22 July 2010

A Sunny Winter Day

Finally! A nice sunny day in Melbourne after weeks of mostly grey and gloom.  It gave me a chance to get out into my garden and take some photos of what's happening in mid-Winter. The Ornamental Quince (aka 'Blossom' in Australia) in front of my house is full of buds and flowers.  I'll pick the little quinces that the possums don't get and cook them with cinnamon, cardamom and ginger.

The white, pink and red pink Epacris impressa (Common Heath - the floral emblem of the state of Victoria) are in full bloom in pots amongst the Hellebores by my front door.  These are the last half-dozen or so pots I have left from what I grew from cuttings for my Masters research. They are pretty spectacular when they're in bloom and the Hellebores smell wonderful!

In the back yard, Mai li inspects the parsley in the veggie patch.  Behind her is Papyrus in old metal autoclave trays that were being discarded from the lab when I was at the Burnley campus of the Univsersity of Melbourne.

Young Silverbeet (Swiss Chard)
'Yakumo' Snow Peas planted at the end of May and Cauliflower leaves. There hasn't been much sun, so no cauli-'flowers' yet.

A potato or sweet-potato volunteer from the compost under the cauliflower. Also, a lettuce self-seeded from last season.  So far none of the Spinach I planted in late May has come up.  There a a few tiny Mangelwurzel, Turnips and Swedes planted at the same time.  It's just too darn cold and grey this winter!

The Endive and Spring Onions are small but healthy.  The Tatsoi didn't come up.  I think this was my last time planting Tatsoi - the one other time I had it in the garden it bolted (flowered and went to seed) in very little heat. Too tempermental!

Did I mention that it's been really cold in Melbourne?  This is the first time I have ever seen frost damage (the black, burnt area) on Artichoke leaves.

And last, but not least...my green manure crop of mustard.  I'll dig it under in a few weeks to give it time to decompose and add nitrogen to the soil.  This side of the garden with the larger raised vegetable bed doesn't get sun again until late November. If I could only convince the neighbors to remove their first floor (second floor for American readers)... There are some carrot stragglers from last season in the front.
Stay warm...or cool, depending on your Hemispheric weather conditions!


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