Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Bay Tree

Everything is flowering. Even our bay tree. Spring is an absolutely amazing time of the year.

Here are the flowers of the bay tree.

Monday, 29 September 2008


We found our first baby apricots on the tree. There are tons of them. Well, we've seen that happen before and then failed to get a single apricot off our tree.

So this year we decided to net our tree very early. We put in 4 stardroppers, then slid 2" rural pipe over them crosswise. We did put netting over it, but there is no picture of that. Well, there is, but it looks messy. We have to redo it.

This week we will continue netting our cherry and plum trees as they are flowering profusely. One thing we learned when we did this tree - space the stardroppers better. The diameter has to be bigger so that when you slide the net over the polypipe it won't get stuck in branches sticking out. There has to be a bit more clearance.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Mad chicks growing

We checked on the chicks at our neighbours' on Friday. They (the chicks) have moved out of their little chicks' house and into the teenagers' party room. Plenty of space, far away from the main house, lots of light and clean straw. No neighbours to disturb. Party time!

However, there is still a bad mad (mad bad) one. Stand in the corner!
Oh, alright. Your friends may join you.

In about 2-3 weeks 12 of them will move over to our place. We have already prepared our chook shed. The present lot of chooks is in one part, and the new batch will be on the other side. The sides are divided by chicken wire mesh, so that they can see each other, but not mingle. This will give them an opportunity to get to know each other.

The neighbour gnomes have more progress reports. Check their blog.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Time to move!

The tomato seedlings had grown heaps since I repotted them. There was no way I could keep them on the window sill much longer.

Here they are, before the move, still enjoying the view. However the ones on the shelf below had to crouch and were not happy.

So, the last view of the whole lot, from outside.

Then a new home had to be built. A few hours later (this gnome is not a professional cold frame builder, so these things take a bit longer) the new home was ready.

One lot is already inside, the next lot is ready to go.

Ahh.... room to move, uh..grow.
Nighty night!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Crazy Salad

We didn't know what to have for tea last night. So I looked in the fridge and pantry to see what needed to be used up. Ah.. sweet potato, green beans, big couscous (can't remember what it is really called - the big round pea-sized balls of couscous). Then I vaguely remembered a recipe I had read on a blog. I didn't take the time to look it up again, so all I remembered was that you dice your vegetables, roast them, then toss them in some dressing together with some fresh greenery. You can imagine my surprise when I looked it up this morning and I read the full recipe.
It's still a crazy salad. Must be - the blog writer is Crazy Mumma!

I used sweet potato, green beans, carrots and celery. Diced so that they are roasted in the same time. Tossed these bits in olive oil, salt & pepper, chilli, ground cumin, freshly-chopped rosemary & sage. On to a baking tray and into the oven for about 20 minutes. Don't forget to add some cloves of garlic (in their skin) and some shelled walnuts.

Meantime, make a dressing of freshly-chopped parsley, extra-virgin olive oil, salt & pepper and some fresh lemon juice.

Then boil the couscous until it's done (takes forever when you are hungry and watching it boil!). This big couscous is boiled just like pasta.

While all that is going on, have a walk in the garden with your colander and pick some leafy greens. Usual stuff - Komatsuna, Chinese Broadleaf Celery, Wild Rocket.

Put everything - roast veggies, couscous, greenery - in the bowl with the dressing, squeeze in roasted garlic and toss.

Delicious. Crazy.
One day I might actually follow the original recipe.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Tasmanian Mountain Pepper

Finally! This plant is starting to grow a bit and it even developed some flower buds. That is really exciting. It has been in the ground for about 3 years, but due to the extreme seasons we have had the last 2 years it hasn't grown much. I am just happy that it survived! Good luck, little Mountain Pepper!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Busy around the plum flowers

The plum tree is flowering beautifully. Bees and butterflies are busy flying from one flower to another.

This butterfly obliged and posed for the camera.

Open the wings.

Close the wings. Thank you.

Feed me!

Flowering orchids.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Duckling Alert!

Yes! The first sighting of ducklings. Let's hope they will all survive and live to be big ducks.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Hail, hail...


A fierce, icy wind is howling out there. An occasional hail shower dumps pea-sized hail stones en masse on to our garden. I hesitate to think what the just-emerged seedlings in the garden are doing.

View from the balcony on to the hill:

Front paddock:

View from the balcony towards our dam:

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Apricot Blossoms #2

What a magnificent spring day it has been! Look at that sky!

The apricot tree has now started flowering. The bees are still a bit scarce, but I'm hoping there'll be more around soon.

Friday, 12 September 2008

The little ones are getting bigger

...and starting to enjoy the view from the window sill.
Same planter box - different angle.
This is an assortment of tomato seedlings. There are way too many varieties and seedlings. But I'm sure we'll find a good home for them when the time comes.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008


...was nice again. Fresh from the garden. Komatsuna, Chinese Broadleaf Celery, Lamb's Lettuce, Wild Rocket, Red Cos, Green Cos, Purple Carrots.

Topped with some toasted almonds, bread cubes, garlic.
Tip: When snipping off flower buds from your vegetable plants (Komatsuna, Chinese Broadleaf Celery, Radish), don't throw them over the fence to your chooks and sheep - throw them into your salad! Delicious.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Prune and mulch

...the looooong row of hydrangeas. We were a bit late this year due to the cold and wet winter. Normally we'd prune them back some time in June or July.

This is a small section of the row. Pruning in progress.

Same spot from different angle.

Pile them up and put them through the mulcher.
Fantastic mulch! There are now about 12 big bags of mulch in the shed. They will be gone in no time at all.

Saturday, 6 September 2008


This is always a stunning patch in spring. Great colour, great foliage.
Soon flower buds will be developing and artichoke madness will descend upon us. Yeah!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Apricot Blossoms

Our apricot tree is laden with flower buds. They haven't opened yet, but I expect them to do so in a day or two.

It would be marvellous if these flowers turned into fruit that we could harvest. We haven't had an apricot glut yet - but I could imagine we would thoroughly enjoy it!


Freshly baked bread. Leafy greens from the garden, with a little extra-virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Freshly pulled carrots - Purple Dragon and Red-Cored Chantenay. How simple - how nice! (And probably pretty healthy, too!)