Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Winter garden

Whenever the rain is not too persistent, I get out in the garden and do a bit of work. It is winter, and there has been some pruning to do, and mulching, and of course weeding. I am a bit behind with sowing seeds though. 

This week I spread some compost over the rose bed near the patio, where the compost bin was located, and moved the bin to a spot under the Meyer lemon, to begin fertilising it after its awesome crop this year. I celebrated the end of the Meyer lemon harvest by making a whole lemon cake and drizzling it with lemon syrup. My freezers are full of lemon juice and lemon pieces! We continue to give away lemons and grapefruit to any who will take them. 

My garden  is a working, productive back garden, but I think it has it's own beauty. Passionfruit on the wooden trellis, fig in the brown container, lemons and limes in the background, celtuce and asparagus in the foreground. Snow peas and kale in the cream bed to the left. 

I love things that self-seed! My borage is in danger of taking over, but I do love the blue flowers! I have a lot of irises that I have spread myself in clumps around the garden, and they do look lovely at the moment. 

This week I had three wine barrel halves delivered. I had trialled two grafted fruit trees on the paving in between our freestanding carport and the house, by putting them in cheap plastic bins. I wasn't sure they would like the spot, but a year on and I was ready to make this a permanent installation. Two of the barrels are now properly potted on, and one is waiting for our COVID lockdown to end so I can get some more potting mix from the store. In gardening in a small space I really value raised garden beds and containers, because they turn brick paving into shady, green and growing spaces. 

When not in the garden, I am at my sewing machine. This free motion quilting will add texture and strength to my quilt. I put some music on, and sew away! 

Our COVID outbreak numbers are looking good so far -hopefully we can have visitors next week! 


Saturday, June 19, 2021

Happy Solstice (bring back the sun!)


Perth winters are quite short, but for those of us used to continual sunshine -we have an average of nearly 8 hours of sunshine per day- the short days of winter are a bit of a trial! We alternate a couple of days of rain with a day or more of sun before the rain fronts come back. Don't get me wrong -the lovely rainy weather we are having are quite lovely and so necessary in our dry climate, but I miss being outside in my garden.

On the days when working outside was possible, I finished my verge garden with a lovely load of free mulch spread thickly over everything, to keep weeds down, to insulate the soil from cold and heat, and to keep moisture in. Apart from that it makes the garden look better! 

DH made a very wonderful Makrut lime marmalade from our limes -both Tahitian and Makrut- this week. If you love marmalade, you will adore this one -it is a bit tart, and absolutely wonderful. It is up there with the cointreau and cumquat marmalade DH makes, and that is high praise indeed! 

I have now stripped the Meyer lemons from the tree and am processing the last of them. Meanwhile friends and family are enjoying our bountiful supply of Ruby grapefruit. I have so many we are now juicing them for breakfast! At $6 per kilo, that would be very expensive juice, and we feel luxuriously rich while we drink it while eating croissants and marmalade! When I have juiced them, sometimes I put the skins in the slow cooker and cook them overnight, then add sugar and make a citrus syrup which is amazing on a whole orange/grapefruit/tangelo cake. 

We always mark the Solstice as a bit of a celebration, because from today the days get longer. We had friends over for dinner and I made a lamb roast served with a potato bake and a salad made from greens from our garden. 

June 20 is also World Refugee Day. We always mark this important occasion, too. Learn more here