Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pinching poppies

One of my favourite songs about New Orleans has these wonderful lyrics about self-improvement, New Orleans style:
"Drink all day, dance all night,
do it wrong till I do it right".
Though I'm not much of a dancer, as an amateur gardener I can relate to the idea of doing it wrong till I do it right. And so I enter the second year of poppy-growing, hoping to get closer to doing it right this time round.

Might as well start with a quick look back at last year's poppy patch. This year's patch is full of promise, but right now I'm deliberately stopping any flowers from forming. I'm pinching poppies.

Here's the patch at the moment. Seedlings aplenty, the plants getting bigger every day. Almost ready to start flowering, but not quite. Another week or two yet.

As far as the plants are concerned they're ready to go, they're sending up flower stems everywhere.

Alas for them, I'm here to thwart their ambitions for another week or two. I've been pinching out poppy flowers for the last week or so. This is simply to encourage all the plants to grow to a decent size before I stand back and let them start producing flowers. This is a very important trick with growing many annuals. Don't let them start flowering until the plants have grown to full size. Then, when you do let them start flowering, the flower show is denser and also lasts longer. Using this method, last year's poppy show lasted from June through to October.

There are some other people I'm pinching out of my poppy patch. Spuds. Potatoes. I've heard these self-sown spuds called 'volunteers', which is a good name for them. From last year's potato patch – this year's poppy patch – I've now pulled up about 15 potato volunteers. I was sure I had harvested all the spuds, but no way!

This is what the poppy patch is all about. Pretty little vases of cut flowers in the house. This is a corner of Pam's little studio, which overlooks the garden.

As for the things I hope I'm doing right this year (and that I didn't do right last year), the main one is that all of my poppy plants are bought seedlings. Last year I grew about two-thirds of the patch from seed, and only used bought seedlings to plug a few gaps. All the bought-seedling plants had strong, stout stems and a good variety of flower colours. The seed-grown plants produced mostly yellow, orange or white flowers on spindly stems. So, while I'm a big fan of growing vegies from seed, I've decided that seedlings seem to work best for me when it comes to poppies, at least.

Spruced up

After the arborists' visit to trim my olive trees last Tuesday, one little task for me was to put all the succulent pots back in their places in the area I like to call 'succulent city'. But before I did that I thought I'd give some of the tattier pots a much needed tidy-up, something which some of my potted succulents need almost annually, I find.

Might as well start with a nice looking 'after' shot of the reorganised, tidy sempervivums.

A few hours before that they were looking quite tawdry, with thick, bulging underskirts of dead leaves under each and every one of them.

Stage one of tidying them up is as easy as pulling off all the dead leaves.

For each succulent it only takes a minute to get them looking like this, tidy again and ready for replanting.

I combined two uninspiring pots of tatty sempervivums to make one new tidy pot, complete with a change of potting mix. I use a specialist 'succulent and cacti' mix which is very coarse, sandy and free-draining.

One of the reasons the sempervivums were looking so crook were these little chaps. Curl grubs, the larvae of a beetle. They live underground and munch on plant roots, and they're very common here, often found under lawns as well as in potting mixes. I have heard that the beetles are attracted to lights and so will lay their eggs into any pot near an outdoor light. Whatever attracted them, they were in a number of my succulent pots. I just tossed the grubs onto the roof of my shed, and the local magpies soon swooped down for the free snack.

Several other succulent pots got the full inspection, tidy and repot service, including these graptoverias.

I combined two pots of this unusual Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy' to make one large, wide pot.
In between rain showers today a little bit of sun poked through, enough to allow me to take this little portrait of the spruced-up Succulent City, a much happier looking metropolis full of interesting odd bods.

I've blogged at length earlier here and here about succulents, plants which give Pam and me a lot of pleasure and fascination. They are remarkably drought-hardy plants and so in that sense they're easy-care, but I find they need tidying and repotting more often than many of my non-succulent potted plants. That aside, they're fun collector's plants, the kind of thing you can always bring home as a cutting and grow on. Usually they've been something bought on driving vacations – souvenirs from happy holidays.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hello sunshine

What's wrong with this seemingly healthy, happy patch of Iceland poppy seedlings? Well, it's midday, and almost the whole patch is in shade. That's what's wrong. Last year, this central patch was my sunny vegie-growing plot, and it was bathed in sunshine all through summer and winter. Not this winter, though.

