Ready! (Almost)

Last full day before hitting the road!
Let me start by relating the first drama of the day.
We have been giving Pip tablets morning and night since his vet visit. Not being able to get our house-sitter to continue this, the vet offered an injection to cover the time away. Being Siamese and a little high strung (lets not talk about ME beings slightly high strung over my cat) we thought since we had a nurse in the house we could give him the injection without dragging him back down to the vets.
No worries. Got the needle, instructions….
Let me quote to you from Jeffs facebook status:

“Thought giving a cat a pill was hard (Lisa & l are pros at this). Pip needed a steroid injection today. Poor fella…practically hit the ceiling and farted like no one’s business in the process . I only managed to get 0.2ml of 0.5ml into him. I totally suck as a cat nurse. So now it’s to the vet (which we were trying to avoid that stress)”

Sigh. Our gorgeous vet – bless her cotton socks – sorted Pip out and I was able to pick him up within half an hour. (AND she didn’t charge us anything!!!!! I was thrilled by her kindness) Pip was fine with me but it took a number of hours before he forgave Jeff!!!! (They are now snugged up in bed so I think all is forgiven.)
I do hate leaving him though… you can’t explain to animals how long you are going when you leave.

Back to the garden to do what I could with the time I had left.
First stop – hothouse:

A few weeds and dead chilli plants to pull and a few other seedlings to plant

Dodgy Brothers climbing frame made… putting in mini rock melons here

Also wanted some basil in the dirt too

So tiny… wonder how big they will be in a month (if they survive)

Then it was on to the duck yard garden to get the Apple Cucumbers in the ground too. The normal cucumbers dont seem to do well outside – I have those in the hothouse, but hopefully this season the apple cucumbers will go crazy again.

Another Dodgy Brothers climbing frame created!

No time to dig the whole patch… holes dug, mushroom compost shoved in, seedlings planted, covers put on! (And watered)

Pause – admire potatoes

And snow peas – that look a lot happier with being tied back and shelter

The three mystery pumpkins I planted the other day are looking splendid!

ooooo – and check out this parting present from the strawberry patch!

Mind you, early in the season I am always fighting the millipedes for the first ones!

OK – that about wraps things up! Must get on and do my final little tasks before bed.
Next time we speak it will be from the Land of the Rising Sun! (I hope)





Tomatoes, Chooks & More Flowers

How has everyone’s weekend started off?
We have been busy. Lots and lots of little things to take care of.
At least the cash I ordered came in early and my travel cards finally arrived so have them sorted out (and tested)

I decided to plant those tomato laterals in the other side of the raised bed. I made a little fence so they hopefully won’t loom over the carrots too badly.

My plan is to go and pinch off a bunch more laterals and leave them in a jar of water – my guess is when we return from swanning about Japan they will be well and truly ready to be planted out.

I took time this evening to clean out the chook house. It was due – nicer to leave it with a fresh start for Beau, our house sitter.

Poor little crook chook is not really getting better. We think we may have to dispatch her before we leave. We are so sad about that, but we have run out of time to do our usual nursing and we can’t expect Beau to either nurse or dispatch (He is about to enter into his final school exams so we are trying to make things easy for him)
I have left her sleeping on the nest – she has had lots of lovely special feeds in the past week.

The other girls were happy to snug up together in their clean coop.

The compost is now well and truly full!

The lettuce patch is full of sturdy little self seeded tomato and broccoli plants. I am hoping to relocate them (goodness knows where) before we go.

The white iris should unfold tomorrow!

Granny bonnets
Can you have too many blossom photos?

Even got a bit of a sunset tonight! By that point it was getting dark so I had to quit and come inside for the evening!

Hope everyone has a super fabulous weekend!


Paying Attention to the Raspberries

Nearly at the end of the week! I started my morning with a bikini wax… after which I was thoroughly awake! (I need to do a proper leg shave too… want to go have some Japanese baths next month and the Hobbit-Feet have to go!)(Snicker)

Anyway – good news. The new travel cards arrived. Just have to activate them tomorrow morning – if I can’t manage it I will dash to the bank so they can hold my hand through the process!

Pip enjoying a dash about outside

We did a tip run today. It was good to get rid of all the rubbish and start new with empty bins. On the way home we diverted by the beach and filled up on seaweed grass as I wanted to sort out the raspberries before leaving the country.

Annoyingly, Jeff said he had unstitched the netting at the end of last season, so I got it back out and stitched it back up.
Only to find it in no way fit and the other netting was the one we used (Happily already stitched) (Lesson learned: Wrap netting and LABEL)

But that is the story of my life lately… every task taking way longer than it should! (I did roll my eyes a lot though)

Finally got the right netting on and pinned down.
Next – newspaper & seaweed

It took up a good portion of the day, but I am really happy that is done. The grass and weeds should be minimised so we won’t come home to a feral jungle!

