Archive | September, 2011

Move over Jamie Durie!

27 Sep

It’s been a while, but I promise I’ve been using the time wisely πŸ™‚

We have hit spring here Down Under and as we’ve been having some fabulous weather, instead of going crazy waiting to start the next stage of my life, I’ve been keeping busy in the garden.

Obviously, once upon a time, our new house was occupied by at least one green thumb as there were many established garden beds, about 5 water tanks, a compost heap, drip irrigation systems, a green house, an in-built bbq and even chicken enclosures! However, in recent years, the entire lot has been completely neglected (obviously the recent house occupants were not as taken with gardening) and left to become completely overgrown and a little derelict. Giant weeds (and random bricks from a house renovation) had taken over all the garden beds, the BBQ had crumbled, the green house and the compost heap had become dumping grounds. See pictures below (Apologies, I’m not the best photographer, the first two sets are supposed to be panoramic!!):

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Well, it took several days of chopping back, digging, brick redistribution (!) and lots of sweat but it’s finally starting to come together:

 

This was just a higglety pigglety area of overgrown bushes and brick & concrete paths. I had several plants from our old house that I needed to dig in somewhere so we (Bob helped me out here, in fact this was the first part we tackled, and I think he was scared off! πŸ˜‰ ) created this drought resistant garden bed which I love as I am such a huge fan of pine-bark gardens πŸ˜€

 

This was the old compost heap turned dumping ground. After digging out all the ENORMOUS weeds and removing all bricks and rubbish, I was left with amazingly fertile soil from the original compost heap which I raked and flattened out. Now I’m going to turn it into a potato patch πŸ˜€ As planting supermarket potatoes can introduce disease into your soil, I am going to mail-order 40 certified seed potatoes (Pontiac variety as it’s an extremely verstaile potato) which I will plant in asap.

 

This was an overgrown garden bed area cross makeshift BBQ.Β  I have now created 3 separate garden beds using the bricks found lying around the garden and cultivated them using some of the amazing soil from the above plot. Yesterday I planted onions, cucumber and yellow squash in the front beds and peas in the back bed πŸ˜€Β  Of course, when planting seeds, birds are the No 1 threat in the those early weeks so I also am delighted to introduce Thelma & Louise!

 

Unfortunately I don’t have a before photo of this area but again, it was just mainly overgrown ( much like the back of the pictures). I actually liked the wildness of this space, tangled vines and such,Β  so I left the back half to its own devices but the front beds were just too good to go to waste ( plus I need more planting space!). To the back right I have planted some more peas and I am planning to grow my herbs in the front right section and use the left bed for tomatoes, but I am currently growing the seeds for Grosse Lisse tomatoes, oregano, parsley, basil and a cutting for mint in the Greenhouse before planting πŸ˜€

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my clean up I also came across a previously unused compost bin (with open bottom and screw on lid), so I weeded one of the enclosures and leveled it out so I could place and secure the bin there. It is my first ever compost bin and I have to admit to a small thrill each time I have thrown (suitable) waste in it so far and I can’t wait to use my first ever homemade compost….sad I know ;D

 
So, this is how I am keeping my brain occupied these days, and it’s got us well on the way to living more sustainably which is my end goal. As I am pretty much a gardening novice, any tips, advice or gardening stories would be greatly appreciated!! πŸ˜€

 

Fact No 10: Wolves can walk and run on their toes. It makes their legs longer and nimble so they can run with speed and catch fast prey!

 

Thank You!!!!

22 Sep

Wow, I’ve been nominated by two of my fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award πŸ˜€ What an amazing honour!!

Firstly, a huge thank you to both these bloggers and a little about them below (hopefully the links work, took me a minute to figure it out πŸ˜‰ ):

http://maturestudenthanginginthere.wordpress.com/

Jacqueline has recently returned to study.Β  Her blog is full of her experiences of trying to hold down a full time job, family stuff, being a carer, study – and sometimes all the bits in between πŸ˜€ An immensely enjoyable read, so definitely check it out!

http://studyingparent.wordpress.com/

Studying Parent is an Ex Nurse and Midwife who is in the process of applying to work towards a PhD in English Literature. Mother of 3 teenaged daughters: 16yrs, about to go to college to do A levels and 13yr old identical twins, about to go into year 9. Wife to an IT person, carerΒ of two elderly cats, one of whom needs lots of TLC. Extremely inspiring blog (especially for me whose ultimate (studying) goal is to get my PhD) πŸ˜€

There are a few rules that go along with this award, so in the spirit of it all here goes.Β  I have to….

1.Β  Thank the person who shared the award with you by linking back to them in your post (as above)
2.Β  Pass this award to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know that you included them in your blog post (see below)
3.Β  List 7 things about yourself.
So here goes with my 7 things (deep breath):

1. I have a pretty unhealthy obsession with vinegar

2. I hate shopping (except for garden supplies πŸ˜‰ )

3. About 8 years ago, Melbourne, Australia succeeded in curing my wanderlust. I still love to travel but now I have roots πŸ™‚

4. I only learned to walk in heels aged 25

5. I am more selfish than I like to believe

6. We get the paper delivered every morning and I sit with it open next to me whilst actually reading it online

7. I have re-read some of my favourite books up to 20 times!

And here are my recently discovered blogs, covering everything from wildlife to mature aged students to sustainable gardening to cooking to fiction writing πŸ˜€

http://zucchiniisland.blogspot.com/

http://cookingdownunder.com/blog/

http://foldingfittedsheets.wordpress.com

http://mylifeasamatureagestudent.blogspot.com/

http://12books12months.com

http://animals.wordpress.com

http://blog.cairnswildlife.com.au/

http://down—to—earth.blogspot.com/

http://fortheloveofcooking-recipes.blogspot.com/

http://scotlandwildlife.blogspot.com/

http://beforeitsgone.com.au/

http://blogs.nature.com/news/

http://smittenkitchen.com/

http://thestonesoup.com/blog/

http://keepingchickens.blogspot.com/

Fact No 9: A zebra is white with black stripes!