Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas R & R

We were the designated farm sitters this year
so it was Christmas in Mildura.
Not too hot thank goodness.
I had to look after both Mothers garden and Sisters garden.
Thank goodness for automatic timers....What a god send.
It threatened rain for much of the day but amounted to nothing in true Mildura style.
The week before we had 66mls of rain in just 2 hours. That was more than double the monthly average.
The chooks got a new circle for Christmas and that means
I too, got a fresh circle for Christmas.
Already dug into a doughnut and planted out with rocket, kale & lettuce.

This is before any doughnut digging, full of promise! I was excited!

I regularly have to inspect the zucchini plants for pumpkin beetles.
and squash on sight.
Plants responding splendidly with many zucc's for our dinner.
2 plants is more than enough to supply this household.
I have leeks growing in the centre of this doughnut.
Tomatoes around the right outside rim and spinach mustard around the left hand rim
Zucc's front and centre. Chives either side of the zucchini
So far the weeds are under control and I often remind myself that
1 years seeding = 7 years weeding.
Great incentive to not let that happen and keep on top of it all.
 Tradscanthia very hardy, little pink flowers
 Dwarf Pomegranate
This looks a lot like a salvia, Indigo spires.
Shame about the background of this shot....Typical error of a photographer
Too interested in the subject to "see" what is being captured.
I need your opinion.
I am wondering if I should have photos like this for the etsy shop or
should I have photos of the flowers and just say all plants are in 3 '' pots?
Or a collage of the 3'' pot on a background photo of the flowers it will produce?
With all this to consider it is no wonder I have been slow to stock that etsy shop I created.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weeding with the lawn mower

I was weeding my flower rows with the lawn mower the other day
and luckily I saw these  before I ran over them.
Self sown Zinnias!
I have been trying for weeks to raise some seeds that I saved from my fantastic blooms,
No luck, not one seedling from several trays of trying.
I think it was just not hot enough. I was trying to push the envelope too far into spring.
I could not help my self and transplanted them immediately to a row with a dripper line installed
I might even try another tray of seeds now.
Last years flowers were stunning singles in purple, red, orange, white, green, yellow.........
I must have planted all the seeds I had because I can't find them
and the only seeds at the hardware shop were for doubles..............
I do hope I like them as doubles or I will have to keep my eyes out for more self sown ones.
I am also stepping out into the etsy world of retail with things I regularly sell at our market stall

Dried Herbs.
I have yet to photograph the herb vinegar, which is the secret weapon when making sauces and gravies.
I am also hoping to include some salvias and herb plants. I just have to get out there and take some photos.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Edible Gardening Classes January

As a contract teacher the end of the year is always an anti climax.
I had an idea last year.....I just didn't act on it
this year I pressed send on a mass email to local Primary Schools
 Edible Gardening classes for Kids.
This photo does not do it justice.
I might press print and deliver some hard copies to places like the Organic shop
and have them on our market stall on Saturday.

Our farm is right next to the Murray River
I walk the dogs every morning for a swim......and to check their Pee mails.

There are a pair of black swans that live down there.....They come and say hello every morning.

They are not afraid of the dogs and come quite close.
I am trying to copy the sound they make.

Shelia loves to cool down in the water, she is no swimmer, she just sits in the water.

The Ski Club have replaced the lawn that was lost during the drought.
It is a luxurious lawn. Great beach and lots of resident ducks.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Stop looking, I found it.

I was starting to think it would never turn up
I was out in the car delivering fresh vegetables and herbs
as I do on a Monday morning
I reached into the centre console to get out my PJ's list and.....
there it was, my camera.
Not lost in the garden thank goodness.
I made the first bunch with Cherry Rudbekia.
Mixed with some yellow Alstromeria, Lions tail and Gillardia.
A striking bunch.
I was dropping it of at Mums when I remembered my camera in the car.
Big double market weekend
Farmers Market and Red Cliffs market.

