Friday, July 31, 2009

Friends like these

I had a visit from a good friend today, who has inspired me to get outside and start this friggen garden. I've been staring out from the inside thinking about going out but always find a reason not to, and that is very unlike me.
This backyard is so depressing lately, I think because I just keep looking at what I can't change. The pool is in a stupid spot and facing the wrong way. The house throws a monsterous shadow over most of the backyard at this time of year. Anyway you look, you feel like you're spying on neighbours because all the houses are so close. The ground is like rock.
Thankfully Cordi came over with her infectious passion for growing stuff, as well as a bag of plants and strict instuctions to go and plant them! So late this afternoon I took a look with fresh eyes...

The pool is in a stupid spot ... yes but who cares? WE HAVE A POOL! And not a crappy little pool either; it is 10 metres long. It is awesome in summertime and Indi swims like a champion because of it.
The house casts a huge shadow on the yard ... meh i'll plant shade loving things and have a mini rain forest! Tree ferns all round!
Spying on neighbours yards ... hedge fruit trees along the fences.
Heavy clay ... mulch! No dig gardens are the only way to go anyway (in my opinion).

So to my darling friend Cordi ... mwwwaaaaaahhhh! You have re-sparked my Alternative Suburbia dream.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Human beings in general are just an easily -bored species I reckon. I mean, why else would we be where we are? TV's the size of a living room wall? And dare I say ... the Internet? And WTF is Blu-ray???????
It's not enough to just 'be'. We have to 'do'.
Why do we need to go to work?
We need to go to work to make money for petrol, so that we can drive to work.
Sometimes I feel like we've created this whole world of crap to amuse ourselves. Or distract ourselves.
Birds don't go to work. Neither do wombats. Or kangaroos. They just be.
I think we're ripping ourselves off somehow.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ahhhh, starting to feel somewhat normal again.
What a couple of weeks it has been. I don't do sickness very well. Luckily for everyone around me, I don't get sick very often. I was thinking today that the last time I felt this bad was about 9 years ago. Thats a pretty good run of healthiness! So here's hoping that this bout has kick-started the immune system again and I won't be out for another ten years.
I can't say the same for Indi though, she is having a really hard time shaking it off the poor bugger. I hate it when kids get sick. Keanu only had it for about 4 days ... gotta love the immune-building powers of breast milk!
SO I've finally made it back to the computer. Lots has happened since I last wrote, and I've been wanting to write everyday but have only made it as far as checking the emails every couple of days and then going back to bed.
Indi turned 4 last week!
My little baby girl is 4 years old. WOW!
Bali, one of our guinea pigs had two gorgeous little babies. It is my strongly-held opinion that baby guinea pigs are the absolute cutest baby anythings in the world.
We haven't named them yet, but I think they are both girls.
Today was a really really nice warm (ish!) day, so I made a 'potato cage'.

We have a huge roll of this wire that was once a fence, and I cut a piece and wired it into a cylinder. Then I chucked some weeds and prunings at the bottom of it.
Sit a sprouting potato on top...

And cover with straw.
Hopefully the sprouts will make it out the top of the straw, then I will keep it mulched up as high as I can to get the maximum number of taters.

During my last two weeks of sickness and bed-ness, I read The One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka.
WOW. My new favourite book of all time. Awesome stuff.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ugggghhhhh I'm sick! The kids are sick too. Yuck yuck yuck. I feel awful. I'm so congested, and my throat hurts, and my patience is about 0.000002 seconds long. The house is a chaotic nightmare. Mum got stuck in traffic because of an accident on the freeway so wasn't home until after 10:30. Craig is still away in the truck. Arrrggghhh what a week!
Justin (my brother) came and took Keanu from our bed this morning after he had grizzled for close to 3 hours. Thanks Jussy, you're a legend.
Indi said this morning 'I love you mum, I'll take care of you.' Thanks baby girl, you're a legend too xoxo

I was planning on keeping this blog devoted to all things garden related. Maybe I should start another one for moments like this ... ?!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hooray! I manged to get a little bit of gardening stuff done last week. Just in time too, because guess what? It's raining again!
We had some really nice (I could almost say warm) days early last week, so I chucked the baby up on my back, tied him on with a piece of sari fabric and headed out to enjoy it. Honestly, I looked like one of those ladies in India who pick the tea leaves! I wonder what the neighbours think when they peek over the fence ... ?!
I weeded the little vege patch. The layers are breaking down down nicely, and the soil is starting to become more friable and black, instead of the clay that I started with. I left the tomato plant in there, sprawling all over the place ... who knows, we might get a little bit of fruit off it. It's the warmest spot in the yard and a couple of homegrown tomatoes are better than nothing at all.

I also managed to turn the compost heap by myself, which is hard work believe me. Not the actual turning, but emptying it all out of the bin. It is very heavy! I made the compost bin from our council green bin ... not sure that the council would be really impressed with the bin-defacement, but i'll be buggered if I'm sending all my garden waste to their depot to sit and turn into beautiful rich compost, that they then sell back to me at an inflated price. And my other 'proper' compost bin is still in storage. I'd prefer to just have a pile on the ground in a corner somewhere, but the dogs take a liking to it and it gets spread everywhere.
The bin works pretty well considering it doesn't have a great deal of air flow. I got some awesome compost out of it in the summer, but it's a little slow in the winter which is to be expected I guess. Plus I haven't put any manure in there to keep it warm (besides the guinea pigs bedding, but thats not really enough to heat it up).
The pile on the right is from the bottom of the bin, and the pile on the left is the fresher stuff off the top, so it's not doing a bad job. It smells a bit sour, so I'll have to get some lime this week or maybe some blood and bone to sprinkle in there.

Anyway, it's coming along slowly, which is better than not at all!
Now I need to make a list of what we eat the most of, so I know what to plant first. I need to start buying a punnet of seedlings a week, or a packet of seeds. I've been saving the milk cartons so I can raise some seedlings ready to plant out as soon as it's warm enough.