The day before school goes back is always a day torn between mourning my lost freedom and racing around getting little jobs finished before I go back. Today was no exception. I swore that I’d have the garden ready to go by the end of the holidays – seeds planted, beds prepped, pruning done, everything immaculate.
Instead, I spent most of my time either sleeping or quilting. Oops.
I showed you the queen-sized quilt I made for Tom27. No sooner was that done and dusted than I realised that I’d promised David26 that I’d make a quilt for his girlfriend Izzy for Christmas. Of course I did…
I bought a pattern online and thought I’d see how it looked by making a baby quilt for Blogless Sandy’s daughter, who’s expecting her third child. I just used stash materials and, as she doesn’t know the gender, I went with a mix of yellow, orange, pink and blues.
If she doesn’t like the colours she can always flip it over and use the back.
Yesterday I was up cooking like a maniac, because I promised Evan23 that I’d host lunch for HIS girlfriend’s family, who were over here from Adelaide. I was cooking for 8 and 4 are vegetarian, so I made 3 vego Indian curries and got David26 to whip up an “Indian Salad”.
“You know this is just a salsa, don’t you Mum?” he said after looking at the recipe. I had no idea – never made one.
The lunch was a great success. Jenna’s family are absolutely lovely and we all got along like a house on fire. It was worth all of the cooking! (Plus it made me clean the house, which at this stage of the holidays was looking a little dicey as to whether or not I’d get around to it.)
After they left I hand-watered all of the wicking beds down the side verandah, then pruned all of the dead-looking bits. That was one job ticked off the list! It looks a thousand times better now.
Last year I went to Diggers and spent an absolute FORTUNE on 4 clematis vines. They were in full flower when I bought them and after I planted them they dropped all their flowers within about 5 minutes, or so it seemed. This year there are heaps of buds appearing, so I’m hoping that the view from the side door will be full of flowers.
A couple of little ones have already opened.
Remember how I told you how Ryan24 helped me move the Ballerina apple trees from a place that will soon be in the shade when my verandah roof is built, over to a sunny patch over the other side of the yard? They’re so happy, even the couple that I was a bit worried about whether they’d take. 3 have put blossoms out and all have sprouted leaves.
I was looking at them at the beginning of the holidays and realised that their labels were starting to get uncomfortably tight. Any more trunk growth and the plastic ties would be ring-barking them. Today, while I was doing other things in the garden, I grabbed some secateurs and cut the labels off, just in the nick of time. It was really hard to cut the plastic without nicking the trees, so I’m glad I didn’t let this little job slip to the back of my mind!
Just so I know, here is the order that the trees are planted in:
Lime tree; Polka apple; Charlotte apple; Flamenco apple; Bolero apple; Waltz apple and a Pomegranate.
I’m a bit worried about this pomegranate tree. The branches are still flexible but it’s already October and it’s still bare. I hope it takes off soon – I remember the pomegranates we grew at the old house and they were amazing.
So far 5 purple asparagus plants have come up. Considering I planted 13 last year, the others had better get a wriggle on. I was diluting and using the compost juice from the compost tumblers, so I gave them a nice juicy drink, so maybe that’ll encourage them.
One of the jobs I really wanted to get done was to empty at least one of the four compost tumblers I have so that when I start bringing home scraps from school, there’d be a place to put them. That job is now done.
It took us a year, but we finally managed to eat all of the 2 punnets worth of spring onion seedlings that David26 gave me for my birthday last year. I planted hundreds of the damned things, and because they were from David26 I didn’t want to waste any. So in the end, I placed a ban on myself and I didn’t buy any brown onions, substituting them for spring onions instead. I thought we’d never get through them, but the bed is finally free, so this afternoon I emptied a full tumbler’s worth of compost onto the bed, sprinkled some sheep’s poo and aged autumn leaves over the top, then covered it all with pea straw.
I haven’t started any seeds, though I did put together about 12 packets of Lazy Housewife beans to give to the canteen and Food Tech workers who save the veggie scraps for me. If they plant them, they could have a lifetime supply of beans. 🙂
Speaking of compost, look what’s sprung up in one of the garden beds that I bedded down for the winter with a hearty supply of home-made compost! I have heaps of either pumpkin or zucchini plants and masses of self-sown tomatoes. I’m tempted to leave that bed to its own devices and see what ends up growing.
The trouble is, I planted tomatoes in this bed last year, so until they fruit I won’t know if they’re self-seeded purebred heirloom plants or just common as muck tomatoes.
I guess food is food…
But we’ve been eating many many peas from the plants that sprung up from the pea straw. Gotta be happy with that!