Susan's Posts (142)

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Back to the garden

Hi everyone, 

Well it's been a while.  I have slowly been getting back into the garden since I broke my leg and am tackling the jobs 1 by 1.


 Luckily for me that while my husband has no initiative of his own to do any gardening chores, I can point him at the big jobs and he's happy to look after me that way.   While I'm now walking, gardening is slow and painful and I can't Carry anything heavy so between my husband and kids, I've managed to start the garden. 

Today, I repotted strawberry runners and replanted the best of my mother plants into a garden bed that doesn't ever have much growing in it.  

My bishop crown capsicums are still pumping out fruit.  I turn these into chilli jam and use them in a capsicum sauce for meatloaf. 


The pumpkin out the back regrew and tthe council hasn't yet ripped out my back garden so it is wild out there.  Between that and the surviving farm pumpkins after the flood, I think we'll have pumpkins for a year which was my goal this year to not have to buy them. 


Choko's are also an awesome producer this year.  I made a mock apple pie and we have been eating stuffed choko for dinner regularly. I also made a potato bake with these guys in them as well that everyone loved.  

The ginger has also been amazing! I harvested some last week for the chilli jam and the rhizomes are huge, fat and healthy. 

Citrus look like they'll be starting soon.  Mandarins and grapefruit should be ready by the end of the month. 

Lots of pruning and mulching is on your the cards for the next few weeks but who knows when I'll get to it.  My middle daughter moved out yesterday so we've been busy sorting her out and cleaning out her room so I'll need to give hubby a day off or so before I put him to task with the outside stuff. 

that's it from me guys, hope to see you soon. 

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The garden come spring

Well spring has surely sprung but I’m still waiting on consistently nice weather before I count my chickens. I have been trying to get all my irrigation updated and ready for summer when there is just no way I’ll get enough time to make sure the watering gets done.  I bought shrubblers from Bunnings and they allow you to adjust the flow rate or even turn them off which is great for my multi Vegie garden bed set up.  I have 3 per bed at the moment


. I also set up drip irrigation for the “outside the fence” garden. I’ll be removing some of the winter stuff soon and replace it with more summer crops.  I already have corn planted but I’m thing rosellla’s and more tomatoes since they seem to be going so good out there. 


The harvests are going great.  I’m only buying potato and onions in terms of veggies at the moment.  


we have plenty of fruit too as mulberries strawberries and blueberries are in abundance and the peaches have started.  Still buying bloody apples though - my kids cannot survive without their apples.   I buy about 20 Per week for the 3 of them.    Once they are grown, I’ll only be eating the fruit I grow dammit! 




Flowers are just starting to look great.   I’ve got my first and only surviving strawflower in bloom, but damn, she’s pretty!


My pumpkins are making my garden look like a fairytale right now.  They are growing up through my fence and over my garden shed.  So pretty!


Ive also got some avocados Ron my Pinkerton.  So excited to see if I’ll actually be able to harvest any this time. 


lastly, I harvested some honey today so have a look at my real rough and ready approach to honey harvests.  I call it the smoosh and filter method.  


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End of August 2021

9779363874?profile=originalToday was a very good day despite being hungover and feeling the excesses of the previous night. I went to Valeries garden visit and it was wonderful to see everyone again - I have missed the visits. I then came home, had a nap and then played in the garden in the warm afternoon.

Spring has well and truly sprung in my yard. I’m already harvesting peaches from the tree at the front but my angel peach has only just set fruit.¯_(ツ)_/¯ oh well, I’ll have an extended harvest so I’m not complaining.


The garden flowers seem to have burst, as if over night.  
How can you not love life when this is your afternoon? 

The harvests are still bountiful.  I won’t repost, but I harvest a full basket of food about twice per week.  When the mulberries are in full swing (soon), I can harvest a basket of mulberries alone!

9779365087?profile=originalSo many things growing well at the moment.  Peas are finally doing well.  I’m going to save seeds from my strongest to see if I can have success again next year.  

My latest planting of brassicas are doing well under their net which gives them just enough protection from the sun to keep them thriving. 


Im also trying some cucumbers in the ground as they don’t seem to well lately for me in the wicking beds.   I’ve also got some carrots and a random bean popping up too.  The bully nasturtiums is of course trying to take over.  If anyone can recommend a true clumping type, I’d greatly appreciate it. 

The strawberries are doing so well.  At least 600g per week being harvested and they just look beautiful. 


Well that’s it from me guys.  I’m loving this beautiful time of the year and hope all your gardening adventures are a success. 


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Lockdown in the garden

Hey All, 

I just couldn’t face the chaos that work would have been today so I took a mental health day and spent it in my garden.  It has been going great even though I’ve got a spider mite problem at the moment.  My back garden outside the fence is doing fantastic. I have spinach beetroot and celery here as well as other bits and pieces.  


Next is the potatoes I harvested out of there.  Only 5 potatoes planted and I got all those you see down the side from the dug area you see.   I’m starting to work this potato thing out!   I’m keeping my small ones to replant as soon as they9779360064?profile=originalSuch a pretty basket full!   These were from memory Dutch cream.  They also did really well for me at the farm.  


