Saturday, December 18, 2010

Just before Christmas

One week to go and the house will be full of relatives for Christmas Day and the holiday break.  There is no way that I am going to get any gardening of value done before about the 8th of January.
 I am afraid that this will be the last entry this year

Have a great Christmas and a super New Year!

I'll be back in 2011 and hopefully some of those jobs will actually get completed!



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nearly Christmas and everything is still half done

Not much progress to report - unless you are a weed or snail, both of which are happily expanding their empires.  The veg are still bolting to seed when they can but at least the zucchini, eggplant and pumpkin are doing well.  The house painting is still half done but I am hoping to get this done by Christmas, and I have given up on the idea of painting the fence and rest of the shed until 2011.  We had some people over for a BBQ and they loved the triffid farm.  My nieces (2.5 and 5) also thought it would be nice to dig up all my potatoes too.  I have some good ones actually, but some will go back.

All crazy

More before Christmas starts


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Progress - Summer is here

Well after weeks of rain and humidity the garden is back to its Triffid like state.  The veg are bolting to seed (even the lettuce) and the weeds are as high as my knee.  There is more rain on the way and I am going to have to work it at in every available moment to have it ready for our guests at Christmas.

Better than a drought though



Sunday, November 28, 2010

It is still raining!

The weeds are going mad, and anything that can is bolting to seed in the humidity and rain.  Still it is great to see that the State's dam levels have gone from about 25% full to 52% full in less than 6 months.  I am still not getting much done landscaping wise, and the second it stops raining I am going to have to start a weed and snail campaign, but I still love my garden.

There should be new photos on the slide show!

More soon


Saturday, November 20, 2010

A sunny weekend

Well the "Land of Half done jobs" is still living up to its name - but there has been some progress.  I have fixed a garden bed wall, done some weeding, pruned the creeper, prepared the beds for new seeds and the house is half painted :)

More soon


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rain, rain and more and more rain

Great rain this weekend - doesn't leave much chance to finish the landscaping before Christmas but it is great for the plants.  I hope it stops before the house painters are due next week, but not much I can do about it.

My peas have baby pods already :)


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Half completed jobs

Well I have finally had a sunny day to do some garden work.  I didn't get much done and am now living with the garden of half done jobs.  I have started planting the summer seedlings, started weeding after all of the rain, started painting the shed, started the paving, started assembling the new deck furniture etc... You get my point. Henry did oil the deck though.  Needless to say I have more tasks to complete than time to do them in.

I have booked in a house painter who says that he will get the job done by Christmas, but quite frankly with all of the rain of late I can imagine that he is behind on his jobs.

I have put some more photos into the slide show - mainly showing half done jobs I am afraid.

More soon


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Still raining!

It hasn't stopped raining all weekend!  I am sure that parts of the city will be flooding.  I am not sure if we will get many (if any) trick or treaters for Halloween tonight at this rate.  And I can't do any gardening either!  Maybe things will be a bit better on the Melbourne Cup Day holiday.

Happy Halloween


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Change of season

Well we have had more rain (it is raining now) and the last of the winter veg is about to get harvested.  I am hoping to plant more Spring/Summer seeds tomorrow so that I can spend next week doing some more landscaping work.  I am hoping to get a new outdoor setting for the deck tomorrow but I will see how I go.  The model I want may not be in stock :)

More soon


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Spring seeds

I am planning to plant my Spring seeds either this weekend (if the rain stops) or early next.  I am going to put in tomatoes, leeks, beetroot, zucchini and eggplant.  When I have finished clearing out the winter veg (I am giving away so much food at the moment :) I am going to put in more basil, tomatoes, and punmpkin.

I am going to try and not put in so much this time :)

More soon


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rain and more rain

The garden has turned into a veg jungle.  All of the rain and heat has created a monster out there - almost scared to go into the back yard :)  The weeds are loving it.  Spent all morning pulling weeds, and sorting veg to give away.

Better than drought I suppose - but the whole thing has gone very "Day of the Triffids" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" like.

Hopefully the rain will ease so that I can get into it after work to do a bit of weed control.

More soon


Monday, October 11, 2010

Crazy growth

I can see why Lolo recommends one magic square.  I have been so busy of late and the weather has been so wonderful that the weeds have taken off and the veg and winter herbs are bolting to seed.  I was not aware that broccoli had yellow flowers.

I gave away three bags of lettuce, fennel, spinach, coriander and parsley on the weekend to some very grateful recipients.

