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The daffodils are up, but when you see them (ok, when I see them) you (ahem, I, this is getting tricky) just want to pick them quickly and watch them open up from the comfort of a spot near-ish the heater. So I’ve got daffodils on the mantle above the heater, and another daffodil on the window ledge in the kitchen to look at while washing dishes. I left a few outside, but I’m tempted to bring them in too. It’ll be a few more weeks before sitting outside long enough to notice the flowers sounds appealing. It’s that time when winter is pretty much finished, but spring isn’t quite here. Stop me if I get too metaphorical.
The blossoms came out while I was working every day in the city, so I ventured out into the garden on Friday during my first full day at home in three weeks, and was confronted with it. We can’t see the backyard from inside the house, so if we don’t go out looking, change sneaks up on us. It was a busy weekend, in between the ceremony that marked the end of my old life, the family lunch and the afternoon tea with our new friends, we managed to squeeze in some garden planning and seed shopping. You know we’ve got our priorities right: a coffee date was cancelled so we went to the nursery. There are now lots and lots of seeds in my little seed box. Reader, I alphabetised them.
I’ve broken up most of the pea straw that has been our garden edging for six months and used it to cover weeds, I’ve planted potatoes and mulched them too, we’ve prepared the tomato bed (every year we debate the best position and spend the longest time on preparing the tomato bed, this year we had the debate early and started preparations with a green manure of mustard) and I’ve pruned. Oh boy did I prune. My father-out-law will be proud. I got in the mood a few weeks ago while helping a friend prune her fruit trees, then came home and did some serious work on the leggy ornamentals in our back corner. I’m hoping they’ll reshoot lower down and be more shrubby and fence-hidey. It’s not entirely coincidental that this lets a lot more light into the back corner and improves it’s veggie producing prospects. I now have a rather large pile of logs and our mulcher is too feeble to deal with them. There are a few days of wind and rain predicted hereabouts, we’re wondering which of the brittle drought affected, borer-riddled trees will fall down.
The kid’s irises have been producing new leaves in the spot Nanna said wouldn’t be any good, the collection of rocks and god-knows-what out the front has been softened somewhat by several new native ground covers and grasses and today I found two worms in the patch near our gate. The worms are remarkable because the patch was mysteriously free of weeds when we moved in, and the bamboo next to it was (and still is) harbouring an oil slick. The kid helped me plant giant sunflowers there with some poppies and nasturtiums. The Bloke wants to plant out our front “lawn” with pumpkins. Pumpkin growing efforts at our last house did not result in any pumpkins, but they did act as an interesting ground cover (and concrete cover, they spread enthusiastically and headed towards the back lane) and kept the weeds down for a few months, so I’m thinking it’s a good idea. I don’t like mowing grass, and I like mowing weeds even less. I certainly have no intention of watering grass or weeds, so in summer the whole thing will turn into a dust bowl. I am prepared to lug watering cans of tank water about the place for a pumpkin. Even a pumpkin that might not fruit.
Tomorrow there’s another trip to the nursery for seed raising mix, calls to the compost and straw suppliers, some potting under the cover of the carporch, and playgroup. Mustn’t forget playgroup.
This weekend we:
* pulled up the eggplants, despite flowering, not one of them produced any fruit
* dug compost into the potato bed and cheered on the self-sown spuds
* optimistically planted some pumpkin seedlings, I’m not confident that they’ll produce any pumpkins over winter, but they will hopefully provide enough ground cover in that corner to keep down the weeds
* re-potted the lemon tree that had become water-logged (the drainage hole was blocked) and was growing fungi, and gave it some worm compost as an apology, it sprouted a new leaf the next day in gratitude, maybe one day it will also produce some fruit
* made what feels like a definite plan about planting for our winter efforts, carrots and radishes in the front yard, snow peas along the back steps, onions and broccoli ah um gosh… possibly in pots
* remembered again that we really do have to borrow my brother’s ute and a trolley to get the half wine barrels home (temporarily at my Mum’s place, inherited from her neighbour) and operational so we can use some of our concrete space more productively
* cheered the capsicums, which are looking good, if a little late and small
* ate chocolate and (not) hot cross (-less) buns between every task
I still haven’t gotten around to fixing the photos for the purposes of uploading. I’ve been a bit slack.
The broccoli seedlings are growing well. We look set to eat quite a lot of broccoli. I may be redistributing broccoli seedlings amongst my friends shortly. I’ve used them as the banner image. Edit: How stupid. My banner image is not broccoli seedlings, it’s a capsicum flower. That would be a pepper if you’re foreign.
The onions have started sprouting in an old egg carton, but only four or five so far. They’re slow.
Potatoes have started re-sprouting from last year. Which means they’re growing in amongst the eggplants (which haven’t produced anything but flowers so far) and the capsicums (which are tiny at the moment).
I’ve been reading up on compost, in an effort to make ours more efficiently. I’m also still looking for an airtight bucket for the Bokashi experiment. I’ve started with an icecream container in the meantime. The worms are doing well, and the lad is singing along with the Choir of Hard Knocks cd, which has nothing to do with the garden but is highly amusing for me.