The Garden

The Vege Garden isn’t much to look at at the moment, but hey, it could be worse! There are a few crops scattered around and most of the beds are mulched with old chicken bedding. To keep the weeds down on the paths I have been laying cardboard and topping it with all manner of trimmings and choppings from the garden. It ain’t pretty but it’s doing the job. Well, at least in the parts that have been successfully covered.

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The Vege Garden, in the process of cheapo path mulching.

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The elephant garlic and brassicas are slowly chugging along. They’re bigger than this now.IMG_20180727_113509610_HDR

The common garlic that I cheekily planted in the Herb Garden has popped up too. I only planted six cloves (I wrote it down), which is not what it looks like in the photo. I think a couple of these shoots (the back right ones) are daffodils, as there are some popping up nearby.

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There are sluggishly growing carrots, beetroot and parsnips, which got sowed a little too late, but plenty of kale, parsley, cutting celery, spring onions and coriander. I seem to have come to a happy arrangement with the coriander. I left it to seed in two patches in the Herb Garden and one plant seeded in the Vege Garden. Now we have a continuous supply of coriander as seedlings pop up around the place, maybe not quite where I thought they would, but they can pop up anywhere they want. So, the key to coriander is not to try and make it grow in just one spot, but to let it have a wide area to pop up where it wants to. And then we get to have nice curries and soups when we want to.

We offloaded about half of the unneeded stones by the front carport by selling them on TradeMe. The remaining ones have all been shoveled off the tarp that was on the garden area and onto the concrete path, awaiting removal. It looks better out there already. Of course, now that the tarp has been removed from the ground, we can see the resprouting camellia stumps that still need to be dug out. I can hereby testify that camellias will keep growing even when covered for many months under a heavy duty tarp and a large pile of stones. Even I, firsthand witness to the annoying persistence of unwanted camellia stumps, was surprised to see green leaves when I pulled up the tarp. We have at least seven stubborn, resprouting stumps or roots to dig out. I have cut through the trunk of the ivy on the fence, which is beginning to wilt.

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The remaining stones are in a tidy pile and we are left with another camellia stump job. Oh goody. The taller sprouting stumps on the edges of the garden weren’t covered by the tarp but the squashed leafy patches are also stubbornly growing on.

Meanwhile, the silver heavy duty tarp was still in great condition and has been handily repurposed as the sandpit cover. The old green one was not heavy duty enough.

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Even if it says it’s heavy duty, don’t buy it from The Warehouse!

The Little Fulla needed some sort of tool to keep him occupied while we use the big people tools, so I quickly whipped up this ‘rustic’ hammer with a piece of tapered timber and a piece of dowel that were lying around. He was stoked, but he could be heard calling it a “funny hammer”.

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The Chickens

Frodo and her chicks have successfully been integrated into the main flock. A few days after the accidental unlatched gate merging, in which Frodo sustained face injuries, I had some time and good weather to try reintroducing them while I was around to supervise. I put a cage into the middle of the pen and threatened to put any misbehaving hens in there for time out. Everything went much better than I expected. Frodo announced her presence with a flapping display, but the other hens were busy with the fresh earth and bugs that I had exposed by moving some of the wooden objects in the pen, plus some piles of weeds. Distraction at its best. Thereafter, Frodo wisely stuck to the outskirts with her chicks and no-one required time out. The biggest scrap must have been sorted during the accidental merging. After the first day, Frodo increasingly distanced herself from the chicks, who are well old enough to look after themselves, and now they are independent. They also learnt how to drink water from the water bucket very quickly. They are 10 weeks old. I’m trying not to think about Mareks.

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Frodo and chicks wisely stuck to the upper level of the Cedar Pen for most of the time while everyone adjusted. Here, we can see the lovely ornamental quince in bloom.
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When I throw in weeds and greens, I make sure there are multiple piles, as the superior hens get greedy over ‘their’ piles.
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The chicks are on alert as they find themselves between Annie and Juliette.
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It’s fun watching the chicks learn to be small chickens.

The Back Carport Clean-up

My back carport cleanup was going very well. I had cleared the whole left side, aside from some concrete posts and blocks that we need to offload.

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The corrugated iron had been moved, plus the bits of wood behind it, and alllll the other things before this.

Then The Husband came along. He did move the tower of pallets out of the front carport, which was much appreciated. They just ended up here, in the back carport. He has been dismantling, de-nailing and sawing them, which takes rather a while. They are very chunky pallets.

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The Husband in the process of turning pallets into firewood.

Now my cleared space has been filled up with pieces of wood again. However, I have moved almost everything from the right side, which was a lot that can’t be seen in these photos.

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The carport from the garage side.
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The right side of the carport. Before I got to work, there were three stacks of rounds from the garden edging we ripped out of the Cedar Pen, plus large pieces of plywood and the door salvaged from the old chicken coop, plus lots of pieces of timber that needed to be cut up, plus other oddments.
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Most of the rounds have been put along the paddock fence by the Vege Garden and the Plum Tree Garden to help stop unwelcome livestock from busting the chicken wire and eating things. I have yet to deal with the weeds. It’s too soggy.

Things are decidedly soggy here again. Nothing really dries out in winter; we definitely have a Wet Season.

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Can you tell it’s been wet?

While there’s been a lot of wetness and sickness, I’ve been doing a lot more knitting. I sewed the buttons onto my wrist warmers, knitted one hat and am partway through another hat. I can’t show the hats yet, since they’re for other people.

There is noticeably more light in the mornings and evenings now, which is a nice change. On the one hand, I can’t wait until winter is over, as I am counting on it packing sicknesses and sogginess in its suitcases. On the other hand, there are a lot of projects that still need to be done, like paving the patio (so I can move the BBQ, so I can construct my mini greenhouse), doors for the house, the spice shelf, which somehow totally stalled, and raised bed construction in the Vege Garden, and I’m not quite ready for the spring season yet. I need to start sowing some crops in seed trays. But I actually need to finish my Vege Plan first. It is proving tricky. I can’t seem to fit all the jolly crops into my ‘small’ Vege Garden. There is a distinct possibility that the growing space in my head is larger than the actual Vege Garden…

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6 thoughts on “We’re a Bit All Over The Place

    1. Haha yes. I’m still getting my head around what I can grow when here. It was a bit more distinct when we lived in Christchurch, as it was definitely colder in winter and drier all around. Here, I am learning that it’s too hot to grow some things like lettuces beyond the first month of Summer (although I have yet to try them in more shade), but there are still a number of plants that will grow in winter, albeit very slowly, so I have to work on getting them started sooner in Autumn or late Summer. The wet is potentially more of an issue than the cold in winter. In some ways I am still experimenting and in some ways I’m just behind, because of the busyness that life with a small child brings.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Very much so. Much complication. He already thinks the garden is his playground! I have to stop him from digging all over the place: in the lawn, in any bare dirt anywhere, in the garden right beside precious plants… If I’m not watching, a load of dirt will be transported to some other part of the garden, leaving a hole. But he is helpful with some things and likes to learn, it just all takes extra time and supervision.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Haha. This yard ain’t big enough for the both of us. I hope I don’t get to that point. She said, as yet another pile of dirt disappeared on the back of a toy dump truck…

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