Thursday, 29 May 2008

Welcome to the world...

... little Lily Kate! :)

The newest gnome.
Hello, Great Aunt Flower Gnome!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

We'll be rich!!

Our new tank arrived this morning! (~~Little happy dance~~)

We had put up the earth ring on the weekend. Filled it with 3 tons of dolomite sand and then it was ready.
This morning I covered the sand with malthoid, so that the tank would not interact with the dolomite once it was sitting on it.

Our neighbour came over to help and together with the driver who delivered the tank we rolled the tank from the roadside to the woodshed. Together we were able to lift it on top of the earth ring and adjust it properly.

Ahhh...the beauty of it! Well, we still have to put the gutters on the woodshed and then connect the tank. But we'll get there.

The other big tank, which is the same size (13.500 litres) as this one, is already full. It will overflow after the next rain. Heaven! Ahhhh..... life is good! We feel rich now as we will have water for the veggie and berry garden this summer. Plus we will set some aside for fire fighting.

Paw Paw Pumpkin

We met up with some fellow gardeners and seed savers on Sunday. We have been meeting fairly regularly - every 3-4 months - for the last 3 years or so. This has always been a good opportunity to show off our produce and swap seeds & seedlings.
Unfortunately, 2 of our good friends are leaving for a new adventure in New Zealand. We will miss you!

This is a Paw Paw Pumpkin. They are fairly small - therefore manageable - pumpkins.
The whole pumpkin.

Cut in half. The colour is a very deep, rich orange. We haven't tasted it yet, but shall do so very soon

Monday, 26 May 2008

Cold frame

Another experiment.

There were 3 very healthy, self-sown tomato seedlings in a big pot with an orange tree. I decided that the orange tree (it is still a seedling) needed some space and all the nutrients it could get and pulled out the tomatoes. Hmm...they were far too healthy to be dumped in the compost or thrown over the fence to feed the sheep and chooks. Oh well, why not put them in the cold frame and see what happens? I won't need the cold frame until late winter/early spring anyway.

The cold frame is part of a raised compost bed.

Close-up of tomatoes in the cold frame.

Good luck, little seedlings!

Friday, 23 May 2008

Garlic box

This is a little experiment. Growing garlic in a stryofoam box. (And some other veggies, but more about that later. Maybe.)

The box of garlic freshly planted.

12 days later.

Curry plant

This is a plant that just look stunning in a herb garden. It is easy to maintain - give it a good haircut after flowering - and that's about it. No watering. No fuss.
I don't use it in any of my cooking, but I am open to suggestions as to usage.
I love the scent when you crush its leaves between your fingers.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The travelling gnomes are back!

Did you miss us?

We had a fantastic time on our holiday! We were able to catch up with a lot of wonderful people. We enjoyed lots of great food, wine, laughter and fun. The weather was perfect. (There were some heavy showers, but they are always welcome. It's WATER!)

A big thank you to friends and relatives who opened their homes and gardens to us. You made this holiday special!

We came back to a very wet and luscious green garden. I haven't tallied the readings from the rain gauge yet. The old gnomes jotted them into our farm diary.

Everything has grown incredibly during the past few days. As soon as it is dry enough for a longish walk around the garden I shall take some pictures.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Vampire-free zone

I may have gone overboard with my garlic planting this year. However, we use a lot of it in our cooking so it will not be wasted. There are quite a few patches around the garden where I planted garlic.

This was planted 2 weeks ago. The sticks and stakes are there to protect the beds from some of the wildlife (rabbits, hares, ducks, etc.), the oldest chook in the place (which likes to sneak into the garden to mess up the mulch and dislodge seedlings, etc.) and the neighbours' cats.

This garlic was planted first. I can't remember how long ago that was.

I used garlic from friends' gardens. They supplied very fat cloves and these should yield big heads.

The beds are enriched with horse manure, mushroom compost, compost and a thick layer of pea straw.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Tank Manhole

We kept thinking how small that manhole in our tank was. I mean 'manhole' would suggest that it would fit a man. Yes? Well, look at this. What do you think? That looks awfully small, doesn't it?

Well, I decided to see how big it looked without the lid.
Much better. I was confident I could slip in and out of the tank via this manhole. Now on to sealing the seams at the bottom of the tank. There were some really mangled bits (remember our tank that went a-flying through the night?) and they received an extra layer of the waterproof bitumen rubber. This was easy to apply, didn't smell (important inside a tank) and dried very quickly.

I did 4 layers on the bottom half of the tank (gnomes are small and can't stretch to 3 metres). The next day we rolled the tank so that we could do the other half of the tank.

But I was soooo sore after all this climbing in and out I only did one more round next day. The rest of the layers were left to the Flower Gnome.

This is the inside of the tank after a layer or two.

Fingers crossed that this tank is now completely sealed and ready to hold all the water that is supposed to flow in during winter.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Busy Bee

The bees absolutely love our neighbours' flowering gum. They were busily buzzing about while I was taking pictures.

Little Flowering Gum

...with masses of magnificent pink flowers. This beauty is at our neighbours' place.

It's only a little tree.
Take off your hats!
Various stages of undress.

One branch.