My bloody chooks have been getting out again and made a mess of my gardens.  I decided to rip everything out and replant except for a marigold and some brassica in the first bed.  Let’s hope I’ve managed to contain them this time.  I also have a choko that a lady at work gave me and it seems to be reasonably happy.  It is shoved between the concrete and the garden beds, a space of about 8cm! It seems to be doing fine and I hope I’m finally able to grow choko.  Plan is for it to grow up the fence. 


My blueberries have all burst into bloom so hoping for some decent blueberries this year.  Just fertilised them today. 

Do you rip out your broccoli once it’s main head is gone?  Don’t! Have some patience and it will reward you with an even greater harvest of side shoots. 


We are getting so many trombonccino! My plant takes up the side fence wall and I really ought to give it a trim back. 

I’m just about out of citrus. I harvested the last emporer mandarin today, my 4 cara car oranges and some of the Afourer mandarins.  That tree is still loaded as my husband and kids hate how hard it is to peel.  Big babies!  It is a really nice mandarin. 

I might finally be getting a pea harvest! My garden is so temperamental- peas especially! This is about the 5th time I’ve tried peas this season and looks like 5th time’s the9779359268?profile=original

I also just had to show you my strawberries!! So good.   About 1 punnet per week at this stage but soon it will be every couple of days.  Can’t wait.  


If you look in the background, you’ll see my very full fruit fly trap!

Well everyone, hope you stay safe and sane in these crazy times.  I look forward to the day where everything goes back to normal but until then, at least I have my gardening to keep me sane.  

happy gardening folks. 

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Hi Guys, 

Well what a month: torrential rain with 34 degree days -> aka "summer" vs 19 degree days and really cool -> Aka Autumn/Winter.   I know this is pretty much par for the course in April but seriously!! Where did these last few days of heat come from?

I have had a very busy time up at the farm.  We went up over easter and lucky we did as it was raining and we realised the van was leaking!  So I came back home for two days and was up there again Tuesday night, all on my own, with a solid plan of attack.  I stayed there until Saturday and boy did I work hard.  I was up on that roof, chiseling out bitumen like stuff from around all the seams and joins and then taped it all back up again with butyrate flashing tape  that a lot of the van renovating forums seem to recommend.  That took me 3 days - not all day as I couldn't be up on a metal roof in that heat in the middle of the day but I was up there from about 6am to 10 -11 am every day.  I also wanted to put in a "proper" shower cubicle - one that I don't have to be scared of snakes creeping up on me from the dense bushes under the tree where our current shower is set up.  I had to dig 5 holes and then mix up bags of cement to fill them - you need to realise that this also entails me carting buckets of water around the farm cause that's all I got.  I also did some gardening - I started with weeding my very long back garden bed.  I then  went and got a round massive sugar cane bale for $40!!!! (facebook market!) I also bought some compost in and I had my 4 free trees from BCC that I get every year with rates and I had some sun loving bromeilieds that I got from my mother ages ago that needed planting out as part of my fence/hedge.  I had a coffee tree that Valerie had given me at Sid's garden visit, some sweet potato slips, cassava, choko and some avocado seeds that I thought "What the hell - give it a go" that all needed planting.  I love looking at facebook market place and it just so happened that there was a guy selling excess sheppard and hass avocado trees for $10!! So I drove out west for 20 min and low and behold, there are avocado farms galore up that way that you would never have guessed were there.  This guy grafts and sells to farmers but had too many excess this year for his orders so was selling them cheap. BARGAIN!  As you can imagine, I was one very exhausted girl coming home on Saturday arvo. 

I came home to my beautiful 7 year old papaya tree lying over the fence and all her beautiful fruit dumped on the ground!!  As you can imagine, this was the last thing I needed on Saturday! Oh well, it is what it is. 


So I now have a million green papaya's that need to be used up.  I made Adobo chicken for dinner tonight and our "vegetable" was cubed green papaya that simmered down in the sauce until it was soft.  I thought it was delicious and there was no complaints from the kids so at least that's one down out of the pile in my house. 


Oh!! The other thing I did up at the farm was went guava foraging.  I came home and made guava jelly but despite me boiling it twice with added pectin the second time, it still has not set.  It does taste delicious though!


Remember me saying I might have broccoli in April? Just look at me!!! I am a gardening QUEEN!!  It may be on the smallish side but it might get bigger as it has only just popped it's head up. 


I don't think I'm going to be getting much more beans.  The first shot is from about 1.5 weeks ago and I was starting to lose some beans to some sort of disease on them.  Now, with all the rain, I'm barely getting any good ones.  Oh well, it was good while it lasted.  That was also the last cucumber as my plants got completely covered in aphids and caterpillars.  But that's ok, as you can see in the second shot, my cucamelons are now entirely productive.  That little harvest was after "one for me, one for the basket" kind of harvesting :)



Lastly, I'll show you this beautiful plant I grew from cuttings I got from one of our garden visits.  It is so beautiful and if anyone knows the name of it, I'd greatly appreciate it.  


Well  that's it from me guys.  Can't wait to see you all at my garden visit on Saturday .  Don't forget, I'll have lots of strawberry plants so bring something to take them home with you. 

Happy gardening folks. 

