Monday, November 3, 2008

Springtime Abundance City Central

Our garden has been blazing away in mindblowing springtime glory for months now, and I thought I'd better capture it before the heat of summer fades the beauty, as it tends to do somewhat. The flowers have been going nuts for a couple of months now, and have been filling my heart with joy every time I walk out front, which is a LOT, we spend every day out there, Indi and I. I weed, plant and fertilise whilst she tries to slip a sheep poo past her lips without me noticing (which is all too often!! aaarghhh!! no wonder the first word she has learnt to respond to is "spit it out" in Turkish.). Thankfully my lettuces are now big enough to be mulched around, and so the sheep poo is hidden beneath lovely lucerne mulch, away from the fat little cheeky fingers of a certain 11 month old imp.

In the last couple of weeks the roses have been coming out to play, and have been filling the garden with a rich sweet perfume. Since getting the second queen bed in our bedroom and pushing the first one right up into the corner of the room under the huge window, we have been able to lie in bed with the window open and be awash with the scent of roses, which is quite a nice experience I must say, and easily promotes many moments of sheer unadulterated thankfulness for all the wonderful things in one's life. You can see the top of the window frame of our bedroom in the right hand side of this photo with the amazing purple rose archway.

Having ripped up half the front lawn in my quest for more vegies space, and as per my google research used a multitude of various forms of fertiliser (organic blood and bone, organic complete fertiliser, sheep poo, compost, organic Charlie Carp, sulphate of potash), we are now enjoying sitting back and watching as they all "go sick". Tomatoes are bushy and leafy and covered in flower buds, same with the capsicums, and the beans have just discovered the long poles of the pretty frame I put up for them to climb on, and are tendrilling around them nicely. The front of this photo has some shade cast by the huge market umbrella we invested in at the start of spring, when I realised that our precious baby was gonna get too much sun if we were gonna be gardening every day, which we both love to do.

Update re: strawberry patch on wheels - it is working! And wonderfully! It's only a teensy bit dumb coz it's waaaay to heavy to ever push anywhere, but as a novel and cheap (and not very legal) idea for a planter it is great! I had filled it lovingly with all manner of goodies, which, had I been a strawberry plant, I would have ached for - lots and lots of homemade compost, sheep poo, organic potting mix, sulphate of potash - and the results are really awesome. In the past all attempts to grow strawberries resulted in pathetically small and stunted fruit, and sad looking plants. Thanks to google and some lovely friends who had gifted me with the plants in the first place, I learned how voracious these little beauties are in terms of water and feeding, so I truly indulged them, and I have never grown strawberries this big or cheerful before! Indi has been eating them every day for about a week, and it just makes me so happy to see her eating home grown organic fruit. How lovely!! It might be hard to see (bottom photo below) but I have a tomato plant and two nectarine trees which have sprouted from the compost. I'll have to remove the trees I think and donate them to someone worthy, but methinks the tomato can stay, and may be handy in providing not only more tomatoes (I have planted HEAPS but you simply cannot have too many home grown tomatoes!), but when it's bigger will provide shade for the strawbs during the heat of summer.

Here are some more shots of berry-licious wonderment:

We are also looking forward to mounds of zuchinni, cucumbers, pumkins and potatoes. The snails and I have been battling it out for the cucumbers though. They seemed to think I was putting out a midnight snack for them each time I planted out a punnet. On the third punnet I put a cut-up plastic bottle over each plant, and I'm winning! Each plant is safely housed and growing wonderfully. Indi loves to much on cucumbers, so I just can't wait when I can reach into my garden and hand her a super duper fresh one. Yay! I have always always loved gardening, since I was a small child, and have planted a vegie patch and flowers for as long as I can remember, but growing organic food for your child just adds a whole new dimension to it!

Oh, and just a final note about watering. We bought a tiny pump (really a bilge pump that boats have on them to pump out the water that seeps in) which you attach your garden hose to and sit into your bath, and it works beautifully, and means we can save our bath water (only when we have used no shampoo or conditioner, which is fairly often with Indi and most of my showers these days) and water whenever we like. I try to not get the water onto the leaves, since it's technically grey water even though it has no chemicals in it. I have hated the two day a week rule, any true gardener knows it's not enough in summer, not by a long shot, so it's so nice to know I can water my garden without using any extra tap water, and keep my garden growing during the heat of summer. And you can recharge the pump battery by a small solar panel too! Needless to say, we likes the pump.