Posts Tagged ‘garden’


First handful of sugar snap peas and snow peas.

Given I’m writing this post about late spring in the veggie garden in the middle of summer, you would be right in thinking I am a little behind in posting. Luckily a patch of 34+ days are crimping my summer holiday DIY plans.

Segue: crimping my holiday plans unless I get up at before sparrow fart when it’s cool, or stay up until…(actually what is the opposite of sparrow fart for the people who have to wait until sundown and cool down? Is there a colloquial expression for that? Should we make one? How does before bat fart read to you?)…until before bat fart. And I have done that: mainly the before bat fart because I don’t mind late night door and window painting while being eaten alive by mosquitoes, whereas sparrow fart is just too f*cking early. But I digress…

The veggie garden has been a very productive member of the household this year, I’ve had a couple of harvests of snow peas and sugar snap peas, in suitable quantities. I like how they become ready in handfuls, which is the perfect amount for a stir fry or salad.


Pea plants in action.

And now, in summer, I am starting to harvest courgettes while little ears of corn grown on my dwarf corn plants. Actually I am not sure if they are dwarf corn plants, but I suspect so since they are a lot shorter than other corn I have grown. Whatever they are, they look like they will give me a plethora of corn.


Looking out, over the courgettes…is a phrase you don’t use that often.

The silverbeet has now gone to seed, finally. These plants are 2 years old, so I am impressed they made it til now. I didn’t use it as much as I’d like, simply because I didn’t have the freezer space free. But I did make a large patch of silverbeet and potato soup plus I have some canneloni filling for when it’s cool enough to want to eat pasta again.


Splendorous vegetable landscape.



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Spring in the veggie garden


Snow peas, sugar snap peas and silverbeet

It’s spring, so I’ve cleared the veggie garden of weeds and reclaimed some of it from the dichondra that is trying to take over (next up to buy some edging to keep Dichondra on the side of the garden bed it’s welcome to cover and to keep it out of the veggie garden).


Radicchio makes a reappearance

I’ve kept the silverbeet from last year, these plants survived over summer and are looking very lush and prolific so they can stay.

I’ve planted zucchini seeds (they are from an older seed packet so if they don’t make an appearance soon I will buy a seedling), two types of sweet corn, bush beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas.


The peas, future beans, current silver beet and future corn.

There is a sad little padron pimiento plant in the garden, all my peppers are looking sad at the moment so I will keep an eye on it to see if it fills out with leaves and becomes productive: if not, it’s coming out.


Future corn and future zucchini as well as a sneak peak at the invading dichondra (and weeds) and the resurfacing radicchio

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Tractor Seat Mark #2 In Position

The title sounds foreboding, but rest assured there is a happy ending for both Mark #1 and Mark #2 Tractor Seat Plants.

When I last left my quest to own Ligularia Dentata, affectionately known as Tractor Seat Plants, I’d successfully identified the plants, and tracked some down to an independent garden store who had ordered them in for me (which took months by the way): I’d bought 6 pots of small plants, and was waiting for the weather to cool before I planted them. So both you and I thought the job was pretty much done: plants purchased, once planting was completed it would be JOB = DONE!


Mark #1 Tractor Seat Plants in position

And I did do what I set out to do: I planted 5 of them in their pre-ordained spots as punctuation marks between my Japanese Hedging Bamboo (Bambusa Multiplex) and my Slender Weavers Bamboo (Bambusa Textilis Gracilis). The sixth pot, however, was a little too big to go into it’s pre-ordained home. So it got planted behind the Mulberry Tree and I put on my lists of things to do: Buy A Tractor Seat Plant In A Smaller Pot.


The Mark #1 plant that caused my quest to be continued is on the far right.

I did go back to the independent garden store to see if they had another pot. But they were out, and I would have to order one in…knowing it would likely take months to come in.

So I did the next best thing, I went to a decidedly non-independent hardware and garden store, where I had seem some while I had my goods on order, and purchased one from there.

I bought it home and planted it…and then realised the leaves were slightly different to the 5 other plants already in position.


The Plant that caused the second part of the quest, in position.

Now the version of Ligularia Dentata (Tractor Seat Plants) that I wanted, was a larger plant, that was a more emerald green and its leaves grew on stalks about 0.5-1m of the ground.

But the plants I’d got from my independent garden centre were more forest green, were much lower to the ground and did not appear to be making the move to becoming bigger, taller and brighter green plants…while the plant purchased from the decidedly non-independent hardware and garden store was actually doing all the things I wanted my Ligularia Dentata (Tractor Seat Plants) to be doing.

