, but it is so hot that I cannot keep the chocolates in the advent calendar, so they have to stay in the fridge. 




I wish you, all my dear patient readers a very Merry Christmas!



Monday, November 22, 2021

Blue tea

 Last Christmas my grandchildren gave me a collection of little vials of loose leaf herbal teas, in a little calico bag.   One of my favorites was blue bliss, a mix of butterfly pea, lemongrass and blue cornflowers.


I was pretty excited to see butterfly pea seeds for sale at the local open gardens we had a couple of months ago.   I popped them into the new raised beds when I took out the eggplant that had reached the end of their growing season.   They took off, and pretty soon I had these amazing bright blue flowers growing up the trellis.  So exciting!

I had made some cupcakes using my vegan chocolate cake recipe in some pretty little cupcake holders. I thought I had posted the recipe here on my blog, but see I have not, so I have been remiss as I think you will love it as much as I do (and everyone else that I cook it for).   I will post that recipe in the next couple of days, so watch out for it. 


During the year I had purchased a lemon myrtle plant, so I picked off a few dried flowers off the vine, added a few leaves of lemon myrtle to my infuser, grabbed a cupcake and then settled down in my favourite chair next to the pond.
Now that is what I consider a perfect afternoon tea!

What is your favourite tea?  do you grow it in your garden?   




Saturday, October 16, 2021

one tonne of 220mm gravel

 Over time the gravel in my paths sinks down, and as I pull up weeds, the earth comes up, and it all begins to look a litle untidy and of course allows more weeds to grow. I ordered a tonne of gravel to be delivered, and of course it has kept me very busy spreading out a thin layer everywhere it is needed.   It looks different, but it is the same rock just, very ,very dusty.



We also decided to open up the front a bit and include the carport as part of the garden.  It really is wasted as a carport because most vistors park out front in the visitors parking.  I dug up a few big plants (they have been there for 15 years!)  and others just wouldnt budge so they got a reprieve.   I poured boiling water over one, and then will just continue to cut back any growing shoots and see how we go.  It has been so hot and dry, so have had to continually water to establish the new plants.  I planted a Rose of sharon that I grew from a slip.  Such a pretty bush, with pale pink, darker pink and white flowers.  Luckily I now have a wheelbarrow! purchased from the same yard sale as I got the pond! this opened up the whole area. and then I had to level it all out.


Once it was edged with bricks and the stones layed it looked as though it was always meant to be!



All the pots are scattered around the area, and I think they enjoy more sunshine than tucked along the fence.  Fruit salad alley has taken on a different form.  Now you can leisurely wander into the garden which slowly reveals itself , defenitely an improvement on the curb appeal.


The next job is to remove all the plants that had grown up along the fence line behind the pots.  

I dont think I will be ordering any more rock deliveries for a while.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

I added a pond and water fountain to our garden!

 I have been helping my stepson and family move into their new house.  Lots of work, but luckily they have a bit of overlap where they can live in the old house, and then do all the upgrades they want to in the new house.   Lot of cleaning and  painting, but the thing I have been enjoying the most is of course the garden!  They have a pond,a nd I have never had anything to do with water features.   One day driving home I noticed my neighbour getting ready for his garage sale, and washing out his little pond.   I nipped over to ask if he was selling the pond, and he was, so I bought it on the spot!   


It is a two part fibreglass system, and in his garden had the top part resting on the lower pond.   Once I separated them out, and put the waterfall section on a stand it seemed so much bigger.  


 Projects always look worse before they start to look better, dont they?   I originally had this  shrub as a green wall, but had to cut most of it away.  It will start to fill in again pretty quickly.


I filled it with pretty little blue iridescent pebbles (which came with the pond!   ) I placed my brahmi plant in the top section, and it has never looked happier.   The peace lilly sits in its pot on top of the pump, and then I have some duckweed floating around on top.  .  I do want some more plants , and would love water lillies, but not sure if the pond is too shallow.  I hear different points of view.   They will find their own height, or they need at least three feet of water!  after 24 hours to allow the water to settle I added the fish.


They are just guppies, but some have lovely colours, and as I feed them twice a day I feel they are getting to know me.  They will come and eat out of my hand if I hold a piece of fish food in my fingers.   This is a whole new project for me so if anyone has any advice please share your thoughts.  In the meantime we are enjoying happy hour every evening alongside the sound of tinkling water.  So lovely.   



Followers

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
e-mail me at vemvaan@gmail.com