Unless these poppies get more sunshine every day they won't grow and flower like they did so well last year. And so the time for action is now!

Here's the cause of all the midday gloom – the olive tree (and the poppy patch is in the foreground). There's no way I'm going to climb trees and deal with half a tonne of leaves and lopped timber, so I decided to lash out and ask a qualified arborist to do the job properly, because I really do love my olive tree!

When you look at the precarious nature of their work, with chainsaws swinging off belts and just a couple of ropes to save them if a branch suddenly breaks, it's easy to understand why arborists need good insurance, and why their fees have to recoup that cost, as well as earn them a living. Pictured here is Damien, a very nice fellow from Auckland, NZ, who did the work last Tuesday. Delayed by a more-difficult-than-expected job earlier in the day, Damien and his helper arrived late-ish in the afternoon, and so this photo of him at work is bathed in the orangey light of the rapidly setting sun.

As I have two olive trees on site, I decided to get both of them cut back. Hopefully this will encourage both to start fruiting again. They used to fruit quite well, but in recent years olive production has been poor, so I'm hoping that radical pruning will bring them back into delicious business. (My home-grown, home-cured olives are still the nicest olives I've ever eaten.) Pictured above, Damien is working carefully with his chainsaw, planning and making the basic cuts.

A few minutes later, still standing in the same spot, the fateful trims are made and his helper carts away the fallen sections to the chipper in the street.

This huge chipper set up gobbles the silvery leaves in no time, turning them into mulch. Sorry about the blurry photo, but I think the camera's shutter speed in the low evening light was down to about an eighth of a second by then, and there was plenty of action happening around the chipper, so this is the blurry best I could manage.

It's impossible to trim the top half off two whole olive trees neatly, without branches, twigs and detritus falling to earth, so there's inevitably going to be some collateral damage. We did clear away every pot we could prior to work starting, and after the whole operation was over the damage was remarkably light. A couple of shallots are now ex-shallots, a few lettuce are still deciding whether life is worth living, and the rest of the garden is saying "hey, more sunshine, great!".

Here's the 'after' shot. An olive tree now half the size it was the day before. This shot was late in the afternoon, but around midday the next day the sun was belting into the poppy patch, so it has all been worth it.

And, as a pretty way of concluding this ugly little tale of amputation, lopped limbs and mechanical munchers, here's the reason for all the fuss. Last year's poppy patch gave Pam so much pleasure and filled our house with really cheerful colour. That was our first attempt at poppies, and we did a lot right but a few things wrong. So this year we're having another go (and yep, I'll be doing something on that little project, which is still in its early stages, very soon).

Of course the olive trees will grow back and shade the garden again in as little as two years from now. Optimistically, I'm planning to keep on top of the shade-maker's rate of growth from now on, using my snazzy new long-handled, extension pole pruner. The one major incentive to do so is of course the cost of hiring a good arborist. I don't begrudge them a cent of their fee (which left not a lot of change from $500). As well as doing the job well, with a real feeling for the trees' health and eventual shape once grown back to size, it's dangerous work.
(Finally, for Sydney readers looking for a good arborist, the company is called Canopy Tree, and they're in Summer Hill. I've used them a few times since I moved here many moons ago and they've always been good to deal with. And no, I don't get a discount for mentioning them, either!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Time for thyme

One of the best things about gardening is learning new stuff, and over the last month or so I've learned a little bit more about growing my favourite herb, thyme, from cuttings.

Lovely things, thyme leaves. One of my favourite cooking herbs. Two friends have asked me for some thyme grown from my own healthy little bush, and so I thought I'd take that chance to experiment with different ways of growing it. The two options I guessed might work would be to either dig up a clump, with roots, and grow that on in a pot. The other would be to take numerous cuttings, and hope that enough of them would strike. Here's the results, today on May 24, after having taken the clumps and cuttings on March 28.

On the left, the little batch of cuttings, and on the right, the little clump. Both patients doing well.

To take the cuttings I chose older, harder, woody stems (ie, not the soft tips) and took heaps of them, poking them into light seed-raising mix (ie, sandy potting mix) to make a mini forest. Then I made a wire frame from a coathanger, gave everything a really good misting with a sprayer and popped a freezer bag over the top. As well as doing thyme I also took cuttings of rosemary (doing fine now) and sage (total dud).

