Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Protea after the rain

Yesterday's picture was a close-up of this protea.

It was taken after the rain, when the sun was struggling to come out.

Thanks for playing the guessing game with me. :)

Monday, 29 June 2009

Have a guess

Whatcha reckon this could be?

Friday, 26 June 2009

Four Days Left...

...to win one of these mad prizes!

So don't hesitate - send in your gnomes!

We've already had fantastic entries:

Kel's cranky gnome

Stewart's happy gnome

Telela's noodle gnome

Pip's favourite gnome

Latest entry: Jacqui's wayward gnome

Last entry: Maggie's musical gnome

Come on, folks! Show us your gnomes! I know you want to! :)

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

What do you do when...

... you are feeling poorly?

Winter is a great time to do so. Colds lurk everywhere. Flower Gnome kindly shared hers with me. Thanks!

Sit on the sofa, rugged up in a thick sheep wool blanket, in front of the fire. Sip a lemon/ginger/honey concoction. Doze and read.
I usually surround myself with my 'comfort books':

My big pile of 'Snoopy' books - that's when you know I'm feeling really crappy. Or read Harry Potter. Again. Or, now that I've finally found a copy at the Oxfam bookshop: Michael Ende 'Die Unendliche Geschichte' (=Neverending Story). This was made into a film which only shows about 5? 10? percent of the whole story in the book.

Anyway, the child within is pleased. Appeased?

So, what do YOU do when you are feeling poorly?

Monday, 22 June 2009

Lady William

A peek under the 'veil' (netting) greets you with this sight!
Gorgeous, bright red apples! This is a late variety and can be left on the tree as late as August.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Calendula in the morning

Bright and cheerful. Announcing a new day!

Petals scattered over our salad in the evening. Bright and cheerful. Ending a busy day.

Life is good, when you are not a calendula. :)

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

50 million dollars and...

... all this lottery winner can think of is to bring in an expert to show him how to grow better carrots! Love it! :)

May he enjoy a glut of carrots!

Healthy free-range life

Our chooks are still breaking into our fruit/flower/veggie gardens. This keeps us very fit as it forces us to have frequent breaks from work. They seem to take particular delight in sneaking past the office window and then starting to cackle out of sight.

We caught this one trying to sneak a peek around the corner.
It saw us and thought, 'Run away!'
Ps.: Keep the gnome pictures for the mad give-away coming! We are having a lot of fun meeting all these gnomes! Good work!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Close up of...

Any guesses?
Clue - it is flowering at the moment.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Send in the gnomes...

...for a mad give-away!

No reason, just because we can.

Rules? We would like to see a picture of your favourite gnome(s). Or a funny picture of the same. Or a unique gnome. Really, just entertain us with a gnome picture. Either send it to us via the email to the right. Or post it on your blog and send us the link either via email or in a comment in this post.

All readers and gnomes of this world are welcome!No, these gnomes are not part of the give-away. They are my nephews - all dressed up to go to the Oktoberfest. Yes, we train them young.

Deadline? Hmm... How about until the end of June. This should give you plenty of time to send in your pictures.


1 Kiva gift certificate. Inspired by Taurus Rising, I would like to share the goodness. Make a loan of your choice with a Kiva gift certificate.

1 brand-new copy of The Silver Spoon. The Italian cook's bible. It's a magnificent collection of Italian recipes. For some strange reason we have a spare copy of it here. However, it is the American edition, therefore in 'funny' measurements. Unfortunately, it is a heavy tome and the postage to send it overseas would be a bit steep. So this prize is only for readers in Australia. Sorry.

1 pre-loved copy of Marcella's Kitchen. Marcella Hazan's book of classic Italian cooking. It may be pre-loved but it is in pretty good nick. The book offers great Italian recipes! Again, for some strange reason, we have a spare copy of this invaluable Italian cookbook.

1 assortment of organic, open-pollinated vegetable and herb seeds. This should keep you busy in the garden. Or great as a starter pack for someone who would love to get started with growing veggies and herbs from seeds.
Heirloom tomatoes, capsicums, basil, chillies, lettuce, pumpkins, asparagus, beetroot, cucumbers, eggplants, etc... Can be selected according to growing conditions and/or likes & dislikes of the winner.

The Kiva certificate and Marcella book are for everyone - wherever you may be. The seed assortment is open to everyone, too, but please be aware there might be countries that prohibit the importation of certain seeds. So if you live in such a country, please let me know and I can leave out the 'offending' seeds.

So. Send in the gnomes! Don't be shy! Even if you have never ever posted a comment here or anywhere. Go for it! :)

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Loquat tree

Remember a while ago I cut back the loquat tree drastically? I only left two lower branches with flowers. The rest were left as stumps to be cut back further at a later stage.

Well, the flowers look like this now.

The stumps are developing new shoots.
Amazing thing, this tree.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Crabapple Wine #2

The crabapple wine had finished its second fermentation, so it was time to syphon it off into storage jars.

It was also a dark, rainy and cold long weekend. Perfect to tackle the crabapple wine.
It didn't really take long. Have everything ready, syphon off through muslin cloth, put lid on new jar. Taste the liquid to see whether it's worth the effort. Yes. Not bad. Now I just hope it will clear a bit. It is still very murky.

Friday, 5 June 2009


... Amanita muscaria, or fly agaric.

No, we did NOT have them for tea.

They were just too pretty to ignore.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Bits and pieces

Probably one of the last pickings of chillies and capsicum.
One lone Black Salsify (Scorzonera).

Isn't the Chocolate Capsicum in the middle gorgeous?!
Golden Nuggets. Hmm.... what to do with those in the next few months? They do not keep as well as pumpkins.

There are some other tiny pumpkins in the box. Definitely not big enough for soup - thank goodness!

Granny Smith was shedding her load. She was very stressed this summer. One big branch broke off in the height of the heat wave. Another branch broke off later. We had to pick the apples far too early. Normally they are ready in about July. So... lots of very tart grannies around here!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Spot the...

...well, what do you think that could be?

Have a good look.

It's an echidna! It pretended to be a rock when it noticed me.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Of carrots, onions and leeks

The carrot bed had to be redone. The curtain cover did not work, as the seeds seem to have gone to sleep. So, off with the cover, scatter more Purple Dragon Carrot seeds on to the bed and cover thinly with worm compost. On with the netting, as the chooks were watching me through the fence.
The worm compost was fantastic! Tons of worms in the bag, so now I am thinking how to make a worm farm? The compost came from some roadside shopping we did at Easter. I love roadside shopping. Wish there was more stuff for sale!

The bed on the right hand side had to be cleared, dug over, fed and then mulched. Little rows made into the mulch and onion seedlings planted.

You can't really see them in the picture above. Maybe if you look closely you can see some thin, green thingies.

On with the netting!Over at the leek bed, the leeks are powering along! I planted the same amount again just to the right of them. Let's hope they'll do as well as these!

Monday, 1 June 2009

When my carrots...

...are grown up they want to join this guy:

Ps.: This was not at all the post I had originally planned. The Power of Carrots! Do visit the World Carrot Museum.