Posts Tagged ‘permaculture’

My winter photo

 

Over the years my daughter Maya has taken pictures of me in my garden, usually in the middle of winter, starting in 2009, our first winter in this house. My husband had died the previous month, so the look on my face that year was a bit not me. But over the years things have improved, on my face and in the garden.

I did not realize that the winter photo had become a tradition until I looked back and saw that I had done it most years (except for 2012).  I have never made the photos public, because in them I am wearing my worst clothes, clothes which I very often wear in the garden.

 

The pond, five years on

Not far from Eden.

For the past month or so Amaru and Maya have gone out to this tree every morning to get an apple for recess. It’s times like these that I hope become golden memories for them as they grow older.

Gathering the last of the Royal Galas

Gathering the last of the Royal Galas

I have also been a little proud because many people around here believe that you can’t grow apples in Quorn.

And there I was thinking that you can’t grow much any further north than here, when Marg Wilson brings back this huge watermelon from Ethadunna Station, which is out along the Birdsville track about 100km north of Marree.

"I carried a watermelon?"

“I carried a watermelon?”

Something done finally

Not much has happened in the garden lately or on this blog; school started again, and then my eldest moved to Adelaide to start uni – before he left I got him to help me install the bath pond under the verandah where the little fibreglass one used to be.

April 2015

That bath had sat there 6 months on rollers waiting to go in, but it was so dry I did not bother trying to dig. Then along came some nice rain in January, and once it soaked into the soil I was able to dig. Antonio helped me with the bath just before he left towards the end of February. It annoys me by looking lopsided even though according to the spirit level it is almost perfect. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait until the plants grow some and disguise it.

I have also finally got back to working on my dry creek bed, which I’d not touched for two months. Some of my excuses involve the hot dry weather, but I’ve also embarked on a couple of writing courses which have taken my attention away from Gardiner in a dry land.

April 2015

Over summer I had put all my water plants back into the brick pond and covered it. Late March when I take the cover off, which I love, because I can see the sky reflected in the water again, I began planting things out around the other two ponds.

April 2015

After that I drained all the water from the brick pond into here, gave the brick pond a good mucking out, and then set up the little fountain once again.

April 2015

I really do love my ponds. When I was a kid I wanted a pond badly, but the answer was always no. My parents had a whole set of reasons. But now I have three!

Summer Highlights

These somehow seemed to be mainly in the form of things to eat, or things we look forward to eating soon.

Don’t worry bee happy

I see a bee!

Blue banded bee

Blue banded bee

A certain item came through my Facebook newsfeed today reporting that Australia’s honey production was down 50 percent etc; add that to the pineapple shortage and you might start thinking, “aarrghhhh, we’re all going to die!”

But while there have been less European bees around lately, I have noticed a lot more native bees. I don’t think I ever saw any Blue Banded bees before 2011 around here, although that could also be because I wasn’t paying much attention. But they do just as good a job at pollination, coming in for the Eremophila flowers and stopping off by the tomato plants while they are at it.

If only we could round them up and get them to make us some honey!

More poo secrets – spread it round!

At last we have had a little rain, enough to start the winter grass growing and the farm tractors working. More of course is needed. But I have been happily planting things this weekend, some of which have had to wait in the shade house for years!

Of course any day now we will have the first frost, so things that might have grown at last will be hindered. That is the trouble with this place. The main issue is lack of water, but we also contend with bad soil, high winds, lots of winter frosts, extreme heat, we get it all.

And this is where horse manure comes in. Sharon has pointed out to me that if you spread it around the garden in autumn, it keeps the soil warm for just that bit longer as it breaks down, thus extending the autumn growing season. By how long, I’m not sure.

I really noticed the difference horse manure makes when put on top of mulch in my pink garden bed last year. Whilst mulch is needed to maintain moisture and keep plant roots cool, wood-based mulches temporarily deprive the soil of nitrogen as they break down. But horse manure counteracts it.

The pink garden

The pink garden