Under the red tent is where the Farmers Market big breakfasts are
cooked and served.
I supply flowers for the breakfast tables.
The yellow tent is directly opposite us on the far side of the market.
It is a lovely park, the ornamental lake is filled with water lilies.
Large old gum trees provide lovely shade.
Shame the council is planning to redevelop the site.
Sends shivers down my spine.
The bakery stall is very popular.
I am thinking of offering some of our products from an etsy shop
Dried herbs, seeds and salvias.
Today's task is to find out if it is possible and then
photograph everything in preparation.
Thank goodness I found my camera!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lions tail time again.

A stunning plant,
Hardy up here in the heat,
The flowers just last and last in the vase.
I snip off the leaves that grace the flower heads.
and the little top knot on top.

There is a white variety but I haven't propagated that one yet.
Orange is one of my favourite colours!
And you just can't rush these things.

This is last years Cherry Rudbekia Very close to the ground.
Wish I could show you what has happened this year but
I have temporarily lost my camera.
This year one of the plants would be 4ft tall with flowers coming,
Shame about the camera.
I do hope I did not put it down in the garden somewhere.....
Just cant remember,
there is a vague recollection of it pulling on my shorts that the waist was too big ....
Has anyone listened to the ABC radio interview?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Comfrey in flower

I was delighted to notice my Comfrey was flowering.
I have it planted at the end of my potting bench and in theory it gets watered from the run off from the seedlings on the potting bench.

It must be working as the plant is quite large and flowering.
I use the leaves as a compost booster.

Known also as bone knit, Comfrey used to be used for assisting the healing of broken bones.
These days it is not recommended for internal use.

I am hoping to collect the seed for replanting.
Another herb that is in flower down there at my work station at the moment....
It's common name is "Love in the mist"
It self seeds and produces lots of flowers....which turn into the most interesting seed pods.
It is a true blue colour, and not a purple that gardeners refer to as blue.
(That used to frustrate me but I seem used to the strange reference to blue when it is clearly purple.)
Some fade to white and some are white from the get go.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fresh Garlic

I couldn't resist picking some of the garlic.
The saying goes that you "plant it at Easter and pick it on Boxing day"
I planted mine before Easter this year as it was a really late Easter,

and for a variety of reasons I picked some on the weekend, (mid November).
If it dies down and I don't pick it, I can't find it until it re shoots.
Some of these small ones were dying down and I risked losing them.
I am excited by the size of some of the cloves....This is a $2 garlic for sure!
There will be plenty for selling, replanting,eating and some left over for bug spray.
It pays to leave them out in the sun for a day or two so the skins dry out and it is easy to rub off the dirt, leaving them white for the market....with a touch of purple.
The smell is beautiful.

This is my husbands favourite tree, its a Grevillia
Flowering at the moment, it is a riot of and yellow.
I noticed this when I was out at the Grevillia, a water lilly

Its a shame we have to be so water safe with a grill over the pond
I does spoil the look but protects the plants from my water loving dogs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Persistence is a glass bowl

It has been many years since I have done a glass slumping.
I talked up the process with my first yr sculpture students
and we decided to try.
I was disappointed it didn't work the first time.
Frustrated it didn't work the second time
and annoyed enough then to reprogram the auto controller on the kiln.
Upping the end temp by 100 degrees Celsius.
Finally success
No it is not an ashtray!
I can see some ice cream in there.

Here it is still on it's mould.
Here is the mould by itself.
I think someone in the family may be getting Ice cream bowls for Christmas.
I think this design will even stack reasonably well.
Wouldn't you know it the lilliums began to flower when there is a three week break between markets.
Check out this exotic specimen
How much would you pay for a stem of these?
I keep my flower prices to $5 so how many stems per bunch?
I have to get the bird mesh over the cherries before the birds notice that they are beginning to colour up.
This year I am going to get to eat plenty of these beauties.
Last year the outrageous rains split them all, the year before we were experiencing water restrictions and they all shrivelled and died after a heat wave.
This year........success.
So it is true, persistence pays.