Time to Plant the Tomatoes

>> Saturday, October 20, 2012

Normally I plant my tomatoes much earlier than this but I have learnt my lesson from previous seasons.  One gets lulled into a false sense that summer have arrived and then suddenly ... a nasty cold snap arrives and frost that kills the young plants.


Variety : Heirloom : Black Krim.

Heirloom tomatoes - Black Krim.  These were grown from seeds I saved from last year's crop. 



 I planted more than 20 plants.  I didn't really need that many but it was such a waste to throw them away.  Extra plants were given away.

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Fresh asparagus popping up

>> Monday, September 24, 2012

So far 4 of these have popped up.  Some are really skinny....they need more 'feeding'.  This year I won't be cutting off any of the spears to eat.


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The asparagus are now grounded

>> Saturday, April 28, 2012

Remember back in Jan 2012, I bought and planted  35 dryish looking asparagus crowns in pots.  Well... in the end, 19 sprouted.  Not bad actually, with more than 50% success rate.

These 19 are now finally planted in their permanent home with plenty of compose thrown in.   I am so looking forward to tasting sweet delicious asparagus from my own garden. 

The two asparagus beds. 



And of course Marble is never far away.  Busy preening herself.

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Gun Club Paddock

>> Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Redneck mowed the gun club paddock during Easter. The area actually looks quite huge with the grass and weeds mowed down. 

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Papa Rabbit with Marble

>> Friday, February 24, 2012

It is very seldom the male wild rabbit species grace us with their presence. When they spot us, they disappear like a shot.  So I was very lucky that Marble's boyfriend stayed long enough for me to take these photos.

These were taken at 7.45am in the early morning with the weather being a bit gloomy. Because they were also moving around so much, the photos are a bit blurry.

Listen kids.....behave or you get a slap on the bum !



Papa Rabbit looking very pleased with himself while Mum feeds the 3 kids.



Papa Rabbit looking a bit wary and is keeping an eye on the camera-lady.



Cosying up to the 'wife'....that camera-lady is scary !

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Marble the Rabbit and her 6 kids

>> Wednesday, February 22, 2012

One early morning out of the blue we noticed 6 little bunnies dashing around with Marble running after them. We had our suspicion that she was either pregnant or that she had given birth a few weeks ago.

The little bunnies were really cute. Not as flighty as some of the wild ones. Marble had her handful trying to keep track of them.


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Bum on Plate

>> Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How does one cool down on a hot summer afternoon ?  I am guessing Marble's food plate is cooler than the concrete floor.   So she ends up parking her bum on the plate !!  One smart rabbit !! 

2.42pm. Best way to cool down on a hot summer afternoon.

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The Heat - Upstairs Downstairs

>> Tuesday, February 07, 2012

It is so hot in the house in summer, it feels like living in a furnace. At around 3pm in the afternoon, the downstairs temperature was above 27C and the upstairs was even hotter at above 30C.

Downstairs temperature at 3.46pm.



Upstairs temperature at 3.47pm

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Asparagus Crowns

>> Sunday, January 29, 2012

I have been looking out for asparagus crowns for years. Then I happen on these dryish looking thick 'roots' bundled together. They were on special as it was out of season. I bought 7 packets, 35 crowns in total. On opening some of the packets, some were pathetic looking and skinny.  Thank goodness I didn't pay full price for them

If these crowns grows, then I expect to harvest my own asparagus in the year 2014.

5 crown per bundle. Looked a bit dry but as this was the first time I have seen crowns on sale, I took the chance.


Variety was Mary Washington.  They were heavily discounted.



Planted on 4/1/2012. I had to plant them temporarily in containers as their 'bed' was not ready.  4 crowns in each of these oil containers.



One crown each per pot.  About 19 pots in total.



19/1/2012. Woohoo....the first asparagus shoot appears. I was estatic. Since then about 10 shoots have appeared from the other crowns.

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Let me in.....

>> Saturday, December 31, 2011

I want to come inside...it is raining.

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This is plate is mine

>> Thursday, December 29, 2011

Marble, the rabbit.....a bit possessive of her food plate. 
As can be seen, she is a bit of an untidy eater. Weeds (food?) everywhere !!

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A visitor....Marble the rabbit

>> Monday, December 12, 2011

The last time we had a tame rabbit turn up was way back in Dec 2005 - Nutty the brown rabbit. Wow... how time flies!

