Reaping the Rewards

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I was away from home for a couple of days early in the week and did not think I had anything particular to share with you at the moment.

However, when I went down to the garden this morning I discovered that the sweet peas were flowering. I had planted them about 6 months ago along part of the fence in the vegetable garden area and barely taken any notice of them since. An occasional bit of supplementary watering but they really did not seem to be doing much and all of a sudden I have flowers.

Sweet peas, along with Iceland poppies, are two of my favourite old-fashioned flowers that I remember fondly from my childhood. The scent evokes strong memories and I cut some and brought them inside where I am enjoying them. I hope you do too.

The Patch – An Update


In my post from yesterday I mentioned the new garden hose.  GMan unpacked and set it up today.  Here it is.

2015-07-05 01The hose retracts onto the reel inside the case which swivels on the black spindle.  Here is another view with the hose slightly extended.

2015-07-05 02The 30 metre hose extends from the existing tap to the vegetable garden area.  We do need more hose to reach the blueberries and the yet-to-be-built beds on the far side.  We put some of the new fittings onto one of the old hoses and hung it inside the garden area.  That way we can extend the new hose, attach the extra bit and we can water the whole of the vegetable garden area with ease.

2015-07-05 03GMan put this bracket on one of the posts to store the extra hose.  The bracket was one that had come from my father and proved to be perfect for our needs.

I have really neglected the garden for several weeks but nevertheless we still have things growing.  I weeded the flower garden that I made a few months ago and found that I even had some flowers.

2015-07-05 04These heartsease had managed to grow from seed and thrive among the weeds.  I have weeded the bed and transplanted some so that there is now a border of them in front of the sweet peas.

2015-07-05 05Finally, I wanted to show you the garlic that I have growing and also the celery which is now ensconced in cut-down milk bottles to encourage the stems to grow upright in a bunch rather than spreading out everywhere.

2015-07-05 06I hope you have had a great weekend and that the weather has been kind enough to get outdoors.

Salvaged and Spread

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Now that the weather has finally moderated it is a great time to be out in the garden.

2015-04-18 01We took the ute up to the neighbour’s place to collect the first of 2 loads of mulch that they had kindly offered to us.  This was from when they had some trees trimmed and mulched about a month ago.  Although we have had some light rain in the past day or two the ground was not too wet and GMan was able to bring the ute close to where we wanted to use the mulch.

The newspaper collection has been replenished somewhat, thanks to the generosity of friends and also some that GMan collected from his office.

2015-04-18 02Once again, the newspaper and mulch covered pretty much the same area.  We now have more than half of the front garden deeply mulched.

2015-04-18 03Here are the first of the sweet pea seedling peeking their heads through the soil.  There are also some almost microscopic seedlings which I suspect are the snapdragon or heartsease that I sprinkled in front of the sweet peas.  I am very excited at the prospect of growing some old-fashioned flowers.

2015-04-18 04These are some of the flowers on one of the hibiscus shrubs in the front garden.  It is in the part that is yet to be mulched.

2015-04-18 05It was 4.30pm and I had just finished photographing the garden handiwork when I noticed that this sunshower.  It is the regular rain and relatively warm climate that we enjoy which keeps everything lush and green.  Of course, the rich, volanic soil helps, too.

Permaculture Principles or Plain Commonsense


Whatever you want to call them, there are things we can do in the garden that will save money and resources.

Here are a couple of projects we have been working on this weekend.

2012-08-05 01When we came here there were numerous shrubs/small trees planted close to the front verandah.  They provided some screening and privacy from the road.  Over time we planted a screening hedge of native shrubs along the boundary so the ones closer to the house became less important from a privacy point of view.  We extended the area in front of the verandah and slightly reduced the amount of lawn.  The shrubs have been pruned several times to try to keep the blow the level of the gutter.

Last year I decided on the final format for this area.  We will have a selection of flowering hibiscus in front of the verandah.  We bought 5 hibiscus at the Garden Expo in July last year and they have been progressing well.  However, one of them was beginning to struggle and we realised that it was being shaded by one of the grevilleas.  We cut down the three remaining shrubs, mulched everything that was small enough to go through the mulcher and cut the bigger branches into manageable lengths.

2015-04-06 02While Gman was mulching Istarted laying out newspapers (usually about 6 sheets at a time) and hosing them down to stop them blowing away.  The we piled the mulch we had made at one end.

2015-04-06 03This shows a close-up of the small logs that we used to create the back edge of the area to be mulched.

2015-04-06 04Here is the mulch spread out.  It was convenient that we ran out of mulch and newspapers at about the same time.  We are going to bring home whatever newspapers we can collect from work in order to continue our project.   There is still quite a bit to do as you can see from the next photo.

2015-04-06 05You can also see some of the hibiscus.  They seem to really be enjoying the full sun now that the overhanging shrubs have been cut down.  We have been offered a huge pile of mulch from the neighbours so that will go towards completing the mulching of this area.  The next job will be to buy some more hibiscus.

2015-04-06 06Finally, I wanted to show you the garden bed that I started last weekend.  It is now dug over, edged with rocks and seeds planted.  We have no shortage of rocks as they are everywhere on the block in all shapes and sizes.  I have planted sweet pea, snapdragon and heartsease seeds in the hope of having a border of colourful spring flowers.  The sweet peas are in a furrow close to the fence which will do double duty of keeping unwanted animals out of the vegie garden and being a trellis for the sweet peas.