I had promised my pumpkins that I would relocate them… enough daylight left now to keep pushing on.

They were really starting to burst out of their pot!

The seaweed here (no newspaper) has really kept the weeds to a bare minimum.

All done. Of course they got tucked up in their protective ice cream containers and sprinkled with a little snail bait just in case.

Then a bit of weeding

I also took time to throw a little mulch around the snow peas, then planted out some marigolds beside the potatoes

And to happily finish off a lovely productive day, I spotted some colour on the strawberries and the first of the corn up!

I hope your day was lazier than mine! I am ready for bed!!


Getting Packed

Pip’s daytime resting place of choice!! Not that there isn’t a squishy comfy couch three feet on the right or anything!! Cats!

We got a lot of our bags packed and organised. Presents mostly sorted.
I am feeling less twitchy with some tangible progress.

It was a lovely lovely day out there today. I enjoyed going out to water and attend to a few tasks in between holiday organisation.

My second lot of seedlings have mostly come up pretty well. The chives are the only thing still yet to make an appearance.
Got watermelon, more tomatoes, more basil, thyme, chilli, onion & leek

I have promised the pumpkin (that is up the back of the photo) they are to be planted out tomorrow! They are getting way too big for the pot!

Happy with the tomatoes!

Lillium budding

This girl is a bit poorly. I give her first go at the porridge before the other greedy-gutses get into it. We don’t have the luxury of time to bring her in to nurse her… I hope she will come good on her own.

Snow peas sprawling all over. With the wind they haven’t had a chance to latch onto the fence. So I finally got around to giving them a helping hand and tied them back against the fence. They can do their thing now

Of course the minute you do something interesting in the garden a pack of stickybeaks come around to investigate. And eat your tasty new snow pea leaves!!

Chooks thwarted!

Forget that blue & green never to be seen rubbish! They are gorgeous colours together!

The pear blossoms came and went quickly. Lets hope for pears this season finally??

Most of the zucchinis are going along well
Round two of the runner beans look like a success

The cos lettuce are doing amazing – just need to get in and do some weeding. Also in here are lots of self seeded broccoli and tomatoes. Hoping I can relocate them before I leave.

The little tomatoes I planted out are quite happy. Still under containers at night

Pretty pleased with the broccoli progress too!

The rhubarb is clearly really happy!

The lovely iris are coming out! So happy to see some before we leave.

And while the cherry blossom is doing its thing, you are going to see more photos (because I can’t help it) haha
Hope you are having a great week!


A Bit Around The Garden

I love the apple blossoms!
Hello! I am having a day of panic organising, since we are a week out of flying off to Japan.
Every task over the past month that should have been simple/straightforward has given me the runaround, so I am feeling slightly twitchy right now!!
Today I popped into the bank to order some Japanese Yen in cash to start us off. Normally that’s about a 2 day thing. Nope. New suppliers to the bank mean “It’ll be in Monday or Tuesday”
Arrrgh! We LEAVE Tuesday. Since the bank also gave me the wrong information about the reissuing of my travel cards for the bulk of our funds I am also still waiting for those to turn up. This is NOT a relaxing thought.

So I ordered the cash from the post office who promise Monday, but seem to think it will be in earlier.
I started packing my bag today. Put aside most of the clothes I think I will take, but probably over half the contents will be things I am taking for friends. But it felt good to make a start on that side of things, then I can check the weight and balance it all out between the checked luggage and the carry on.

Yesterday after our friends left, I buzzed on down to Ruby’s and planted some things for her – more lettuce, some replacement cucumbers as a few of her existing ones got eaten. A capsicum and four butternut pumpkins.
That left me enough daylight to get home and plant my butternut pumpkins out.
The herb garden extension is not doing anything at the moment, so I weeded it up and put the remaining 8 seedlings that I had left in there.

I always have a bit of company when I do anything out here

This is Murgatroid. He is a bad tempered head-butter with a baa that sounds broken. But I think I am winning him over.
I don’t actually think he has a name but he just looked like a Murgatroid to me.
He was bought for the sheep but he knocks them over so he is stuck in solitary.
I think he is lonely, so I have told him its all in the attitude. He lets me kinda poke him in the nose and almost scratch his head at times.
I feed him grass which he loves, but then he forgets himself and tries to butt me through the fence! Its pretty funny. I am sure he is just misunderstood.

Murgatroid overseeing my work.
I am hoping to be able to train these pumpkins into areas where they won’t smother other plants.
Another gardening task ticked off the list.

I think seeds explode rather than emerge. These watermelon seeds were non existent in the morning, but all there in the afternoon!

Finally some of my basil looks positive!

A few sunflowers popping up. I am still hoping to squeeze in a whole patch of these somewhere!