Just last week, this marble-ish looking rabbit appeared in the garden playing with 2 wild brown rabbits. Yes...we have been trying to shoot those 2 brown ones but so far no luck. We gave 'Marble' space to get use to us. After a week, I got a slice of carrot and tempted it. Funny how rabbits can't go past a carrot. lol. This time I was allowed to give it a stroke and a scratch round its ears.

At first I was just calling it 'Rabbit' or 'Oui' but Redneck said it should be called 'Marble' as his fur colour and head patterns looks just like marble stone. We don't know whether it is a male or female yet as it does not like to be carried so can't check to confirm! Got 5 scratches from my attempt!

On the watchout for its 'friends'



Prayer time



Relaxing



Sitting pretty...looking cute !

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Sea of Daisies

>> Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our paddocks are just awashed with tall white daisies growing well above my knees.  Makes walking through the paddock a bit difficult.  As Redneck goes round in his tractor topping the paddock, from afar it looks a bit like shearing a big sheep of its wool !

Redneck on his tractor topping the paddocks



Almost look like a partly shorn sheep

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Coo coo.....the call of the doves (video)

>> Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Have you ever had a bird persistently making a racket non stop until you give them some attention. Well....we have been adopted by a pair of ringneck doves who thinks they are the boss of me.

When they fly in at any time of day, they expect to be fed pronto ! If I ignore them, they start the non stop 'coo coo' until I go outside and open up their food bowl. Or they hang around staring at us through the kitchen window or if we are sitting at the dining table, they strut outside the door and stare in. Their food bowl is kept covered as I get an invasion of sparrows who kicks or should I say 'beaked' everything out of the bowl making a big mess. Dirty buggers !

Sometimes I do get a thank you from the doves, cackling away when they hop on to the bowl. Very polite indeed!

Caught on video, have a look and a listen....the coo cooing might drive you up the wall !

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The roses are blooming

>> Monday, October 31, 2011

After being pricked and scratched at while giving them their annual haircut in July, this display makes it all worthwhile.   Yes....the roses are flowering !

Dublin Bay



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Oil Container Planters for Vegetables

>> Sunday, October 23, 2011

When I saw Steamy Kitchen planting her veggies in Earth Boxes I thought that was a brilliant idea. I racked my brain as to what I could use. Then I thought of the 20L oil containers which we have been using to cart water to the trough for our cows. At the moment we no longer have any use for them.

For the past few years except for tomatoes and zuchinni, I have just about given up trying to grow my own veggies. It was too much hard work battling the snails, worms, creepy crawlies and the fickle weather. And most of the plants bolts as soon as the weather heats up. With this container, I can move it to the cooler section of the house.

So far I have a box each for peas (the ones planted on the ground are all a dead lost...all eaten by snails), pak choy, carrot, choy sum (sawi), lettuce, silverbeet, choy fa, spinach and sweet pea.

I am keeping my finger crossed that I have more success with veggies using this method. So far nothing resembling seedlings have popped up yet!

Waiting waiting.....

oil container planter
Redneck cut open a side using his jigsaw. Using a sharp secateur cut a hole at the bottom for water to drain. Then place a layer of bar spacer (we have heaps of those lying around) or you can use styrofoam, for drainage and also so I can use less soil. It makes it lightweight, easier to relocate the container.



A thick layer of newspaper is laid on top of the plastic spacers. Stab some holes in it for drainage.



Compost with heaps of worms is mixed with the soil.



Seeds are sown and a layer of mulch to give some seed protection from possible frost.

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War against Slugs & Snails

>> Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother ! Out of 15 plants, only 10 tomato plants are still with their heads. The peas that were sprouting have also been eaten.  That is it! War is now declared on slugs and snails. Watch out you creeps !!

On Saturday 15/10/2011, I planted about 15 heritage tomatoes that my friend Elaine have given me. To me the heritage tomatoes are precious as I have only ever planted ordinary tomatoes. I placed the plastic pipe over the plant to give it some wind and snail protection. Or so I thought !!



Heritage tomato plant.



The next day, a couple were beheaded. Checked this morning and 5 were gone ! I hereby declare war on slugs and snails. Even though it was going to rain, I had to scatter some snail pellets around to hopefully save the remaining plants from being eaten alive.

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Starting my Herb Garden in a BathTub

>> Sunday, September 25, 2011

I have always wanted an area dedicated to herbs where we can pick what we want all in one spot. I didn't like planting it on the ground as I am open to weeds and snails. And these days I even see wild rabbits hopping around in the garden nibbling at young shoots.