I will make a note to plan a bit better next year.

More soon


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lovely Spring weather

We have had lovely Spring weather this weekend and I have managed to spend some time in the garden.  The carpenter has done a great job of the deck and I have been able to salvage the old decking wood to make boardwalks around my garden beds (at least that is the plan - they are just piles of wood at the moment).  The flowers and vegetables are looking great.  I am so pleased I bought all of those bulbs in March.  For all the work I have done I seem to have little to show for it - but soon enough.

I will try and update the photos soon.



Monday, September 27, 2010


Well Spring has certainly sprung here in Melbourne.  I spent an hour and a half in the yard yesterday sorting out materials to start working on my paving and I managed to get horribly sunburnt - it wasn't even the middle of the day.  Hats from now on!

The carpenter is in the process of installing the new deck so there will be photos of it really soon.



Sunday, September 19, 2010

More Photos

There should be some new photos in the slide show - The Spring bulbs are coming up and looking just lovely.  I have about 6 weeks left on the winter veg and the Spring/Summer seeds are germinating in the laundry as I write.  I am hoping to really get a lot of the remaining landscapring work done on the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of October.  Fingers crossed



Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend surprise

This weekend we had some guests over for Sunday lunch.  I was pleasantly surprised by their reaction to the garden.  Instead of seeing the half complete jobs, mix of wildly successful and week plants, mud from the rain and the general mess, they marveled at the wonderful vegetables and were able to see the whole garden concept.  It made my smile to see how much joy they got out of it!

I am really enjoying the fresh veg.

More soon


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Still more rain

There has been great rain here - some flooding up north though.  The garden is looking lovely, the Spring flowers are looking wonderful and the veg is looking great.  Still have loads of landscaping work but there is plenty of time.

More soon


Monday, September 6, 2010

Great Broccoli

Well last night we tried the first lot of broccoli from the garden.  Amazing - It tasted marvelous and the colour held even though I over cooked it a little.  No more lime broccoli from the supermarket.

More soon


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Rain and more rain

We have had huge amounts of rain so far this weekend.  The weather bureau is predicting that we will get the whole average September rain in the weekend.  Great for the plants and great for the dams!
Can't get out to do any gardening though :)


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More progress

Well the plants are doing beautifully, and the garden is slowly moving forward.  I have replaced a trellis on one of the walls and set in the sweet peas.  I have done some major weeding and now the rains have come. I should be able to pick my first broccoli this weekend!  Something to look forward to.

Catch up soon


Monday, August 16, 2010


I am hoping that the new photos are up and on line.  Sometimes it takes me a few goes to get it to work.

Just a point of interest - the potatoes I planted in a half barrel are growing significantly faster than the ones in the larger bed - the soil is the same so I am assuming that the barrel must keep the soil warmer.

More soon


Saturday, August 14, 2010

August Progress

Well I finally got a chance to get into the garden.  I did a little work preparing the soil for Spring, have started propagating my Spring seeds, did some of the weeding and generally mucked about.  The bulbs I planted have just started to bloom and they are looking lovely.

A lesson learned - I have planted the broccoli and fennel plants too close together and I have had to move half of each lot of plants.  Fingers crossed that they transplant alright, but if they don't I know for next year.  More rain on its way so the plants should just get better and better.

I have more photos but I am having trouble downloading them from my iPhone - I should be able to sort out it during the week.

I have a carpenter lined up for the deck work - but he wont start until late September - still it is progress.

More soon


Monday, August 9, 2010


I promise to put more photos up soon.  I haven't had much time to get into the garden and am only managing some minor weeding.  I am a little concerned about the rosemary and lavender as they appear to have grown very little in the last two months - could just be the cold of course.

It looks like a good 4 days of rain ahead so I can expect more veg growth and weeds by the weekend.

Chat soon


Saturday, August 7, 2010


It is so wonderful to eat the produce from the garden.  Today I was able to use the young fennel in a scallop dish - just great.  I am rather busy at the moment - in fact rather busy on every weekend until late October so I am going to have to start propagating the spring seeds in the laundry as I won't get much garden time in.  I really need to get some paving supplies so hopefully I can get a trip to the hardware store in soon.

Lots to do - no time



Monday, August 2, 2010

August already

I can't believe that it is August already.  A got lot of rain during the week, and some higher temperatures have meant that the winter veg and spring bulbs have really taken off.  Progress is still slow but definitely moving forward, and it looks like I have found a carpenter to fix the deck.