Yesterday a couple of the iris looked like this. Today they bloomed! I am sure I will get out there with the camera tomorrow.

Apple blossom tree has also sprung into action (just an ornamental)

Hope everyone has had a lovely day!


Wood Stacked, Tomatoes Planted & Blossoms Admired

More cherry blossoms fluffing out each day! Its such a pretty tree!

Well… another beautiful day! I had a few chores in town to do before pulling the gardening clothes back on.
But stacking the wood was the first main job

I love the new area! Its so much more space efficient and I don’t have to over-think the stacking process with the sturdy walls keeping everything in place!

Oh – I put my tables out again and made $19 today – although someone took an awful lot of pots for $3.50! I was in town at the time that happened. Not sure if they were really bad at math, misunderstood the prices or intend dropping back tomorrow with the balance! (the latter has happened before)
Oh well… I don’t put things out the front that I will cry about if I don’t get my $$. Sometimes mistakes happen. (I figure if they were trying to steal stuff then the eggs would have disappeared not the bean seedlings haha)

I cleared up the raspberry canes – mulched them up and added them to the compost.

I was going to hoe the potatoes but the ground was a bit hard – so I put the sprinkler on them and moved on to plant my tomatoes.

I would have waited a little longer before putting these out, but I want them well established before we go so our young house sitter doesn’t have to worry about everything in the garden.

The seaweed kept most of the weeds out, but the twitch is persistent. I raked off the seaweed and spent some time digging and fossicking for the ropey menace!

It will return I am sure but at least todays effort will slow it up a bit.

10 heirloom beefsteak tomato plants in. Each plant got a few handfuls of mushroom compost and a good watering. I also covered them up under the plastic containers – which they will get at night for at least a week.

I have more tomatoes that will need planting. I just have to work out where!

Broccoli coming along beautifully – I even noticed the floret (is that what you call it?) starting!!

After dark I remembered I hadn’t gone back to cover my zucchini and marigolds, so I slipped back out to do that. Errugh – snail & slug city out there! I spent some quality time tap-dancing on them, then gave some key areas a sprinkle of snail bait.

Anyway – a lovely productive day. Its calling for rain tomorrow – so I am glad I have made decent steps in the last few days out there!

Will leave you with a couple more flower images

Enjoy your day!


Wood Storage Revamp

Glorious spring day! No excuses to not get out and get some solid work done!
I started with the laundry! We had a lovely breeze too, so getting sheets and towels done was a doddle!

I started by putting my stall out the front to see if I could sell any of the excess seedlings I had. Whoo-hoo! I made 13 bucks!!

Anyway, the real job today was redoing the wood pile area so it was more practical for me when stacking. Up until now I have had to think more about how to balance it safely. Plus the old weather canvas was looking pretty woebegone

First thing was to move all accumulated ‘stuff’ out of the way and get the canvas down (I won’t go into detail about the raining spiders bit)

The plan was to use up those pallets we got for free and create a walled in area. That way I can stack the wood higher without thinking I might get squashed at some point!

Of course the resident snoopervisor was on hand to… well I don’t know what he was trying to do except get in the way!

Hot Chocolate Break…

We mixed it up with a bit of aluminium siding as well (Yes, we are still the ‘Dodgy Brothers’ of building stuff)

An old tent provided the new weather proofing canvas over the whole thing

I mostly finished the job by clearing up all the pots/bags etc and putting the pallet floor back

After looking at the above photo I am thinking I may be able to hang some of my gardening tools off this pallet wall!!
We would still like to extend a single pallet wall further along as we fully intend to overstock on wood over summer. But for now, we are pretty pleased.

I am really looking forward to getting in here tomorrow and stacking it all up. We have another couple of loads of wood sitting in the front yard, so I should be able to get it all away in here.
It does look a little higgledy-pigglety but I am fairly confident it will do the job.

Quite tired now¬† – I’d show you the pizzas I made us for dinner, but too late – we ate them!

Hope everybodys day was fantastic!


Huddle time!

Zucchinis Are In


Hello! Monday went pretty well! A few more things sorted for our upcoming trip, did some egg deliveries & shopping and was left with plenty of time to get out into the garden.
I decided to ‘install’ my deep watering system this season as I never got around to it last year.

Material costs are pretty much zilch.

Basically I went and buried a lot of plastic containers next to the spot I intended to plant my zucchinis. Once the zucchinis grow up and out these will be nicely hidden.

A double handful of mushroom compost, followed by the zucchini itself

I had good success with my zucchinis last time I tried this method. Obviously you get less evaporation and the roots can get to the water quickly.

Not having hardened the plants off after their cushy start in the hothouse, I have erred on the side of caution by covering them over. If the day is reasonable weather wise, I’ll let them out tomorrow!

