Sunday, May 28, 2017

I Have A Greenhouse!

I have always wanted a greenhouse, but thought that being sub tropical, might be too hot, but while at the Melbourne Garden show they had such a good deal on them that we decided to get it for my birthday, which is not till July, but it is a significant one.

They actually stock this particular brand at at Bunnings, but you have to order them in, also have parts, and are made by Maze.

The Before Picture

One of the hardest things was deciding where it should go. I could put it out the back, but I would also like to not have the hastle of seedlings in the back garden and having to check all the time when the front garden is  so much closer.  In the end the front was decided. Not your average thing to put in the front yard, but already the postman wanted to know about it as his wife was looking for one. It is also a good talking point with the neighbours.

Weeding and transplanting

 It  only arrived in last 3 weeks but has taken John, a week to lay the new path, and  a base for the flooring. We decided on grey stone in the glasshouse and shuffled all the stepping stones that were there already for the new pathway to it. We had to dig up one garden and move the archway, so I have dug up the yellow climbing rose and moved that to the front entrance archway. Hope it survives in its new place. Gained some extra length on a couple of beds, but lost a complete bed that wasn't very good anyway.

Looking very neat

Wall Frame now in
  It has a window for letting out heat and we have also ordered  an automatic one from Bunnings. Shade cloth will be fitted inside attached to the roof, when it is really hot.

Roof On and fits very neatly in the space.

The good thing is now I can grow lettuce and tomatoes over winter with ease as long as I can keep the temperature under 35 degrees inside. I have also transported the seedling table from the back for inside the glasshouse.

Shelves ready to install and also 2 shelving units I had.

It is a hydroponic one and through the 25 litre water bottle hooked on the fence at the back, stays wet at all times. Time will tell if it is successful, otherwise I will put it back for cuttings and keep seedlings in trays with water I can check daily.

Arch now in new place
Seedling table full 

Sun setting and Shade coming over late afternoon

Now I have to fix the back potting  shed up. Meanwhile I have been cleaning up the front garden and planting snow peas, broccoli, cabbage,carrots,beetroot, parsnips,onions,garlic, ranunculas, marigolds,  leeks, tomatoes and sweet peas.  I have planted broad beans and sweet peas in the back garden, but still a lot of work there.

I will show you all next time. Stay safe.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Work at the Community Garden

At the last meeting I was made Garden Manager of the South Coffs Community Garden, one acre of bare ground,with a couple of containers, a low boundary fence and an assortment of donated things like old flower pots, a polytunnel in pieces no cover, pots and potting tables, and a new trailer.

Garden in  the beginning with fence put in and two containers

Paths in an oval and crossed in the middle

Sooo lots of organizing to do and trying to design a workable plan, from the concept design the council did. Not that it will be true to type as the walkways has already been changed in position.

Promoting at Shopping Centre

We had a membership drive at the shopping centre last month and gained 3 new members, total now of about 25.

 The last of the grants have gone into wood for garden beds, a chipper, some seedling mix, and star pickets, and a green shade cloth for the polytunnel pieces.

The new entrance

 John and I made an entrance with some free edging and a few grevillias. My feeling at the moment is to get as much public stuff  happening to encourage more members.

 Our first major working  bee last week, making up 20 wooden  garden beds in all. Some part filled with thanks to the council for some soil, and mulch.
  An overcast day to start, which was good, but then got hotter by lunch. Very tired when we got home.We had 12 on our working bee, overall.

Drilling holes for locating next bit.

We started at 8 am.

My sister Jan doing the next bit.

Putting It all together

Working hard filling the beds.

Managed to fill 9 beds with soil and mulch.

Lots of hard work deserves resting with a morning tea and  BBQ lunch.

The gang.

Today our new chipper arrived and the boys had fun, learning how to work it. It is very loud.

Graham President, John Treasurer and Bob.

I am in the middle of doing a video so we can go on one of the public fund type sites, to help get a pavillion and bbq area done, plus fruit trees,  a composting toilet and water tanks  and a ride on mower, as  so much grassed area to deal with.

At the next meeting in June I will be presenting my concept for the future, with some drawings not terribly good, but hopefully the members will get an idea of what I am thinking. Will keep you up to date of our progress.

Till next time

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

It is Mother's Day in Australia today, the 2nd Sunday in May.
I visited my own mum at the nursing home who has not  been too well. My sister picked me up, then we went shopping as the  RN had rung half and hour before,  about getting more winter pajamas as she had lost a lot of weight. We went to our local shopping centre straight away,  and bought her 4 nighties, plus bed socks.

 There is a little coffee shop on the premises but closed on weekends, so we took our own and enjoyed a coffee morning and both of us did a bit of craft. It is cold and wet also, and been raining since last night.

The surprise when I went home was a lovely bunch of flowers from our eldest daughter in Sydney.

So pretty, I hope they stay that way for a week. I had only been home about an hour when another knock at the door, and this time our youngest daughter in America sent an arrangement of flowers.

Also though was a great selection of chocolates, 6 different things in all I can count. I haven't unpacked it yet to see. So pretty in yellow and very unusual as far as gerberas go. Thanks girls.

One son is in NZ for work and he rang at the airport while waiting for his flight home. The other two sons will no doubt ring tonight. We haven't planned to go out so I lit the fire and will settle down for an afternoon of embroidery.

