Recent Entries to this Blog
Be a Winner. Hug a worm
Category: my garden | Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:57 am
Our bush block is covered in eucalypts and banksias. They give a little, dappled shade, but not much. The leaves on eucalypt usually point down- not only does this direct water towards the roots but minimises surface area in direct sun exposure. Unfortnately, this meant I was finding it very difficult to find a place to put my worm bins. The place where they have been is ok in winter, but in Summer catches the hot afternoon sun, and with month after month of 30 degress celcius plus, worms don't hang around too long. I was going to put the whole lot underground, with a removable green roof that would let rain thropugh and planted out to cool the underneath. I obtained large, strong, uv resillient plastic pallets, made up of many cells to form the walls, floor and roof- the front would have an adjustable height door for access. The are 130 cm square, so would have maintained temperature very well and provided a nice stable environment. Well, I've been talked out of it. This is the old cast iron bathtub we will use instead, partitioned into two sides, have yet to build a box and lid for it.
I have been here a year now. The Australian bush takes not much, and gives very little back- just enough for its own, but no extra for moisture loving hungry perennials and food crops. I have bought in dozens of bags of manure, truckloads of soil, bales of straw. So i was rapt when I trashed the old compost and we got our first decent lot of compost- about 60L of pure wormpoo. It is the first thing that the garden has really given back. Now things are strting to grow, and we'll make mulch etc, the more life out there, the easier it will be to sustain life.
Seeing all that lovely vermicast made me want to break out the champagne, only I don't drink so I had a good drink of water instead! it was extremally heavy.
worm house 9to be) ( photo / image / picture from brombear's Garden )
cast iron worm farm ( photo / image / picture from brombear's Garden )
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"For All that lives is holy. Life delights in Life"
Category: other stuff | Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:30 pm
This is a quote I once read out of a book I can't remember. Such simple words, but I love them for their profound honesty. When Frank says he is rescuing little lizards, and Eileen is attracting beneficial snakes to her garden, and everywhere gardeners are going green with their feet on the earth and heads in the stars, I think again of this. I see it in leaves, people, microbes, fungi, bugs, dirt. Everywhere i look, all the time, I see life delighting in life.
This blog entry has been viewed 351 times
my blood ran cold
Category: my garden | Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:51 am
i never really knew how this expression went, until i trundled up the hill away from the garden where i had been vigorously working for an hour or so, and there on the path was a 5 ft long snake basking in the sun, only a couple of metres from where'd i'd been. It's one thing knowing they're all around you in the bush, it's another seeing them so brazenly lying right next to you. It's either a dugite (only moderately poisonous and non aggresive), or a western brown, aka gwadar, aka Pseudonaja nuchali, who apparently are coomonly found near habitations, and being quite venomous, have been responsible for 6 out of the 10 recorded deaths from snakebite in this city. I zoomed in with camera, so much more powerful than mine eyes, and turns out it is dead. Still, from now on, I'm leaving the screen doors closed.
dead snake ( photo / image / picture from brombear's Garden )
This blog entry has been viewed 274 times
how i communicate with chefs
Category: my garden | Posted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:16 pm
Q-why did the lettuce cross the road?
Q- why did the lettuce go the moon?
Q- why did the lettuce sink?
This blog entry has been viewed 289 times
Category: my garden | Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:01 pm
We all know a bit of bottom heat helps most cuttings take root, as well as humidity. I use to have an outdoor hot water service, which got lovely and warm on top. I'd keep a kitty litter tray with a few inches of water, and just put pots or tubes in it tall short enough to wick up wter but tall enough so media didn't get soggy and everything rooted that quickly there. Now I put it on top of the fishtank at night, but am working on a small greenhouse with a passive solar hot water heater to keep base warm- not really a problem for 3/4 of the year here though. Black plastic over bricks in the sun works well too. put your cuttings in their own miniature greenhouse of cut in half and reconstituted plastic bottles- poke some eholes for ventilation. Put on black bricks and of sun too strong, shade the tops of bottles somehow. et cetera : ) bear
This blog entry has been viewed 2045 times
the garden of not so eden
Category: my garden | Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:22 pm
Well you can't really see it yet, but this is where we have so far an apricot, double grafted plum, lemon, orange, blueberry and mulberry. There's a fig and a loquat waiting to go in. I leveled out the ground in steps- much steeper than it ever looks on a photo. There's a few small ericas, grevilleas, armerias, and eutaxia obovata planted in amongst the rocks of the shallow steps, and some thyrptomene and a beautiful little allogyne elle marie which has settled in nicely and now growing furiously. When i got here, this small patch about 6 by 8 metres was covered in a 3 metre high rotting wood heap. One day, much chainsawing, two snakes later, I had a area with a thick layer of humusy composted wood. I dug in heaps of blood and bone, sheep maure (local availability), lucerne, trace elements, lime and rock dust (which here is from lateric rocks and quite alkalising.)The blueberry is the left foreground and is so small and stick like you can't even see it. it's winter now, all deciduous have lost most of their leaves. Because the soil is very high in iron and aluminium, it is highly acid which limits avaliability of nutrients esp for the hungry citrus. The lemon has been exhibitng signs of severe Mn/ Zn deficiency, so have been foliar spraying it with Mn and Zn on different days, also Mg and seaweed soup, and to dressing with trace elements, lime, rock dust (alkaline) Mg, Mn and Zn and blood and bone. Over about two months, the ph under the lemon has come up from 3.5- 4 to 6, so I'm hoping the tree will be able to absorb some good nutrient before summer. I can't wait to get chooks to scrabbble around and scratch and poo and spread the feathery love all through the orchard.