You guessed it: I had two different types of Ligularia Dentata (Tractor Seat Plants) in my front garden. 6 of one variety (Mark #1) and one of another (Mark #2). And Mark #2 was actually what I wanted all along.

However I did still like the Mark #1 plants…I just didn’t want the Mark #1 Ligularia Dentata (Tractor Seat Plants) plants where they were, I wanted those to be Mark #2 Ligularia Dentata (Tractor Seat Plants).

So I went back to the decidedly non-independent hardware and garden store, purchased 5 more of the Mark #2 Ligularia Dentata (Tractor Seat Plants) and mapped out where I could rehouse my Mark #1 plants to.

The Mark #1s are now under the Mulberry Tree. They appear to be very happy there as their little friend who was already planted there is going great guns (you can see him to the right of the photo below).



Mark #1 plants in their new home under the Mulberry Tree

Meanwhile the Mark #2s have been planted in their recently vacated homes and also appear to be going great guns:


Mark #2 growing into its new home

And I am looking forward to when they grown 0.5-1m in the front garden bed. I suspect they will be on the smaller side as I have deliberately inhibited their growth by planting them in a smaller, shallower space, but they are already looking very happy between the Bamboos and behind the Alocasia:


The Quest Is Complete. FINALLY.

So at long last I can write: JOB = DONE!!!!!!


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The great wall of retaining is FINALLY complete: the project I started in 2013…is done and dusted!

After doing the footing in February, I moved and mortared the blocks (with help) and added the final  pea gravel touch over the course of 2 weekends in April.

First up was to set the blocks  on a bed of mortar. I had help with that: the Amazant Monsieur H helped me move the bricks into place one Saturday in April:


All lined up and levelled and sitting in a bed of mortar

The next day, I mixed up more mortar to fill in the gaps between the blocks:



The next weekend, after the mortar had time to dry, I back-filled the sand in the garden bed and cleaned up the blocks, then put the pot plants etc back in place:


Looking good

Then …I nestled a terracotta pot under the drainpipe: to ensure it doesn’t block and to allow the water to fill the pot and then seep out through the bottom, rather than flood out the pipe. I bought 3 bags of pea gravel and filled the wall-side of the retaining wall:



It looks really good, I am very happy the project turned out exactly as I hoped… 3 years after I started it:


Very ap-pea-ling


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Reeeduce, Reeeuse, Reeeecyyyycle, Reeeeepurpose.

Things you can do with used bamboo party cutlery: wash it, write on it and turn it into plant labels.


Hai future basil!

This should prevent a recurrence of the great oregano weeding incident of 2010.

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Pretty flamingos

Some people impulse buy tech gear online after a couple of chardonnays, others impulse by shoes or clothes online and even more others impulse buy CDs, DVDs or books after a few wines. I remember those days, before mortgage (BM).


And then she said…

I’ve been pretty good post mortgage (PM), I do impulse wishlist after a couple of chardonnays. I am a keen wishlister on Amazon, eBay, ASOS, modcloth, Etsy and more…but I am mostly good at resisting the urge to add to cart.


Who doesn’t need a flamingo in the garden.

That was until Ozsale had outdoor decor on sale, with one item being replica retro flamingos. SOLD!

Turns out the impending promise of the sale closing, with no opportunity to purchase retro plastic flamingos is now my weakness after chardonnays 😉 It kicked me over the line into putting it in the card, along with some cute felt coasters and some window gels.


Hipsta flamingos.

I’ve got them out in the back garden at the moment, hanging in the laundry trough come herb garden. I did want to put them out the front, but what if someone sees and steals my glorious retro flamingos? The stress!

It’s not like I can’t buy more of them, but these were ON SALE!

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That righteous glow of being a trug owner, that so few other homeowners achieve.

Since I first started growing herbs and vegetables in the garden of casa moi, it’s been my aim – a dream even – to own a trug. Trugs are definitely not one of life’s essentials, but are great when you need to harvest product and bring it inside. Taking your colander outside and using that can be problematic:

  • You still want to pick through your harvest, remove any bugs and etc before you put it back into the colander to wash
  • When it comes to long, leafy vegetables like kale and silverbeet: colanders don’t have the right shame to hold them whole: making transport of these vegies inside very unwieldy.

They are also harder to find: large hardware stores don’t seem to stock them and they are not always at the smaller and/or independent stores. So when I saw large and small trugs and Beautfort Garden World, when I was picking up my Tractor Seat plants, I had to buy one. And I bought one for the Garden Goddess (I gave her the larger sized trug, reflective of the size of her garden and her produce), while I took a smaller one.

At the moment, it’s just decorating my house but once the head of summer is gone and there are vegetables to harvest: this bad boy is going to get a workout.


Moody trug.

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