My goodness, time just flies! I have been having trouble finding time to garden, what with David who is now 5 and at 'big school' and Brendan who is coming up to 2 - my boys are growing up so fast! With working full time as well I always struggle to find time to garden, but hopefully when it is all nice again I'll find the time to maintain it...
Every time I looked at the gardens recently I shuddered and it got to the point that I was too scared to even try to do anything because I knew just how big a task it would be... so I bit the bullet and took two days annual leave so that I could have a big chunk of time to get through the worst.
After the last garden visit I pulled up the pumpkin vines that had taken over the backyard and even started to climb the almond tree. I rescued the pandan and pit pit which were underneath the mess. I also weeded one garden bed and used a heap of banana leaves and trunk for mulch which I am waiting to brown a bit before planting out. On the same weekend I cleared a heap of sweet potato vines and dug up a washing basket full of sweet potatoes, in the process creating two huge piles of waste to turn into compost which are strategically placed in spots in the garden (yes in full view but then the banana circle compost pile is already overflowing!).
Today was my first full day to devote to cleaning up my garden, and I started by pruning all the fruit trees out the back yard. My gosh, the guava's were ginormous. I also gave the almond a prune, along with the feijoa, coffee (who knew it would survive my extreme neglect), mulberry, cherry, chocolate persmimmon and a few citrus trees. One tamarillo was dead, so it was pulled out along with millions of weeds, some yakon and more sweet potatoes.
Thank you to the lovely seed saver members who have shared planting material with me in the past - it is amazing how much you get out of a small amount in very little time. It's great to share planting material, especially considering the cost of buying commercially! I am so glad that I am now in a position to be able to share planting material of so many things that are suited to our climate because of these generous souls :)
As my garden just eats mulch, I separated my lemongrass (which was less than two years old) into 25 separate bits and planted them in a really dry garden along one side of the house. I also separated the arrowroot (again less than two years old) into at least ten sections and replanted. These will be my mulch plants, along with the banana leaves... I am still thinking of planting a couple of square metres of lucerne somewhere and just mowing over it every so often.
On the topic of mulch, when I pruned the guava I got so many branches that I decided to cut the smaller ones and strip the leaves off the larger ones and have created a discussion on the best way to use these as mulch beneath the fruit trees.
The herb garden has been sadly neglected along with the rest of the garden, but the rosemary, garlic chives and lemongrass were all still doing well. When pulling out weeds I discovered a heap of self seeded dill seedling so separated some of these. The biggest weed in my gardens is horrible running grass which I absolutely hate grrr.
There is now a huge amount of soon to be compost in the middle of my lawn along one side of the house which I will find a spot to pile it up on and let it compost gradually.
Tomorrow I will continue... hopefully the front garden and the gardens outside the fence will be tidied up - along with the big veggie garden. And the big piles of waste I am creating be moved into a pile on a garden somewhere in need of compost sometime in the future. This will be a huge task as there are some trees/ shrubs that have never thrived where they are so will need to find homes for and the passionfruit and beans that currently cover the fence and climb over 10 metres into the canopy of a huge tree on the verge will need to be demolished - well maybe the bean will live but I have given up on the passionfruit ... at least in that location as it never fruits just produces masses of beautiful flowers!
I am very sorry that there are no photos in this blog, I am at a loss as to the location of my camera. Last seen it was on the kitchen bench with no batteries... hopefully Brendan has posted it somewhere inside but after a number of pretty exhaustive searches am beginning to come to terms with biting the bullet and buying another - just one of the joys of children I guess.
Hope everyone is well and I look forward to seeing you at a Garden Visit soon! :)
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