Well Spring has finally come to Hobart, and it’s so nice to have some colour in the garden again. The California poppies & Aquilegias are starting to bloom, and my climbing roses are starting too. I also have lots of baby blueberries on my 3 bushes which is very promising! Also the raspberry flowers have started opening & is attracting hundreds of bees, and I can hear their cacophony of buzzing as soon as I open my back door. It’s a good time of year!
Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category
Well, Autumn is well and truly here in South Tasmania, much to my delight as its my second-favourite season after Spring. My family have gone up North to spend Easter so I find myself home alone in the peace and quiet – no nagging! No-one to cook for! I can listen to loud music & have as many lights on as I like! They’re really not that bad. Really.
I went for a stroll in the garden this afternoon. Everything’s still there, albeit covered in a fresh flush of new weeds now that the rainy season has started.
You know its Autumn when the Cyclamens start showing up. The flowers have gone (these ones were bright white) but I love the leaves, they stick around all Winter and are well worth having around.
Next to the Cyclamen is another favourite foliage plant of mine, a Pulmonaria or Lung Wort. They have cute blue & pink flowers in the Spring but the foliage goes on looking good until it dies back for Winter.
More foliage, this time an ornamental grass – Miscanthus sinenses “Zebrinus” – named after the stripes it developed along the leaves as the plant matures. This is only its 3rd year in the garden & already its starting to fill out nicely.
My garden is littered with the remnants of blooms past. I usually prune my roses right after they flower but for some reason this year I did, and I am glad I didn’t because I love how the hips have turned a bright orange as they ripen. I might even pick a few branches of these to brighten up my kitchen table!
I got a great loaf of bread today from the people I work for. They are a family of Greeks, and like to keep a few of their traditions alive whenever they get together for the holidays. They made Tsoureki today – traditional Greek Easter bread. Every family has their own unique recipe; this one is flavoured with cinnamon & lemon juice & topped with almonds. Its a sweet bread, so I’m going to have it toasted with butter & honey. Yum!!
And now I think I’ll relax in my favourite chair with my knitting, enjoying my time alone Happy Easter everyone!
Well, my busy uni schedule this year has taken its toll on my garden (and this blog…), but I took a stroll around the garden today and spotted a few lovelies in amongst the weeds.
I’m really pleased with this little climbing rose “Lorraine Lee”. Its only two years old & has reached the deck railing already! Its a few metres off the ground too. Its got a nice sprinkling of fragrant pink blooms this year, and its bringing some much needed colour to my bare deck at the moment:
These tiny little Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra) are slowly colonising my shady area next to my workshop. I love their ferny foliage and the way the blooms tremble in the breeze:
This Moss Rose always fascinates me! I love watching it come to life each Spring. The branches are extremely prickly, but the leaves are structurally interesting, and then the buds are covered in this “moss” which has a pine fragrance when you rub it. It only flowers once a year but the blooms are deep red and very fragrant which makes it worth it. Here’s a photo in the morning sun, showing the moss & prickles in great detail:
And lastly, my Raspberry patch is bigger then ever this year (don’t I say that every year??) and the blossoms are just starting to open this week:
Can’t wait to be picking bowlfuls of these! They always feature somewhere in my Christmas desserts. And just for interests sake, here’s an “aerial view” of the bed the raspberries live in. I don’t think I’m going to be able to plant anything else in this bed this year, though there is some strawberry plants hidden in there somewhere:
Look at all that lush growth! Ignore my other veggie bed, its full of weeds, spent broccoli plants and stray potatoes.
I hope to be blogging much more this Summer, because I have absolutely no Summer School this year (first time since I started my degree!!) so should have a lot more free time for gardening and blogging
I took these photos a while ago but forgot to post them, that is until my Twitter friend Bianca reminded me! I sowed these broccoli plants in about March, they were in the ground by April & then I just kind of ignored them, that is until the last few weeks while they’ve been making broccolis! They have been fairly trouble-free, aside from picking off a few cabbage moth caterpillars when they were seedlings. Then it’s just a matter of waiting til they are big enough, then cut steam & enjoy!
I took the plunge today & cut down my apple tree, all by myself!! It was surprisingly quick & I didn’t even get tired. I really wish I had a mulcher, even though I’d probably only use it once a year. Next job: dig up the nectarine & move it to near where the apple tree was. Still so much work to do but it’s getting there!
Having issues with WordPress’s iPhone app at the moment, but I thought I would at least show you some photos from the garden today. The broccolis are getting bigger, the peas are still peaing, and the broadbeand are getting taller. I did some weeding and planting in the main flowerbeds today (plants I recieved from Diggers and Woodbridge Nursery), I’ll post some photos of those when they emerge from dormancy. And that’s all for today
It was so cold & blustery outside today, but I hadn’t visited the garden for a few days so I thought I had better pay it a visit. So this afternoon the sun was coming & going between the clouds, so this would be a good a time as any to go outside.
There few a few tomatoes hanging on the vines still, but I think I am going to have to pull them out soon. Once they are close to ripening the wet weather quickly rots them and I end up throwing them onto the compost. A not-so-wonderful end for the last veggie of Summer in the garden. So it’s time for the Winter veggies to have their turn in the (low gloomy Winter) limelight.
I sowed these broadbeans about 3 weeks ago from memory, and they have just shown up in the last few days. I guess it’s the cold that has delayed their germination, but I seem to be getting very good germination rates so I don’t really mind. I would have planted them sooner but I had Golden Nugget pumpkins here that just refused to die back like they were supposed to, and I didn’t want to damage the pumpkins by pulling them out prematurely. I’ve never grown these before so I’m interested to see if I’m going to need to stake them or not.
