Sunday, May 20, 2018

Apples and Oranges

Well I finally did it, well John did, but I came to the almighty decision to cut the Apple Trees down. I have been hovering on a will I won't I theme for months, and with this warm weather the trees suddenly blossomed in places. I really then thought about the future of our weather, how the trees had stopped producing good fruit loads with only a handful , even though I had left lots of fruiting spurs,and having to protect them from fruit fly, but mainly the pruning of them every year as well with the new growth being way to high so up a ladder I would go. That had to stop. Shame really as for the past 3 years I have been lowering them more and more.

Looking down from Verandah at the two trees

Definitely a chainsaw job.

First one nearly gone.

Once both of them were down then John started digging the roots as as best as he could. The trees had been there 12 years at least.

Trees several days later

I had an orange tree in a pot so took that out and planted it first, then my new Mandarin Tree. Both are Miniatures and about a metre apart. I don't want them to get full width of up to 2 metres so keeping them close together, which should slow them down, although it didn't with the apple trees. .

First of the trees planted this is an orange.

The area still needs work, and I have to move the worm farm  as it is not protected anymore, but so far concentrating on finishing the front. We are still loading soil into the new beds and I have bought some shrubs in readiness. Then I need to start thinking actually how I shall work the beds properly so that I can operate a rotation system, with the vegetables.

Both Planted Now.

Below are the 2 lemon trees on the other side so I imagine the other two will turn out similar. Once the lemons have finished ripening I will prune these back, feed them and spray on some organic bug mix for overwintering.

So still lots of autumn cleanup, weeding, and probably pressure spraying the paving as well. There are not enough hours in the day, at the moment.

Till next time.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day 2018

I must admit, while the children were still at home Mother's Day was great, now a days it is a non event. I did get some flowers, but as there was no greeting on it I know not who from and if any of them ring, I shall ask. At 3pm though it is still a mystery.

My sister and I went and visited our mum last Thursday, with some slippers for her, but she didn't really know us and mumbles so we can't really understand what she says. So sad, a terrible way to get old.

I love the yellow, especially the roses.

In the meantime spent the morning as usual at the Community Garden. Not many turned up today and I watered every plant except the bank garden as I ran out of time. I also managed to plant several rows of turnips, beetroot and celeriac which is a new one for me. When we arrived home at lunchtime what a surprise to see the flowers on the verandah bench.

Having spent the last two days helping get our own new beds going, I am certainly feeling the tiredness now.

The first bed

The first wood bed is doing well, I have discovered that the black mesh still lets the white butterfly in so spending too much time looking for eggs and caterpillars. I have asked John to change over to vegenet instead. The ends are stapled on to pieces of wood, to the width of each section, and can be rolled up when not in use. The wood strip placed on the ledge and the fabric thrown over to the other side, with the 2nd. wood strip. A special one will be made for the ends.

The back bed
Three new beds.

This is how the three left hand side beds look now, middle one still being filled. The back one is half planted up with brassicas. The fence line ones still need more weeding and soil. The back right hand brick one is the new herb bed.

New Herb Bed

The herb bed I have transplanted what I need from across the path from the old one. Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, parsley, Chilli and Salad Burnet. I have still to plant Basil. Most likely I will also plant alyssum and maybe marigold in the spaces left.

Old Herb Bed

The old one was full of nut grass and couch and needed a good clean out, before we put good soil in. I don't  ever expect to get rid of the nut grass, but this will help. I am still working on this one.

Well another knock at the door with a delivery of more flowers, this time with a greeting from our eldest daughter, so I suspect the first one is from our youngest in America. The three boys most likely will ring tonight.

More pink in this one.

With the weather being so cold at night there has been some fantastic sunsets, this is two of some  I took last week, off the back verandah.


A bit closer

Hope all the mothers had a lovely day.

Till Next Time.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Autumn Has Finally Arrived.

Another week  has gone and can you believe we are in May already. The weather is definitely cooler, and of course we have had a little bit of rain. My thoughts now are turning to firewood and kindling. Traditionally when we had our oil burning AGA we would light it from Mothers Day to Fathers Day, and with Mother's Day coming up next weekend, I am thinking it will be about right to start the fire. Well my Nectre Bakers oven. Nothing lovelier than sitting next to a fire on a cold winters night.

Butcher Bird Paying me a Visit at Morning Tea Time
While doing all the travelling back and for the Sydney and Gold Coast I started knitting a wool cardigan. I have knitted this before in 10 ply according to the pattern, but was too big and gave it too my daughter who loved it. So several years later finally knitting for me, one in 8 ply this time, wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills who had a sale recently.

Got quite a bit done while travelling.

I have been doing a lot of weeding in the back garden, now that it is cooler, and planted beetroot and carrots according to the moon planting. Pulled down one arch of beans and planted sweet pea seedlings.

This one is Carrots, opposite bed is 2 types of  Beetroot

I have also made a big decision to cut down the 12 year old apple trees. The first few years were good but now I hardly get enough apples to warrant pruning and bagging the apples against fruit fly. Usually small as well.

Apple Trees to come down.

They are a low chill variety and it is such a shame to do it, but in their place I have a Mandarin and an Orange on small rootstock. So across this section will be the Mandarin, Orange, Lime and Lemon.

New Mandarin

Lemon and Lime next to apples

I still haven't decided about getting new chickens. Because we are on a hill it is quite a step and stair walk down to the bottom. 4 levels in fact, some days it is a real drag, but I do love chickens. Feed also is expensive and I  jokingly think sometimes the eggs work out a $1 each when they don't lay. Plus getting the neighbours to look after them I feel guilty.

