Monday, September 10, 2012

What happened to Spring?!

Have I mentioned that we've had a lot of rain over the past few months? Everything is soggy! Very soggy. Our dam is overflowing. We're not complaining. Once summer is here we will be grateful for all the water!
The water is spilling from the dam to the surrounding paddock.

Our friends Mark and Viv came to spend a few days with us this week. They were ready to help tick some jobs off our lists! We managed to get a couple of days good work done, and then the rain came. It rained solidly for four days. No work could be done outside. So instead we indulged and watched the first series of 'The Wire'. The fire was burning and we stopped only to prepare meals.
We did enjoy the late afternoon sunshine on day one!
Nala keeping an eye on the neighbour's sheep.
A few weeks ago the willow tree was bare. Only twiggy stems blowing in the wind. This week the leaves have started sprouting. Soon we'll be spending lazy afternoons under the tree again. Roll on summer!
A backwards view. The house and the netted vegetable garden on the right of the picture. We have 7 fruit trees under the netting too. The trees are full of bright pink blossoms. Nectarines and peaches.
Meet Lulu. She's the latest addition to the Nourished family, Amy and Daniel. We popped down for a coffee during the week. They had the fire going and we sampled a very nice plate of scones with homemade strawberry jam and fresh Otway cream. They have rescued this little Dorper lamb and hope to breed from her. Her mother rejected her. She's three weeks old.  I just love her little purple collar!
She's very friendly and VERY cute! Mmmm.... I wonder if we could have a few sheep....
 Lulu takes her feed in a bottle from Daniel.
Viv got into the swing of farm life. She enjoyed feeding the chooks. They were treated to lovely chopped up greens while Viv was here! Talk about being spoiled...
It doesn't take long to cultivate a dedicated following!
I've posted pics of our daffodils in previous posts. But here are some close ups. I've counted seven or eight different varieties. Doubles, singles, two colours, one colour...
I love this creamy yellow double bloom.

A peachy pink in the centre of this one.

Here is some evidence that we did actually get some work done last week. Viv and I cleared this garden bed along the side of the house. It was totally overgrown. I pruned the roses (all 8 of them in this one patch) and cut back the salvias. We've mulched the entire area. I shovelled the bark mulch and wheeled the burrow backwards and forwards to the garden. 9 times! My face was like a beetroot. Viv spread the mulch and kept weeding. I would say with confidence we burned quite a few calories! I want to turn this spot into a more formal garden. I'd like to add more lavender and other bee loving plants. But before I start revamping, I need to get the other beds under control. 
Frans and Mark repaired a fence and put in a gate along the north side of the garden. This is to stop the escapee chickens. Somehow they are still getting out. There must be another spot where they are squeezing through!
It's time to start planting my summer crops. I try to keep a system going whereby I can refer back to what I've planted, when I planted it, and was it a success. So firstly I make my garden labels. Simple ice cream sticks. I write the name of the veg on one side eg. Carrot, and the variety on the other eg. Paris market. I shove the sticks into the ground where I plant the seeds. I use my moon calendar to plant by. I will plant this lot (all root veggies) on the 12th of Sept. I buy my seeds from Green Harvest in Queensland. Well mostly. Sometimes I pick up the odd packet at the hardware store or even the supermarket. I do prefer however to buy organic seeds. I won't by GM seeds. 
I also keep a diary. I write stuff in it like when we pruned which garden bed. Or when the ducklings hatched. I use it to plan out my garden beds and to record where I planted what. I have given all the garden beds numbers so I can keep track.
I also run a spreadsheet with all the seeds I plant listed. I specify which garden bed, when I planted them and how long to expect before they're ready. My memory is not that great, and I find that this way I know what I'm going to rotate the next season in a particular bed. My system is not fool proof, but it does the job for me. I have a box where I store my seed packets. I bundle the seeds into groups. Leafy stuff, root veggies, herbs, flowers etc. When I'm ready to plant I pull out the seed box and start preparing the sticks.
Well, according to the weather reports, we will have no rain for the next two days. So I am going to go outside and work in the garden. I've just spotted a bower bird eating all the petals from a magnolia flower! Looks like I have to find some netting quickly!
Have a great week.

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