After they spent about four weeks in a brightly lit but shaded spot under my covered pergola, I tugged on one or two thyme cuttings and discovered they had formed roots. So I removed the plastic tent and have let them grow on, progressively giving them a bit more sunshine each week by moving the pots into a better spot. They also received a light feed of seaweed solution to help them get growing. This little pot is doing really well now, and all it needs is a bow tied around it to make it a nice gift.

Back in late March this is the unimpressive appearance of the dug-up clump. All the action here is under the soil. There's quite a good batch of roots down there, but not that much action above-ground. This went straight out onto the path, across the way from the mother lode of thyme which has been thriving here for years. The little pot has been watered more often than I'd usually water thyme, and I've given it a few seaweed treatments, too.

While it's not quite as spectacular as the little forest of cuttings, it's just as healthy and happy, so it will settle in well to its new home, too. It'll need a new, bigger, wider pot very soon if it doesn't go in the ground.

Here's the 'Mother Lode' this morning, a wonderfully healthy, easy-care plant. About two-thirds of the plant is on the paving, the other third in the soil adjacent to the path. That seems to be the trick with thyme. Plant it next to paths or rocks and let it grow towards the sun, across the hot, dry paths/rocks. I hardly ever water it or feed it. But I do use it all the time in cooking, so that regular trimming helps to keep it dense. So, my tip, if you don't use thyme that often in cooking, but like the idea of growing some for occasional use, is to pretend that you really do use it all the time, and just gratuitously cut off a bit here and there every couple of days. Right now, the time isn't in flower, but it's nice when it does come into bloom, so I thought I'd finish off talking about thyme when it's at its prettiest.

Early summer is thyme flowering time. This was taken on December 12.

The flowers are pink, dainty and very tiny. They're lovely in that secret-world way of the many pretty, tiny things that a lot of people don't notice simply because they're small.

The appealing thing about growing stuff from cuttings, or by dividing clumps, is that you're making an exact copy of the parent plant – or, as the tabloid newspapers would call it if they ever found out about gardeners' amazing science secrets, a "clone". I've been lucky with my thyme, sage and rosemary plants in particular, as each seems to be a remarkably fragrant, healthy and vigorous thing. So I figure that Charles Darwin would approve of my desire to transplant those excellent genes into as many other gardens as possible, seeing the fittest herbs surviving and thriving.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Garlic update

Just six days after planting my garlic cloves, and what's this I see?

Eager young shoots, all in a row, ready to take on the sunshine, wind and rain.

It would probably help to explain to casual readers that, as outlined in my previous post, 'Garlicky Musings', these are part B of my little plan/experiment with growing garlic. Last Saturday I planted some garlic cloves which had spent four weeks in the crisper bin in my fridge, in an effort to trick them into thinking Sydney is a much colder spot than the tourist brochures would have you believe. So far so good, then. Getting garlic to chill out prior to planting seems to be a good trick, at least as far as getting growth going is concerned. Harvest time will be the real reckoning, though. Next step is to add a few lines of manure to satisfy their growing appetites.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Garlicky musings

The first time I baked a whole hand of garlic the most wonderful thing happened. It turned into toothpaste. Well, its texture was like toothpaste, even if its flavour wasn't: squeezed from its baked, teardrop tube it was soft, creamy, spreadable, sweet, pungent, aromatic, wonderful (especially on toasted crusty bread).
This discovery was quite a few years ago, and prior to that I had been slavishly chopping garlic and frying it for countless dishes from the cuisines of the world: French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Indian, Thai, Lebanese and many others. (I drew the line at Skordalia, the Greek potato and raw garlic dip. I'm a cooked garlic boy.)
That baked hand of garlic was the beginning of my love affair with garlic. Until then we were just good friends! Even more recently I've had a go at growing garlic, and at this stage, as gardener and plant, we're still just getting to know one another. Just good friends, not lovers yet. Here's the story of what I've discovered so far.

