Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Zinnia time of year again

I always know it is time when a self sown Zinnia pops up.
You can see the environment could be described as harsh
But this little seedling is on a mission
This one is out in the rows.
I have raised some seeds and planted them in a circle.
It was supposed to be purple...pink will do!
Again out in the rows, this is a self sown Lions tail.
Hanging out with the Iris's
I really respect a plant that grows itself.
I also respect those plants that can survive our extreme temperatures
These Calla Lillies got a bit fried on that 45 degree day
Today we are expecting 40
My Roma Tomatoes are flowering and fruiting.
I am sure we will get a red one by Christmas.

This is the best patch of tom's Ive grown in a while.
With all this on offer
I have been surprised and frustrated that the rabbits have enjoyed my Asters

They have eaten the centres out of these poor specimens repeatedly.
I have replanted  and replanted but have just the one flowering

This will make it hard to fill my flower sales for the remainder of December
Blasted bunnies, sure they are cute but...
you should see what they are doing out in the paddock.
I'd sure like to blast them.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

These are the latest camels out of the kiln

I am taking them to the farmers market tomorrow
It's really a food only market but I figure
a camel is required for ease of eating the food at an evening BBQ

Besides, they look good in front of the herbs,
and they will be guarding the ceramic plant tags.
These are three wise camels...
don't know what happened to their men?
My after school pottery kids need a quick finish activity for the last day
Usually its about time and patience but at Christmas time it is all about
We made some stars and trees.
Kids love glitter and I have to say in the right place it is fine
It works a treat on our stars.
These are really thin and fired unglazed to stoneware temperature,
then painted with acrylic paints.
A great take home activity for the last day of pottery for the year.
I have focused on pottery this post as I am going to share it with
Mud colony
If you like hand crafted, unique, not off a boat from China
 check them out by clicking on this link.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Silver beet a hardy staple.

Silver beet is my most prolific plant
in the vege garden.
It self seeds everywhere.
In fact it self seeds so prolifically that I have to weed/thin it out
so the plants aren't crowding each other too much.
It is popular on my market stall and
also popular at PJ's supermarket where I maintain a leafy green section
in their fruit and vegetable department.

I also supply fresh herbs at PJ's but they are a much slower trade.
Basil would have to be the most popular herb.

The plant nurseries bring in seedlings way before the ground is warm enough for the plants.
I have had a stream of disappointnted gardeners
complaining that their basil just isn't growing.

It's just sitting there waiting for the ground to warm up.
I don't think they realise that plant growers trick the seeds with heat beds.
Artificially warming the soil to get the jump on summer.
I don't do that and as a result many folk have already planted their basil
by the time mine is ready naturally.
If you look after the plant, not letting it go to and stay flowering,
it will feed you until the first frost which in some years can be as late as May.

I plant out my basil for picking in the rows.
As far as popularity goes, Coriander comes a close second, however,
Coriander is difficult to grow here. It just bolts to seed.
This climate in summer is just too hot for such a culinary delight.
I have tried to trick this herb by growing it in a shade house over summer.
It won't be fooled however so
 rule of thumb in Mildura is, Basil in summer and Coriander in winter.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Louie Tomatoes

We have an old Italian friend Louie,who brings us morning tea
every Red Cliffs market.
He grows the biggest tomatoes.
They are all flesh.
They cover the entire slice of bread when sliced for a sandwich.
He brought some seedlings to the market last month
I planted them in my new garden bed
A month later

The Louie tomatoes are on the right
I have also grown some Roma's on the left.
Cucumbers on the old gate.
Hungarian Paprika for spice along the front.
They all survived the heat wave and are now shivering with the
onset of summer and the cool change.

Some of you may remember this garden bed project I started
and then questioned my decision. 
In my haste to plant it up I did not wait for the soil to settle
and as a result it needs heaps of a top up.
More soil and the end needs to be completed.
The flowering purple verbena hasn't stopped blooming but will need to be removed and then replanted once the top up soil has been installed.
I get too excited and rush things.
There is a lesson for me with this project.