Tag Archives: vegetable garden

Weeding it out take 2

24 Aug

So much can happen in such a small amount of time.  It feels like yesterday I was telling you all about the massive effort the Gardeners had made clearing the common gardens in our complex of some very nasty weeds.  If you missed it, catch it here.  And then we bade farewell to our Bangalow Palms. If you missed that one, it’s here.

When the Bangalows bit the dust, the arborists also removed some Cotton Palms and de-fruited and de-fronded a heap of Cocos Palms (almost 50!).  They were here for ages. Then the next day the gardeners came back and finished mulching the gardens and removed a few more weeds.  The complex looks like it’s had a mini make-over just from the quick tidy up.

There’s nothing like seeing someone else doing the hard work for you to give you a small case of the guilts and motivate you into action.

We are guilty of having one of the worst and weediest front gardens in the complex.  It can only be described in one word – appalling.  It has suffered from years and years of complete and utter neglect.  We are partly guilty for this.  While we rented out the place, we didn’t pay any attention to the gardens, and neither, it seems, did the tenants.  Theoretically the gardens should be maintained as part of the strata maintenance regime, but as I’ve pointed out before, there hasn’t been enough of that going on either!  So, let me share our guilt and shame…

This is the weedy unkempt garden that greets our visitors!

So, with a whiff of spring in the air, a growing case of the guilts and massive sense of shame, we got stuck into the front gardens.  This was our Saturday job.  After Mr Perfect made a mercy dash to Bunnings to get some heavy duty garden tools (a shovel and a mattock) we rallied the troops (The Drama Queen and Daredevil) and set to work.  The troops really weren’t much help, and Mr Perfect took on the role of troop wrangler while I got stuck in.

There was so much wrong with what was there.  Mountains of fishbone ferns, Kikuyu, thorny Gleditsia suckers, overgrown and unruly Dietes, and weeds I couldn’t even name.  The stepping stones that Mr Perfect had put in when we first moved in (only to provide a safe pathway) were crooked and didn’t quite fit.  There was rubbish, timber, bricks, rocks, and we even found a service pit we didn’t know was there!

It really didn’t take as long as I thought it would, and after a break for lunch and putting the Daredevil to bed, we managed to clear out half the garden.  The other half has to wait for a couple of weeks until our green bin gets emptied.

The best bit is we were able to realign the stepping stones and widen the pathway a bit by recycling the timber and bricks we found in the garden.  This will do until I manage to put together a better design, and it’s much safer for the Daredevil to navigate!

Unfortunately I think we’re living with the mantra of “it’s got to get worse before it gets better” because while the weeds and palms are gone, I wouldn’t exactly say we have an award winning landscape yet!  Check it out…

Eeeek! At least it's less a LOT of weeds, but there's still so much to do!

...and after the stump grinder, the back is looking a little worse for wear. Only 3 of the Drama Queen's Snow Peas survived, and none of the Broccoli

At least she has some back ups ready to go!

At least we’ve made a start, and I know Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it’s time to get cracking!

Sam

Rug up and get out there.

10 Jun
OK, so it’s winter and it’s really cold, but that’s no excuse not to rug yourself up and get out there. That’s what gloves and beanies were made for.  Besides, while it may be cold and windy, that sun is still spectacular and warms you to your soul.  Make the most of the cooler weather and try and do some of the things that get harder when it gets hotter.  Note for  those of you reading from the northern hemisphere, yes, we know it doesn’t get that  cold here in Sydney, but we think it does, we’re like Goldilocks, as long as it’s not too cold or not too hot it’s juuuuust right, and that’s the way we like it

We’re at the point at our new place where it’s warmer to head outdoors during the day than stay inside, so here are my top 5 things to do on a cold but sunny winter’s day.  This long weekend have a think about giving some a try…

1 Plant some vegetables. It’s probably not something you would normally associate with winter, but there are some great winter vegetable crops you can plant and enjoy in your hearty comfort food concoctions.

The Drama Queen’s snow pea crop is starting to power, though her broccoli is a little out of season, so they aren’t doing so well.  Other vegetables you might want to try if you’re looking at some Sydney vegetable gardening, are carrots, parsnips and beetroot for root crops, broad beans, snow peas, Spinach and cabbage for the above ground types.  If you’re looking for something a little more herbal, try parsley, oregano or chives.

