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I haven’t written about it lately because the broad beans just keep growing without intervention, and nothing else is happening.

The snow peas all got eaten by creatures, I planted some more, two or three plants have survived to the 3-4 inch mark and I’m crossing my fingers.

The carrots and daikon are still there. I’m not sure that they are still growing though. There are a lot of weeds around them, but if I try to pull them out I pull veggies as well, so I left well enough alone.

Most of the broccoli plants got to a certain point and then stopped. Some of them got eaten by creatures. None of them look like actually producing anything foodlike. The onions don’t look any bigger than they were when I planted them. The Bloke’s garlic looks ok and like it’s in with a chance.

The lemon and lime trees have got creatures on them again, and could probably do with a feed of some worm juice and a sprinkling of chilli powder on the leaves.

Guess what’s doing best. Go on.

Peas. “But Kate you didn’t plant peas” you say. No I didn’t dear reader, but peas I have in abundance.

The Bloke and son spread some pea straw about the place and it’s all sprouting brilliantly. I’m wondering if we can fit some stakes and string in and potentially get some food out of them. I have no idea what variety they are, but they seem to be doing well.

Oh, also the parsley is looking ok and it self sowed all over half the front yard so there should be parsley in abundance from here on in. The mint, on the other hand, continues to look crap.


It’s been raining a bit, enough that I don’t have to lug buckets of water about the place, and things are slowly sprouting and growing. We seem to have daikon and carrots and a few broad beans, although far fewer beans than I’d like. The snow peas have sprouted but are growing very very slowly towards the climbing frame we set up for them. There are lots of self sown pumpkins and spuds growing in the shadey side garden, and we’ve decided to let them go for it. There isn’t enough sun there in winter to expect much action, but there are lots of stinging nettles and other weeds that do well there. We figure spuds and pumpkins, even if they don’t produce much, are better to look at.

We haven’t been doing much in the garden, just pottering, picking herbs and so on. What I have done is take the lad to the museum. Which was good. Not just the park this time, we actually went inside.

For Melbournians, or anyone planning to visit, there’s a good new Melbourne exhibition. I wasn’t a big fan of the the old Australia Gallery, but I’m looking forward to seeing the new exhibition again. It’s out with Our Kylie’s wedding dress from Neighbours, and in with the Little Lon collection of cottages (the neighbourhood around Little Lonsdale St, in the heart of Melbourne). The lad enjoyed walking through the cottages, looking at the baby’s cradle, the outdoor dunny with bucket, and the washing on the line. Then he stood entranced at the recreation of Coles’ book arcade and figured out how to start the symphonion music all by himself. He was very happy with himself after that. My Mum remembered that her cousins had a book from the Coles arcade when she was little, so it was good wholesome multi-generational fun. I didn’t get to look at every object as closely as I’d like (toddlers are like that) so it is good to see they’ve got some of the exhibition online.

The Lad also likes the special Children’s area, where they have picture books, a play kitchen, a shop and tables set up for drawing. There’s outside play stuff (hoola hoops and coits and all sorts) but we didn’t venture out. He was much too fascinated with the kid-sized kitchen set up to move on to any more exhibits and was disappointed when it was time to go.

Two enthusiastic thumbs up from all three of us. Each.

The Museum is $6 for grown ups with jobs, and free for concessions and kids. There’s also space to eat food you’ve brought from home (next to the cafe), so you don’t have to shell out for sandwiches unless you want to.

I got a bit behind, what with the fence and April being the Month of Connubials*, and my snow peas and the broccoli seedlings were looking a bit sad at not being in the ground in the great outdoors.

The broccoli seedlings had started to look a bit straggly and too big for the pot. The snow pea seeds were tormenting me by not being in the ground and growing and speaking to me of potential food stuffs. I really should plant out another round of carrots and daikon too. But I haven’t.

I did finally get the snow peas and some of the broccoli into the ground on Tuesday. The broccoli aren’t looking good. They look stressed and sad and saggy. I lugged some water out this morning and begged them to come back. But frankly I think I’ll be sticking new seedlings in next week in their place. Don’t tell them I said that. Broccoli can’t read and what they don’t know about my pessimism wont hurt them.

If all else fails I will have to purchase seedlings. Which wasn’t really the point was it?

Also, in case anyone is wondering why I don’t just get out there and do some more planting and water bucket lugging, I buggered my neck a bit the other day. It was very painful. I went to the physio and you know what he said? “It’s what happens watching television with your head turned to the screen, or talking in the car and turning to face the driver, or using a computer in a bad position.” I hadn’t realised that watching telly and conversing with my fellow travellers was so dangerous.

At least it isn’t the gardening… and he made it much better.

*This is a reference to the very funny Australian television show Kath & Kim. Unlike Kath, my friends have not/are not hiring a big white carriage for their weddings. I hadn’t realised that our friends would get married all in a bunch close together (the way all ones friends have 21st birthday parties close together) and now I’m wondering if in middle age I’ll be invited to a whole bunch of second weddings…  that’s obviously not intended as a reflection on any of the couples who’ve been recently married in my circle of acquaintance.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned the carrots and daikon (Japanese long white radishes) that I planted in the front yard a few weeks ago. I forgot at the time that when the weather cools, and the rain falls, our front yard sprouts with weeds. So now we’ve got lots and lots of sprouts.

And I have no idea which ones are veggies, and which ones are weeds. I can see some of them are looking like they’ve come up in rows (veggies, obviously) but there’s lots of other sprouts that may be carrots, or daikon, but might not be.

In other news, the broccoli seedlings seem to have survived the week of fence-related neglect, the garlic and onions were planted, the tomatoes have been ripped out, and there was a distribution of bunny manure and mulch over the garden this weekend.

Finally, on a non-gardening note: If you ever find yourself making a quilt in indigo fabrics, and then think “I’ll get a quilting thread that doesn’t show up so no one will see how crooked and uneven my stitching is”, stop, and reflect that you will not be able to see the stitching in progress either. Slowest quilt ever.

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