Friday, January 28, 2011

Another Trip Around The Sun

My little boy turns two today :) 

Such a beautiful, kind, gentle little soul.

Happy Birthday Baby! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Summer Harvest: Carrots

I thought it might be time to start pulling up some carrots. I can't remember how long they've been in the ground ... 6 months? Maybe longer.
They're pretty hard to get out, that's for sure. They kept snapping off in the ground! It's very dry though; we haven't had any rain here for about 3 weeks and they are in the newer part of the garden that is still a bit clayey.

Nevertheless we managed to get a few out in one piece. I fed the broken ones to the guinea pigs; they are carrot junkies :)

Roasted with some potatoes, they made a delish side to our quiche, which incidentally was filled with tomatoes, silverbeet, zucchini and spring onions ALL home grown :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tiny Winged Creatures ...

Or at least they will be in a few more weeks :)

Check them out, destroying a lime tree

These fantastic little creatures are Papilio aegeus, caterpillars of the Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly. We discovered them on a lime tree that's been sitting out the front for months (I sort of forgot to plant it and it got shoved into the corner behind some other pots).
The one on the right in the top photo has just begun to pupate. Apparently they take anywhere from one to six months to emerge, so you'll have to wait a bit longer for those pictures!
We remodelled Indi's butterfly enclosure to contain them, which we made from a camping mosquito net.

Notice the lack of leaves on the poor old lime tree LOL!
This butterfly house has been loads of fun for us this summer. Mostly we've just hatched cabbage white butterflies because there are so many of the hungry little buggers hanging around the cabbages!

Indi also made this little booklet about the life cycle of the butterfly

She has also added words like 'pupae' and 'proboscis' to her vocabulary :)
If you want to see a picture of these butterflies, this website here is excellent. We use it all the time to identify creepers that we find about the garden.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Beans beans everywhere! I can't stop planting them. What's not to love about beans? 

Twisting and twining over anything in their path

Beautiful buds

Bursting into pretty, petite little flowers

I've just planted some at the base of the corn

Indi planted some along her garden fence
The thing is with beans, they don't like to be too wet until they sprout or they might rot in the ground. I left half a packet in the rain the other week and they got drenched and were already starting to swell by the time I found them. I chucked them down in the space between the patio and the fence, just to see what would happen ...

They just grow anywhere! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Indi's Place

My cool little pixie living down the back

Hot summer days mean lots of swimming around here. They also mean that by late morning, we need to seek out some shade else we turn into lobsters. 

Lucky for me, there's a little elfin child who welcomes us into her cottage down the back.

She makes us lunch ... mmmm avocado and vegemite sandwiches

Then takes us on a tour of her garden

Sometimes we even get to sample some fresh produce

After all that we like to go back inside as relax in the comfy corner (note the authentic crocheted rag rug, made by yours truly ;) ) until the sun passes enough that we can head back out to the pool. 

Oh how I luuuurve summer! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sew Cheap!

I've once again dragged out the sewing machines in the name of 'upcycling'.
After much hinting, harassment and outright threats my mother FINALLY cleared out the ten-years-worth-of-crap that was clogging up her wardrobe leaving me with a veritable gold mine of material in the form of old clothes. After I dragged them all downstairs I decided it was time to hit that towering 'clothes-to-refashion' pile. Waste not, want not! :)

These shorts came from an old pair of jeans with various scrappy odds and ends making up the appliqued tree on the leg. The top is actually for Indi and was made from an old singlet top of my sisters. I'm incredibly impatient and lazy so I made the whole lot on the overlocker, except for the stitching around the applique.

These shorts were once a button-up shirt belonging to my brother. I actually stuffed them up a bit making them too low-rise but my good friend Karisma suggested just taking the waistband off and replacing it with a thick band of ribbing. Great idea me thinks! They are really light and cool so I think with a soft ribbed waist they'll make great pyjama pants. The top was an old white t-shirt. Again, all on the overlocker. Even the neck hole and arm holes have a rolled edge to save me having to concentrate too much in sewing a proper hem!

These shorts were a pair of women's stretchy brown pants. The singlet is a combination of a long-sleeved top, a couple of old sheets and a scrap of brown corduroy I found in the remnants bin at Spotlight  a few months ago (ok, so this one isn't ENTIRELY recycled ;)). I love love love the way it turned out!

Gratuitous 'gorgeous baby' shot ;)  

Friday, January 7, 2011

Summer Harvest: Purple Basil

Soon to be married to the aforementioned tomatoes ;)

I haven't had much luck with basil this year. It seemed that the garden was something of a 'real estate heaven' for bugs in the early summer, so anything that I planted was quickly demolished by the hungry little blighters. I finally managed to get a few plants going in a pot out the front door. It's strange, because basil normally grows like a weed for me. Indi and I planted some more mixed seeds down in the main vegie patch early this week so hopefully they'll get up and going before the cooler weather kicks in.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Water Sprite

Summer Harvest: Tomatoes

Well, the 'silly season' is behind us for another year and I'm slowly finding a bit of time to sit down at the computer. There's been lots of fun stuff happening around here but let's start with the garden ...

I've had great luck with the tomatoes this year. I've been harvesting at least one or two everyday for the last few weeks. Not enough to be pushing them onto friends but enough to keep our bellies full :) And there's still heaps more ripening. These ones are 'Rouge de Marmande'.

I only planted eight plants this year but I keep finding 'volunteer' seedlings popping up from the half-rotted compost that I've spread around everywhere. This one crept it's way up through the corn and pumpkin vine and is looking very promising;

I was a little bit worried about them; soon after planting we got a LOT of rain. The plants out the back didn't seem too affected by it, but the couple out the front shot up nearly as high as my head (which isn't really all that high lol!) with soft, lush green growth. They looked lovely but in my experience tomato plants that take off so quickly and put all their energy into green growth seem to be the first ones that get attacked by the bugs! They didn't though, and apart from being bullied by some howling winds, they came through with plenty of fruit.
Next year I'll plant twice as many so I have some to give away :)