Pop's spinach crop

Just try and make sure you keep their feet warm with a bit of organic mulch (try sugar cane mulch it’s a great re-use of a by-product) and that you give them plenty to drink, Sydney winters are normally dry.

2 Go for a walk.  Winter is a great time to check out your local neighbourhood or try something a bit more adventurous.  There are a few spectacular walks in Sydney, one of my favourites is the Spit to Manly, a little bit of bush, and it can end with a wine or two and a nice meal.  The bonus of bush walking in winter is you don’t need to worry too much about snake spotting, they’re generally fast asleep.

Another of my favourite winter walking habits is playing tourist in your own city, and Sydney is a fantastic place to play tourist, The Rocks, Circular Quay, Opera House, Botanic Gardens and Art Gallery, you can’t beat that for a walking circuit!  and if you’ve still got puff left, you can always walk across the bridge to Kirribilli and Luna Park.

Me and the Drama Queen on one of our tourist adventures in the botanic gardens - and yes, this was in winter!

3 Do some garden renovation – lets face it some of the hard stuff in the garden is hot work, and in summer it’s just not fun.  Really, in winter it’s not much fun either, but if you can’t afford to get someone to do it for you, winter is the best time to do the tough jobs like re-mulching, pruning and building, then you’re all ready to enjoy what spring then summer have in store.

4 Share a wine in a sunny beer garden – So you’ve planted, walked, and put in the hard slog, me thinks it’s time for a reward.  I love spending time with friends and family out in the sun, and partaking in a drop or two of good Aussie wine.  Need I say more?  Just head on down to your local, find a nice spot in the sun and have fun.

5  Go skiing.  Oh how I miss our skiing holidays.  Since the Drama Queen was born we haven’t managed to make our way down to the snow.  Despite our pre children promises, it appears we have turned into those parents who stop doing some of the things they love when munchkins come on the scene.  Every June long weekend, when the Australian ski season starts I get a little pang of longing, and then every October long weekend, a little pang of regret that we’ve missed another one. So if you’re heading down to the slopes this weekend for the season opening, I am soooo jealous!  I can’t think of much better for a sunny chilly winter’s day than shooping down the slopes to stop for a hot chocolate and a chat.  Really, I think I spent more time with the hot chocolate than I did with the snow…

ahhhh... sun, snow and skis, can think of nothing better in winter

I’ll definitely be doing number 4, how about you? Stay warm and have fun!

Sam

One, two, miss a few…

30 May

I was doing so well with my Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule, but slipped up on Friday.  I have a really good reason, and I can get a note from my Mum if you’d like.  I had my post planned, had taken the photos and was generally ready to go, had even started a little bit of it, but other things were more of a priority.  Friday was Pop’s funeral.  I thought I might have caught a few spare quiet moments to get a quick reflective post up, but with my extended family around, there is never a spare quiet moment.  Who was I kidding?

Pop had 3 daughters, 8 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and too many friends that felt like family to count.  The funeral was standing room only, and the party continued at his place until very early in the morning.  Unfortunately we had to get the Drama Queen and the Daredevil to bed, so we missed the Tequila shots, Zumba and planking (or plonking as Mr Perfect calls it) that will be the things of legend.

So today you get to see, what I though might be a fitting final tribute to Pop, a tour of his garden.  It’s a perfect example of embracing what was left behind by the previous owner and adding things you love.  As Pop’s dementia was taking hold, Barb, his wife would catch moments while Pop was in the garden, raking and weeding, to do her day to day things like having a shower.  She knew Pop would be OK in his garden, providing nothing caught his eye that needed a ladder!

The wombat at home in Pop's garden

The front pathway

The front garden is more formal than the back

water feature statue and constructed formal garden beds adopted from the previous owners

The swaggie keeping watch by the stairs

The possum proof vegetable garden

Pop planted the beetroot with my Mum just weeks before he died

herbs in pots

the view looking up is just as impressive

Pop was such an avid vege gardener, that the floral tribute on his casket was a mountain of vegetables.  I bet the florist loved that job!

The vegetable tribute - looking a little wilted at the end of a very long day!

I think Pop may have left his green thumb behind for someone, the Drama Queen’s seeds have sprouted – she is so proud of her baby broccoli and snow pea plants.

Sam

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