Friday, December 27, 2013

Just a little crispy.

 Most things survived the heat wave last week
Just a few plants got a bit crispy.
These Gladdy's for example did not cope too well,
not all of them suffered but the majority found 3 days over 40 degrees
just a bit too much.
These dahlias are in my shadiest spot in the rows, but they too
found the heat wave a bit too much.
The lower growth looks promising and they do flower for the entire summer
so all is not lost.

 Some plants are just more robust and could grow anywhere
The evening primrose in this photo is growing in the paths between rows
I had intended to distill the seeds to make evening primrose oil
but that's a whole new process and I am unsure.
Isn't this a fabulous colour
Gailardia, self sown. 
These plants definitely cope with the hot weather

Californian puncture weed, otherwise referred to as three corner jacks
This is another plant that laps up the hot weather. 
We have had an explosion of these since the rain last week.
They are so tenacious they grow in the most inhospitable of spots
Today the forecast is for 41, but just one hot day before a change.
This will be a breeze, especially since we installed 
an air conditioner over Christmas. 
Lets hope these beauties cope today.
To extend the life of these in the vase, the stems have to be placed in boiling water.
I always feel a bit cruel when I do it, but it works.

The hot north wind will be their challenge today.
And mine.
Seasons greetings to you all.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Preparing for a heat wave

There's a heat wave coming
Wed,Thurs,Fri forecast for above 40 C

I am trying to prepare the garden for it.
Weed out all plants that are not supposed to be there

(weeds, which include self sown silver beet in some gardens)

this will reduce the moisture loss and

Mulch, making sure the beds are damp first.
I always throw a hand full of organic fertilizer before I mulch,
dynamic lifter style, so the mulch does not
rob the bed of nutrients as it breaks down.

My other tactic is to pick all the flowers before the heat.
The cool room comes in handy here.
Flowers and herbs will stay fresh in there and be
ready for the market on Saturday.

 Check out the Gladioli babies
I couldn't bear to throw them away so I have been fattening them up
for the rows next year. A couple of them are trying to flower this year.

 I gave my sisters some Christmas Lilly's one year.
Kept one for myself and it is beautiful, I can't bring myself
to cut it and bring it inside. I will just enjoy it where it is.
I hope theirs are flowering now.

A triple headed Lions tail flower.
One of my favourites.
My last heat wave tactic is to savour the garden this week as
it might just be all crispy by the end of next week,.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Beautiful weeds

If you are going to have weeds in your garden
there is a good reason to make sure they are beautiful weeds.
I have a purple Verbeena that by sheer volume would
have to be classified as a weed.  
 It plants itself everywhere, makes for a good cut flower...
pads out the bunches nicely
however it seems to have total control.
There is so much of it I do not hesitate to pull it out.

Another favourite weed in my garden is this little red salvia
I call it rogue red, 

It too plants itself every where and is very cheerful in the garden.
Not much of a cut flower unfortunately, it doesn't hold in the vase.
Shame, but where it grows another 
less beautiful  weed has no space to grow.
That's my theory anyway.

My Gladdies last year had mega babies, little bulblets,

so much so I wonder if they too could become a weed.
Very beautiful weed indeed

Shasta daisy is such a good performer, 
featuring in most of my bunches at the moment.
I am still having a lot of trouble with rabbits and have taken to protecting
my plants with milk cartons
Looks terrible but it works.

Hard to imagine that these Zinnias will be 6ft tall by mid summer.
I do love Zinnias and they are so long lasting in the vase.
Great value for the flower buyer.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Double market weekend

A double market weekend is always a challenge
a bit like a marathon, 
both before and during the events.

Both of these markets allowed me to showcase 
some of my pottery alongside my market garden produce.
Annie's market in Wentworth has grown too large for the veradah, 

with several stalls set upon the centre plantation.
A lovely setting under the Jacarandah trees
not too far from the action at the cafe/gallery
9am-4pm and a steady stream of customers from 
as far away as Broken Hill. 

Many return customers for our salvias 
and strawberries.

This strawberry found a new home moments after this shot was taken.
Pack up and back home to restock for Redcliffs market
Another park setting, another busy day.

We had a great day.

Our friend, sculptor Jim Curry graced our stall with his fabulous
copper weather vanes.

He really has a knack for capturing character
fantastic workmanship.
 Not one for computers, Jim now has a site where you an check out his

As this is the week for the final Mud colony blog I risked this
diverse post because as an Artist I have had to lead a very diverse
work survive. 
I admire and envy those who can 
dedicate their working day to their own  creativity.
I have had to find other sources of income and luckily I enjoy
growing and propagating plants, and teaching Art.
Check out what the other Mud colony contributors have been up to this week

Thursday, November 28, 2013

 I have been making a few things lately
Stoneware bowls
This one had a copper slip applied when wet
I was doing a throwing demonstration at a community function
at the Merigur Historic park.
If you are ever any where near Mildura it is a fabulous park
all donated and maintained by local farmers, old school house,
blacksmith shop, bakery. A real live museum depicting  local heritage. 
Just to be clear it is a static display most days but several times a year 
it comes to life with all sorts of demonstrations and a fabulous lunch.

 Tenmoku and Hyacinth blue (with a green tinge)

This one had the copper slip applied also
Hyacinth blue glaze over the top.
There has been some Raku going on at TAFE
Couldn't resist putting a few things through.
I also fired a lidded box, the lid fitted easily before I fired it.
I might use the lid for a key hide.

This one still works.
The Mildura Pottery Club is a bit excited about the new space. 
Working bees are being planned for a concrete floor.

That's the next stage.
Walls will have to be stage 3.
There will be a roller door down near that trailer for clay delivery.
Freight cost are so high here we buy clay by the ton once per year, 
or thereabouts. 
We have been reading about a thermal regulator that works on drawing air
from a pipe buried 3 metres below the ground.
Sounds like I will have to fully investigate the concept before 
any concrete is poured.
I am sharing this post on Mud Colony

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Kiln repair

Both the kilns have been out of action
elemental troubles.

I had to replace one of the bricks ...
what a job!
The brick was just under the spy hole at the front which meant
I had to lean into the kiln on tippy- toes
and scratch away for about an hour basically upside down.

This is really a job for a flat chested tall person.
As the kiln was out of action, the pottery to fire, continued to build up
until there was no room left on the shelf.

I think we need a good look at all that is on the shelf.
The Pottery club may be having an exhibition at our local vet clinic.
They have just built a huge new clinic...
and given that our oil lamps are mainly animal themed

it seemed appropriate to showcase our work there.

The owners are art patrons and the walls have always been
covered in original artworks, so fingers crossed.

David has made another oil lamp...
this time it reflects the 2 bee keepers in the pottery club.
We have been lucky to have sampled the honey that was created here on the farm
by those clever bees. Thanks Michaal!
I will link this post to Mud colony. 
Check out what has been happening in some other pottery studios this week
by clicking on this link.