Showing posts with label spring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spring. Show all posts

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Gardening for the Soul


Hello luvs.
 The world has changed a little bit since we last chatted!


The pollution levels in major cities around the world has dropped to record lows.
The water in the canals of Venice have cleared up due to the decreased boat activity.
People have started spending more quality time together, planting and digging in their gardens, playing board games and taking time to teach their kids life skills.

Some people have stopped eating little animals that they shouldn't be eating. Like bats and pangolins.

We all know why. But let's not talk about the awful reason why. It's rather shit. And I've heard enough shit news over the past couple of months.

Let's just chat about nice stuff here. 

It's Autumn. I don't mind Autumn. The sun still shines warm most days at the moment and we have ALL THE TOMATOES IN THE WORLD!!!
I haven't been online very much as we have been out in the garden and enjoying our own fruit and vegies.
Below is a basket of 8.5kg of freshly dug potatoes, fresh cut dahlias, asters and roses, red shallots, and the colander of tomatoes, cucumbers, and a button squash. 
And Chuck.
 Lebanese cucumbers growing on a bamboo pyramid.
 Two tomato plants have grown over an arch and are tumbling through it. One the left hand side are  a mini tomato called 'Rapunzle' and 'Black Russian Cherry' tomatoes on the right.
 Basil.
 They look like bunches of grapes. In fact these are Black Russian cherry tomatoes.
 Mariposa plums and strawberries harvested in late January.

We are pulling out some summer veg such as yellow button squash, throwing in more cow poo and mulching up.

I planted a punnet of broccoli. 

I wanted to plant some lettuce and silverbeet, but our local garden centre has completely sold out of all vegie seedlings and seeds!

On one hand I was supremely cranky at nutbags buying up as if the apocalypse was upon us and they're all going to grow these things so they don't have to go to the supermarket.
But I realised that I was being a hormonal grouch and this is a wonderful opportunity to get people into the garden and gardening! Non-gardeners can discover what the rest of us already know! Growing your own food is so therapeutic and rewarding!
So get out there! If you only have a balcony or sunny windowsill then use that! Just having a little pot of mint is awesome. 

Here in Melbourne it's time to start planting broccoli, onions, garlic, peas, broad beans and the leafys such as lettuce, rainbow chard, kale and spinach. You could also plant brussel sprouts but they take so long to grow. Watch our for those pretty white butterflies as they will make lots of little babies in the form of green caterpillars which will eat EVERYTHING!!!
Although I couldn't buy any vegies, I bought my spring bulbs and extra sweet peas seeds in case we progress to more severe lockdown restrictions. The sweet pea seeds can be planted now, the daffodil, tulip, hyacinth and Scilla bulbs are going straight into the fridge until after Easter.

In February I flew down to Hobart in Tasmania for my cousins wedding.  I had never been to Tasmania before. It is so beautiful!


In the weeks leading up to it I was watching a murder mystery series on Stan called The Gloaming which was filmed in Hobart. So I had an idea of what the city looked like. It's such a unique town as it was settled in colonial times.
There are loads of original colonial buildings and houses. Green, lush parks and peoples front gardens are overflowing with roses and vegies together!

I travelled down with the Parental Units.
We were extremely excited to visit the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) in Hobart.
Would you like to take a walk with us?







 This little guy is a bandicoot! Some bandicoot species are striped. This guy isn't. He was running around on one of the lawns. 
The wonderful thing about where we were travelling around Hobart is the unique Australian wildlife which aren't easily found on the mainland. I had never seen one before!
 An archway of Pierre De Ronsard climbing roses.
The gardens were established over 200 years ago.
Below you'll see a honeybee and a bumblebee. Mainland Australia does not have bumblebees.
Not a single one.
Tasmania has bumblebees. This totally blew our minds!
Bumblebees are super gorgeous and so.freaking.HUGE!!!!
Mum and I spent 20 mins right here photographing them and filming videos of them to show people back home.