Shop-bought garlic, this attractive purple-tinged person is from Argentina. It's pretty good as garlic goes, but sometimes the stuff sold here is very ordinary. By common agreement no-one likes the bleached white Chinese garlic for all sorts of reasons: "It's bland in flavour, and dodgy chemicals are used to bleach it white" are the two gripes you most often hear. Local laws say that the country of origin must be displayed on all foods sold here, and in the last few months I've bought garlic from Australia, California, Chile, Mexico and Argentina. All are OK, perhaps the Argentinian is my favourite, but I like Astor Piazzola's tango music and maybe I'm just prejudiced in its favour.

This green and pleasant scene is last year's garlic crop struggling for survival amongst very productive poppies and swarms of eager lettuce. Perhaps 'crop' is a bit grandiose a term for the four cloves I popped into the soil on a whim in May last year. But presuming that the plural of 'food plant' is 'crop', this is it. It was just shop-bought garlic and so the cost of the experiment was about a dollar.

As things turned out I wanted to create a potager garden in the spot where the garlic stood, and when I pulled out all the poppies and lettuce in November last year the garlic was still green-leafed but it was scrappy and unimpressive, one plant flopped over once its lettuce support was pulled away. (I've since learned that garlic likes ground to itself, so crowding it in like that was a dopey thing to do). And so, as they looked a bit ordinary, I harvested them early. The bulbs were under-developed but after drying them under the eaves of the shed they provided such a surprisingly pungent, garlicky flavour when I cooked with them that I decided: "Right, next year I'm getting serious about garlic!" And so this is the story so far this year...

Step 1: find garlic specialist and order 'proper' garlic. The mob I found online was Garlic Farm Sales (in Victoria). After an email enquiry from me, to which they miraculously replied (when does that happen online anymore?) I discovered that 'probably' the best garlic for Sydney's climate was Printanor. And so ended my first lesson. Many garlic varieties are available ('softneck' and 'hardneck' the main two categories) and with so many different climate types on this planet, horticultural match-making is very important – ie, you need the right garlic variety for your climate zone. To be fair to them, Garlic Farm Sales recommended I try a couple of different varieties, but with space limited here in Amateur Land and the cost of their garlic quite expensive, I'll be trying the different varieties one year at a time. I just stuck to their recommendation, Printanor.

I love mail-order gardening! Toss the packaging away, keep the instructions, take photo of garlic for blog. Done. That's the minimum order, and it's too much. I've given two hands away to a wonderful work colleague, Geoffrey, expert horticulturist and patient advisor for all my stupid queries. Besides, he gave me the zinnias last year and I'm in such debt to him that this garlic is no more than a token part-repayment.

Never did I imagine posting a photo of an invoice in my blog, but $32.90 for six hands of garlic isn't cheap. Almost didn't order it, but if it all works out OK I'll save some cloves for the next crop (I told myself).

Pictured here is some of the garlic planted the day I received the package in April. The idea is to try growing the garlic by three methods, and see which works best.
1. Plant in mid autumn (ie, April) without any prior chilling.
2. Plant in late autumn (mid-May) after chilling cloves in the fridge for 4 weeks.
3. Plant on the shortest day of the year (June 21) after 9 weeks in the fridge.
My handy info sheet says the early planted garlic should be slower to sprout but will probably produce the biggest bulbs in the end. The later-planted garlic will be faster to sprout but the bulbs could be smaller. We'll see.

The 'unchilled' garlic sprouted fairly quickly, within two weeks. Of the six bulbs planted, four have come up well. One (pictured below) is a weird curly sprout and other has done nothing.

Here's Mr Weird Curly Sprout. Couldn't resist finding out what's wrong, and the whole top half of the clove is soft and mucky. So I've replaced this and the other non-performing clove with a couple of spare 'non-chilled' cloves I kept aside for such an eventuality. Maybe Mr Curly Sprout became soft due to the above-average April rains we've had? Whatever, he's out of contention.

Meanwhile, in the crisper section of the fridge, the other cloves enjoy their artificial winter.

