Monday, 29 October 2012

Sunrise at Bondi

Mr R and the gorgeous N and I set our alarms clocks very early this morning so we could get to Bondi for sunrise.  4am really does seem early but we wanted to see what sculptures by the sea had this year and sunrise seemed like the best time to go. Lets see what you think?

The first sign of dawn is cracking

The arriving Travellers

Tamarama Beach
This is made with different pieces of banksia

Surfers unaware of the crocodile

The chairs it would seem were little hothouses for wheatgrass (had to have a bit of garden in this post)

Over at Coogee there was a giant lego forest celebrating lego being in Australia for 50 years
Well that's it i think i need to go and have a nana nap.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Technical difficulties and mother nature

Our computer is showing it's age, that is running slower than it would take a snail to slime its way from the front of our garden to the back. So time to get a new computer, a laptop in fact that can be taken anywhere around the house (Mr R seems to like using the kitchen bench). It is so fast writing my blogs should be a breeze! Only problem is all the photo files are on the old computer, sigh and of course I am a gardener so to swap them all over took me quite sometime.

Anyway I without any more delay I shall get on.....

I have been keeping up with all your lovely posts on my dad's IPad while they are away and I read thegardeningshoe who has been picking blackberries in Norfolk from the hedgerows.  I too have been out foraging in the local park. Mulberries have been quite good this year.  They are a little small but still really tasty.

Clients weeping Mulberry
Many stages of ripeness

So Mr R and I armed with a huge jar gathered quite a pile of berries.  And after reading Louise's post on strawberry jam I thought Mulberry jam seemed just the thing. And I threw a couple of strawberries from my garden in as well.

After washing gthe fruit, I measured the weight of the fruit, added half the weight in sugar, plus some lemon and grated rind and boiled away. Sadly I think there is not so much pectin in mulberries and I should have thought about adding some grated apple so it might set.  Instead it seems I have ended up with mulberry sauce. It is quite delicious although a little sweet.  I have a couple of ideas about what to do with the sauce but for now I have a garden that needs my attention.

Digging up the dirt's Mulberry Sauce

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Return of the terrorist?

I wrote a little while ago about Bob the Bush Turkey terrorist in a clients vegetable patch.  He made a massive mess all over the place trying to drag a pile of leaf litter together with the lovely garden of compost to woo a lady to make a babies.  I was not best pleased and I had a lot of work to prevent bush turkey babies.

This week however went I was tending the broad beans this is what I discovered....

We had great discussions over what it was that was happily helping itself to the beans.  My first thoughts went straight back to Bob.  The beans have been attacked all over the canes. At the top and right down the bottom.  The frame holding the beans in had fallen to pieces a little as well so could he have jumped to the top, wreaking the place as he ate?  Is it all pay back?

I took off the worse and hoped for the best perhaps we could still get some of the babies in the middle to eat for ourselves? Crossing fingers and toes.  I gave them another liquid feed and left.  My client wrote back to tell me she had seen the culprit

Yes King Parrots it seems likes Broad Beans
It is hard to get too upset with a King parrot and his Queen.  Perhaps we can just let him have a few on the outside edge? Have you ever had something eaten that you just couldn't put your finger on??

Friday, 12 October 2012

What is flowering this week

There is no doubt about it there are more and more things flowering madly away out there and this week is no exception. The Bauhinia have started and come in a range of pinks through to white.  They originate from the tropics and like nice long hot summers so Sydney.  With deep roots they can cope as street trees (which often get chopped away from the power lines by the council so tend to look ugly).  Part of the Fabacae family, linked with Acacia, Hardenbergia, clover and broad beans.  In other words they form pods after flowering.

