Saturday, November 19, 2011

I have moved

I have moved to a new home for blogging, please come and visit me :



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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Iris


I learnt something this week...I have an interest in natural and herbal remedy's and have collected a small number of books on these subjects. I've not actually made any of the concoctions from these books as they usually have a range of wide and varied ingredient list - usually containing something a little out of the ordinary. I have been slowly adding to my collection of medicinal herbs in the garden with a view to collecting the varied ingredients over time. Things like chamomile flowers and dill seeds are fairly commonplace. I have become an expert in weed identification as things like Chickweed and Dandelion and nettle (as long as they have not been sprayed) are common ingredients.
One ingredient that comes up frequently is Orris root and I wasn't really sure what it was. Whilst reading a Jackie French gardening book (The Best of Jackie French) this week I discovered that it was the root of a specific type of Iris. Our yard is full of Iris - although I don't think we have that particular variety - Pity.

The recipe was for potpourri and it mentioned that Iris have an amazing scent. So today while I was weeding the front garden bed I stopped to smell the Iris...  and it's true - they do smell lovely!

I mulched all our vegie beds today with some Lucerne mulch - after much research this seems to be a good all round mulch for both vegies and Roses - both of which we have  a lot right now. Everything that I planted in the past few weeks is going brilliantly - although I have noticed more evidence of snail and slug attack since the weather has started to warm up. I am going to try the 'beer' method of trapping them. Apparently if you submerge a small container at ground level filled with a small amount of beer the snails and slugs fall in and die!

All of my seedlings have emerged except the Coriander - even the apparently difficult to grow Parsley has come up!

Now to keep them healthy until the threat of frost is gone!
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Afternoon Tea and Friands


Blueberry and Lemon Friands and Moroccan Mint Tea
Still on the topic of tea, my favourite time of the day (apart from first thing in the morning before anyone else is awake) is in the afternoon when both children are asleep - if only for 15 minutes - at the same time. It doesn't happen everyday but it is blissful when it does.

I like to sit in the sun on our deck and have a cup of tea and look through a book, perhaps write a little bit.

My book of the moment is this beautiful coffee table book:


If you like Vege gardening then this is a gorgeous and inspirational book.

The friands were a result of my spontaneous purchase of the day - a Friand tin. I really like friands as an alternative to muffins - they are something different and a bit lighter. I know that you can cook them in a  muffin tin as well but I wanted the real cafe-like experience. Blueberry and Lemon is my favourite combination.

On that note... the big boy is awake. That was my 15 mins!

baby B at 4and a half months

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Monday, August 29, 2011

How does my garden grow?

Spring is definitely starting - although I am trying not to get too complacent and am expecting it to get cold again before it finally warms up.  I have been busy planting things that I can, trying to get on top of the weeds and mulching.  We bought a worm farm a week or so ago and it will be a while before we see the benefits but it is great to be able to feed vegie scraps to something!
I got out in the garden this morning and took some pics because it it a lovely day. I have a number of things on the windowsill germinating away. The standout winners have been the lettuce which sprouted after just 2 days. Still waiting for most of the rest but I have Tomatos, Zucchini, Cucumber, Capsicum, Basil, Coriander, Parsley, Kale and a few other random things in so they will be ready to plant out after the frosts.

Lettuce Seedlings
I resurrected my pea trellis yesterday and moved it to a different part of the garden. I have never had much luck getting the seedlings to take before now so we will see how it goes in this new position.

Pea Ti-Pi

Freshly planted Pea Seedings
The garden is starting to brim over with flowers in anticipation of spring. We have a lot of Iris in our beds and they tend to make up the majority of our flowers but I do scatter some Pansy and viola around the place to fill in holes here and there. I need to plant some more bulbs but that can be a job for next year.
A Lonely Pansy - Blueberry in the foreground.
I bought a blueberry a few weeks ago and I'm not really sure where I want it to live so I am going to keep it in a pot for now until I decide. If it goes OK in the pot I might just leave it there. I also want to get a small patio lime. I planted some Mustard greens just for something different. By the time my rocket seeds sprout and the cut and come again lettuce gets going we should be right for salad season!
I was very excited this morning to see my Rhubarb crown had sprouted!

Mustard Greens with Curry plant in the foreground
We have a number of fruit trees in our garden, an old derelict Apricot which we never get many fruit from, a peach which has never fruited, an abundant plum and a Granny Smith apple which always gets coddling moth. I am going to try and combat the coddling moth this year and I have a few ideas up my sleeve.
Apricot

Peach

Plum
And last of all my favourite - the Jonquils.