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March in the garden

Hi all, welcome to march in my garden,

I have been inspired by Andy's shed wars to keep a log of everything that we eat that is coming out of the garden.  My goal is to do 1 month but i've already done my first week and want to share what we are eating.  The tally stands at 19 eggs, 400g Trombonccino/zucchini,  400g eggplant, 110g chilli, 300g Tomato, 200g figs, 1.6kg Banana, 1.2 kg paw paw, 350g Asparagus, 200g beans, 300g cucumber, 100g spring onion, 200g lemonade, 20g lettuce.  Considering the garden is not yet over the summer lull, I am quite pleased.  Here is a photo of today's harvest -> this belongs in next week's tally.


I have been frantically planting plenty of seeds and getting them out into garden beds.  Some, I am loosing but I'm trying to make sure I have plenty of seeds on the go so I always have something to chuck in it's place.  Here is the area where I do my seed sowing.  It's also where I keep my indoor plants that I rotate every week or so through the house. 9779349076?profile=original

It is almost time to be preparing my strawberries again for going up on the fence.  I have my standard redlands joy which are tried and true in my garden.  They won't be ready to pot up until april, however, last year at the end of the season, I bought Fresca and Sumo.   The Fresca has put out strawberries all summer and are now starting to send out abundant bunches despite it not getting any care.   My plan is to pot these up next weekend and get them out early onto my fence to maybe enjoy a really early bunch of strawberries while I wait for my redlands joy to catch up.  Don't know how the sumo will perform with care but I'll dedicate 2 pots to it for a decent trial. 


The first brassica bed which I planted out in feb is doing really well.  Hoping to have broccoli in April this year. 


I have a tomato /bean jungle growing at the moment.  The tomato is just one plant and it  will be coming out as soon as my other plants come into production but right now, they are all I'm getting.  Which is better than most summers when I get no tomatoes at all.  I have bought the occasional pack of cherry tomatoes to supplement our needs but I've only just had to start buying canned tomatoes as I've run out of my jarred tomatoes that I use for cooking.  Not too bad - I should be harvesting in a month or so.  This year, I'm going to aim for 24 jars of tomatoes put up and that should get me through the 3-4 months of summer when I can't grow abundant tomatoes. 


Using my in ground space before it got too shaded, I planted a last batch of corn which is developing well.


I'm also having another shot at growing onions.  This time, I made sure I bought short day length type and have planted them at the appropriate time of year for SE queensland.  In fact, I had some I started in january which if you look carefully, you'll be able to see them in the back 1.5 rows.   I then thickly sowed the same varieties (brown and white cippioloni, and red burgandy) in the next rows.  


In terms of fruit, we are back to harvesting my goldfinger banana's.  I currently have 2 bunches which opened up about 1 month apart.  I've started picking 1/3 of  hand per week of the first bunch and my 1 week old harvest is just starting to turn colour.  This should keep us in banana's  for hopefully 3 months between the 2 bunches by harvesting this way. 


It is almost mandarin time.  My miho wase satsuma's are starting to lighten up as they are a super early variety and should be ripe in april.   I've never been too fussed by these as previous years they have been quite dry.  I've put that down to lack of water while fruit has been developing but this year, summer has been exceptionally kind and with all the rain we've been having, it has no excuse.  If they are not succulent this year, i'm ripping out the tree!!! I also have emporer's then imperials then afourer to ripen so I should have mandarins until September. 


The Paw paw is reaching for the sky.  I planted another (seed grown) last year and it is growing slowly.  It will replace this poor old thing when it is done.   I know you can chop these down but it is in my banana grove so a) it won't recieve enough light if I chop it and b) it is at least 7 years old so is nearly at the end of its life anyway.   


I also spotted the cutest little pineapple starting!  It was buried under my asparagus's so I didn't notice it until today as I was searching for asparagus spears.  I am finding that pineapples don't need full sun to produce pineapples but can anyone tell me if they will be tasty>


My 3 little chicken hatchlings are not so little anymore.  One of them is definitely a rooster and destined to be chicken dinner but the other 2 lovies will replace my lost ones to the fox attack.  Because they are a heritage breed (sussex) they take a lot longer to start producing eggs - 6 months - but my last lot have proven to be good little layers. 


I don't know if this was any of you guys, I've checked with all my friends, but I came home one day and this plant had been left in my driveway.  No note or anything so I don't know who to thank.  If it was you, can you let me know.


Lastly, it just wouldn't be my blog without flowers. 


Well that's it from me guys.  Hopefully you are getting in all your winter crops including tomatoes and enjoying the (slightly) cooler weather.  More rain forcast for us so YAY!

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Sid's Garden Visit

Wow, where do I begin!

Sid's garden is enormous!  5 acres of beautiful land with the backbones to do so much.  It was once a goat milking farm apparently and has a massive red barn in really good repair with two massive water tanks down the back of what I would guess is approximately 3 acres of cleared grass land.  The remaining 2 acres is where the house and gardens are.  She and her husband will have a lot of work to do to bring her vision to life but I couldn't imagine a more beautiful spot than here to do it in. 


Off to the right of this photo of the house and viewed partially in the next photo, at the very front  of her property is where she envisions a permaculture vegetable garden mixed with some natives.  