More soon


Sunday, July 25, 2010

I have had a busy today.  This has been the first sunny day in quite a while so I took advantage and finished the garden beds and retaining wall in front of the shed.  The paving will be the next part of this section, but I have very limited time in the old diary between now and mid-September, and as you can imagine I have to spend what little time I have on fertilizing, preparing the soil and propagating the Spring veg seeds.

The days have started getting longer and before I know it, it will still be light when I get home from work and I will be able to put in a little weeding during the week.  Loads to do!

More soon and more photos soon too.



Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rain Today

Well the wonderful rain has prevented me doing further work on the garden but it is well worth it for the rain.  The vegies are really coming on and I am able to start harvesting the radish, lettuce and endive, and the fennel looks like it is only a week or two away.

Slow and steady work but it is great to get my first salad together!



Sunday, July 11, 2010

More progress

Hi all

A couple more photos - I have nearly finished the basic landscaping - next is the fun task of paving.  More later in the week

Sarah xxx

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Phew what an afternoon!  I finally got some time to get a bit of landscaping done, but I didn't get a lot of return for effort.  I have made a start on the final retaining wall, and I can see how it will look when it is finished but I suspect that the job I thought would take one day will take three.

Oh well good thing I enjoy this :)

Until next time


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Deck, plants and the landscaping

Well I haven't spent much time in the garden so far this week.  The stump was removed from the deck so the next order of business is to get a carpenter in to do all of the small maintenance jobs (and the deck).  I am hoping to finish the retaining wall and set up the shed garden bed tomorrow - provided we don't get another rainy Sunday.  All of the plants are doing well with the extra rain.

Back soon


Sunday, June 27, 2010


We have had another rainy weekend - great for the plants, the broccoli is going nuts, but not so good for the landscaping part of things.  Henry and I removed the section of the deck required so that the stump removal people can get rid of the old tree stump.  Much to our horror we discovered that some the decking support beams had a bad case of wood rot so our plan to get the decking fixed has now become a larger venture than we originally planned for.  Oh well best to get these things done properly.

Next weekend I plan to set up the second retaining wall, garden bed in front of the shed and hopefully the steps to the top terrace.  Then on to the brick paving in front of the shed.

It looks like I am going to be working on the actually landscaping part well into the Summer - I was hoping to have it all sorted by September.

Good thing I enjoy this :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

More rain!

Well I have managed to get some of the new plants in and have done a little work on the garden before the rain started, but there is not much more I can do today.

Next Tuesday I am getting the remaining stumps and root systems removed (including the one from the deck) so after that I will put in the last retaining wall, fix the step up into the garden, and start the brick paving in front of the shed.  The next house tasks will be to get the posts from the side of the house removed, deck repaired and then the house painted.

All systems go.

Until next time


Thursday, June 17, 2010

New plants

My new plants arrived from "Diggers" yesterday - A Myer Lemon, Lime Verbena, Salvia, Pineapple sage, comfrey, strawberries and a raspberry cane - I can't wait to put them in.  I have a dreadful head cold though so it looks like I am going to have to wait until Sunday.

More soon


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More plants

My potatoes from Diggers Club today.  I am very excited as I have never tried to grow potatoes before.  It says to plant them after the frost - I suspect that I am going to get frosts until late August. Is it ok to hang on to them for that long without planting?


Saturday, June 12, 2010

More rain

Well I can't complain about the rain.  It is has been a great boost to the winter veg and herbs, and the rest of the bulbs are starting to come through.  I was hoping to get out in the garden today and do some work on the retaining wall.  It needs an extra support as the weight of the extra water in the soil is straining at the edges.

It is a long weekend so hopefully I will get at least one day to do some work.



Saturday, June 5, 2010


It is raining again today - which is great for the plants but not so great for my landscaping plans.  We did do the post fence clean up this morning and I did some weeding so something has been done at least.



Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The fence is in

Hooray!  The fence is up and looking great.  We have a little tidying to do this weekend to ensure that the yard looks tip top but I am very happy indeed.

Another job done.

Chat soon


Monday, May 31, 2010

Fence news

Well the new fence is half done.  It is great to see that rickety old fence gone.  I will get some new photos shortly and put them in the slide show!



Sunday, May 30, 2010

More rain

We have had excellent rain over night and the plants are showing steady growth considering that Winter is only 2 days away.  Despite the poor weather Henry and I need to spend some garden time this afternoon preparing for the new fence tomorrow.



Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rain & fencing

We have had two days of good rain and although this means that I haven't been able to get into the garden today it is marvelous for the plants.  The new fence is due to put in on Monday (weather permitting) they are actually dropping all of the wood off right now.  The new fence will make a big difference to the yard and will mean that I can really get the layout for the yard finalised.

More soon


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Well the fence replacement is booked in and on its way.  The whole dodgy side fence is going to be replaced on the 31st of May.  I will put some photos up in the slide show when they arrive :)



Monday, May 24, 2010

No termites! Woo Hoo

Today I had the termite inspection done!  And it looks okay.  The areas on the back fence which I thought looked a little on the dodgy side were in fact the result of bog standard wood rot and not our little hungry friends.  I also have some wood rot on a small section of the house too, so Henry and I are going to have to get about half a dozen boards replaced, but it is still better than having termites.  It also means that I don't have to worry about replacing all the wooden garden edging with metal or plastic so I am very pleased about that.

It is threatening to rain here today so fingers crossed on that.  The less watering I need to do from the mains the better.

Catch you tomorrow


Sunday, May 23, 2010


Today I am clearing the side garden by the fence.  This has been an on-going task as the English Ivy has been a real pain to remove.  I am hoping to the get the fence fixed in a couple of weeks, and then the deck so it is all systems go!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Boots

I couldn't resist buying some new galoshes (see photo below).  Hopefully they will help my plants grow :). I planted some radish and spinach seeds today - fingers crossed that it isn't too late in the season.



Thursday, May 20, 2010

More on the background

When I started working on the garden, my first task was to clean behind the shed.  As you can see from the photos in the slide show, the back and the side of the shed was full of rubbish, rocks, leaves and English Ivy growing on the fence.  After a hard morning's work I cleared it out.  I am keeping the rocks to create a rock wall in front of the shed (a job to be done once the fence is replaced), and I used the treated pine posts to create the border garden bed along the back fence. The big surprise was that I uncovered a brick path which went right around the back of the shed.  I was very pleased because this meant one less job for me.

The next step was to hack out the bamboo.  I am keeping a couple of pieces to put in three tall pots for the deck.

More to come...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New seeds!

My first parcel from the "Digger's Club" arrived today.  The "Digger's Club" is an organic gardening/seed bank/plant club which services Australia and New Zealand.  Today's parcel was my seeds and plant labels.  I can sow some seeds now, before the winter starts and the rest have to wait until Spring.  I have nasturtiums, zucchini, eggplant, leeks, peas, spinach, chives and radish.  Wish me luck.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Photo update

I am in the process of updating my photos on Flickr.  I am hoping to set up some slide shows showing the progress so far.  Okay it is not significant progress but it represents three months work and I need to keep reminding myself that it is moving forward.

More to come!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I started working on my kitchen garden some time ago.  I have photos from the last 3 months, but the first stage occurred in November 2009.  I haven't worked out how to load in my photos yet - so I guess that this is a job for the week.

I live in Melbourne, Australia, and have done from the last 5 years.  I think that this counts as a "temperate" climate zone.  Prior to this I lived in Brisbane, Australia, which is a subtropical zone.  The garden used to look like a jungle and was a combination of native wattle trees, a silver birch (planted right on the fence line and over the sewerage outlet - no kidding) and loads of tropical plants.  The previous owners had grown English Ivy along the length of a side fence - needless to say the fence is destroyed, and the Ivy managed to strangle and kill most of the native plants.

November last year I called in a tree service to remove all of the dead trees and stumps.  Go Taylors Trees by the way - great job.  But then the backyard looked like a lunar landscape.  After the Christmas break my partner and I decided to go for a kitchen garden look.  My partner Henry is an academic and most of his spare time is spent researching or marking student work, so the garden became my domain.  With full time work, my share of domestic duties, and socialising and family obligation, I get about 2 hours a week in the garden.

So with all that in mind the plan is to have the side fence fixed, deck repaired (another story), termite damaged boards replaced (don't ask), house painted (I am going to have to sell a kidney at this rate) and garden completed, established and beautiful by March 2011, in time for Henry to hold a function for international guests as part of a conference.

So join me on my journey.  I will try to keep it as interesting as possible, and I am going to need advice as I go - this is my first real garden!

Catch up soon - this week I will try to sort the photos and fill you in on the story so far