Jonquil


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Sunday, August 28, 2011

on Mindfulness...

Source


"Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the
world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the
future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life."



Thich Nhat Hanh

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chubby Baby Love


I didn't really understand the concept of chubby baby love before Baby B. You know some times when you hear people say things like "Look at those chubby legs... I could just eat them!". I just didn't get it. Perhaps H boy wasn't all that chubby?

Well Baby B is a different kettle of fish! He has these gorgeous rolls of baby fat on his legs and tummy - combine that with his beautiful soft baby skin and I could just eat him right up.

He is being exceptionally cute lately - all smiles and giggles and he is a very chatty baby.

I am really trying to make the most of this time with him - trying to live in the moment. I read a book once called "The Gift of an Ordinary Day" by Katrina Kennison about appreciating the everyday and remembering those moments that may not seem so special at the time but come together to form all the wonderful memories that make up a life lived. I think that is what is so special about blogs - they allow you to capture some of those ordinary everyday moments.


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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Knitting frustration

A little while ago I decided that I needed some fingerless mittens - so I went looking on ravelry for a pattern I liked. Knitting a pair of fingerless mitts is probably stretching my knitting skills a little - thus the title of this blog post!


I chose the Cupcake Mitts pattern because I thought they looked cute. I am actually quite surprised to find that it isn't at all difficult to knit on double pointed needles. I remember a time a little while back my husband saying to me "when you start knitting on more than 2 needles I'll know you have a problem" (problem/habit/addiction...). I guess I'm there now!

They are challenging to knit - I am learning a lot - including how easy it is to mis-read a pattern! But incredibly satisfying at the same time because they come together so fast.

How did the jelly cakes go you ask?  Well not as good looking as the ones from yesterdays picture but they definitely taste good. I think I let the jelly set for too long.


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Monday, August 8, 2011

Cooking away the day

I have noticed that I cook a whole lot more now that I have a toddler. It seems to be the only thing that keeps him entertained for more than 15 minutes.

I absolutely dread rainy days where we are stuck at home - especially when he is being challenging and I am tired!

We went to the National Dinosaur Museum this morning for a look and that managed to entertain him for around an hour - after 4 laps of the exhibits. It was nice to go and have a look but I think it is better suited to school age children.

This afternoon we are going to have a go at making these yummy looking Jelly Cakes:

Source 
I love sweet things that are easy to freeze - it means that you can cook up a largish batch and have some now and some in the freezer for those times when you need something different - or to pack to take on a picnic.
With only 4 weeks till spring (excited much!!!) I can see a lot of picnics in our future!!!
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Ressurection of this blog

I have decided to resurrect this blog as I want a space to be able to write about our upcoming renovations as well as everyday things about the hose and family goings on.

I thought that it would also be a good place to journal about the things I am doing in the garden at different times of the year so as to serve as a reminder for upcoming years of things that I need to do.

I have been starting to get a good grip on the garden recently. It seems strange that it has taken me this long to get the hang of but I am finally beginning to understand the flow of planting and being able to plan for the amount of plants that I need to yield the right amount of food for our family.

A good example is the one zucchini that I managed to grow last year. I was dissapointed when bugs ate the other 3 plants but then the one plant we had managed to grow provided us with exactly the right amount of produce. We probably only eat 3 - 4 zucchini per week and the plant seemed to give us this.

I know that you can do things like canning but I'm not really into that. I don't mind making jams etc from excess fruit but I don't really like to eat canned things so it is better if we only have the amount that we need.

I have some plans for the next few months that I am putting into place slowly.

LAst week I bought bought some Onion, spring onion, lettuce, silverbeet, asparagus, rhubarb and seed potatoes.

I planted the Onions, spring onions, silverbeet and lettuce on Saturday morning - right before a full day of rain so they were watered in nicely. Earlier that week I had spent some time preparing the beds with some compost, dynamic lifter and wetting agent.

The last round of spring onions were so rewarding and I am looking forward to having that again. Hopefully the onions will be the same.

I have the seed potatoes out getting some light to help with the sprouting and I will plant them next weekend.

I also put some radish seeds out - I know you are meant to grow radish from seed but I have not had much luck before now.

More to come with plans for the garden...
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