Garden Edge and Grapefruit

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While there are plenty of photos of our vegetable garden there is much less evidence of the rest of the garden.  Some of it is quite naturalised and, in parts, overgrown.  We want to keep it as natural as possible but some areas require clearance of invasive weeds which are a real pest as they thrive in our high rainfall,  sub-tropical climate.  Little by little, we are planting native shrubs, in many cases, indigenous to the local area.

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This area alongside our western boundary fence had long been neglected.  As part of the preparation for the soon to be assembled garden shed we cleared the area and have planted 3 new shrubs.  In order to be able to maintain the area we have placed a rock edge about 1.5 metres from the fence.  The rocks were all sourced from our property.  Rocks are an abundant resource here and we use them for a multitude of purposes.

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As I mentioned in this post we have an orchard of about 10 citrus trees and were unfortunate enough to have an infestation of citrus fruit piercing moth a couple of months ago.  Whether it is their lifecycle, the cold weather or simply a natural progression, they appear to have moved on and I think the Valencia oranges may have been spared as well as some of the grapefruit and the netted mandarin.

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Today I picked several grapefruit – enough to make a batch of marmalade.  I sliced and soaked the fruit and will be making the marmalade tomorrow so will post all of the details then.

I started to cut them by hand.

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However, that proved too difficult so I heeded the advice of the recipe and used the thin slicing blade of my food processor which made short work of the job.  It was a simple matter of retrieving the ends of the quarters and slcing the last bits by hand.

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Soaking overnight.

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The Gorgeous Garden

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This weekend GMan and I have had 3 days at home so finally managed to catch up on some much needed work in the garden.  We have had a combination of plenty of rain plus some hot, sunny days over the past few weeks which has been a recipe for everything to grow crazily – especially the weeds.

Thankfully, the weather was not too hot and mostly fine this weekend.  GMan ploughed through everything on the mower and now I can actually see the vegetable garden area again.

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We also had a blitz in this area in front of the verandah.  The hibiscus we planted last year are doing really well and I think we need about 3 more.

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The weeds were going mad and there were piles of branches waiting to be mulched.  The mulching has been done and weeds mostly pulled up and discarded in the compost heap up the back.  The thickly mulched area in the background of the photo with cardboard/newspaper underneath has very little weed so we definitely need to get more mulch and finish the whole area.

This afternoon GMan planted the capsicum plants we bought last weekend and the 4 shrubs we bought at a new native plant nursery in Maleny.

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The plant in the foreground was a Christmas gift and has more than doubled in size in the 6 weeks since we planted it.  The one up closer to the road was also planted towards the end of last year.  The new plants are barely visible in the photo but can be identified by the areas were the lawn has been dug up.

Although it is not clear in the photo, this is quite a steep embankment and difficult to mow.  So, we have decided to cover the entire area with native shrubs and groundcovers.  Nothing will be more than a couple of metres high and we hope to have it densely covered and eliminate the lawn in this area entirely.  It may seem like a vain hope when you look at it now but here is a reminder of what can be achieved.

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This planting is along the front boundary a provides privacy from the road.  The whole area was just a wide expanse of lawn when we came here 10 years ago.  It took about 4 – 5 years to get this level of screening.

We have many grand ideas for the garden and look forward to getting more done but in the meantime it is gratifying to see how much we have achieved.  The chicken run, vegetable gardens and fencing in the first photo have all been established since we came here, the area in front of the verandah has been completely revamped and the native screening grown.  Many other areas of the garden tell a similar story.

I hope you enjoy seeing some snippets of our garden.

Spring has Sprung

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The last couple of days have been quite cool and grey so we are wondering where our lovely spring has gone.  However, we have had a bit of rain today which is very welcome as things are looking quite dry (all relative, of course, as we live in a high rainfall area).

2011-09-29 01Despite the grey weather we are enjoying the display from our flowering shrubs.

2011-09-29 02The birds, especially the rainbow lorikeets, love the nectar in this callistemon.

2011-09-29 03The photo is not the best but these are couple of the flowering shrubs on the verge which now screens the house from the roadway.

2011-09-29 04Finally, here is the liquidamber tree in glorious, fresh green foliage after being bare all winter.

I love my garden and the changes that the seasons bring.  Do you have a special measure of spring, apart from the actual temperature?

Till next time.  xxx