Sunday, August 15, 2010

Playing catch-up

Let's not beat about the bush. I've been neglecting the garden lately, by my standards. Mind you, I freely admit to being a bit of a gardening nutter, yet lately I've been anything but that, a disgrace to the nutter-hood. However, the prospect of an old gardening friend paying a visit next weekend has propelled me back into full-blown nutcase mode again. I just spent this whole weekend playing catch-up, and here's how things are going.

For starters, I would like to say a heart-felt 'thank you' to my old mate Huey, the weather god, for laying on one-and-a-half days of mild, sunny weather ideal for gardening, then completing the deal with not one but two good showers of rain on Sunday afternoon, to wet the newly-laid mulch and water in the fertiliser. Thank you Huey. But now, on with the show. The poppies needed no attention at all. Well done, chaps.

Oh goody, the hellebores have decided to bloom. They should be looking good in a week's time.

Purple alyssum needs no encouragement or attention, and the succulent patch, under the wise leadership of the Mayor of Succulent City, Mrs Lithops, is ready to receive visitors.

No doubt ready to perform splendidly over the coming months, the first of the calendulas is sending up flowers. As these have been grown from seed, I am claiming bonus points!

In the vegie patch all is coming along nicely. Here, the baby beetroots are throbbing with colour.

Nearby, the coriander patch is thriving, partly because I am constantly snipping off leaves with scissors to take inside for cooking. Each snipping seems to match the patch lusher within a week. Regular organic liquid feeds don't do any harm, either. Behind the coriander patch, that's a pelargonium which nominally belongs in a pot, but which escaped from that little prison long ago and is now master of its own domain and a terrible bully to all its neighbours. If it wasn't for my secateurs the whole garden would eventually be one big pelargonium patch!

I haven't harvested any of these leaves yet, but they're ready to be used now. This is a new addition to Amateur Land. It's called the celery leaf plant, and it's closely related to celery but doesn't form those robust, crunchy stalks. It's low and leafy. I use traditional celery all the time in cooking in the kitchen, and I often use the leaves of celery bunches. So when I saw the packet of 'celery leaf plant' seeds in an Asian supermarket in tropical Darwin earlier this year, I had to try them.

One of the unsung heroes of my garden is the rosemary bush. This healthy person was grown from cuttings and is about three years old. As for the cuttings, I did what an expert gardening friend, Cheryl, said to do, which was: "Just poke the cuttings straight into the soil - most of them will grow just like that." And so they did. And my how they've grown!

The rosemary is just starting to flower, and it smells absolutely wonderful when you get up close to it to take yet another stalk or two for the kitchen. It really is one of the most fragrant things in this garden.

Finally, Mrs Agave has delivered two gorgeous children, as she likes to do most years. Both mother and children are doing well.

While everything else is now in much better order, I am afraid that the real work done on this lovely weekend of sunshine and showers hasn't rated a mention yet, mostly due to the lack of suitably nice photos.

I just couldn't manage a lovely photo of weeding, yet three or four hours yesterday afternoon were spent pulling rotten little weeds out of the ground. And the photos I took of newly mulched beds look far too mulchy. You'll just have to take it from me that there is mulch almost everywhere now. Same goes for the trimmed hedges out the front. Ramrod straight now. And the fertilising, too. Did lots of that, but I don't think I could manage a nice photo of chicken poo (in fact I didn't even try). But the air is currently wonderfully fragrant with that classic farmyard aroma. So Pam and I are going to do what we always do when I fertilise everything - that's right, we're leaving home for a few hours and heading off to the movies!


Lanie said...

Although I don't think that you were ever a disgrace to the nutter-hood, if there was a doubt, you are clearly reinstated now. Your garden looks really lovely - must get myself some poppies! And I am very pleased to see that Mrs Lithops is the Mayor of Succulent City. She deserves it after how she handled that difficult birth. I also had a lovely weekend of gardening - with the same weather 15 minutes away!

julie paterson - garden said...

Sounds like a gorgeous weekend...just love your garden & comments & have to say a big thank you as i was so unaware of the blogging world, until i purchased don burke's organic gardening book - was inspired by your garden & ability to grow so much in a small backyard & am now on my way to planting, planning & dreaming about my own organic oasis & have realised there are other garden nuts out there just like me.! thanks :)

joven said...

beautiful blog..pls visit mine and be a follower.. thanks and God bless..

Sue O said...

I'm happy to know about rosemary starts. I almost lost mine in the ice storm last winter, there's only one small twig that survived. After it's grown a bit bigger I think I'll cut it off and start anew.

Airy said...

wow, so Beautiful here!