May the roof above us never fall in
And may we good companions beneath it never fall out.

~Irish blessing

Monday, October 18, 2010

Our New Garden State

After 3 hectic months of moving, unpacking, planting, painting and more, I've finally had a chance to download a few snaps from my camera of the new garden. Notice it no longer says 'rented' in the title banner? :)

First of all, here are the fantastic hardwood crates I've been telling everyone about. They're 4ft x 4ft and Tom picked them up from a fruit farm in Warrandyte for only $30 each. After much deliberation I ordered some blocks of organic beeswax, melted it down in the microwave and painted it on. The result was good but painting on beeswax is much more difficult than it sounds, it hardens as soon as it touches the cool surface making it impossible to spread thinly and I ruined both the pyrex bowl and the paintbrush. Perhaps mixing it with something like walnut oil would have made it go on more easily. We then lined the bases with hessian before filling them with 1 part manure to 2 parts compost with peastraw to fluff - a recipe I picked up from the wonderful seedling lady at the Yarraville farmers market.

We purchased some diagonal lattice from Bunnings - a bit pricier than regular lattice but it looks beautiful over the colourbond fences behind the fruit crates and along the side of the house.

We were lucky there's already an established bay tree in the corner although it was very neglected, full of spiders with a bad case of scale. I gave it a good feed and prune, and potted up our old blueberry bush beneath it. We cleared the bushes next to it and picked up a bare rooted quince tree which is happily starting to sprout leaves. It was just a stick in a bag when we bought it - my Dad said we were buying more of a 'concept' than a plant...

I thought potatoes may get out of control in the raised beds (crates) so I put them in these big terracotta pots, and so far so good. I did notice some whiteflies hanging around them yesterday though, so I'll be inspecting the lower leaves regularly and squashing whatever I find.

Beans: Dwarf Borlotti in the front, then climbing Lazy Housewife and Baby Sun beans to climb up the trellis in the back. Yesterday I transplanted the little zucchini and cucumber seedlings from the "greenhouse" and plan to let them drape over the front of the crates. The old wire basket with the copper tape around the bottom is meant to protect them from snails.

Even though we're no longer renting I've still maintained my potted bits and pieces. I sowed lots of borage for the dog who seeks it out whenever she gets an upset stomach. The chinese celery in the pail is a volunteer I've hung on to, and the snapdragons keep sowing themselves too.

Parsley, a grape vine for the pergola, corn, lettuce, beetroot and carrots.

This pond was full of leaves and mosquito larvae for the first month or so until I cleaned it out, thinking I'd just throw it away and put a lemon tree there. Then at the last minute I popped over the the nursery, bought some water plants (papyrus, water poppy, water hawthorn) and picked up three little comets from the local aquarium. We filled the crevices around the fibreglass base with soil and put in the iris, bird of paradise and native violets. Most days I fill the watering can for the garden from the fishpond instead of the tap, then top up the pond, to make use of the nitrates in the water.

And here are some frivolities. I'm developing a passion for proteaceae...

especially south african ones like these leucadendrons...

and these gorgeous serrurias.

But I do feel good about myself when I plant australian natives like the white waratah above, and a beautiful grevillea in the front garden, and I am really loving these australian paper daisies. Their crispy white petals are amazing.

I forgot to take a photo, but out on the greenhouse and hardening up on the window sill around the side of the house are this summer's tomatoes - Black Russian, Riesentraube and Brandywine. Hopefully they'll be big enough to plant by Cup Day.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the market crates - even empty they are a feature in themselves!