That huge tyre used to occupy the space where the bath is sitting.

I have old baths which were used for water trough for the cows. We hauled one out from the paddock, painted them and viola...a herb bed. It would easier on my back when it comes to maintenance or weeding - no bending or squatting !

Now all I need is a variety of herbs.

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Winter Chore - pruning roses

>> Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A yearly chore which I don't really look forward to but has to be done. Nowadays I have gotten smarter. I know roses are very hardy and whichever way you prune them, they come out smelling like roses - it doesn't hurt them.

All done !

So... instead of taking a week to prune all the roses, I have shorten the time to just 2 days.

First I use the hedge clipper and lopper to give them a quick haircut. Then I go round with the secateur for a tidy up. I started yesterday and this morning, all done - all 30+ of them. Had to hurry as there is a band of bad weather coming from tomorrow !

Less to prune this year as I dugged out 6 of the not so pretty ones.

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Heavenly morning ~ 8.21am

>> Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This is the view from our paddock towards the city. Looks so dreamy and heavenly ! On days such as these, one can forgive the bad weather of rain and wind we have been hammered with for the past few weeks.


You can vaguely see the Sky Tower in the background. For a bigger view click here

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Early Winter Garden

>> Sunday, June 12, 2011

The ground is really sodden. Puddles of water everywhere. Weeds are growing everywhere too. Winter have just started so it is not really cold enough to stop them sprouting.


At this stage, if you don't look too closely at the weeds, the garden is not looking too bad. Some bright coloured plants and flowers are still around to lift ones spirit especially when the days are gloomy when the sun refuse to make an appearance.

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Three Little Doves

Every morning a flock of about 10-12 doves use our front yard as their meeting place. They will chase each other, fly around and rest on the electric fence box, fence and trees.  I love listening to their joyful chatter.

The middle one is such a poser !

I am also taking the opportunity to test out the zoom lens on my new point and shoot camera which I got on Friday. Weather have not been the best so hadn't been that trigger happy !

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Elephant Garlic Cloves

>> Saturday, June 11, 2011

I got these in the post today. I debated about buying elephant garlic for a long time. They are very pricey. These 10 cloves(200gm) alone cost me $18.50. Yikes ! But I reasoned that once I have them, I won't need to buy any in again.

Why do I want to grow such an expensive garlic, you ask ? Well.....one chief reason is that I am sick of peeling small wee cloves when cooking. These garlic cloves are the size of a shallot.


Elephant garlic cloves....all 10 of them.  The white one on the right is a normal garlic bulb. Look at the size of one clove.....they are huge !  I have planted them in the ground today.  I will have to give them special attention to make sure I get a good return on my investment !




I bought them from Kaiwaka Organics

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Normal size garlic.....time to stick the cloves in the ground

>> Friday, June 10, 2011

Sometimes the growth rate of plants here are really astounding. These garlic were planted sometime last week with no hint of growth at all in the cloves but look at them now. If you are in New Zealand,  now is the time to grow your garlic.

These garlic cloves are the 'great grandchildren' from the store bought China garlic I planted in 2008. 



Old box files have been recyled as weed suppresser.

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Kingfisher in the garden shed

>> Sunday, June 05, 2011

Birds quite often fly into my garden shed. They then try to fly through the glass instead of flying out through the door to get out. This kingfisher was no different.


With its beak so long, there was no way I was going to use my hand to catch it. Its beak looks dangerously sharp too. Anyway, it started 'squawking' loudly....boy....for a little bird it sure could squawk ! It glared at me angrily and at one stage its feather on the head was standing on ends, like a mohawk !!  So cute.


I had to get reinforcments to help get it out. Flew out without a backward glance or a thank you either !!


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Kniphofia Red Hot Pokers....divide and plant for free

>> Saturday, May 21, 2011

It would have been about 10 years ago when I pinched a plant from somebody's driveway. Look at the plant now. It had really multiplied from that single plant.

Right now, I wanted something to hide the grass and mess from the neighbours fence when the striking flowers caught my eye. At first I thought I would have a hard time trying to dig up the bulbs but I saw that most of them was actually growing about the ground. Choice ! All I had to do was break and pull.

Still plenty left even after the 1st lot was planted.



Red Hot Poker Bulbs



Area outside the 'septic tank' paddock



Hopefully I have enough plants to do half the length of this boundary fence and enough left to plant near the front gate. This is the 'septic tank' paddock.

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