Potatoes doing pretty well!! I cannot wait for new potatoes again!

I noticed some tiny beetroot seedlings making their way into the big wide world!

And that parsley I moved yesterday? I don’t think it noticed!!

I saw my lovely hothouse tomatoes starting to fall over. Time to thwack a stake in the ground and tie them back.

Later on I will probably use one or two long ties from the roof and just wind it around the plant – which is easy to unwind and tighten as it grows.

And then it was time to enjoy a walk around the yard and take a closer look at what is blooming! The cherry blossom has just started! We have friends coming at the weekend and I am hoping the cherry blossom is at its best when they arrive – just to show off a little!

The¬†Guelder Rose is about to burst out into glorious snowballs of flowers! We didn’t prune it last season so its going to be a bit mad.

I enjoy the way the Geum start off one colour and transform as they open

I was also a bit excited to see a few iris spikes!! I thought we were going to leave the country and miss them altogether! Now I think there is a chance!

November is a very pretty time in our garden. I don’t know what possessed me to plan to leave at that time! (haha – something about Autumn Leaf Colours in Japan most likely!!)

Hope your week has started beautifully!


Snapdragons making a reappearance!

More Sunshine!

Two days in a row! Loving it! Even had Pip out to enjoy the blue skies!
It was so good to really get my teeth into some work today (mind you, I am feeling it a bit tonight!!)

I scraped off the newspaper and mulch from one half of the raised bed and was really pleased that I had almost no weeds at all to contend with! It was just a matter of giving it a dig over and admiring the worms.

I planned on putting our carrots in here

I don’t do much special. Just sprinkle them along.
Later when they are about little finger size, I start pulling them to eat, leaving a few well spaced for later so they grow bigger.

Pleased to fit five rows in this little space!

Job one done.

I then went into the main patch and finished turning over the green manure. I think I was meant to leave it a few weeks to start breaking down etc. Nope. Running out of time, so the corn seeds went in today and they just have to do their best!

I have about 130 seeds in. Enough do you think??
I also went and put in a row of marigolds at the end as the seedlings were a good size

I needed to use the barrow full of mulch from the carrot patch, so I quickly started weeding a bit of the garlic patch and mulched it. Still a lot to go to get it finished.

Then onto that middle patch – That took a fair bit of work. The soil is still gluggy, but a good portion is now cleaned up, weeded and turned over.
I plan to put my zucchinis in here

That makes the whole area look so much better, even though I know there is still a lot to be done!

Rhubarb, Parsley & celery. I actually just transplanted the parsley… will see soon enough if it was happy about that or not!

Here’s hoping for a few more days in the sun!

Hope your weekends were fabulous!


Sunshine, Friends, Gardens & Tulips

I am struck with Garden Entrance Envy!

Hello! I feel pleasantly tired after a day in the sunshine! Soaking up all that vitamin D for sure!
I finally got out to see friends today (Sharon, Paul & their daughter Lottie) and check out their property! We have always ‘planned’ but never quite made the date!

I love seeing someone elses garden and getting a tour along with hearing what the plans are. I find it so inspirational!

Sharon has had the same issue as me so far this season – not many good days to get out and really into the garden. So we both are a little behind getting things weeded and sorted

They have a lovely big space that has a lot of vegetables & fruit already on the go. Raspberry canes popping up all over and a fabulous amount of strawberries.

A little poly tunnel shelters some very happy looking tomatoes & lettuce

Beautiful broccoli flowers that are humming with bees

celery tucked up in tubes!

I am very much loving this lattice made from local dogwood!

I went visiting in my garden clothes (as one does) so we had quite an enjoyable time weeding and chatting in the beautiful weather.

Chickens and new chicks are running all over the place

Rescue dog, Elvis is adorable – sweet friendly fellow!

Sharon & Pauls daughter Lottie, living the charmed life of a country girl – lots of furry and feathery friends, fresh food to pick and eat and running about barefoot in the garden!

Sharon helped me fill a few bags of pine needles from the pine forest opposite their home

Back at home I was able to tick ‘mulching the strawberries & blueberries with pine needles’ off my list

I even spotted some blueberry flowers!

With the remaining daylight I made a good start on digging in my green manure.

I had noticed some birds fly out of the garden when I went in… and wasn’t pleased to see a number of my lettuce being munched!

I had a few stakes/polypipe sets ready to go so I just popped them in the soil and threw a net over. That should sort them out!

I took Sharon up a bunch of seedlings and I was lucky enough to bring back a bucket of young raspberry canes to add to my patch!
We have always been pretty good at mostly bartering a lot of our produce between ourselves.

And as a final treat to the day – stopping by the gorgeous tulip fields on the way home – a bit of delightful colour streaking across the land!


I had to wade through waist high grass, braving snakes to get close to get the photos!