Monday, July 3, 2017


So, we have 4 passionfruit, 3 lilly pillies, 3 acerola cherries, 3 macadamias, 2 avocadoes, a loquat, and a fig tree that are going to various parts of the property boundary.

The passionfruit are to go along the back fence, hopefully climbing up the new fence to cover it, and provide some screening between us and the neighbour, who feels a little awkward since his study window looks straight into our back porch. The lilly pillies, acerola cherries, and macadamias will probably go along the front fence, with the avocadoes and loquat. The fig tree is going to replace the mandarin that doesn't produce anything.

Actually, none of the citrus in the front garden segment are doing very well. I think they may need more/better feeding. Like loads and loads of horse manure/green manures.

The plan is to keep the lilly pillies, acerola cherries, and macadamias well-trimmed along the front fence (western border of the property) so they don't impede the sun to the front lawn, which I hope to someday turn into a full-fledged vegetable garden.

There's a part of me which would like to keep the avocadoes safely in the backyard, or behind the fence, because, well, avocadoes! But I guess one of the things I consider pretty important in gardening is community involvement - sharing of resources, crop-swapping. And so long as someone isn't going to run off with all my avocadoes, or people ask, then I don't mind sharing...

This has been a tricky winter in which to grow things - not weather wise, so much as the fact that I've been working from sunup until after sundown, and it's difficult working in a dark garden. (Plus, the neighbour's dog yaps at me from the other side of the fence when I turn the garden light on.) I can plant some seeds at night, and I kind of have to - still have many winterveg seeds to plant out.

Planting out the winterveg seeds is the Thing To Do for this week. I'll have to leave the hole-digging and the claybreaking to the weekend, when there's light and time.

Some thoughts on rearranging the garden

Upper step bed near carport is difficult to reach; not a good place for grow-and-pick vegies, better for fruit trees and perennials.

Lower step bed near carport is easier to reach, better for grow-and-pick stuff.

1. move grapes to upper and lower beds against fence.

2. move sage to upper bed, move rosemary (under cherry) to upper bed

3. move chilli/perennial capsicum to upper bed

4. move lavender to upper bed

5. plant bulbs in upper bed (save lower bed and side for easy annuals)

new fence, preserves, winter garden

I had to pull up some sweet potato plants for when we did the back fence.

Garden May 2017

Tricky part: persuading the neighbour not to paint or treat the fence with anything that might turn out to be toxic for my plants.

Wombok (I think)

Garden May 2017

Old Fence.

Garden May 2017

More old fence:

Garden May 2017

Still more old fence:

Garden May 2017

The root vegie garden - rocket and carrots and parsnips and leeks and a bunch of other things, most of which aren't growing at all.

Garden May 2017

New fence being put up (early morning light makes it tricky):

House and garden: new fence

New fence:

House and garden: new fence

More new fence (from same POV as the old fence photo above)

House and garden: new fence

And the long view of the new fence:

House and garden: new fence

I chopped down all the basil and made pesto:

There's gonna be pesto... #basil #gardenofsel #harvest

That was a weekend of preserving, actually. Last of harvest: red tomato chutney, green tomato chutney, preserved lemons, and pesto. Everything but the lemons came from the garden, and I swapped the lemons for lemongrass I did grow in my garden! #gardenofsel #relish #preserves #homecooked #homemade

Last of harvest: red tomato chutney, green tomato chutney, preserved lemons, and pesto. Everything but the lemons came from the garden, and I swapped the lemons for lemongrass I did grow in my garden!  #gardenofsel #relish #preserves #homecooked #homemade

I pulled up the only parsnip that I'd managed to grow:

First ever parsnip! #gardenofsel

I've planted more parsnips, but they're not actually growing. They're difficult to grow apparently - need good sandy soil and the opportunity to grow straight down...

I'm thinking of pulling up the carrot seedlings and planting them out in boxes of sandy compost.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

planning thoughts

to buy
- another avocado (grafted)
- grapes for the back fence (plant behind the washing line)
- passionfruit for the back fence (plant down in the bottom corner behind the apple
- nuts & berries for the front fence (macadamia, almond, chestnut, lilly pilly, acerola cherry, kumquat)
- raspberries under the lounge room window in front bed

to do
- pull out mandarin (replace with avocado)
- espalier multi-apple
- put hooks in fence to grow things on

- pull out remaining summer plants
- plant out seedlings
- mulch fruit trees and prep bed behind washing line

Thursday, April 13, 2017

front fence hedge - loquat

Must remember that I have a loquat seedling (full size, grown from seed) and it will go nicely by the front fence!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

All The Trees Are Brown...

