Thursday, December 25, 2014

Have a wonderful Christmas!

I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and get to enjoy your gardens on the day (and for all days to come)!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Preparing for Christmas

Christmas is a busy time of year for everyone, and it is important to remember to look after the garden and get it ready for your visitors.  What should I consider?:

  • Mow the lawn, trim the foliage and generally tidy up the garden a week before the big day
  • Check that any outdoor furniture is clean and in working order
  • Make sure that the BBQ is clean and that you have plenty of gas/fuel for the holiday season
  • Water the garden regularly and/or set the timers on automatic watering systems
  • If you are holding an event outdoors then check the weather and make sure that there are plenty of tables, chairs and umbrellas/cover where required.
  • Check for spiders and other nasties around furniture and decking (curious children can touch before they ask)
Enjoy the season and your garden!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Lights

Are you someone who decorates their garden or front of your property for Christmas.  I am.  Nothing very exciting, just some icicle lights around the porch and coloured lights along the front fence. I use solar lights (because they are cheap and easy) but electric lights are great too.  Unless you go "all in" and start your Christmas light planning in October, now is the time to set up your house lights.  Have fun


Monday, December 1, 2014

Summer is here!


What to plant:
Pretty much anything goes in Summer.  Growth is prolific.  Why not try:

Salad Vegetables: Asian Greens, Lettuce, Endive, Salad Greens, Silver Beet
Root Vegetables: Beetroot, Carrots, Parsnips 
Brassicas: Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Mustard
Mediterranean Vegetables: Capsicum, Chilli, Tomatoes, Eggplants
Gourds and assorted: Pumpkins, Squash, Zucchini, Corn, Cucumber

What to harvest:
  • Lettuce, Asian Greens
  • Tomatoes, Zucchinis and Eggplants
  • Capsicum & Chillies (late Summer)
  • Potatoes (early Summer)
  • Berries, Stone Fruit and Figs
Jobs to do:
  • Weeding
  • Fertilise plants
  • Dead head flowers
  • Prune and shape hedge plants
  • Fertilise citrus (late Summer)
  • Clean BBQ
  • Clean outdoor furniture
  • Tidy old bulbs (do not cut off dead growth - it feeds the bulbs - just tie it up or hide amongst other plants)
Potential Problems:
Mould and mildew were my big problems last year.  There were a couple of weeks of humidity and rain and the peas were positively ruined. I had to regularly trim off the foliage on the zucchini too, as it was also a victim of mildew.

Humidity. Your lettuce and salad greens will bolt to seed with humid, hot and rainy weather.  Sometimes I just let them go and self seed the bed.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Weeding and fertilising

Exciting time - weeding and fertilising! The rain and recent heat has resulted in an abundance on weeds - I wish the plants I wanted grew as quickly as they do. I am spending my time keeping the hedges and vines under control, weeding, and giving the Summer crops are good dose of fertiliser before they start to fruit.  I have had mixed luck with seeds this year, with many of the latest salad veg seeds failing to germinate (either that or the birds got to them! Guess that Scarecrow is of no use).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Not much to report - garden wise

Over the past few weeks the bulk of my efforts have been directed towards dealing with the interior of the property rather than the garden.  Having said that I did manage to paint the front part of the front fence (a job which has been outstanding for about 3 years - still have the back of the fence and a side fence to go).  There has been painting, plastering, tiling and general cleaning afoot and I am very pleased to say that it is nearly all done.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Lots of Rain

We have had a series of thunderstorms and heavy rain through the night and into today.  Fortunately there is no damage to either the house or garden here, and we did not lose power. Not everyone has been so lucky.  

The extra rain will be great for the garden, but it will also be good for the weeds.  I suspect that I will need to get the machete out in about a week to cut back the growth.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A new friend in the garden

Over the weekend I put together a scarecrow to watch over my summer crops and seedlings. I doubt that it is doing anything to scare off the birds, but it gives me a fright when I see it out of the corner of my eye.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Going to plan

The garden work is progressing well, the garden beds are getting filled, seeds planted, seedling growing (slowly - weather has been fluctuating between rather warm and mighty cold) and I am making in roads into the paving.  It is entirely possible that I will get the bulk of the jobs done by Christmas (as in this year  - 2014!).  Hey you never know :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Still working

Between filling the new beds, planting seeds and seedlings and starting work on the path down the side of the house, I have stopped for a breather to look at the flowers.  I just love Spring flowers!

The strawberries are doing well at last and it looks like I will see some fruit soon.

I have also noticed (much to my relief and delight) that the apples and cherry are flowering. Hopefully I will see some cherries this season.  I am making a scarecrow in an attempt to scare off the possums (the netting didn't work - they just ate through it) so that I actually get some apples this year.  

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lots of work and more to come

I have been diligently working in the garden (it is important to take advantage of the good weather) and have managed to fill one half of one of my new garden beds and plant the tomato seedling.  This took 16 bags of soil, so it looks like this part of the new garden will take a couple of weeks to complete.  I also put the brick sand down on the new brick path so it now looks a lot nice and is better to walk on.  And I have also repaired and oiled the deck furniture (still have to oil the deck but that is a job for next weekend).

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Royal Melbourne Show

Yesterday I went to the Royal Melbourne Show.  I have never been before (have been to the Brisbane one) so I thought that I ought have a look.  They had some great displays (not fruit & veg or flowers though).  Here are some photos:

This one is actually a cake!


