I have been a bit quiet of late on the blog, but not any more! Here is a bit of what we have been up to lately.
I recently decided to splurge and treat myself to a subscription to Grass Roots magazine, and wrote them a letter when I got the first copy. They printed my letter and a photo of my back garden.
My husband's insulated 'hot box' cooker was featured on Nev Sweeney's blog here
. If you haven't read Nev's blog Under the Choko Tree, I do recommend it. Nev does a great job of writing up sustainability and permaculture practices we can do wherever we live.
Spring is sliding into summer and we are now harvesting lots of blueberries, mulberries and rhubarb. The chillies are ripening and I have just picked some to hang up to dry. The zucchini are now growing fast. This one was 550g! I have a lot of basil growing in a water well pot. The passionfruit are flowering and we wait anxiously for signs of fruit set -this will be the first season for this vine and we are hanging out for passionfruit! Of course we still have the rainbow chard and the spring onions and the various herbs.
The grapevine has almost covered the trellis on the north side. We sit under it to eat our lunch. The pomegranate has started to set fruit, and the quince is looking better than ever. We have some baby apples on the new tree growing in the wine barrels.
As the garden dries out from spring to summer, the nasturtiums are dying down and everything looks a bit less lush. This is the time for me to begin spot watering if I see plants in stress. The verge garden is not irrigated, so I keep an eye on it, although I have planted very hardy and sun tolerant plants there. . The new jacaranda tree the city council planted on the verge will need extra help this summer in the way of watering on hot days.
I planted a new passionfruit to grow over the dead Eureka lemon in the front garden. It will get extra water from the outflow of the evaporative air conditioner we installed last summer, so I hope it will do well and cover this rather unsightly dead tree. I am not sure what happened to the lemon, althought the fact that the neighbour took out and poisoned a large New Zealand Christmas Bush not two meters away from it, probably did not help.
We bought a new set of string lights -which are solar powered and quite pretty- and have hung them up on the patio ready for long summer nights. I am sure they will turn up soon!
Sometimes I think I don't get enough of a yield from my garden, and then at other times I realise that I do pretty well given the challenges of the climate and the fact that the block is only 700sq meters, and that includes the house. It also gives me a lot of joy, and a lot of good exercise, as well as providing passive cooling to the air around the house. These things are not without value in themselves.
If you have a moment, here are some links to a couple of good articles about gardening here:
Comprehensive description of how to do gardening for free here
Lemon Balm -give it a place in your garden -link here