Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

The trellis border: rosella ready to bloom as it cascades
into Malaleuca

Now that the Summer is passing here on the shores of Deception Bay, the garden is recovering from its blight. It was wet wet wet...

Assuming the deluges have passed...

Assuming that -- I can make the best of what I've got growing.

So April is a new beginning,outside and outback.

A world away  in another time, Geoffrey Chaucer captured April as a medieval Spring which nonetheless touches on my very own  here and now:

WHEN that Aprilis, with his showers swoot, sweet
The drought of March hath pierced to the root,
And bathed every vein in such licour,
Of which virtue engender'd is the flower;
When Zephyrus eke with his swoote breath
Inspired hath in every holt and heath grove, forest
The tender croppes and the younge sun twigs, boughs
Hath in the Ram  his halfe course y-run,
And smalle fowles make melody,
That sleepen all the night with open eye,
(So pricketh them nature in their corages); hearts, inclinations
Then longe folk to go on pilgrimages,
And palmers for to seeke strange strands,
To ferne hallows couth in sundry lands;distant saints known
And specially, from every shire's end
Of Engleland, to Canterbury they wend...

My pilgrimage is a walk along the pathways and below the trellis near where "smalle fowles make melody".

Choko beginning to fruit on the trellis

The excitement of the rush of Choko fruits  is  cause for a daily scrutiny so that I can harvest at golf ball size. You'd never go back to Zucchini again. Among it all the beans seldom make it into the house because they are consumed in situ: under the trellis, pilgrimaging.
Madagascar  bean stems cut back and laid
along the paths as trench mulch.

I had grown New Guinea bean over the tellis but it was so vigorous and with the overcast skies and frequent rain  my salad vegetables weren't getting enough sunshine over Summer. Choko is much more controllable, just a trim here and there. Chokoes taste better too. On trellises, Choko  fruit is easier to spot and  harvest.
Trellis now being covered with choko and snake beans
shade salad garden underneath

 The way the trellis works is that by using 'snakes' -- knotted rags I drop from the cross beams -- I can grow  climbing beans on the trellis from anywhere in the garden beds.These beds are mainly growing salad greens and herbs: rocket, chicory, oakleaf lettuce, endive, mint and 


Layering of paper and cuttings to trench
mulch pathways Nearby: sweet potato vines.

By layering the garden paths with plenty of newspaper, cardboard and brush cuttings I'm building up a trench of mulch which is shredded by traffic along the path. I find it is  a simple matter of throwing what comes to hand on the path and if necessary throwing some grass clippings atop any newspaper so that it doesn't blow away. 
Front gate arched by driftwood structure and jasmine

On the beach is so much dead wood -- a  Moreton Bay standard as coastal vegetation on the sandy islands  and sand spits, like ours, are undermined by shifting currents and storms. The dead wood -- mainly Mangrove branches and Sheoaks with some Malaleuca -- make intricate shapes, often patterned by the decoration of sea worms and shell creatures. I love using the wood for garden decoration and structures. It gives the garden a true sense of place.
No mowing: gravel garden among the greenery. Also very
unfriendly to cane toads

Putting down gravel over sand was a wonderful event. The Mediterranean 'feel' merges so well with native plants and selected exotics -- in this picture Frangipani and Lavender among indigenous. Since the birdlife is pro active and various the garden back and front is always alive with flying colours and chirps. At night the ponds -- four outback and away from bedroom windows --  are home to a chorus for Striped Marsh frogs.

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Comment by Scarlett on April 4, 2012 at 18:38

Grass free is a fantastic feeling :)

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 3, 2012 at 17:03

Great report Dave! Interested to see if the Rosellas grown over winter produce any fruit. A chorus of Striped Marsh Frogs ... oh yes! When they get going it's a cacophony but almost as though they are popping to a rhythm. Do you pop back at them? I found some will interact and other will just dive out of the way.

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