Pumpkin rambling in the pond near the chicken coop

Pumpkin rambling in the front all over the drive and heading up.
Today at the garden our son bought his ride on mower and I had a go of driving it around. Not as easy as I thought going in a circle. Some rough bumpy patches, but oh so quick to get rid of the grass. We shall have to work on getting a grant to buy one. Plus a normal mower as well.

It was our monthly meeting also today and the Bush Tucker Garden is about to come to fruition. The trees have been ordered and Rotary will be planting them. Lots of holes to get ready. More trees for the Orchard also ordered. Plum, Nectarine, Peach, all bare rooted for June, and a  Mulberry to go next to the fig which is still to be planted. It is all happening so fast, hard to keep up with it all.

So in closing had to show you this that I found, while watering never seen one before. Must keep the seeds lol.

Purple Capsicum from my back Garden.

Ordering Pizza tonight too tired to cook. Have a great week everyone.

Till Next Time.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Gold Coast Holiday

As our  2nd. son was enjoying Italy we had the delightful week of entertaining the three grandchildren at Coolangatta. Along with our Eldest Son, daughter in law and their 5 children.
What a lot of noise when all the cousins are together. Keeping them apart was the hardest and their age ranged from 16yrs to 4yrs. with the twins.

Beach Volley Ball Stadium.
We had two rooms opposite the beach volley stadium used for the Commonwealth Games. They were pulling it down the week we were there, and still had a long way to go. Unfortunately the entire area which used to be a park was blocked off with a railing fence. Getting down to the beach was  a long walk to find an entrance.

View out of our window

What we could see of the Beach.
Our room view although great was not as good as our sons  2 rooms away, as we were on the end corner of the building, but his looked down  straight on to the beach.

The best part for the kids at the beach was the boogie board riding and catching the waves in.

Looking down the beach at Coolangatta

We had a day at the Carrara Markets and of course we visited our favourite hat man and most of us ended up with a new hat, while the girls also ended up with a new outfit. We had lunch there and took lots of photos of the kids, lined up in size. I am sure they thought our eldest had 8 children and we were there for the trip, helping.

One  hat stand out of many

The complex had a day on the lagoon with canoes, surf skis, stand up paddle boards and a windsurfer. Plus a Catamaran which they took 4 at a time on.

While we were there, Anzac Day was celebrated and we passed this memorial covered in flowers.

The highlight for me was a trip to Currumbin Bird Sanctuary. I wanted the kids to see the bird feeding.

Map of the Park

I have just finished scrapbooking the same time 35 years ago when we took our 5 children and it was good for the grandchildren to experience it. Now of course it is much bigger with an Australian animal zoo and petting kangaroos and koalas. Very popular with the Chinese and Japanese people.


Tasmanian Devil undergoing a breeding programme to save them.

While the family watched the snake show I watched the Sheep shearing. Snakes are really, really not my thing. While waiting saw an interesting video on how Ugg boots were made. Did you know that now you can get them dotted in Swarovski Crystals and made with a denim look and buckles?

These Rams weren't sheared.

Sheep Shearing
We saw another show about flying birds. Owls, Cockatoos, Birds of prey, all trained to fly around the audience while the presenters did a talk. We had a picnic lunch in the park and walked around some of the animals. They have a train that runs around the park and we took it to get back to the entrance where the birds were being fed at 4pm. By this time our legs were getting very tired. At least mine were.

Train was very popular as lots of walking to see everything.
One of the grandsons declared feeding the birds the 2nd best thing ever, boogie boarding of course won out. As much as I would like to show some fabulous shots of the kids, I don't like putting them on public blogs.
Plenty of birds around for an hour.
Now we have to return  the kids home for start of  school, then we can have a holiday.
 Hope you all had a good week.

Lunch at the picnic area.

Till Next Time.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Cabbages and Citrus

It is one of those weeks where nothing seems to happen but you are busy all the time. We actually went to Sydney picked up the 3 grandchildren while our son and daughter in law, flew off for a holiday in Italy. How is this for a view from your bedroom in Italy.

Amalfi Coast Italy.

Drove back the next day, and caught up with the garden, washing and I also went to the chiropractor. There was a bit of cleaning and sorting after our market day, plus add all the children's clothing and games, the house seem to suddenly explode with stuff.

One very clean Dining Room

As I am organizing The Grand Cleaning Plan for the forum I help run, luckily 3 rooms were clean top to bottom, the entrance, lounge and dining and won't take long to sort it out once they are gone. Each week is a new room and next week it will be the bathrooms. Fairly easy in my case, and will keep me on track, till after the school holidays.

Thursday we all went to the Community Garden. Plenty of room and things to do for the children.

Design all mapped out for citrus trees and ready for planting

Children helped cart soil and mulch in the trolleys.

The fruit trees were planted and the plan I did is looking good so far. It has been all set out including the future grapevines and espalier area. The grapes will be started with cuttings from our son's grapevines.
This week we also had Rotary donate some money for the Bush Tucker garden and they want us to organize getting the trees. This is part of the Rotary Scheme whereby the World Rotarian President wanted each Rotarian to plant a tree this year. We have to come up with about 10.

Planting citrus.

Grapevine Area ready for putting in wire strainers and digging beds.

I only managed to get 3 punnets of seedlings planted, and have no idea where the other 30 or so will be going. Mostly cabbages and we really don't need that many.

Cabbages and Kale

Our other outing this week is we attended the movie Peter Rabbit to give the children a treat, I quite enjoyed it also. It is amazing the number of movies coming out now all to do with children's fairy tales.

This lot I might be able to use when the beds are ready.

My best friend sent me some hollyhock seeds and they are just starting to come up, also planted sweet peas from a forum friend. Thanks to both. Looking forward to planting them.

 I hope you all had interesting and busy weeks.
Till next time.