So, gardening. Mum called this morning at 8:30am to say she'd be coming around with her garden helper to help put in some fruit trees.

We got the avocado (grown from seed) and the two apples (my birthday present this year) in the ground, and moved the apricot over. We also discovered a large chunk of cement in the front garden - too large to lever up. So we just planted the apricot a little beyond it.

The avocado - planted out just in time. It's been getting entirely too big for its boots, and had just started leaning to the side in the teeny tiny pot that it's been growing in the last, oh, five, six years...

Two apples up against the fence - I'm going to espalier them, probably in a fan shape - and the apricot in the front, looking like an umbrella blown out the wrong way...

The big sprouty thing to the left of the pic is an eggplant. I've done really well with eggplants this year (compared to previous years).

The apples a little closer up:

I also put in some sweet potato (we'll see how that goes, but I had the length of vine), and started clearing space in prep for the attempt at autumn-winter corn.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I just spent three hours in the garden.

I was not expecting time to pass quite that quickly.

On the plus side, I got the seedlings transplanted and covered up for the first day in the sun (so they don't transpire so much), moved the smaller seedlings to larger seedling pots or planter trays, and prepped the seed trays for seeds.

I want more bok choy and asian greens, cabbage and cauliflower, and, oh, it's time to plant peas (sugarsnap and snow) for the end of winter, isn't it?

Interesting. This planting guide for Sydney says to plant sweet corn in April! Full sun, of course...

I wonder if I should try planting it in the front bed where the fruit trees are. There's probably space. Hm. It would need extra nutrients and mulching, but I've got a decent amount of worm castings and quite a bit of compost... Might give it a try. Depends on whether we have a cold or a mild winter. Last year was cold. Year before was mild. At the worst, it won't grow or it'll grow stunted.

Friday, March 24, 2017

front yard plans

The first thing that I want is a hedge rather than a fence. Mostly with citrus and nut trees - maybe some pomegranates, but otherwise, mostly non-fruiting ones that people might be tempted to steal.

Garden, March 2017

I have four citrus in the front garden bed - a lemon, two multi-citrus, and a mandarin. None of them are doing very well at all - I haven't gotten a fruit out of any of them, and they're pretty much the same size as they were when I planted them, and it's been two years. So I think it's safe to say that they're not liking that bed. The fruit salad stonefruit tree on the other hand is growing GREAT GUNS, while the persimmon is doing nicely, also, and the dual stonefruit trees are holding up. But the new apricot doesn't seem to like the bed so much:

Garden, March 2017

I'm more than a bit worried about that. It's got good leaves, but no new shoots happening.

I also have an avocado in a pot, grown from seed about 7 years ago, so it should be right about ready to start producing. I just need to get it in the ground, because it has seriously outgrown the pot. And my mother just gave me two apple trees for my birthday.

Garden, March 2017

To say that I have an abundance of trees is something of an understatement, I believe.

current plan:
1. plant the apple trees right up against the lattice fence between the front garden bed and the side lawn, and espalier them to form a hedge
2. plant the avocado where the camellia used to be
3. extract the citrus and plant them along the fence, letting them dig deep and grow out

Also on the books for this year is getting chickens - for eggs, for pest control, and also for mulching and manures. I have the geodesic dome hubs, I just need to buy the struts and set up the chook dome. The only question is size; I want a slightly smaller dome for the backyard, and I'm thinking that I might set it up so that the triangular hutch in which the chickens come opens out into the dome, so they can go out there during the day, do their thing, and come back inside into the warmth in the evening and lay their eggs. At least to start with.

Many plans, most of which wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't been made redundant earlier this year (with warning late last year). It's made me appreciate not only cash flows, but garden time, too!

While homesteading isn't something that I'd do unless it was dire, I would like to develop a self-sufficiency in fruit and vegies and eggs, through chickens and a garden that is both productive and pleasurable. At some point (nuclear war, abrupt end of the petroleum society, dire social breakdown) I may decide to start a Linda Woodrow circular permaculture garden in the front yard, but I feel that's a few years away right now...

In the meantime, we tinker on!