The mélange of the backyard-scape

I've been focused on my Vetiver Ventures as my major outdoor activity. Consequently the vegetables and herbs have had to wait their turn before god attends to them.


I am god, you see...either that or a servant.

Whatever: the main thing is that the vittles keep on coming when they have a mind to it.71651167_10157703329248185_8024532676109139968_n.jpg?profile=RESIZE_710x

The image may suggest the mélange of the backyard-scape, but even there I missed a few plants -- cucumbers, peppers, parsley for instance... And my embarrassment of an orchard is not in view.

But now that it is November,we've moved into warm weather mode and I get to regret what I did not grow --or grow well --while it was cooler.

My recent great gardening excitement was to pick a Peperoni di Senise sweet pepper from the only bush I've been able to grow from seed. What crunch and thrill as I walked it from its bed and ported it to my mouth.

Another variety I have coming on is the Shishito Pepper ..

I am of the view that I could live on fresh-picked sweet peppers and spring onions...and be the happiest of men.

I wandered a little away from Spring Onion cuisine this year  but I'm back and will never leave again. Cooking with spring onions is a special experience very different from relying on white, red or brown onions.

Nothing to cry about as you sweat the whole plant in meal prep. If you eat spring onions every day -- like me, I admit --  big ones -- you need your own supply. Every meal begins with foraging for them.

So many tricks and creative ways to use them.

Not evident from the image is that I have reduced the size of my vegetable garden. The narrow bed in front -- behind the milk crates -- and a large bed way at the back -- are now dedicated to growing Vetiver. All the beds may be hedged by Vetiver, but for the sake of future division I'm growing many clumps  and digging them up.

I now have a second Vetiver nursery at my offsprings' place  around the corner. The advantage is that their backyard gets much more sun than mine.

As always, everything is a promise and waiting and watching Vetiver to grow is like standing over a kettle.Never fast enough.


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  • As is, to the eye. After a hot day.


  • If perchance, you may have come upon the Chauka System of water harvesting.

    chaukas-in-the-landscape.jpg?w=1280&h=743&profile=RESIZE_710xIt's a formal swale & hole system for semi flat land. Very effective against drought conditions apparently. In Africa  a similar technique is deployed with crescent shaped holes.

    Us Vetiveristas discussed this and it was pointed out that the Vetiver System would be 'as effective' in recharging ground water and far less costly.

    Now that I'm growing plant numbers in the thousands I can begin to experiment further.

    Indeed the principles of rain harvesting projected in the above image are easily reproduced by planting out Vetiver hedges in same or similar patterns. Instead of digging square holes, for instance, you'd plant a crescent shaped hedge.

    This morning I harvested mulch from the Vetiver maze at the school garden. The kids will spread it as they have done so before among recently planted out seedlings.

    At my offsprings' place I'm working on a drainage issue from the roof tank and will plant Vetiver both to harvest and re-direct the water flow. In Vietnam, near Hanoi, Tho Ngo is having great success planting fruit or nut trees in the same hole as Vetiver slips. The V is wicking water to the saplings.

    I tells ya, 'tis a versatile plant.

  • Because I went to the Caboolture Markets on Sunday I came home blessed with seedlings.

    All of which are now planted out. The bed space is filling up and I have my own seedlings( peppers, tomatillo, corn, cucumber) coming on and booked into the beds. So it's all about space and managing shade.

    It may be a pain to have shade cast every day, part thereof, falling on your veges -- but the up side...

    There comes a time in the affairs of man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation of all that heat and sun...and toil in the garden. 

    'Tis at such times one appreciates the shadows.

    It is when the shadows fall, I toil.

     I angst over the arc of the sun every month of the year. If not for me, at least for my photosynthetic children.

    But this time of year, like today: 13h12m36s of sunshine! And that lucky ole Sun is still a'rolling south...


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