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So are the snow peas.

What the snow peas and the broad beans have in common is that they have finished all by themselves.

If only I could say the same for my essays.


Searches that brought people to this little blog in the last couple of days, with my responses, should they turn up again:

Garden weddings inner city melbourne

You’d find information on this here in my mother outlaw’s, and my mother’s, dreams. They’d also probably be happy if we had an indoor outer-suburban hitching. My suggestion is get a good celebrant, and make sure you’ve got an indoor type place in case it’s hot or cold. Outdoor weddings always seem like a good idea until you get sunstroke or the bridesmaid turns blue for all the photos (you can see my Personal Ecologist shivering with hunched shoulders in the photos of her most recent bridesmaid stint).

Planting snow peas in Australia

I’ve got one survivor of the Great Slug Fest of 2008. It’s currently producing delicious snow peas, and I’ve got a photo of it in the banner up there. If you’re in Melbourne it might be a bit late to plant them now.

Make a planter box out of a wine barrel

Find half a wine barrel, drill some drainage holes if it doesn’t already have them, and stick about 5 bags of potting mix in.

Inner city garden blogspot

WordPress actually, but you got here anyway, well done!

Daikon pull out time

Mine are pretty much jumping out of the ground. Pull ’em when you’re ready to eat them. They go soft pretty quickly.

Snow peas not flowering

Compost is generally the answer to all gardening problems. If it’s not the answer to this one then I don’t know. Maybe watering? Or sunlight?

How to plant a lemon tree in a half wine barrel

See above, then pull the potting mix aside and stick in a lemon tree. Make sure it’s in a spot you’re happy to keep it permanently though, it will be very heavy. Water it in well and send young boys out to ‘water’ it some more.

Planting potatoes in wine barrels

Probably would work, but I’d go for a cage type planter, which you could make taller than a wine barrel. Then when the spuds are ready you pull the cage apart and find all the spuds. The taller the container or cage, the bigger your potatoes can grow. Wine barrels are also expensive unless you happen to know someone who just wants to get rid of them.

Growing snow peas in Melbourne

Yes. But you might need to wait til next year. If you’re in a cold area it might be worth trying a few seeds out and seeing how they do. You never know your luck etc.

*ie. Lazy search term blogging


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.

If you’ve got a dark corner, or a spot in full sun, and you’re looking for something you can stick in the ground and neglect, pineapple sage is the plant you’re after. This one has doubled in the month since this photo was taken, it’s produced tiny red trumpety flowers, it smells nice, and it’s providing some competition for the weeds.

The last surviving snow pea. Something ate the others. It took some bites out of this one too, but I know this one, it’s a fighter.

More broad beans. Actually, the same broad bean 20 seconds apart. Broad beans everywhere will now start talking Before Toddler and After Toddler. They’ll be talking about that one day when everything changed forever. They’ll sit around having a few beers in years to come and remember what they were doing when they heard about the Toddler.

Hopefully they’ll remember the Gardener who bravely shooed the Toddler away, and propped the broad beans back up.

I’d be providing you with gorgeous photos of my little one playing on the floor this morning with my Mum (his Nanna). Or footage of him enthusiastically scarfing a bowl of his Grandma’s lasagne this evening on what would have been his great grandmother’s 100th birthday.

I would also show you photos of him eating cake and drawing at Shula’s house, and the broad beans that have finally sprouted in the backyard, and the snow peas that are making progress towards the climbing frame. But I am not a very good blogger, so I forgot the camera. It could have been worse.

I might have forgotten the nappies.

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.

We went away on the weekend, the lad played and played and played and saw animals and was entertained by his cousins while we were in the Yarra Valley for a vineyard wedding. The wedding was late afternoon, the sun was getting low and pink behind the grape vines, there was food and wine and lovely company, all followed by a sleep in and kid-free breakfast. We collected the kid, had a good lunch and visited a relative who plied us with more good wine and cheese before I put the roast on for us and another friend.

But then we had to come home. Back to work and study and childcare. None of us were really excited about it. Blergh.

So when feeling rather uninspired (maybe it’s the effect of the drizzly grey sky) I think it’s good to make a list:

* Sort out the worm farm – take everything out, wash the sludge from the bottom layer, put a new layer of newspaper bedding and stick the worms back in with food and the covering layer of newspaper to keep them warm.

* Plant the rest of the broccoli seedlings

* Plant a few more of the snow peas

* Plant some broad beans in the spot where we had the tomatoes over summer

* Mix up a new compost pile with the food scraps that have been Bokashi-ed the remains of the tomato vines and old mulch

* Buy new straw to keep the ground warm

* Get the balcony hanging things for the window box type pot, so it will hang from the railing by the back steps. We’re looking around to find more and more places we can plant, preferably spots that have some sun and are easy to water (emptying the teapot, washing the veggies and so forth, which I tend to do after dark and it’s best if I can stay as close as possible to the house)

After two weekends taken up with weddings, I think we’re overdue for a few days at home, and it looks like we’ll have plenty to do.

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.

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

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