 
"...language Mother!"
Apparently the reason why Tassie has them is because some naughty codger smuggled some over from New Zealand in the 1990s. They are considered a pest as they have had a negative impact on native bee populations.
There are no obvious bumblebees in the next photos.

Every Friday night after dinner, I sit down with my crochet and watch a tv show called Gardening Australia. There is a presenter for most of the states of Australia. For many years one of the most popular presenters was Peter Cundall who filmed some of his gardening segments about vegies in the vegetable garden plots at the RTBG in Hobart. This area is called 'Petes Garden'. Now that he has retired from presenting, Tino Carnavale has taken over the Tasmania bit and also films his vegie gardening tips in Petes Garden. Mum, Dad and I loved walking through this section...



 The Fathership kindly stands in to show how freaking massive the sunflowers were.
 Kiwi fruit on massive trellises...



I hope you stay healthy and safe. If you are healthy, safe and are able, plant something. Or plant many things. You can plant one seed in any container. Or you can dig a garden bed. Plant flowering things, edible things, or just green things that you like to look at. It will be good for your soul.


Louise
Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Yarn and plant

I have been finishing a couple of projects that I thought weren't really interesting to anybody but me and my progress was slow. 
 
I finally finished this big queen sized granny stripe blanket. I have crocheted a couple of rounds of single crochet, but can't decide whether to leave it as is, or do a few rounds of some other nice edging. I've looked online, but nothing leaps out at me. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!
 In October I went along to my local crochet group. We meet once every 6 weeks at a funky coffee shop in a local warehouse space.

I didn't want to take anything too bulky, so packed my basket with an assortment of leftover 8ply cottons. I started making granny squares.
Photo taken by the lovely Tania Barry who organises our little gettogethers...
Then I made 5, stitched them together, then a simple round of single crochet and i had a table runner!
 Each one was random but for no particular reason, the first and last rounds were in the same colour.



 This was my favourite.
 So my evenings have been filled with basic crochet, no designing. I just wanted something to do with my hands while I watched Netflix in the evenings.

My daytimes have been spent outside.

Walking Chuck...



Raising babies from seed...

Aster 'Appleblossom'

Sunflower 'Giant Russian'. Makes me think they are chlorophyll versions of Ivan Drago.
Red and yellow capsicums (also called bell peppers north of the equator!)
Filling the vegie garden with good stuff to eat.
The Bear loves his potato plants.
Rainbow Chard
Blackberries on the fence, spring onions, the yellow squash plants in the bed.
The mint is actually in a ceramic pot, also basil seedlings, pineapple sage and strawberry plants.
We need a little fence to keep Chuck out.
The orange tree might give us some fruit this season!
 And filling the front yard with flowers.

It was starting to get a bit messy and weedy. As I sit here, the Bear and I have spent most of the day out here. First it looked like this...
 Now it's more weed free. I only trimmed the flowering stuff a little bit. It's mostly salvias and pelargoniums.
 All the pelargoniums were given to me by a friend whose mum grew them from cuttings taken from her garden. So I don't know what cultivars they are.

This delicious fat rose is 'Tess of the Durbavilles'

I've shown you this one before. 'Eyes for you'.

'Charles De Gaulle'
Coriander grows wild out there now. I just let it go to seed and sprout all over the place.



 Sweet peas have self seeded through the back flower garden.
 I now have a modest collection of hanging baskets. I like them grouped together.Especially as the plants are small and not very impressive. See that 'normal' basket hanging 2nd from the right? It was given to me by my sister for my birthday with some plants in it. I lined it with the thick paper she used as decorative fill, filled this with potting mix and planted 2 gloriosa Lily bulbs inside.

How's that for repurposing? I can't wait till they grow!

 So this is now my favourite spot to sit on a sunny afternoon like today!
 This is what I'm working on right now. What are you crocheting at the moment?
Louise
Red Haired Amazona