Tag Archives: gardening

Purple haze

There is an old homestead at Battle Hill.

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It is an Information office now but look what they have planted in the garden and what was almost moving with the activity of the myriads of bumble bees working the flowers.

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The scent of lavender was heady in the increasing heat of the morning.

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The gardener was busy weeding and feeling very relaxed in such a lovely garden.

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Making the bed

With a storm full of rain predicted to hit our area tomorrow I decided to get out and make the bed in preparation for this year’s garlic crop.

Garlic crop 2011

I had forked the soil over a day or so ago while the sun shone on my back. Today I dug through a generous quantity of sheep pellets and added this sweet smelling, no cost maple leaf hummus and some stinky half rotted sea weed out of my seaweed tea bucket.

Once it has rained and soaked all these goodies deep into the soil I have some lime to add plus a sprinkling of bulb food. I will plant the garlic at the time of the shortest day.

Perhaps it will be consistently cold by then which assists in the growth of garlic cloves. Many of our spring bulbs are leaping out of the ground as the mix of warm days and some chillier ones continues.

While out in the garden before the storm force winds hit we gathered up a large plastic bag full of maple tree leaves to begin the slow break down process to provide us with even more leafy hummus next year. This year I added a good quantity of sheep pellets to ensure better decomposition.

Nature has provided well for the garlic bed this year.

Better beets

Gardening is a mysterious occupation and the mystery often remains unsolved despite our best human efforts.

These baby beetroot are part of my third attempt at growing a small crop of beetroot.

The first crop was a dismal failure which I shrugged off as “one of those things that happen when gardening”. I had no prior experience with this particular plant so I figured I hadn’t got something right.

I optimistically planted a second crop and gave the plants a lot more attention. I made sure the plants were watered, had plenty of sunshine and fed but again I was very disappointed to find that the beets were very small at harvest.

Not to be beaten, although my spirits were low, I went on to the internet to see what I could find about growing beetroot. I was fully expecting to find that I had missed a critical factor or two. But information I found reassured me that I was doing everything right.

With this determined attitude I planted baby beets in mid March this year with intentions to harvest them in early May. Lo and behold I have a good sized crop of baby beetroot.

What made the difference? I would have to suspect it was the sudden and prolonged period of warm weather we experienced and then some wonderfully, soaking rain that saw the beets swell up in size within a day or two. But I can’t be sure.

I have been a gardener for long enough to know I can’t beat nature, but like many gardeners I return to planting in the hope that the crops will eventuate if I care for them appropriately. I also know that every so often I manage to catch perfect growing conditions and magic happens alongside the mystery of it all.

Sometimes you just have to do something different

My goal yesterday morning was to crochet a small flower embellishment for a wee tunic I had knitted.

I have to confess to putting this seemingly small task off for a number of months now.

But the garment needs to be completed and with the weather looking cloudy and windy I gathered the resources I needed.

My skills with a crochet hook are pretty minimal but the pattern told me “easy”, “simple to make”, “basic” and so I told myself I could do this.

Hmmm 2 hours later my fingers and thumbs were in a muddle, the number of “undoings” was mounting, as was my frustration level.

Right I thought I’ve given this a good go, I’ll go and do something completely different and come back to the crochet later.

The garden work eased my frustration and allowed my brain circuits to focus on weeds but to keep processing what I’d learnt in the morning.

Once back to my crochet project my good old brain suggested I try something new with the crochet hook and suddenly I could see progress and something appearing in my hands that resembled the picture in the pattern. I perservered, reread the instructions, tweaked my approach and voila I had done it!

It really does pay to change pace, environment or activity when things don’t go well or the ideas dry up. All the while trusting that our clever brains are still working on the problem. Then return to the task with freshness and (hopefully) success.

Carpet rose

When we purchased this white carpet rose we envisaged a low growing plant that was easy to care for and which produced an abundance of flowers.

It is easy to care for and it does produce prolifically but low growing NO! It is even bigger this season despite the good prune it received during the winter and the surprise of snow falling on it in August. Its spent petals look like snow on the ground now.

Gardening brings it surprises.