Out the back of her place (before the acres of grassland) there is a beautiful, well established rain foresty area that is just gorgeous.  There is a fish pond, which my daughter absolutely loved and I spotted a loquat tree in amongst it all.  Valerie also thinks there may be an acerola tree as well. 




There are multiple paths, through and around her rainforest garden - almost like a choose your own adventure.  



We went down the left side of her house to start to go down the back of her property.  No, the grass you see here is NOT part of the area I was talking about for the goats :)


Through the gates, you reach a well established citrus grove of at least 10 trees.  Most are healthy, some need a little TLC, but if you want limes, Man has she got LIMES!!!  Sid very generously let us pick to our hearts content and I think I came home with 20 limes without even putting a dint in that tree.  We positively identified the tahitian lime, kaffir lime, an orange, a mandarin, a finger lime with limes on it and either a grapefruit or pummelo but the others either didn't have fruit or we couldn't really work it out. 




Walking further down the hill, there is a large chicken coop(you can see it in the lime photo's), a raised garden bed area in much neglect but has potential (dragon fruit and asparagus surviving in there) and what we think are like newborn goat barns.   Not to mention she has an established pumpkin vine, choko vine AND 3 BLOODY KIWI VINES!!!!! SO JELLY!!






We then braved the grass to walk down to her barn and don't think that's the end.  Her property just keeps going all the way as far as you can see!


Growing in amongst all that grass was the healthiest bloody summer tomatoes that I have ever seen.  Literally all through the grass!!! I'm going to ask Sid to save the seeds because that would be worth to try and grow. 


I honestly cannot give the scope of this garden justice.  We headed back up to the house, through the "formal" garden which then enters one of the paths through the rainforest.   Sid is thinking about having a working bee to dig out the roses and the plants as she just wants a few.   Sorry Dianne, far too hot and I didn't bring any digging gear but I'll help out on the working bee to get you some roses :)


Then down the right side of the garden, Sid was pleasantly surprised at the scope of the fruiting plants she had there.  Luckily, we could be of assitance and identified quite a few for her.  Avocado's, Lychee, Jaboticaba, 3 apples, 2 Nashi's, Mangoes, Macadamia, Pomegranite, Cassava were what we found down there. 







Like I said, the potential here is amazing and Sid has big plans for this place.  I can't wait to see what it will look like in a few years.  Thanks for having us.  I really enjoyed the peaceful beauty of your place Sid.

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February 2021

Hi guys,

Well I’ve had a very productive weekend in my garden and feel wonderfully peaceful.  Because the rain has been so frequent for me, this summer has not seen the devestation that it normally experiences in summer because I can’t keep up with the watering.  Just look at this as an example.  I have tomatoes, cucamelon, chillis, capsicum, lemongrass and eggplant all here.  I also just planted some parsley seedlings (homegrown) and more of those beautiful zinnias.  

I was cleaning up my massively overgrown grape vine that was growing over my fence and covering my fruit trees out the back when I nearly got stung by wasps again.  Fortunately I saw them before they worked out it was me disturbing them.  


The other exciting thing was that I have my first fruit on mandarin from my mate’ “Jerry’S” house.  LOL. I am so glad for this blogs as I could go back to May 2017 and a) work out it’s been 4 years since I planted it and b) that it is paramatta sweets.


This was the post from back then :)


I got so much planting done.   I’m pushing my luck by trying some brassicas but the seeds germinated so fingers crossed they’ll do ok. 



I am still harvesting silver beet which is surprising.  While not as productive as during cooler months, they are still giving us a feed    I’m attributing it to the partial shade from my wild grape vine.  

This is surprising because I have not been able to harvest ANY cucumbers! They kept getting caterpillars all over them and aphids and would just give up the ghost.  I started 2 under a net about 4 weeks ago and who knows, maybe this is the secret.  So far they are looking amazingly healthy.  


Here is my beetroot that I preserved from the harvests while I was on school holidays 


And I harvested the longans.  1st decent harvest came in at around 2 kg


I’ve also planted some more flower seeds so hopefully they’ll come up and make my garden a bit more beautiful.  Dianne, I also ordered the wampee!! So I made a area for that to go when it arrives.   Well that’s it from me guys.  Happy gardening. 

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Jan 2021 - I've been a bit slack with blogging.

Hi all, 

I'm sorry I've been absent from blogging with any regularity lately.  My husband was ill for a while and then holidays happened and as usual it all got away from me.  Luckily, the rain has been kind and my garden is not looking to bad.   Though, my garden still doesn't grow much in the way of veg over summer.  

Here is what I harvested today - these carrots are way overdue for harvest and were planted back in July so I don't really count them as a "summer" harvest.  Nor these spring onion bulbs - the big ones have been in over 1 year while the smaller ones about 8 months - again, not a summer harvest but a me being lazy and not getting round to clearing out the beds harvest.  :)  Good news is that I've managed to clean out 2 garden beds so that's a bonus!


I am harvesting eggplants and silverbeet as well and suprisingly, tomatoes.  I always have a lot of trouble growing tomatoes over summer - even the cherry types have issues.  I bought 5 seeds for $4.75!!! of the sungold from Mr fothergills and had 2 plants in and I must admit they are worth the money.  Only tomato producing in my garden right now and very sweet.  

