14. July 2013 · Comments Off on Greenhouse makeover · Categories: Gardening, Uncategorized · Tags: ,

I didn’t take a proper “before” photo of our greenhouse, prior to starting this project.  It was totally overgrown with grass and weeds, because I had no motivation to go in there.  Last year, during our ridiculously wet summer, it was almost constantly flooded.  Whoever built it had decided to dig the path out so that it was below ground level, I guess because that was easier than making raised beds.  That meant that whenever it rained, the path was underwater – sometimes up to about 20cm of water.  Last year’s tomatoes went mouldy before they even had a chance to ripen.

So, something had to be done.  We started a few weeks ago when my dear dear parents-in-law helped to dig out all the old weeds and soil and moss and ant nests.  Then I pulled up all the old paving stones from the old path, and removed the rotten bits of laminate flooring that had been used to edge the beds.

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Then on Saturday came the major working bee.  With help of an extra pair of strong arms we started raising the ground level.  Our neighbour had dropped off a load of topsoil with his tractor, so that went in first, and we dug a drainage ditch which we filled with gravel.

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Then we threw in a layer of sand.  A lot of sand.  Luckily we had 10 tonnes.  I think we have about 6 tonnes now.  Once we had the level up to the outside ground level, we laid out a path with a bunch of paving stones that we recently bought secondhand.

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And then in with another load of top soil into the beds, with some bark mulch mixed in.  These baby chilis and capsicums have been moved in, although it’s way too late in the season and I don’t expect to harvest anything.  I hope that they’ll grow a bit though, and I’ll bring them indoors for the winter and hope to get something next year.  I also popped in a small rosemary that’s been living on the veranda.

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And then we went out and bought two grape vines  🙂

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06. July 2013 · Comments Off on Flowers · Categories: Gardening

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Big vase of roses, picked by me.

Small vase of summer flowers, picked by Anneli from her own flower patch.

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The swedish “summer” is really getting me down at the moment. But at least I gathered a big basket of food from the vege patch: lettuce, kohlrabi, broad beans, parsley, and three strawberries that have managed to escape the attentions of birds and slugs.

04. July 2013 · Comments Off on It flowered · Categories: Gardening · Tags:

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I am no longer the destroyer of orchids!

27. June 2013 · Comments Off on Roses · Categories: Gardening · Tags:

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The rose bushes are all starting to bloom, so it’s time again to start bringing them indoors to enjoy.

A bit of warm weather and a bit of rain has really kicked things off in the vege patch.

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Bush beans

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Pumpkin

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Almost ripe strawberries

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Broad beans

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Lettuces, so far not eaten up by slugs

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Beetroot and Red Chard

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Florence fennel

22. May 2013 · Comments Off on Summer · Categories: Gardening · Tags:

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Summer began last week, with a series of hot days culminating in a real scorcher on Saturday. The kids cooled off in the pool while I sweated in the vege patch. Then the weather broke, with some thunder and rain, which meant sitting on the veranda under the roof and watching the rain do the watering for me. A perfect gardening day, really.

09. May 2013 · Comments Off on Our magnolia is flowering · Categories: Gardening · Tags: , , ,

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02. May 2013 · Comments Off on Not just vegetables · Categories: Gardening, Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

As well as the many vege babies in our kitchen, I have a few ornamentals that are managing to survive. This is a big deal as I have a long tradition of killing pot plants.

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This is a rose that I raised from a cutting. At our old house we had a huge red rose bush that had been planted by L’s grandmother back in the 50s. We couldn’t dig it up and bring it with us, so I took 6 cuttings. This is the sole survivor.  It’s been green all winter and has two new spurts of growth.  I’m planning to take a few more cuttings from this, as backup, before planting this one out this summer.

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I have owned three orchids in my life, all gifts.  This is the only one that has lived.  And not only is it alive, but it is growing!  It has gained leaves over the winter and how it has this long new shoot, and some new roots growing as well.  Exciting stuff.

17. April 2013 · Comments Off on What’s growing · Categories: Gardening

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Basil, and a couple of lonely broccoli. It was a pathetic germination rate on the broccoli, but the seeds were a bit old.

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Thyme, marigolds (tagetes) and yellow cherry tomatoes that belong to the kids. 

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Pumpkins

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Fennel

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Tomatoes

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More tomatoes, and chilis

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And smultron (tiny strawberries). These belong to the kids too. I think these are the tiniest, most fragile little things I’ve grown.