Monday, January 26, 2015

Michael Sparkes

Goodbye good friend.
I will always have evidence your handy work
in my FC Holden.
You "gulled" parts from many a paddock wreck
to restore it to its former glory.
Not once but twice given Mr Gillardia's bad driving.

You forgave me when I cooked the engine taking a drive to Euston.
Again you got me back on the road.

This was my only car for many years.
I think you made me a heater out of a paint can.

You were very clever with anything, 
mechanics being the most obvious but you could sew!
Worked as a machine repair man at some stage and learned to sew.
There wasn't much you couldn't do.
You renovated the house and also made the curtains for it.
With a matching fabric covered pelmets.
I have pinned you to the studio wall...
Oh how I could have done with your help building it,
 and if it wasn't for your health I know you would have.

Thanks for the years of friendship,
and the odd high tea adventure.
It will be champagne and prawns for tea tonight!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I noticed these about to flower in the driveway.
Good thing too as they are so quick.
Such a delicate and pretty flower.

Perhaps it was that 2 inches of rain.
You have got to love a tropical low that delivers so far inland.
The paddocks certainly did.
As did the weeds!
I have found plenty of self sown Lemon basil
Regular sweet basil also.
I was thinking how we humans like to fast forward everything,
customers are looking to by basil to plant in September.
I try and explain the ground isn't warm enough yet.
Hard to live in sync with the seasons when you can 
go down to the nursery who has grown the seedlings on heat beds,
then sold them to the buying public who has to nurse them along until
the ground warms up.
Clearly the ground is warm enough to do the work for us now.

The circles are a little overgrown, weeds as tall as me.
This red Verbena does 
smother the ground to a fair extent.

Self sown tomatoes trying to take over the Zinnias

Luka has a lot to learn about the garden...
It is a dog no go zone. 
"Off the garden"
Paths are ok.

I am pleased to say this circle has been weeded.
It is a relief to type that!
Now for the mulch to keep it that way.
The Zinnias in this circle were self sown.
The rabbits ate all the Cosmos I planted here 
and most of the Zinnias. 
I am unsure as to how these ones survived.
Ripe for picking this week, Peaches, Nectarines, Blood plums.
Zinnias, Orange cosmos, last of the Gladdioli.
Not  much else. 
Dahlias are just beginning. Mrs Reithers purple Verbena,
and a few late Alstromeria

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dutch Iris from seed?

I wonder if my Dutch Iris seed will grow.
I found these seed pods the other day.
I didn't pick the flowers as they bloomed out of sync
with the farmers market. 

Oh well, might have been the best thing.
I harvested heaps of seed. 
Under that thick exterior, the seed looks just like a corn cob.

I did some research and most sites say to 
cool the seeds for some weeks before planting.
Most waited until the pods had dried before harvesting the seed.
I had one pod dry from the year before, and yes it was much
easier to extract the seed.
I was careful not to squash the seed. 
It was so plump with promise.
I thought I might do a series of experiments.
Plant directly, cool some for 6 weeks, 
plant some cooled ones after just 3 weeks.
My research encouraged keeping the seeds damp while cooling.
I wonder if that goes for dried seeds or fresh ones.
There is another two experiments.
If all of those seeds turned into

Keep in mind, 
don't count your Dutch Iris before they sprout

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Welcome Luka

Luka is a yellow Labrador
A boy!
We heard he needed a new home and
we had a recently vacated food bowl.
He is a very loving dog and will hold your hand for ages.

Full of life, 21 months old.
Very well behaved. 
We are taking two walks a day, swimming, fetching sticks.
He is not so good at giving them back...
I was trying to tempt him with a treat this morning but it only works for Stella
who gives the stick back anyway.

It is a bit scary when they both arrive at the stick
at the same time.
Here we had a major battle for the stick,
two dogs swimming vigorously in opposite directions.
I think it must have been this battle that lost Luka his new collar,
with an engraved name plate/ phone number
and the lifetime council registration tag that I got yesterday.

Stella won the stick.

The Murray River is very wide here at Mildura
We are just a few km's upstream from the weir,
so the river levels here are fairly constant.
Pool level, they call it.
I don't think I could dive for the collar as they were a fair way out.
A stick's throw in fact. Its pretty deep out there.