As usual, the fruit is fantastic at this time of year.  So many dragon fruit, I've been putting them on the road with a "free" sign.  This box was 3/4 full when I put it out and had some taken before I thought I should take a photo.  Some lovely person even left me a jar of strawberry jam to say thankyou. 


The mangoes and lychees have been just as prolific


I also have an abundance of figs and macadamia for such little trees



All those magoes, I've processed into dried and bottled magoes and also frozen some so we can enjoy mango all year. 


Now, for years, I have wanted a shelving unit to display all my preserves but it was one of those things that I had put off.  My workmates wanted to do something nice for me (I;ve had a pretty tough last couple of months) and they knew I was a mad gardener so they made this garden bench for me. 


I took one look at it and saw the potential.  It was exactly what I wanted and I also wanted to cherish my gift.  The first step was giving it a rough sand down and I added an extra shelf and decorative brackets.  I then used Chalk paint and wax to make it beautiful.  


Lastly, was to make the curtains to go round and then add all my beautiful preserves.    The underneath shelving holds my dehydrator, canning unit, spare bottles and some appliances that I previously stored in my hallway cupboard.  The preserves were also in that cupboard.   So once I moved everything out, the next job was to clean out my closet and I now have a whole 1.5 m shelf empty!! Lol! 


I absolutely adore it and think it looks amazing.  The guys who made if for me could not believe how it turned out.  Well that's about it from me guys.  I'm looking forward to Dianne's garden visit at the end of january so hopefully I can make it and get to see everyone.  

Happy gardening guys. 

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November 2020

Hi all, 

Well, the season has been kind.  Obligatory harvest shot from 2 weeks ago.  Last of my brassicas other than Kale which is holding out fairly well.  


The daughters job is to now look after the chickens and harvest eggs - she doesn't collect and this is the result of 3 days. (BTW she doesn't neglect the chooks.  She just refuses to collect eggs from under broody chooks and waits for me to do it) 


My new bees swarmed in the middle of winter and I was worried that the hive was going to die again.  Not so, they've come back, stronger than ever and filling up comb like crazy. 


Lychees, mangoes and longans are looking to be a fabulous season.  This will be the first time I get a decent harvest off the Longan - I did get 3 off it 2 years ago but this year there looks to be quite a few.   There were 2 other branches that have about the same on them. 




I also seem to have quite a few pomegranites as well.   I'm just waiting for the last few to set and then I will bag them to protect from fruit fly. 


Figs have started as well.  Just keep a look out though.  Ive been squishing large clusters of black caterpillars that skeletonise whole leaves within a day or two.  I've found out that they are called the fig leaf beetle and all I'm currently doing is looking for eggs, larvae and beetles and squishing when I find them.  I did however miss squishing for 3 days and in that time I had 3 large clusters go through about 6 large leaves so it gives you an idea of the damage they could do. 


Another little cute project.  My grade 12's wanted to make soap so for something a bit special, I decided to dry flower petals for decoration.  They turned out pretty damn cute.  They were roses, nasturtiums, geranium, sunflower, lavender, viola and cosmos. The soaps are still drying at school and I'm hoping they will be ready to use as a graduation present next week. 



Lastly, a beautiful shot of my sunflowers looking so healthy nd about to burst into bloom.  Makes my heart sing. 


Well, that's all from me guys.  Happy gardening

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Progress at the farm

Well, my dad and brother came down on Wednesday of last week and started work on my shed.  Well, that’s what it started out as.  Dad being dad, decided that the van needed an awning and also a “proper” toilet.  They worked so hard but still another trip down will be needed to put on the finishing touches.

I got here after they had been working for 2 days.  They had already put up shed Frame and were in the middle of setting posts for awning. 



Next, the roofs went up and doors on the shed. 



My contribution to it all was making sure they were fed and cleaning up camp.  I also finally set up an ibc which I levelled and filled bricks with concrete so that I can run gravity fed hoses to my gardens instead of bucketing water.  My dad is a perfectionist so I spent ages making sure it was level. He was impressed :)


He built all of this out of recycled materials and even made the braces himself.  As a man of almost 70, he was still climbing up and down ladders and shovelling stuff around the place.  Can’t wait till it’s complete 

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September and I'm #cottagecore

Hi All,

What a glorious start to spring - my garden is producing lots and is very beautiful at the moment.  My daughter had friends over 2 weeks ago and while my children never really appreciate my garden, her friends loved it.  Apparently it is #cottagecore - that's a thing that is cool :).  They were out feeding the chickens, chilling on the back balcony looking out over the garden and even wanted a garden tour from her.  I laughed when she told me cause I was like "so when they asked you what was what, you told them...????"   This was just how spectacular the garden is looking at the moment. 


The garden is producing so much food at the moment that once again, I am only buying apples, banana's, potato's and onions from the store.  


My girls are producing so many eggs at the moment.  We are eating zucchini slice at least once per week.   This came entirely from the garden except for cheese flour and oil. 