My plan for an Autumn crop of peas is coming along nicely, with the first flowers appearing this week. Here’s hoping I get some pollination & some yummy peas in the next few weeks!
I had sown a small row of carrots before I planted the cabbage seedlings (in top left corner of the photo), and, being my usual impatient self, I just planted the cabbage seedlings on top because I didn’t want to have to wait for another area of the garden to free up. But it has worked out okay as an accidental catch crop, because now that the cabbage leaves have almost started to cover the space in between each plant, the carrots are just about ready. Well, for baby carrots anyway! I have a few in there still, so the next lot I pull will hopefully be a bit bigger. I have 2 rows that are 4 weeks old also, and my last sowing (2 rows each of St Valery and Mini Round) have sprouted this week. I am determined not to run out of carrots before Summer this time!
Out of sheer curiosity (and also because I am terribly impatient) I pulled two parnips as well. These were sown on the 28th of January, and I was very surprised at the time because they had all germinated after only 9 days. Covering them with plastic & onion bags really works, and have used it for my carrot seeds with great success too. So these ‘snips are about 3 months old now & still probably need another 3 months! They are cool though! I’m going to grate them up along with the carrots & make some veggie fritters. It will be my first time eating parsnips so I hope I like them!!
Here’s a photo of the parsnip leaves, which was another thing that was a mystery to me when I first started growing them. They are a bit like flat leaved parsley, but several times larger, and the stem bases wrap around the newer middle leaves – you can see this a bit in the other photo. It’s kind of cool. Carrots do this too but because the stems are narrower it’s less noticeable.
Also eagerly awaiting my first turnip!! This is the biggest one, I might roast it, or make some soup with the winter squashes I still have. Such excitement!
That’s it for now – I’ll see what the weather’s like tomorrow after work, I might pull out the tomato plants & spread out a load of manure & coffee grounds. Seems like a long time until its going to be Summer again!
Today I thought I’d better pick the rest of the capsicums since it’s gotten pretty cold now & they’re not going to get any riper. So I picked 4 of those, and another handful of tomatoes that have ripened. They seem to be ripening slowly but surely. Also today I visited my friend Eryn & her 4 month old identical twins, Bella & Olivia. They were gorgeous, even if they did spew on me a bit!! Also I finally gave them their presents that I made them, two kitties from Amy Butler’s new book, Little Stitches for Little Ones. They are so easy to make, and I’ve given them to a few other children of friends too. Anyway that’s all
It’s well & truly Autumn now, and today it’s rainy & dull & gloomy. I was meant to mow the lawns today, I should have done it yesterday when it was nice & sunny! Here’s some photos I took yesterday in the sun:
These apples are nice to look at but are full of codling moth worms. I have tried for 2 years to get decent apples from this tree, and this was it’s last chance so I will be taking it out this winter & moving a nectarine tree in it’s place. Sorry apple tree!
In contrast to the doomed apple tree is the very well behaved Nashi pear tree, giving me 7 fruits this year. Nashi pears are not actually a cross between apples & pears as some people think, and these don’t seem to be attractive to coddling moth or pear & cherry slug, so I think this tree has earned another year in the garden Behind the nashis are my slightly-chewed cabbage plants, they have had a growth spurt in the last couple of weeks.
My first time growing winter squash; had great results but the vines (2 of them) ran rampant through the whole veggie patch & onto the lawn, so I will have to grow them on a trellis next time. They have been lined up along the edge of the veggie bed for the last couple of weeks to cure, but since it’s raining today I really should bring them inside. They have a really hard skin so I hope this means they will store well. I will have to investigate recipes for soup & things. Overall I got 17 cute little yellow squashes.
Just for something different, I thought I’d post a photo of my bedroom this morning as we got a tiny moment of sun earlier on. The nights are starting to get colder, so last night I put on my Laura Ashley throw rug for extra warmth. Also, it keeps the Puss fur off my luxurious Laura Ashley sheets so I only need to wash the throw when it gets too furry & not the whole set. Can you tell I like Laura Ashley? One day I will get rid of that ugly lamp & buy a pretty Laura Ashley one, and get two bedside tables that actually match, and some new curtains that aren’t pink. But, that’s for another day. Actually, considering their prices, another year! Anyway, I love opening the curtains & letting the sun come in, and my view of the (too long) green grass & tortured willow in the front yard is so nice
It was a typical Autumn day today…. after raining all night, the sun rose to a beautiful day. Bright sun but with a slight cool breeze coming from the south east, it warmed up the soil just enough to evaporate the droplets on the leaves, but the soil remained moist. We are enjoying the last sunny days before the plants pack up for another long winter. The top photo is Nerine fothergilli “Major” which is a really nice Autumn bulb to have around. I find them to be very reliable bloomers. The pink Nerines will come a bit later, I can see their flower buds peeking out of the bulbs already.
The second photo is a lovely Hydrangea that was one of the only decent things in the garden when we moved in. But it was tiny, and has tripled in size since we started taking care of it!
The third photo is a patch of Cyclamen hederifolium in one of the garden beds. I have grown hundreds of Cyclamen from seed over the last few years, and I have given away some as presents or trades, but most have now been planted in my new garden over the summer. A few are flowering too, but not enough to put on a good show, I will have to wait until next year I think! For now I will admire their pretty leaves.
The last photo is Puss Cat in her favorite spot in the corner of one of the veggie beds; now that the corn is gone she has it to herself for a while, at least until I plant something else there!
Of course this nice weather never lasts long, and a couple of hours later my view from the kitchen was this: