Friday 2 January 2015

Shade House

Summer has struck with a vengeance. 42C are forecast today.
Even when the plants receive enough water (not always the case around here), the sun can burn some of the bigger-leaved plants.
These shade houses are easy and quick to put up. They are also very quick to dismantle, and can therefore be as temporary or permanent as you want them to be.
Take a length of light-weight rebar, push one end into the ground, then form a tunnel and push the other end into the ground. Put some shade cloth over the structure. Tada!

Monday 27 October 2014

All dressed up...

...and nobody to scare.

Halloween isn't celebrated around here. So, I wonder why that little bug bothered?
Does anyone have an idea what bug that could be? It looks quite funky, doesn't it? :)

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Honey ice-cream

First ice-cream of the season. Honey.
 Only 3 ingredients. Cream, eggs, honey.

Just perfect for this warmer weather. :)

Thursday 2 October 2014

Spring pasta!

The neighbour's ducks are laying like crazy. Yeah! We received quite a bit of that bounty, and the first thing that springs to mind - Pasta! Duck eggs are just perfect for making pasta, and baking. But that will have to wait.

So on to making tagliatelle.

Broad beans and asparagus from the garden. Some leftover chicken. Plenty of parsley. A perfect meal! :)

Monday 29 September 2014

Jostaberry flowers

Everything is going wild in the garden. Here are some flowers of the jostaberry.
The jostaberry is a cross between a blackcurrant and gooseberry. The berries are big and black,  with a lovely taste. The plant is really hardy and easy to grow. I am already looking forward to picking some berries in summer.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

The window sill is getting crowded

Spring is always crazy. The first seedlings have moved from the propagation boxes to the window sill.
Some have already had to move further. On to the decking outside, but where they are still protected from frost.

How is your spring planting/sowing going? Isn't it a marvellous time of the year?!
Crazy busy but wonderful.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

First seedlings!

The propagation boxes seem to work well. The first seedlings emerged after only a few days.
They are now basking in the sunshine on the window sill - making room for the next seeds in the box.
The weather is glorious at the moment. Frosty mornings, then warm sunshine during the day. :) The spring air is filled with hope and expectations.

Monday 18 August 2014

Propagation box

It's still winter, but now is the time to start the first seeds. I am keen to have some biggish seedlings when it is finally time to start planting. Chillis, capsicums and eggplants seem to need longer to grow to a decent size. What to do?

Make your own propagation box!

Take some styrofoam boxes.

Add heat mats (in this case they are actually reptile mats).

Put your trays on that. (The seedling punnets will go in there.)

Cover with an old window.

Get yourself a thermometer with a probe, so that you can measure the temperature of the tray.

Start sowing! :)
As you may be able to see in the picture, the temperature inside the box climbed to 24C within a few minutes.

Monday 11 August 2014

Frosty mornings

...and this succulent is still looking good!
Hope all is well with everyone! Life is good here. :)

Friday 21 June 2013

Meet the Big Boy!

Here is our new rooster. He's a big boy! We don't have a name for him yet, any suggestions? At the moment we call him - wait for it - Big Boy!
This is his first morning with our girls. He was a bit reluctant to get off the perch. Can't blame him, the weather is pretty bad today.

He is pretty, isn't he? Also very gentle with the girls so far.

Wednesday 5 June 2013


Just picked all our persimmons (they are from the certified organic orchard we have taken over).
They are looking absolutely gorgeous. There are several varieties, but unfortunately we don't know what they are. They are definitely astringent, that's for sure. Believe me, I tried them all. And I have
the furry lips, mouth, gums, teeth to prove it!
Now we'll have to wait till they are really soft and enjoy the lot. What a hardship. :)

Friday 31 May 2013

The ladybirds are back!

They usually invade our house in Autumn. It's quite a conversation piece, when friends visit and they notice all these ladybirds along the cornices.
They slowly disappear and by Winter they are all gone again. Where to? Who knows?

Wednesday 27 February 2013

First apples of the season

Galas. Super juicy, sweet and crisp. Absolutely delicious.

This year's crop is just great. Hardly any blemishes. Good size. And quite a few off the tree. The rain moved in, so we had to stop picking. So, two great things at the same time - apples and rain. (It's been an incredibly dry summer, so rain is an exciting and very rare event at the moment.)
Excuse me, I have to go and eat another apple! :)

Sunday 17 February 2013

Eggplant 'Tsakonikis'

This is a Greek heirloom eggplant.
It's the first time I am growing this. It's a fairly early eggplant, and you can see this even at our place! I don't usually have such big fruit on our plants at this time of summer. I will let it grow a little big bigger, then harvest it. It'll be interesting to cook with it. Can't wait! :)

Friday 15 February 2013

Thank you, Mr. Fothergill's!

This parcel arrived out of the blue! And what a lovely selection of seeds it is. Grasses, vegetables and flowers. Some of them as a seed tape.
I had experimented with Mr. Fothergill's selection last Winter and Spring. There are quite a few pictures, too. (On the computer.) As you may have noticed, they and the write-up did not make it on to the blog. Life (and work) got in the way.
I absolutely loved the Tomato cup (just add water). The germination was fantastic, and the seedlings were extremely healthy. I did transplant them on to bigger pots, as the cup is too small to grow this little tomato plant in there for the whole season. The tomatoes are very tasty!

The seed tapes with the radishes rocked! Easy to put on the ground, cover and water. Lovely radishes they were, too!

The carrots were a winner, too. So far, the seeds I have received, have done well. Good germination, then healthy plants.

Thanks again to the good folks at Mr. Fothergill's! I'll try to write a bit more about their seeds and products throughout the season. :)