Mulberries are just insane at the moment.  Last year, I lost my whole harvest to bats.  This year, I have been on top of the picking and so far, so good, they have not found the tree yet.  I have bottled 14 jars, frozen 3kg and made 3 mulberry pies (as well as copious fresh)



My dumb dog loves the mulberries as much as we do.  Unfortunately, he not only eats the fallen ones (great) but rolls around in them.  This is the end result :)


The pink iona grapes have kicked in with a vengeance.  Numerous bunches of grapes starting (the whole vine looks like this!!!) while my black carolina has only just got two sets of leaves.  It looks like I should get a bumper crop!! This is the 2nd full year in the ground for the iona and 3rd for the carolina.   Such a quick production. 


The blueberries will be the next to start ripening.  My bushes are looking amazing - I have 8 and they are completely loaded. 


I have grown Kale for the first time but I don't really like it in stuff.  So it's growing like crazy in my yard, amazingly healthy but we don't eat it.  A vegetarian friend suggested kale chips - not too bad so at least it has a use in my house now :)



Last think - the zinnia's are finally starting to bloom!!!  I spread seed like crazy from my most beautiful flowers in may and now that beauty will keep going. 


Well that's it from me guys.  Posting this has made me hungry for kale chips so I'm going to pick some  kale and make some.  Don't forget #cottagecore is a thing and WE ARE COOL!!!

 Happy gardening guys. 

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August 2020

Hi all, 

Well, winter is done.  It has been far to warm lately to be classed as winter - I wore shorts today for goodness state.  I had a nice little play  in the garden planting out my brassica's, sunflower seeds and 16 chamomile plants that I got ages ago in 1 punnet - separated them out, potted them up and babied them for a while and now they are in the ground. I also potted up my celery and will do some new seeds of various things tonight.  Another job on my to-do-list is to remove my tigerella plants from the front steps.  Isn't it strange how life works some times?  My problem is I always let plants go far longer than I should because I think "I'll just let it ripen that fruit" and then it sets more and then I leave it far too long.  A person at work who knows I garden asked me if I could supply her with some green tomatoes so she could make her mothers relish (she tried to buy from shops but minimum order was 10kg!!).  I had been thinking about taking these out but kept delaying.  Perfect timing! She got 1.5kg of green tomatoes and I could stop procrastinating :)   Here it is stripped of most of the green tomatoes and ready for me to rip out.  It does continue up to the roof of the house so your only seeing the bottom 3rd. 


Next is my lebanese Zucchini that I bought while my trombonccino seeds slowly get started.  They are quite a nice little zucchini and I've had no drama's with them yet but I do spray them with the eco fungicide every 2-3 weeks.


Next is my broccoli.  This is huge!!  I leave my plants in the ground and harvest the side shoots.


Strawberries are still going from strength to strength.  The clusters of fruit are amazing!


My chooks are doing a great job.  I opened my egg box at lunch today and looked so perfect, I just had to take a photo.  4-5 eggs a day is what I'm getting.    (the orangy one right at the front is a fake )


I have been hanging out to harvest a comb from my bees since I got them back in March.   The hive is going so strong, I've added 8 new bars since I got them.  We have so many australian natives behind us that bloom in winter that they don't lack for pollen or nectar in winter. 


And Loquats are so yummy!!! I've found I can't be impatient and have to wait for them to go from a lemon yellow to almost an orange colour and then they are so juicy and delisciously sweet. 


Lastly, today's weekend garden harvest.  I love this time of year - my garden is just so beautiful and productive.   Our family have found a new love in Bok Choi - steamed with a sweet oyster/garlic/ginger sauce.   Lucky I've succession planted 40 plants and will plant heaps more. 


Lastly, I'll leave you with this very pretty view of my back garden.  I've taken lavender cuttings which YAY; seem to have struck; and every available space I have left, I'm going to fill with lavender. 


Well that's it from me guys.  Happy gardening. 

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July 2020

Alright, so I’m going to preface this blog post by saying it is an outright brag - directed completely at Roger.  He and I are obviously quite competitive and I copped it today at the garden visit.  Yep, that’s right, I went home with tears in my eyes about all the wasted broccoli, the beautiful kohl rabbi, the gorgeous cabbages and the pumpkins, just left Willy nilly where they lay with little care from Roger at all.  I whispered quietly to them that they wouldn’t have to fend for themselves if they were in my yard, I’d coddle them, water them, wrap them in a nice protective net to keep them safe.  I’m sure they heard me, and would have come home with me if they could :)

But then I remembered, I can grow plenty of stuff good!  So here you go Roger, check it out. 
I’ll start with my mulberry tree.  As you’ll notice, it is absolutely loaded with berries that are just waiting to mature. 


Next are the strawberries.  This is 1 of 15 pot!


My citrus certainly aren’t lacking, orange, dwarf mandarins and my never disappointing lemon, who despite me removing over 50 fruit and pruning it, STILL looks like this. 




My angel peach has already got 20 fruit that are this size with plenty more small ones developing.  Such a shame Roger, I may just have to thin some fruit, I have that many developing. :)


Next are my blueberries.  Here’s hoping for a bumper crop this year. 


Sophie, this ones for you.  I got home this arvo and checked the egg box and squeee!!!! I think one of my Sussex is laying!!!  I only have one brown layer going at the moment and checked the eggs before the GV, these two were here when I got home.  Notice how small it is? Definitely a first egg!! But which one layed it I don’t know. 



