05 October 2010

Garden Stuff

No blogging lately - I've been busy sewing and gardening! Here are a few tidbits from the garden.  Above - a weird succulent planting I made in an old terracotta saucer. The background: a mostly-unused paddock (because it's in a once every 100-year floodplain) at Burnley was the campus rubbish tip in the 1800's and early 1900's.  A few years ago some excavation work was done to put in new water pipes and other services and a treasure-trove, to some, of old bits was uncovered.  When I was going na-nas writing my Masters thesis, I would occasionally go for a walk and collect broken bits scattered on the ground. I left any whole goodies - like ink bottles at Burnley where they belonged, but kept a few handfuls of interesting-patterned crockery and glass shards that would have been trod upon and destroyed.  The broken doll's head is really weird! You can't see it in the photo, but it has very delicate painted-on eyelashes.  I love finding bits of history like this to see the vibrant colours and patterns of the past.  We have this strange idea that everything old must be faded and dull, but when it has been hidden or buried for over 100 years you can see the spectacular hues that were used.  I wonder if someone will dig up our Yoplait containers in 2110 and think the same think about our rubbish!
Practical not pretty. My makeshift greenhouse - a cable spool rescued from a skip, wire fencing to protect from birds and possums, plastic on top to warm the seeds.  I planted a variety of heritage and organic tomatoes, capsicum, chilies, bok-choy, tomatillos, a variey of herbs and fig and Salvia leucantha (Mexican Sage) cuttings.  The Salvia is from my neighbor's plant that peeks under the fence and the figs are from plants I started from cuttings two years ago.  I didn't use any IBA or other growth hormones so I don't know if the Salvia will make it - we shall see!  The figs will be fine - growers have been propagating figs for thousands of years by laying long cuttings on the ground and burying part of them. My (different) neighbors who share the yard planted Coriander and Pumpkin. Everything is gently hand-watered daily.
Remember the green manure bed? This is it a couple months after the plants were dug under.  I weeded, added about one cup of organic blood and bone per square metre and raked it in. The soil is beautiful and crumbly! I would highly recommend green manuring - it definitely improved the the soil texture, added nitrogen and was less work than adding compost. Carrot seedlings are coming up in the front behind the silverbeet.  I planted onions, leeks, beetroot, kohlrabi and apple cucumbers in the back section and more carrots in the front.  The seedlings growing in punnets will go in the rest of this bed and the other smaller bed.
Meanwhile, I'm eating asparagus from the smaller bed every other day (it grows so fast!) and discovered that Endive is yummy cooked liked Spinach (tip from 1963 organic gardening cookbook below). Due to the lack of sun in my garden in the winter, I'm picking the first of my snow peas planted in late May. I just planted green beans to replace them when they're gone.

Spring has finally Sprung! The bees are hard at work.

No comments:

Post a Comment