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Category Archives: Gardening

So my housemate Random loves to have a veggie garden.  Winter is loosening it’s cruel grip here in Melbourne so it’s time to start planting the Spring garden.

I love some fresh veggies myself so I’m joining in.  I’m leaving all the cerebral “what to plant where” decisions to him and I’m just joining the fun stuff like choosing which veggies to plant, preparing the beds, and watering the plants.  And of course sharing in the eating of anything we successfully produce.

So last Saturday we spent a few hours discussing and paring down the list of items to plant to something manageable for both the size of our garden (8 metres of berry canes was sadly not considered workable this year) and our attention spans (2 years to grow asparagus might be a tad too ambitious for us amateurs).

Then we went outside, and started to clean up the beds from last season. No-one had touched the garden over winter so there was a bit of work to do.  While discussing “full sun requirements” and I was feeling oh so proud of myself for using technical terms 🙂 we figured out the compost heap should really be moved. It’s currently in prime planting position.

So we set up a new compost heap up the back.  Here is the photographic proof.

This was the site we selected. It’s up the back corner away from everywhere else and tucked away at an odd angle because of the fencing. As you can see overgrown.  Random said he tried to dig and plant in it last year, but the soil is pure clay.

Having cleaned out all of the rubbish plants, I turned the soil over with a pitchfork. I can guarantee it is a heavy thick clay. Not a soil.  Oh it was a yuck that clung to the bottom of my shoes in a two-inch layer that had to be scraped off. However the good news is that we found some worms on the clay, so this could become good soil.

Next was picking out all of the non-organic matter. As this is up the back corner, we think previous people may have used it as a rubbish pile – awesome!  And then Random put on a layer of newspapers.  As we are a household full of techno-literates, this layer is mostly composed of junk mail so thank you Good Guys and Bunnings 🙂

Finally we wet down the layer of newspaper and threw all of the rubbish plants back on top to start the new compost area. Ta Da!

Flush with our success, we though we’d just start one of the side beds and just pull a plant or two, just to make a start for a couple of minutes before calling it a day …

Yeah. We did a liiiiitle more than just a couple of minutes.

Finally while I was raking some leaves and cutting suckers from that tree in the background of that picture, Random dug over most of the earth in the foreground and planted some peas.

It was a dry day, with the sun out, but the sun had little warmth in it. We work consistently, but we didn’t push ourselves.  The digging up of the ground under the compost heap was the hardest work I did and it barely raised a sweat.  I did exhaust myself but I felt good for spending the day outdoors.

The peas have been rained on or I’ve watered them every second day. So we will see what the next part of the garden project will be.

Mum has a huge yard and unfortunately we haven’t been able to keep with up it.  Through serendipity last weekend, we now have a regular lawn care mowing service from here in the hamlet that is extremely reliable and affordable *and* we have a garden maintenance service from the next village over! He will be spending quite a bit of time over the next month or so licking the grounds into shape, but he is looking to expand his service into our hamlet, so once he has our place in shape, he will drop in for a weekly maintenance hour on his rounds.  This will keep the gardens looking great and improve mum’s mental health enormously.

For example, the front garden went from this:

Left Front Garden - Before photo

To this:

Right Front Garden - After photo

Some other areas he will work on over the coming weeks are like this one, where it’s now being regularly mowed, but the shrubs need to be weeded, pruned into shape and fertilised.

Side Yard - Photo taken 4 May 2012

I also have a full crop of medlars this year!  Does anyone have any medlar recipes to share? This tree is 6 foot tall; Ian – do you remember when we bought this one?

Medlar Tree in full fruit

And that fruit is huge – each one is larger than a plum! So … any suggestion on recipes?

In the meantime, we’re watching to see what comes up in the front garden – we have a lot of bulbs in there.  Also mum is looking for winter plants to pop in the garden.  I suggested Hellebores for a winter flower that copes with the frost.  Any other suggestions or recommendations?

Again with the stresses of work, the commute and internet mod duties I haven’t done any stitching at home this week.

I did however do quite a bit of stitching on the train – an extraordinary amount when you consider I cat nap on most trips.  Friday was the worst  I had to be woken when the train was pulling into my stop in the morning and I woke myself just as it was pulling into my stop Friday night. First time  I ever almost missed my stop on the way home. Even more extraordinary when there were monster children screaming in my carriage and I could hear drunks further down in other carriages.  I was just exhausted Friday.

The weirdest part was after I came home and started chatting on the email and then watching Eerie Indiana I stayed up until 1am !!!   Eerie Indiana is a kids show I watched nearly 15 years ago now.  You know those times when you are so sick that for nearly a week you just lie on the lounge and don’t move and nap and doze and eventually get up the energy to go and make another cup of tea?  I was home sick for one of those for about a week a while ago. Can’t even remember where or when.  Anyway this show came on and I really liked it.  Watched a couple of episodes over the week and then went back to work.

I’ve never found it since although I have looked and looked for it.  Finally found it (and at a reasonable price) at   last week.  It arrived Friday and I watch 4 of the 40min long episodes that night.  I love this show !!!  Pity they only made 19 episodes.

At the same time I also finally got myself a copy of the TV miniseries Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.  I have read at least three different novelisations of this and again have been looking for a copy of the original TV version.  I will watch this later – its one of those you have to concentrate a bit on ….

Oh and of course as soon as I rung Stephen to let him know my good news, I discovered he had obtained a copy himself the day before and was planning on lending it to me.  (The amount of times this happens between the two of us alternately amuses and terrifies me).

Anyway stitching.

All the cross stitching is now done. All that remains is the backstitching. I cannot backstitch over already stitched work on 16ct Aida on a train – so this one will go into the “wait till I get time at home pile”. Goodness knows when I will actually get to it – there is a fair amount of backstitching on this one and I haven’t stitched at home in weeks.


Something in Red.
Still don’t know what I’m going to do with Black Beauty – probably order a new skein of GAST Black Crow and start again. I *think* I have more of this Ivory linen. Its not good quality linen but I do want these two to match – so on the same exact piece of fabric would be good. This is again train stitching with just a wee bit on Friday night … No mistakes so far and I have finished the bottom half of the dress.

Red 22 June 2008

In other news, lots of chatting with my support network and dinner with my best friend last night has really cheered me up and lifted the malaise my emotion’s have been under over the last couple of weeks so I am back to being happy.

Now just to force myself to work through the blue on black problem on BoInk and to write a job application.  I detest writing job applications. I wasted all day yesterday because of the procrastination.  I didn’t want to write the application, but the guilt wouldn’t let me do anything else until the app was written so I cleaned house a little, bought unnecessary items for the dinner party etc etc until 5pm when I finally forced myself to sit down and start the blasted thing – whereupon I realised I need more information.  I need more info on the software packages the organisation uses and the layout of the hierarchy etc etc.  So I will talk to the official contact person for the job on Monday and I will also find out any goss from people at work.  The University Library sector is so small that surely someone knows someone who works there …

So today I am free from the guilt paralysation and I am determined (Oh I can’t used that word without thinking of the Gruen Transfer now!  One of our banks has adopted the new slogan “determined to be different”.  Wil Anderson asks “what would the bank say if I went in there and said yes I’m determined to pay of my mortgage”.)

Anyway I’m determined to make progress son BoInk today.  and watch a little more Eerie Indiana ….

Oh and finally – my backyard is “finished”.  I’ve uploaded pics into here.

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