Last weekend (in mid-May) the second row of garlic went in. These are the cloves which have spent four weeks in the fridge. Maybe at this stage I could include a few growing tips from the Garlic Farm Sales brochure, as I am relying on this for what I'm doing here. Their tips run to a detailed whole page full of advice, but here's the basics:

• As for planting depths and spacings, they say plant them one to two inches deep (ie, 25mm-50mm) with the blunt ends down, pointy ends up. Cloves should be spaced 10cm apart, and rows of plants spaced 30cm apart.
• Soil should be well-drained, but the good news is that garlic isn't fussy about the type of soil it's in. However, it's good to add plenty of organic matter to the soil (ie, compost) prior to planting, along with some well-aged manure (here in Australia cow manure or Dynamic Lifter, which is chicken poo are the easiest to access). However, it's advisable to have the manure deeper down in the soil under the garlic cloves, rather than mixed into the soil and touching the garlic cloves.
• Garlic needs full sun to grow well, so that means at least six hours of sunshine beaming directly own on plants, preferably more. Once plants are up and growing they enjoy being watered but don't like being water-logged.
• Garlic plants also like occasional extra feeds. I plan to sprinkle little lines of manure along the rows every month.
• Garlic doesn't like weeds so you need to keep the area well weeded.
• Harvesting happens when the top half of the plant has become dried and brown (that should be late spring or early summer, say late November or early December here in Sydney). However, harvesting varies a bit depending on the variety of garlic grown. There are two main types, softneck garlic and hardneck garlic, and harvesting signs and times do vary, depending on what type you're growing. However, a dying back of the top of the plant generally means you're getting into the harvest zone, no matter what you're growing.
After harvesting you'll need to hang up your garlic in a dry, airy place for three to five weeks, until the outer skin is crinkly and dry.
• So those are the garlic basics as best as I can summarise them, but a visit to the website at Garlic Farm Sales is probably more useful than reading my blog. (And PS: no I have nothing to do with this company. I paid through the nose for their product and I'm yet to find out whether it's any good. But they have been nice to deal with so far.)

But before I sign off on my garlicky musings, here's yet another kitchen gadget for those who share my kitchen gadget problem. And this one I didn't even ask for, buy or order. It came with the order, as a bonus item.

Made from silicon, this is a garlic peeler.

The idea is that you put a single clove inside the silicon tube (which has little ribs on the inside) then roll it forward and backwards once or twice, and the outer skin on the clove slips off.

The initial roadtest was brilliant. All three done in a flash. This wonderful success rate kept up with that nicely dried hand of garlic, but then when I bought the next hand of garlic it wasn't so well dried, and the success rate went down to 50:50, or hit and miss, if you like.
However, as I paid nothing for this cute gadget, and as the extreme or larger recipes I cook might occasionally call for "12 cloves of garlic, peeled" this little orange sliver of silicon now has its spot in a drawer where I suspect it will spend many weeks or months unused, until called upon to come to the rescue of a tedious task.

Alas, this has turned into something of an epic version of garlicky musings, but this wonderful little bulb does deserve serious attention! From my gardener's perspective I know that garlic really does prefer to be grown in a cooler climate than mine, and definitely a less humid one. That's why the garlic mail-order specialists are 1000km further south, in Victoria.

However, people grow garlic successfully in all sorts of climates much warmer than mine, and therefore I should be able to grow it here in temperate Sydney as well. I'm sure that as the whole story of this little garlic experiment unfolds I make a few more postings on progress, so please forgive me for blathering on so much here, at the beginning of the little adventure.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday notepad

Of all the inclement weather we all have to put up with, wind is by far the most annoying thing. I love rain and have a calm, spongey tolerance for too many rainy days and rain itself. But wind? I hate it and we've got a stinker of a windy morning on our hands here. It seems a travesty to have a day like today – beautifully sunny, 22°C and perfect for gardening – and then ruin it with strong, gusty winds. Pots blow over, trees bend alarmingly and gardening suddenly feels dangerous. Something might land on me! And so I've abandoned work for a while and have headed indoors early to do a bit of catch-up blogging, after a quick lap of the place with camera in hand. The weather people say the strong winds will go away soon, and good riddance!

What an uncheery start to a blog! Sorry about that, so on with the show. The first of the orchids has popped open. Apart from knowing that this is a Cymbidium, we don't know its real name. We've just called it the 'Brown One' for years. Oddly enough, it isn't really brown. More muddy orange leanings with maroon tendencies. I now have several pots of these filled with flower spikes, and they'll brighten up our pergola area for a couple of months. They're amazingly long-lasting flowers. Later on, around September, the other orchids – Cymbidium 'Pale Pink One' – will put on their show.