The veggies are going good too.   Tomatoes and cucumbers shown here but have plenty of other stuff too.  This garden harvest was from last weekend 


Lastly, I’ll let you know Roger that I went around to get some photos of my garden and I noticed these after not having been in the garden since last weeken :P So I’m (finally) going to get some broccoli too!!


And who needs flowers when you are growing Sicily purple broccoli! They take FOREVER to grow, I very nearly ripped these out thinking they weren’t going to do anything but my patience *laziness* paid off!!  This is my second one. 


So that’s it from me. I just had to prove I’m a good gardener, and now I don’t even need to cry over broccoli cause mine is nearly here! 

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Finally getting to stay home

Hi all,

well after a crazy couple of weeks, I get to stay home   We were planning to be off to Tangalooma this week for a holiday but obviously those plans got scratched.   Gardening is great therapy though so I’m not complaining.   Still going a bit extra on all my garden plantings and turning every available space into food production.  Last weekend, I dug up two old unproductive blueberry bushes that were in my back Vegie patch.   I used to have pavers down the fence line but I removed those, dug it all up and created 3 beds that are about 2 foot wide and 4 foot long.  Into those, I’ve planted some old potato’s that were left over from my farm harvest last November that I had put in a box and completely forgot about until the crazy hit, and I went “oohhh better plant some potatoes” only to find shops had none.   I’ve also got some more onions (mix of glaladin brown, hunter river brown and Californian red), spring onions, harlequin carrots and some Easter egg radishes planted. 



The garden is starting to look really good and verging on productivity.  I have had really good fruit set on the trombonccino, but it’s not often I get one without fruit fly damage.  So when this little beauty escaped my notice for a couple of days and the base looked like it was bulbing up properly, I went “great - seeds!” So I’m letting it grow for a while to harvest some new seeds for my stash. 


Speaking of saving seeds, I’m determined to do more of it for the easy stuff to try and acclimatise some varieties to my little place in the world.  Last year, I saved the seeds from the healthiest and latest fruiting(into November heat) pea seeds.  Now just compare them to the other varieties, planted at same time but from packet.  They look healthier and much happier.  Also, all of the coriander at the front of this photo self seeded in the middle of February, so I’m letting them go to seed again and will be sprinkling in every garden bet and letting them come up where they will. 

We must just be in the sweet spot for beans.  Not too hot, that I get mite/ thrip damage like I did with all my mid summer plantings and not cold enough to slow their growth.  These are either last housewife or rattlesnake - can’t remember what I planted and didn’t label it 

Tomatoes are starting!!! So sick of buying tomatoes. 



And this very full garden bed is just so pretty to look at.  It’s under a net to keep bugs away and my basil thanks me :)


Ive also got some lovely looking capsicums.  These are also grown under nets to protect from fruit fly, I’ll remove the nets when we cool off some more. 

9779316884?profile=originalThe annual strawberry repotting session has begun.  Usually, I just compost the mother plants and replant the baby runners but this year, given how quickly my potted seedlings have been going at work, I split them up and took six packs of 4 strawberry plants in.  I timed it, from the moment I sent the email to the time they went - 7 minutes.  Now some people had to leg it to get there in that time - I work at a school where all our staff rooms are spread over the campus.  I’m only 1/2 way through the pots so I promised I would have more after the holidays.  

I’m so pleased with how good the toms at the front steps look.  Can’t wait to see what they are.  I bought diggers salad mix so they could be either green zebra, tiger Ella, tommy toe, Juane flemme or Black Russian.   Behind them, I planted some garlic.  


I don’t know if you can tell from this photo, but I’m about to be harvesting papaya again - there is the slightest blush of colour.  I’ll give it another day or so before harvesting before the bats find it.   Yum!!

Well, that’s it from me guys.  Have fun in your gardens - you’lol hardly notice being cooped up.  

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The garden is booming!

Hi everyone.  

I’m getting more extreme in the garden at the moment and I think every Tom, dick and Harry is currently doing the same.   I had run out of my trusty rooster booster fertiliser and went to Bunnings to grab some more and thought I’d see if there were any seeds or flower seedlings I fancied.   The answer to that question was a resounding “no!” Lucky for me, my seed stock is nice and robust because there was NOTHING on the shelves.  

I had some roses die out in the front verge garden last year that I never replaced.  I had already put an eggplant out the right side at beginning of summer but had all this space on the left side.  In it I have spring onions, Kurosawa carrots, turnips, beets, onions and tonya’s pink podded bush bean    9779300098?profile=original
While I’m a firm believer in my wicking beds, sometimes, some things just don’t go as well as hoped so I’m looking at this as an opportunity to test out some things I think don’t do well in wicking beds and may have to rethink how I grow them in future. 

