Saturday, July 6, 2013

Busy Sunday

We had some dear friends stay over last night after a quiet evening.  Mr. Fox and I were more than a little jaded after bottling 20 litres of home brew beer just before they arrived. What a very messy caper bottling was. Quite a lot of the brew ending up on the kitchen floor.  The bottles are now all cosy, tucked away in the hot water cupboard....I have my fingers crossed that none of the tops pop off! It was certainly nice to sit down after the clean up and chat into the wee hours.

The sun has been shining today with a nice breeze so we got out in the garden.  The area at the rear of the house is rather a jumble of big flax, Lily and fallen tree trunks. It is very boggy in the winter and is not a very productive space.  The plants are all about 1.5 metres from the fence which means there is a large area of space waste. Our aim is too grow as much of our own food as possible so we set too work clearing some of those plants away. Every bit of land will have to be functional to help us reach a more sustainable lifestyle (and hopefully save some money too!)

View of the jumble at the back of the house

The pile of felled trees and a huge Lily

A lovely Lily that was way too far from the fence

 It didn't take long for the two of us too get this space cleared.  Mr. Fox dug out the small tree in the corner and we both yanked out the Lily. It was full of snails, centipedes and other creepy crawlies. The base was sodden with water and it stunk! Glad to get this out.  It is lovely for cut flowers so we replanted a small one in the corner closer to the fence. Hopefully it will grow into a lush big plant.

The space clear. I think we will get a composting system going here in the future.

A bit of a surprise at how much space was left behind. 

 Looking at these photos reminds me how badly I want to water blast those fences and paint them black. The brown paint is everywhere in the suburb like some kind of infection. Ugh it's even the choice of colour for the trims on our house.

Our garden has no flowers in it apart from a few violets and geraniums at the back.  We don't like to use sprays or chemicals in the garden. At the moment we do use natural sprays/powders as there are soo many slugs. By increasing the biodiversity in the yard we hope to attract some beneficial bugs in.  The bird table has been such a success at attracting birds so it would be nice to see a few more ladybirds, bees etc. With this in mind we thought a small flower/herb bed by the clothesline might help. It is close to the vegetable garden and can be seen from our lounge.

Waiting for plants. Off to the garden center tomorrow!
I have been researching flowers that can handle clay soils. There is about 5cm of topsoil here before hitting clay.  I think Asters, Chamomile, Carnations and Marigolds will go here, hopefully the garden center will have some suggestions too.

We have decided that the area by the letter box through that gate will be planted out in flowers for the bees and butterflies. There are too many roaming dogs for me to be keen to eat any veges that we could have grown here.  It is very boggy and too wet to plant in at the moment. We have given up conditioning the soil out there. Will pop some hardy plants in here and encourage survival of the fittest.  Once we get a functioning composting area we will add lovely compost to the top of the soil and let worms do the work.

The vegetable garden is recovering from near death by slugs and very wet weather. Despite it being attacked so ferociously by slimy thieves we have been eating quite a bit.  With more goodness on it's way soon. I can't wait for those cabbages.
Spring onions, lettuce, spinach, silver beet and some parsley

Mmm look at that cabbage and broccoli

 Mr. Fox commenced the annihilation of the cabbage tree stump today. It is huge and by all accounts very hard to kill. He drilled some holes into the stump and poured in the recommended poison. I hope it won't take too long to die. It will be good to get some soil in the big planter box and cover that sucker up.

A bit hard to tell but that wee spike is in the middle of a big stump about 1 msq.
It was so great to get out in the garden today. Such a sense of satisfaction and a whole lot of hope for the future goodies to come from the garden to our bellies. I hope the sun shone wherever you are today. x