There are several lovely things about having keen gardeners as neighbours. One is the pleasant company. Another is the outstandingly good care my garden gets when we go away on holidays (and that's invariably due to Katarina's saintly efforts, although the protocol is to ask Nick to look after the garden for me!). And the other benefit is the pleasant view and occasional colourful surprises that pop up next door. This is one of neighbour Nick's plants, popping its head up above the fence. Not sure what it is, and asking Nick never helps. His English isn't that flash and so he just smiles and says he doesn't know, but "it's very pretty." Agreed, Nick!

Some good news for my friend Michelle in hot and dusty outback Birdsville, for whom I am doing a spot of plant-minding. Your cumquats are ripening, Michelle! The whole potted tree is laden with fruit and the first ones are starting to turn yellow. I'll leave the fruit on until the tree is a picture of green leaves and gold cumquats, and when a rainy weekend is forecast, the next batch of cumquat marmalade will be made and shipped to Birdsville.

I'm preparing to do a blog soon about this year's slightly more organised and scientific attempt to grow garlic, but pictured here on the right is 'part B' of my garlic growing experiment. These newly planted cloves have spent four weeks in the crisper section of my fridge. To their left is a line of green-sprouted garlic cloves planted four weeks ago, without any refrigeration prior to planting. Of the six cloves in that row four have sprouted well, one has just barely done so and the last, not at all. However, I'll save the rest of the garlicky musings for another blog a few days from now.

The radicchio, which I've grown from seed, loves the cooler weather and is starting to form hearts.

Nearby, the English spinach also loves the cooler going in autumn and is starting to go well. This too is grown from seed bought by mail-order from an Australian guy who imports seed from Italian seed suppliers. So far the results have been very encouraging.

Next door to the radicchio and spinach, the baby shallots (scallions or green onions) are underway (also from seed). These are one of my favourite things to grow, because they're so useful in the kitchen and un-fussy in the garden. Once they're the right size you can harvest them one at a time, as needed, and leave the rest to keep on growing slowly. This little patch will, when mature, supply me with enough for more than a month (maybe two?) of casual harvesting.

It's my turn to cook dinner tonight and so I went for a walk to the butcher's shop thinking 'lamb' and so of course I came home with veal. And when you think of veal it's not all that hard to then add sage to the pan, and so as well as tossing sage into the dish I thought I'd toss it into my blog as well, as it's such a lovely looking herb.

If I'm adding a few herb snippets I might as well slip in some of this morning's thyme as well. Bound to find a use for it in the pot, as I have Kipfler potatoes, fresh garden peas, eschallots and carrots looking for that certain something to give them a lift. With home-made chicken stock and fresh thyme, we have lift-off!

Tonight's fresh peas come from my local greengrocer, Banana Joe's, but later this year I plan to be harvesting some peas of my own. Here's the first babies poking their optimistic little heads up into the fun part of their life – growing fast. However, there is one problem they, and much of my garden faces this winter, and it's this person, pictured below.

The olive tree. The previous owner planted it long ago, and he couldn't have picked a worse spot. It's in the north-western corner of the yard, and for the next few months it will block the low winter sun, making it hard for me to grow virtually everything I have planted in the last few weeks. Everything would get half-day sun at best. And so the local arborist paid a visit this windy morning, and next week his team will cut off around one-third of its growth, hopefully a bit more. This is not the first time the sunlight-blocking olive has been pruned and it won't be the last, either. But it's essential to the health of my garden as a whole.

Trees are wonderful, big, beautiful things but they are the enemy of a small garden if they are planted in the wrong spot. Almost everything I'd care to grow and eat needs full sun to grow healthily (and giving plants ideal growing conditions of sun, soil and water is what organic gardening is really all about). As well as that, about two-thirds of the flowers I want to grow need full sun, too. So the olive gets a visit from the tree surgeon whether it likes it or not.

This olive tree not only blocks the sunshine coming into my garden, it also makes things equally difficult for my neighbour, Nick, as it is in the north-eastern corner of his garden. The olive's shadow stops large sections of Nick's garden getting any morning sun. Nick has often asked me to cut down the olive tree entirely (sorry Nick, not on!) but at least he's always delighted to see the arborists up there lopping bits off it ("more, more" he cries). He'll get more sunshine, I'll get more sunshine, so will my peas, poppies, garlic and Asian greens, and we can get on with the very pleasant business of growing some winter crops here in sunny, but occasionally windy, Sydney.