( photo / image / picture from brombear's Garden )
orchard ( photo / image / picture from brombear's Garden )
This blog entry has been viewed 1985 times
Rainforest and other green love
Category: my garden | Posted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:45 am
Well haven't been spending as much time in garden as I would like as time and of course money as per usual a bit limited, but the vegie boxes are moved into a better position to get more sun. Last spring I had only just moved here and it was a frantic rush to get food crops in before summer hit. I have since realised that the summer is so long here that if there is enough water, can do an early and a late crop. We're on a very steep slope, so everything is a bit of a drama.
I'm sick of the 'weeds' which are infact probably indigenous grasses but come end of summer, the seeds are EVERYWHERE! including in all my plants, pots and beds, so I'm on a ongoing mission to outgrow it and relegate it to the surrounding bush areas where it can grow all it likes. The lizards love it, and the kookaburras love the lizards, but I don't love the rapacious weed infestation. Many, many hours of manual weed removal. (don't use chemicals). To stabilise the slope, I am growing now and strawberry lawn and a rocket lawn. I can supply the local organic vegetarian cafe with rocket which will be very cool as they are lovely people and I like to support my local. So I get delicious strawberies, prevent weed growth, contribute to my local eatery and stabilise the slope. win win win win.
It's one garden bed at a time here.. starting from a big blank canvas, so the latest is the inception of my mini native rainforest area. Well, semi native.It coems largely down to availability here. I've got native rainforest trees such as eleocarpus reticularis (blueberry ash I think it is called, the native frangipani (hymenosporum), lilly pillies (syzgium), schefflera, and indigenous treeferns (cyathea), with an understorey of native grasses like balloskian, lomandra as well as ferns, impatiens, tassel plant, spathyphyllum. The spaths have flowered continously for 4 months now. I will put in couple of tree dahlias also for the first couple of years, they grow massive in one season here so I'm hoping it will provide foliage cover over the area to help maintain humidity and provide shade while the trees and tree ferns grow bigger. I'm also making a fallen "tree log" out of metal rods, chook wire, netting, leaky hose, irrigation felt and compossted bark that will grow lots of bromeliads, tillandsias, native orchids (dendrobiums) and ferns on to provide a bit more of a jungle feel and also a bit more height in the visual dynamic. Before spring I'll also put in a small shall rock pond that will also create a bit of humidity. It all looks a bit sad right now but I'll post a photo up soon, will be good to see how it grows.
Well enough talking, I've finished my coffee and i'm off to garden now. The weeds are calling.
This blog entry has been viewed 1792 times
Category: my garden | Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:09 pm
I went to a closing down auction sale of a nursery today and got about $700 worth of plants for $400 so I'm excited! I'm ready to start the planting of my mini rainforest now. I'm going off like fizz in sherbet stick. Excited!
This blog entry has been viewed 2037 times
Category: my garden | Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:53 pm
I know we're not supposed to talk up other sites, but I am on one other site, where you build your own bookshelf, in the interests of sharing them with other readers. Although I am a moderately wide reader and i've gotten lots from this site, there's not many gardening books. You can tag books to categorise them, i've created a garden category. If anyone else wants to share, google anobii and build a shelf. (my name got defaulted to my email address and as such I am 'nobodymoveorthemuppetgetsit'.) I'd love to meet you on this level as well. A good book is good to find, and being nerdy as I am I like the theory as well as the practice of all things living.
This blog entry has been viewed 1779 times
Category: my garden | Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:08 pm
Oh yes, for the bargain, value packed investemnt price of a mere $250 all inclusive, my garden is now dog dig proof. No more will I have to replant everything 4 times over with a mortality rate of 1 in 3, no more will I have to line my garden beds with chicken wire and big pegs, no more will the enthusiastic not- so- little puppy be racked with pangs of doggie guilt post offence and no longer will I suffer fits of temporary dogocidal rage and frustration (and no longer will the sounds of being cursing full volume echo across the valley- sharing is caring)....oh, the sense of relief. I'm sorry for the shock Noodle but we are confident that stimulus conditioning will be a quickly learned and minimally painful process. It is a portable, battery run affair (I have it hooked up to a solar panel and car battery)so I can move it around the yard as plants establish
Noodle, the main garden offender in innocent repose ( photo / image / picture from brombear's Garden )
This blog entry has been viewed 1841 times
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