A journal of my favourite pastimes gardening, farming and sewing.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Around here, some pics 22/11/15

I took some pictures yesterday afternoon just before a storm blew in.

Our pool is now set up for the hot days ahead, great for sitting in with a drink in hand.

Some floral colour.

The sunflowers are growing alongside the chook yard, if they are the sunflower seed type, I'll throw the head in for the chooks when its ready.

The agapanthus survived the winter frosts and are now starting to flower.

Lovely pink oleander - I want to plant more of these.  The picture is a bit blurred due to the wind from the incoming storm.

Some over-exposed begonias; once my greenhouse is built I think these will grow a lot better.  Still they are doing well for where they are, I did cut them back in winter so they are looking fuller in leaf now.

The storms rumbled for a couple of hours but after all the bluff and bluster, we only had about 1mm of rain.  Hopefully others in the region had better.

Cheers Barb.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

In the Garden 22/11/15

I've spent a couple of hours this morning picking plantain leaves for my friend and massage therapist who uses it when making her pain relief balms.


I ended up with 2.5kg of the leaves which I will give to her tomorrow.  Mind you, she might need to use some of that balm on me as bending over to pick the leaves found some less-used muscles!

No, its not that type of grass

We have access to a larger cultivator to extend our vegetable garden beds.  We're moving from three 1.5m x 3m beds to a longer narrower form.  I hope this will improve access for me as I'm a shortie.

Cheers Barb

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Around here.. 19/11/2015

Things have been ticking over here pretty quickly, the days fly by and at the end of the week I look back and wonder where the time went.

So around here at the moment we have:

A lovely flowering gum right near the house that not only has a gorgeous perfume, but also attracts all manner of birds enjoying the nectar.

Our first batch of apricot jam for this season.  Half of this is already gone, given to friends and family.  We will savour the rest.  I still have several kilos of frozen fruit which I intend to make into apricot chutney, some more jam and dried apricots.

My step son needed his chest of drawers back so we were in want of clothes storage for visitors in our spare room.  We picked up this old girl for $10 from a local Facebook buy sell swap page.  She has that lovely old house smell and feel, having come from such an old house in a nearby town.  She will soon receive some TLC (there is a piece of veneer missing bottom right of the door) and a few coats of paint.  I think the wall space may be a good spot for a mirror as well.  That is my dog Billy who can't be left out of anything.

My garlic drying on the verandah.  Not a huge number this year as I bought the bulbs from a garlic grower but I will endeavour to hold onto some cloves so I use them to replant next year.  And, yes that's my gardening hat, the damage resulting from mowing under tree branches.  I now wear it backwards and once the top comes off completely it will go into the compost.

Today I will be, as my darling Mum says "battening down the hatches, its going to be a scorcher!"  Keep cool friends xxx.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Family Weekend

Afternoon all, I'm in recovery mode here today.  We had a family get together here over the weekend to celebrate a joint birthday.  It gave us the opportunity to christen our new entertainment area and I have to say we were all pretty happy with it.  My hubby and Dad worked very hard outside to put up a tarp over the area so we wouldn't get sunned or rained on.  Shade cloth was put up around the lattice to help buffer the ever present wind.

We got our outdoor setting out of the shed and put back together - it was like welcoming home an old friend.  It is an 8 seater so just enough space for us all.  Then the boys put up a nice big fluoro and fairy lights as well as fitted out our BBQ with a rotisserie for the dinner to be cooked.

Here is the set up from ground level.  That box in the background near the lattice is our smoker/pizza oven.  Check out the enormous bug zapper on the plant stand to the right.  

The next pic shows the setup from on the verandah.  That's the tarp above and the 'cosy corner' with the shade clothed lattice.  It is amazing how much of the wind is cut out using this combination.

Later on, as the weather warms up further we will move the table back to the left and our pool.  Most years we buy one of these pools which lasts us the summer before it get used as a rainproof cover for something.   They come complete with pump and filters etc.  They are perfect for sitting in with a cool drink on a hot afternoon and our granddaughter loves it when she visits us.    
 10ft Fast Set Pool Set

Hubby's kids (30 and 25)  spent a good deal of time on Saturday night planning their Christmas cooking extravaganza.  They seem to love coming out here and getting creative in the kitchen; most of the time I evacuate and do something to entertain myself and then roll up when its time to eat.  Things always taste better when you haven't had to cook them yourself I reckon.

We had roast chooks and a shoulder of pork done on the rotisserie which was fantastic; and potato bake, pasta bake, roasted mixed vegies including some of my own carrots (hurrah success!).  For dessert we had Outback Tania's Apple Roly Poly and cheesecake followed by a white chocolate mud birthday cake.

A couple of my carrots that appear to be 'in lurve'.

So, I'm slogging my way through Mt Washmore and otherwise taking it slow today.  Hope everyone else is having an easy day too.

Cheers, Barb.