Then we still have flowering prunus and malus about.  The last of the forget-me-nots and most excitedly roses are starting there first flush of the season. Take a look

This ground cover is cute, a little weedy.  And I can never remember its name

The rain damned this guy but I love the colour contrast

This Forget-me-not is pretty as a picture
But they sure don't want to be forgotten in a hurry
I don't know the name of this rose either but it is my absolute favourite in all my gardens
Before you go I have a small problem and thought some of you very clever people out there might be able to help.  I have a tiny patch of space between the house and path just in front of the new terraces.  It is a patch that sits just at the bottom of the stairs.  There used to be a built up bed which I always thought seemed a bit rubbish so I knocked it apart.  The trouble is I have discovered 2 drains seem to just end there.  Normally it isn't much of a problem that is until it rains....

after rain
As you can see it doesn't drain away quickly.  Mr R is not keen to have dig up the pathway and his new vegetable beds in order to get new drains in. 

My plans (before discovering 2 drain ends) was to plant my rhubarb but they do not like wet feet.  Of course it only floods like this during rain.  I can't think of anything that might put up with occasional flooding.  Anyone have a thought?  Otherwise it might look like a lot of digging up the garden, sigh.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Yay for new Vegie patches

So much earlier this year I posted about my lovely new terraces in the back garden which was a huge improvement on what was there. Here is a photo of the strange sloping paved area and weird little garden at the bottom.  It all got removed and Mr R spent a number of very hot days tolling in the garden building walls to create terraces of grass to match up with a big slab of concrete (which you of course can't see in this photo).

Down the side (where the shed is) is the sunniest part of the garden hence the vegetable patch.  The trouble of course is as we are on a slope the water and nutrients simply ran down from the top to the shed.  So as we had bricks to spare I suggested we terrace the garden.  It is really very handy being married to a handyman.

So here are the results so far.


2 walls in

Eek how exciting there are now 4 lovely beds
As you can see there were a few plants in that had to be worked around which I guess must have been quite an inconvenience.  And while the ground around the leek is pretty compact I can be grateful we are on sandy soils as they don't tend to compact to much.

I really couldn't move the broad beans or sweet-peas but they do seem to have survived.  Of course one of the big jobs we must tackle is the fence which I am trying to hide with the passionfruit once I get more manure etc in those beds and get them mulched up I hope there will be so many passionfruit that we really won't be able to get to the fence.

Diba I think would like the fence to be gone so he can get into the neighbours to ask for biscuits.  It works everytime he gives her those big brown eyes and the "I haven't been feed for days' look.

Anyway I must away and go through my seed box to decide what is going in.  Any suggestions?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Eek of the week

I know Wisteria again but this one has been growing for years at my client and it was too spectacular not to include

It is quite magic underneath as well

Bees love blue and purple

This Waratah shrub on the street is quite scrappy but still beautiful

the long weekend

I just love long weekends.  It gives you time to refresh the batteries and get out to look at other gardens etc. Why is it called labour day though and not non-labour day?  Perhaps they figure people like me are bound to try and get into the garden and do a little labour?

Anyway we went away for about 24 hrs this weekend and guess where?

No it's a bit far to go for the weekend
Yes there are plenty of these here
Somewhere where the shadows give you long legs
Yes Canberra our capital
I really like Canberra it is well laid out and spacious.  The tree street scape is well thought out.  That is they generally use the same trees down the length of each road and there are no overhead power line the have to be trimmed into ugly shapes.  Mr R comes from a land-locked city so is not keen.

Anyway we came down this weekend to attend Floriade. A spring festival Canberra puts on each year which focuses on spring bulbs.  Sydney is a bit too warm for tulips. We can grow them but they simply get smaller and smaller every year until they disappear.  When we left Sydney on Sat it was about 24 degrees and by the time we got to Canberra it was a very chilly 8.  Happy days for all those spring bulbs.

Poppies are so cheerful

I love the ruffled tulips

the colours were terrific

So by day you could see patterns they had made in the displays (I didn't get any good photos of these).  But by night there were light displays which transformed them totally.  

Glow in the dark bird display

The ordinary daisies took on movement of there own

Floriade takes place in spring every year.  It is a fantastic atmosphere.  It is free by day although you pay for nightfest it is well worth a visit.  Hope your long weekend finds you well