Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hooray! Hooray!

The peaches are nearly ready!
And this year - they are going to be MAGNIFICENT!
We've had a sneaky early one - and it was just about the best peach I've ever eaten!

The crop isn't as big as last year's but there are still a lot of them!

Photos: Home - 27th Mar, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So Cute

Aren't baby vegetables CUTE?
I grew this one from a seed - it's about 4cm (1 inch) long.
It's the first zucchini I've ever grown.
It's called Midnight and it's especially for containers (I ran out of room in the vegie patch!).
I planted it on 26 Jan - so just 2 months from seed to vegie.
And the schtinkin cabbage butterflies won't touch it!

Photo: Home - 21 Mar, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011


Remember Gabriel Gate - that french chef fellow who used to be on Bert on the tele and talked about hunions and hepples and cooking in the huven?
Well, that rather took my fancy and forever more, to me they will always be "hepples".

Guess what I know about growing hepples?

Remember I spoke of how about 3 or 4 years ago we wanted to buy an investment property in a country town but we accidentally ended up living in it? Well, we had another crack at it about a year ago and bought a lovely brick home built 45ish years ago by Mr and Mrs Pendlebury.
One of the wonderful things about the Pendlebury's house was, that it was built on nearly half an acre and it had a street at the front and a street at the back.
That meant that half the yard and the house could be for the tenants and the other half - the huge backyard and garden shed could be for us!
And there I could plant all the stuff that wouldn't fit in our own home yard.
So far, at Pendlebury Hill (see what I did there? It's on a hill and the Pendleburys built it - genius!), I've planted a Quince, an Olive, a Pomegranate, Raspberry Canes, a Blueberry bush, a Dahlia patch, and the beginning of a rose garden.
(This is to accompany the White Mulberry, the Black Mulberry, the Lemon, the Navel Orange, the Washington Orange, the Emperor Mandarin, the White Nectarine, the Tahitian Lime, the Kaffir Lime, the Bay tree, the Passionfruit vine, the Grape vine and the Loquat I have already planted at our own house - and the rose garden, and the vegie patch and the 35,000 (maybe an exaggeration) different ornamentals and natives! Lawdy, lawdy, I've been busy the last 3 years!)

before he died last year, Mr Pendlebury dropped in to see me and wish us well for the future and we got talking about the garden.
He told me about the two apple trees he had planted and how they had six different varieties growing on them.
Isn't that amazing?
You can just splice different fruit onto one trunk and they will all live together quite happily doing their own thing.

because I didn't really know anything about caring for apple trees and at the time I was a little pre-occupied with other stuff - I pretty much left them to their own devices for the last 12 months.
As if they needed my help!
The two little trees are FULL of apples.
Stupidly, I didn't ask Mr Pendlebury what exactly the different varieties were.
I'm pretty sure I've got a Granny Smith.
A Golden Delicious.
A Red Delicious.
Does anyone know what these ones might be?

Photos: March, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dirty Little Blighters

I'm frequently at war with some dastardly critter in my garden.
Presently, it's the white cabbage butterfly Pieris Rapae.

I quite like the butterflies - they flit all over the garden and make me feel all "English Country Garden".
But they lay eggs - LOTS OF EGGS!
And the eggs turn into caterpillars.
Fat green caterpillars.
And the caterpillars chow down on my nasturtiums and Bok Choy and Cauliflower and Broccoli seedlings.
See those eggs there on my Bok Choy?

Having had a rather nasty dose of cancer in my household already, I am loathe to use any toxic chemicals on the food we eat, so I will always search for a low-impact remedy to control pessstssss, bugsss and aphidssss (anyone remember good old Allan Seale and his sibilant "s"? I loved that ad - I wish someone would put it on youtube).

the interwebs suggested egg shell halves might work.
Apparently, cabbage butterflies are territorial and they think the eggshells are other cabbage butterflies so they fly away and find somewhere else to lay eggs.
Lots of people have had great success with this method.
I didn't think cabbage butterflies could be that dumb.

So half a carton of eggs later.....
it turns out Ararat cabbage butterflies are of a superior intellect.
You'll notice they indulge in no pretence, they laid their eggs right next to my deterrent.

Now, I'm going in for round 2 - a little concoction of molasses and pure soap.
I've heard the caterpillars would rather starve than eat leaves coated in molasses.
Whaddya reckon?
Is it gunna work?

Photos: Home - Feb&Mar 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Amazing Pinkie Rose

When we bought this house 3ish years ago in a Victorian country town, it was originally intended as an investment property.
It was a pretty daggy house but it was in a great position and was structurally sound.

We didn't have a lot of money for renovations, so anything we did to prettify the appearance from the street, had to be achieved via the garden.

Anyway...the house had these weird brick pillars holding up the little front verandah.
They were very u-u-u-ugly.
Our options were to replace them, paint them (which always looks like a lame attempt to beautify) or hide them.

At our house in the city, I had a lot of success with a Climbing Gold Bunny.
When it was in full flower, it used to stop people in the street and they would take photos. It was extra special coz my Grandma gave me $20 when we first bought our city house to buy a rose for the garden.
I loved my Grandma.
And she loved roses.

So I thought some climbing roses on the pillars might work - to hide and distract.
But there was concrete on the ground along the front of the verandah.
I didn't know if it would work, but I got Dad and Vince to cut 2 square holes in the concrete in which I could plonk a couple of roses.

And guess what!
The Pinkie Roses love it!
Their roots stay nice and cool and just moist and the leaves bake against the bricks.
Absolutely ideal.
It never fails to amaze my Mum - "I can't believe it grows out of that little hole in the cement!"
They are a real show-stopper.
And the great thing about that is, when people walk by and you are in the garden, they will comment on it and that is such a great way to strike up a conversation and get to know your neighbours.
Especially the older ones, who always have good stories.

Oh yeah - and we loved our little investment property and the little country Victorian town so much - we packed up our city lives and moved into it.
Best decision - EVER!

1,2,4&5: Nov, 2010
3. Oct, 2007


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