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Garden addition

We have had house guests for part of the week and weekend do not much has been happening in the garden.  However I do have a new plant. I finished up in my part time job last Friday and the folk at work got me a lovely plant to add to the collection.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Spring bulbs are out in force

One of my favourite things about Spring is the flowering of the bulbs I planted during Autumn.  The snowdrops and daffodils made their late Winter appearance and are now being replaced by the hyacinth and iris flowers.  My peach tree is also flowering with gusto (and will hopefully produce fruit with equal enthusiasm).  No flowers on the apples yet, although it looks promising. I better stop looking at the flowers and get on the practical task of finishing the brick path around my new vegetable beds.  More soon.  Sarah

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Steady progress

I have had a rather amusing time assembling the garden beds I purchased.  I have discovered, despite measuring twice, that the beds are far to large to put three in the top garden - so I have settled for two and will endeavour to donate the third one to one of the local schools (or the community garden if the schools aren't interested).  

In addition to my poor measuring skills, I opened the correctly labelled boxes only to discover that the enclosed instructions (in every box) were actually for the assembly of a greenhouse rather than a double garden bed.  Fortunately I am a bit of a "flat pack" whiz and assembly was not an issue.  

With the weather being so good (until today that is), I was able to assemble and place the beds, level off the soil, and start work on the paving.  I need to buy more soil (and pavers) in the next few weeks, but I have ordered my Summer seedlings from the Digger's Club.  I am looking forward to getting it all set up soon.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Spring has Sprung

This is from the "Seasonal Guide" page.


What to plant:
Salad Vegetables: Asian Greens, Lettuce, Endive, Salad Greens, Silver Beet
Legumes: Beans, Peas
Root Vegetables: Beetroot, Carrots, Parsnips, Potatoes, Sweet Potato
Brassicas: Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Mustard
Mediterranean Vegetables: Capsicum, Chilli, Tomatoes, Eggplants
Gourds and assorted: Pumpkins, Squash, Zucchini, Corn, Cucumber
Fruit: Melons, Citrus

What to harvest:
  • Salad greens, Lettuce, Herbs, Spinach
  • Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Spring Onions
  • Beetroots, Carrots, Artichokes, Parsnips, Turnips
  • Remaining Brassicas
  • Peas and Beans
Jobs to do:
  • Propagate Summer seeds
  • Order Summer seedlings 
  • Weeding
  • Clean BBQ
  • Oil Deck
  • Clean, repair and oil outdoor furniture
Potential Problems
Weeds! And more weeds.  The bursts of lovely weather, and reasonable rainfall are not only wonderful for the new seedling, but serve as a super growth environment for the weeds. 

Snails and slugs are also putting in a concerted efforts to eat as many of the new seedings as possible.

Unexpected cold snaps.  Sudden changes in the weather can kill of new seedlings and inhibit the growth of your plants. It is always a risk, and unless you cover your seedlings or plant them late in the season, this may be a problem.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Slow going

Okay I admit it, I have done almost no gardening this week.  I spent a little time, between rain showers, starting to re-lay the brick paving but barely got a metre down.  Why the lack of progress?  Well aside from the rain, and getting sick again (really can you believe it!), my sister's wedding was on Saturday and there was family work to attend to.  On a positive note my garden beds arrived. I got them from Garden Express - I find them reliable. I bought metal ones this time (see picture).  I hope to have these set up and the bulk of the top area paving finished by mid-September to give me time to plant out the Summer crops.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Daffodil of the season

I was starting to worry that my daffodil bulbs would never flower.  I have so many come up in the neighbourhood, yet nothing in my garden.  (I have certainly had other bulbs start to show up, but not the daffodils).  But here is number one!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Slowly but surely...

As you can probably tell from the photographs in the last couple of posts, we have had a couple of weeks of rain.  Great news for the plants but not such good news for my landscaping endeavours.  Still I am making progress, even if it is just a little bit on days when I have gardening time. You can see that I have finished the first part of the path.  Another row of pavers will go up on the left side and connect with the pavers in front of the shed.  I will be planting herbs and bulbs down the right hand side up to the end of the garden bed with the rosemary in it.  The brick work around the veg beds will start there. I will have more time in September to get everything moving a little quicker, so I am hoping to get this section finished by Christmas.  I guess we will just wait and see :) 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Back on track

After being sick with something or other for what seems like (and actually was) weeks, I am finally back to normal and back in the garden.  I have almost laid all of the pavers I have (need to buy more to complete the job), am in the process of levelling out the top garden (I have lifted the old brick paths), and I have ordered my 3 new garden beds.

 The plan is to assemble and place the new beds when they arrive and then relay the brick paths around the new beds, and hopefully have everything set up so that I can plant out the seedlings for the Summer crops - otherwise all of my tomatoes, eggplants, zucchinis and salad veg will be in pots for the season.

I am pleased to be back in business!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

No progress this week I'm afraid

I have not done a hand's turn in the garden for well over a week now - and no it is not due to laziness (for a change).  I am suffering from a horrid head cold.  Gardening this week has involved me staring out the window into it. I am hoping to get that half finished path knocked on the head this week. Back to bed for me.  Sarah

Friday, July 18, 2014

It's raining again

We have certainly got some winter weather on the go this week - it has been mighty cold  (for Melbourne - not like it is snowing or anything) and it has rained almost everyday.  So I haven't exactly done a lot of gardening.  I did do some work on the paving (path from the deck to the top garden) but didn't get very far.  Hopefully I will be able to go out and do a little more on the weekend.  At the very least that shed of mine needs a spring clean.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Photographic evidence that I am doing some gardening :)

I thought that it was time to actually give some visual indications about my progress with the new garden design so far - Amazingly slow progress

Replaced garden bed edging

Started re-tiling near the tap

Cleared away old wooded garden beds