I also have not had much success with peas in recent years so I have dug up an area along my veggie garden fence and planted different types of peas.  I’ll compare their growth and performance to those I planted in wicking bed (in front) 2 weeks ago.  The peas I’ve planted are “Shiraz” - purple pea, green devil snow pea ( these are both climbing and are right next to fence) and then row in front has dwarf peas - snow - Oregon and snap - sugar bon. 
I am cutting down my massive custard apple.  It has many problems that warrant its removal a) won’t set fruit unless I hand pollinate religiously - managed to do this one year only b) not dwarf and has grown way big, way fast. I trim every year and this is the size of it! C) don’t love custard apples that much to put up with this drama! :).  In its place, I’m planning to put in the seedling grown lychee “Erdon lee”. 
I also bought another Panama berry which I planted outside the fence and a Jaboticaba which I’ve given partial shade to as I’ve killed 2 of them from drying out. 

My pumpkin vine that had taken over my rose garden inside the fence must have heard my threats and produced some decent female flowers that I hand pollinated and then netted against fruit fly. FF is such a problem at my place that I wouldn’t get fruit without netting. 


In terms of fruit, I’m getting mandarins at the moment and banana’s and paw paw will not be far off.  I’m also thinking about getting a nashi pear as they apparently fruit at this time of year and would be a welcome addition. 



9779306261?profile=originalI am starting to get some tomato flowers so YAY!  
9779306471?profile=originalI am also going to have to get ratsack out - bloody rats ate through my pineapple!!!

9779307279?profile=originalLastly, I’ll leave you with a shot of my zinnias.  So pretty.   Happy gardening guys and stay safe :)


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Lovely start to Autumn

Hi everyone, I have been ramping everything up in the garden trying to get some early harvests.  I just planted more tomatoes (digger salad tomato mix) and have started seeds for my Roma’s and black cherry’s which I love to grow in winter.  I also have eggplants (again a diggers mix) and I have 6 plants - 2 in a wicking bed, and 4 scattered around in ground garden beds to see which fairs best. 


I have planted out some peas.  Here’s hoping it’s not too early


I also prepared the perennial leek bed with some manure and spread the little clumps that didn’t completely die down in summer out so they have space to grow.  


I don’t know if you can see in the above photo but I’m giving string another go.  Most of my plants are going vertical this year.  My trombonccino is doing great but has spread from one trellis to the next. 


I also have some cabbages, Pak choi, silverbeet and broccoli home grown seedlings in a bed.  I put collars round them so hopefully don’t loose them like I did last year to the cockaroach like things in my garden beds (forgot to take a photo).  I have a whole bunch of new seeds started.  I went to the Mt Coot-Tha botanic garden veggie talk today and the people giving the talk used to be in the seedling business and they basically said “no point” to buying your seedlings as nurseries over seed and you end up with really weak plants. I occasionally buy a herb or flowers but now do all my own and try to resist impulse buys.  I’ve had that philosophy for a couple of years because I noticed I would import  problems into the garden with the seedlings (eg nematodes and thrip) but the last year or so, I’ve really stuck to my guns. I actually only bought one set of veggie seedlings last year - it was zucchini and guess what - zucchini mosaic virus went through all my squash. I have tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, pack choi, lettuce, capsicum, spring onion, celery, nasturtiums, Zinnias,beans, beetroot, silverbeet, cucumber and pumpkin in these trays.  (There is another tray made up not in the photo) 


my little balls of fluff are not so little anymore.  Can you believe I still have all 7??? The little escape artists could get out, in my yard where a very excitable dog and bird killing cat live and out the front yard where any passer by could have grabbed them up.  There are at least 2 boys (going to be chicken dinners) and 2 girls but the other 3 I couldn’t wing sex.  I’ll only be able to keep 2 hens so if anyone would be interested and if more are hens, I’ll give them away.  Their dad was a Sussex, and there were a mix of Sussex, australorps and commercial layers as their mommas. 

Lastly... I have bees again!!!! Paul from topbar hives finally had an opening and my hive now has a fully functioning hive again.  I placed the hive in the chicken coop this time as a) only reall space left, and b) hopefully chooks will take care of any small hive beetle problems so I don’t lose the hive again. 

Well that’s it from me folks.  Happy gardening. 

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Hi guys, I went to Valerie’s garden visit today and boy I’m glad I did cause Andy was there and we finally worked out the problem of not being able to add photos from my phone.  The trick is DO NOT use the “add photos by mobile phone or email button”. Just treat your phone like a computer and select the files using “browse my computer”.  

So here are some photos that I’ve been hanging on to.


This is a sample of the preserving I did on the holidays. Mango chutney, bottled peaches and mango, strawberry jam, chilli jam, dried banana and mangoes.  I was a busy girl.  All from my garden except the strawberries (bought a 4kg jam box for $10) and mangoes (foraged from Bowen trees along rail line). 

the lychee harvest from our trees this year was fantastic!! We got about 4 baskets full. I put a net over the top to stop the bats/cockatoo’s.  


I was getting fairly decent harvests from the garden until about the 2nd week of January and then it got too hot.  

At the moment, I’ve got a whole bunch of eggplants and cucumbers and not much else.  The pomegranate this year were really good.  I bagged to fruit to protect from fruit fly. 


So, I also bought home some fertilised eggs from my mum to chuck under a broody chook.  She managed to hatch out 7 little fluff balls


They were born in the most horrendous weather and I thought for sure some would die but they have all made it through and not been eaten by the dog or the cat so fingers crossed.  

Well that’s it from me.  I will hopefully be giving much more frequent updates now I’ve got the phone thing sorted.  

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