Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Summer- the good, the bad and the tomatoes.

I'll be honest.

This summer.

It's been great. And it's been shit.

The shit part? Well that's kind of obvious. 
We have not been directly in the line of any bushfires, but Melbourne has had days choked with smoke from the fires in the Gippsland region to the east of our city. 
The view over Docklands in the Melbourne CBD. My camera has tried to clear the image so it doesn't truly show how horribly smoky it was.

On those days I keep my asthmatic Sonofagun No.1 indoors.  
And you know what? I don't complain about these days. Because the smoke we experienced in Melbourne was no where near as bad as the bushfire zones and no where near as bad as the capital city Canberra. I come from Canberra. It normally has crystal clear alpine air.
But for weeks it had the highest air pollution rate in the world due to smoke from the Sydney fires in the north and the South Coast fires to the east all blowing into the city, then not blowing out.

Everyday I was obsessed with watching the NSW Rural Fire Service app as the fires raced towards my parents town of Mollymook.

 Several times over last few weeks all roads in and out of the area were closed due to fire activity.
Fortunately Mollymook and Ulladulla is safe for now. But the Mothership and Fatherdom have been volunteering for the Red Cross at the local evacuation centre where they helped many people who have lost everything.
It's ridiculously heartbreaking to see the devastation to our countryside. To hear of the deaths of civilians, local firefighters and most recently 3 wonderful firefighters from the USA. And most particularly to our animals. A billion animals.
I have for a little while stopped watching tv.  Our politicians are too bloody stupid (particularly Scotty from marketing #notmyprimeminister) and the news is too sad.
So I've been making nests for wildlife carers.
 Crocheters can't pump out nests or pouches as quickly as the seamstresses but we are still all doing our part!
So the great part of summer? 
The Bear and I are starting to reap the rewards of all our work in the garden.
The indoor plants under the pergola are thriving...
One day whilst walking Chuck Norris, we found this cane coffee table base that was left on the side of the road.
We brought it home and the next day found a stone water bowl at a local shop that was the right size.
We added washed stones and pond plants.
 And a few days later we added fish!
 The water bowl also now has a little pump with a water spout.

The blackberries feed us and the birds. We just get enough for a snack while we're out harvesting tomatoes, yellow squash and herbs.
 The tomatoes are ripening more and more each day. Will it be pasta sauce or salad tonight?
 I love yellow button squash!
 I planted an artichoke plant for fun.
 Mini Lebanese cucumbers. We haven't harvested yet but they'll be ready soon!
This garden bed has Rapunzle and mini Black Russian tomatoes growing up the arch trellis, a new lemon tree in the centre, and borage and basil in the middle. Then 2 mini cucumber plants growing around the fencing on the edge. We had to put the edging in to keep Chuck from getting in there.
 I love putting Borage flowers in salads!
It will be pesto making time soon!

How has your summer or winter been?
Red Haired Amazona

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Soaking Up Summer

I've been very lucky to have enjoyed the past few weeks away from work to spend time at home with the Sonofaguns, the weather and the garden.

Our tomatoes are producing quite well. The Diggers Heritage breeds do much better than the standard ones. 
Tomato 'Black Cherry' (and a few blackberries)
And this Lebanese zucchini (also from Diggers Seeds co) is pumping out heaps of produce.

The strawberries are growing in a large patch but despite bird netting, the cheeky buggers are still finding their way in the devour most of our delicious strawberries! Any leftover strawberry carcasses go straight to the guinea pigs!
I absolutely love my blackberry plant. The real fight here has been with the weather.We have had an occasional horrid hot day where the temperature flies up over 40c and a hot wind blasts through turning almost ripe fruit into desiccated lumps.
At some point the Bear threw some seed potatoes in. I kind of ignored them. They didn't seem to do much apart from a bit of green above ground. But the other day he did a bit of prodding around in the soil and filled a bowl with these wonderous treasures!
The Mariposa Plum tree put on a lovely show of flowers in Spring followed by a profusion of baby plums. But most of them dropped off leaving just 3 to keep growing. Every couple of days I would check to see if they were still there. I watched them grow.

And grew they did! A few days ago I finally thought, "YES! It's plum picking time!" Which would last only a few seconds because there was only 3 but it would be 3 GLORIOUS SECONDS of PLUM PICKING!

Some little bastard bird had already destroyed one plum leaving the mashed remains on the ground. The other 2 looked ok. 
I picked them and discovered to my horror that little bastard bird had a go at both remaining plums on the other side!
Now I know it sounds a bit gross but I cut them up anyway, threw away the picked at bits and we sampled the 'good' leftover bits. They were delicious and sweet! 
Our pergola outside is now mostly finished. It's lovely out there now. The Bear found a 2nd hand projector and screen as well as a proper pool table. I been reliving a youth well spent in pubs playing games of pool, and curling up on cushion filled chairs watching movies on the big screen.
I have been making Amazona Parrots, Stevie Birds and Pearly Hummingbirds using the Scheepjes Catona which I was gifted for Christmas. They are much larger than the originals but look gorgeous in the bright variety of colours!
This morning I took a little drive with a very dear friend and her daughter to The Garden at St Erth in Blackwood, just 55 mins out of Melbourne. 

 Would you like to come for a little walk with us?

 This beautiful Clematis was near the cafe where we had coffee, Elderflower Sodas and scones.
 I love this gate made out of garden tools.

 Lots of New Holland Honeyeaters and this pretty Eastern Spinebill drank nectar from the flowers.
I loved this beautiful Copper Beech tree. It wasn't as 'coppery' as you expect.
A magnificent Copper Beech
 Check out the bark!

Tromboncino squash
Too. Much. Pollen. Can't. FLY!
Hellebores growing under apple, pear and quince trees.
Lichen on the apple and pear trees
Apparently these are a type of sunflower!

If you know what these are, let me know. They didn't have a label...

 So that's what I've been up to lately. What's been happening in your part of the world?

Red Haired Amazona