Yesterday we helped make garden beds for the community garden, which I will do a post on soon, but for today I hope all the mothers have a lovely day and their children spoil them.

Till next time

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Mum's Birthday Treat and My Overgrown Garden

Every year we take Mum to a little restaurant at Nana Glen. It seems in the middle of no where, but a nice fairly long drive through the hills around Coffs Harbour to this tiny town. It has a winery, several farms with  shops and a post office, general store and this restaurant, Kafe Kookaburra. It has become a bit of a tradition as it seems mum's birthday was always when they visited us.

My Mum Yvonne

It also happens to be John's birthday same month of  April and our two daughters, so we celebrate for all. Mum was 84 and probably completely forgotten the day, but we remember for her.

Mum and her two girls

Birthday Pals
We have found in the past weeks since coming home, that mum now, doesn't remember us even taking her out 10 mins before to a local coffee shop, and is expecting to "go out" when we just got back. So hard to see it happening, her whole life married for 63 years and 4 children all gone. The sooner they get a grip on Dementia and Alzheimer's the better.


My garden on the other hand is an absolute overgrown mess after all the rain.

All the basil plants went to seed.
 As it is sub tropical not really cold so everything has gone mad. Basil seedlings were growing in the stoney path, sweet potato vine all over the place.

Well that will need sorting.

Pumpkin vines growing madly through the golden shallots

It is a lovely colour the orange daisy.

Orange daisy now in the path as well as the lettuce bed. Forget the lettuces they all went to seed.
I forgot I had draped an old lettuce over the bean frame and it seems to have liked the rain.

Never seen so many seedlings in one space before.

One good thing though the dahlias were magnificent.

Love the colour ,pale pink ones nowhere to be seen. Think I lost them.

So on that note, will catch up next time, I have a ton of work to do.

Stay safe.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Victorian Holiday Destination - Part Five Trip Home

With roughly 1400 km to home we set off from Melbourne early on a Sunday morning. The caravan and ute packed to the hilt with everything from plants, food, bulbs, and the last of the estate of mum and dad. 

On the road again.

Stopped at a road side stop for lunch, which was very pretty 

Toilet Block

Loved the toilet block wall, a lot of work

Cute Little Stream

And a bridge to go over it.

We were going to stay the first night in Henty on the Victorian border but travelled so well that we went on to Gundagai and stayed the night. This town is very famous for the "Dog that sits on the Tuckerbox" statue. We didn't do any tourist stuff as we have been here many times, so it was a relaxing stay with no rain.

Setting off again next morning we travelled to Berrima, only about 3 hours from Sydney,  and a completely different day, being cold and wet so our campsite for the night of which there are only 4 all unpowered and rules that you can't use them more than once every 4 weeks and maximum 2 days at a time, turned out to be very wet underneath and muddy.

Entrance to Camp site Berrima

We didn't bother opening the awning as too wet to sit outside anyway. It was freezing cold also at night and glad I took my hot water bottle. Battery power lights were ok and a good test that I could still embroider (in bed to keep warm) by them.

Muddy Underfoot

View behind us of a little river and where a wooden  bridge was made by German POW.  Using trees around the  area.   

Berrima is another very cute town full of craft style shops and old buildings. We had a lovely ploughman's lunch and looked around the town

A must visit to the Patchwork Shop

Main Street

This was an amazing Aladdin's cave of a shop.

Other end of street, love these ducks they were smaller then the one I bought on the Adelaide trip. Baskets were nice also. Bought a lovely woollen hat in here, and an interesting  Candle Stand. They had everything from  french cooking ware, clothes, hats, bags, decor, linen, silk flowers, it was part of a house with many rooms, and lots of nice goodies.

Love the artistic value of this shop window.

Across the road from Shops

Leaving early again after a cold night we were going to stay up the mountains at Barrington Tops for two nights, but in the end headed straight for home and arrived about 4.30pm. The rest of the week was filled with medical appointments for me, and lots of unpacking and washing. The garden was a mess also, after Hurricane Debbie tail end of rain and more rain, for 3 weeks.

I hope you enjoyed this little adventure

Till Next Time. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Melbourne International Flower Show 2017

This wonderful show is the Australian version of the Chelsea Flower Show in England. It is held every year in late March to Early April. We have been before but not for quite a few years, so it was with great anticipation we went. Caught the train to Parliament Station, very early, which was so much easier than trying to park the car in the city. This station has the longest elevator I have ever seen.

Up is easy its the down that is scary.

We walked 10 mins to the show and the first stand I saw was Garden Express with lots of bulb specials, and a company I usually do mail order. They had a large stand so after 1/2 hour of shopping the boys went and got some coffee for us girls.

All areas look like this

The crowd was small when we arrived but soon built up. Lots and lots of small market shops, all to do with gardening.

Amazing Displays

Pigeon Coops

Love these Birdhouses

Interesting Garden Features

Not only lots of stall selling garden objects but also plants.

Tulips, Iris and Lilly bulbs for sale

Wonderful Protea Trees

Many different Heuchera Colours

Hmmmmmm    Will I Won't I

Diggers Stand was very popular

A wildflower display at Diggers.

Along with all the stalls, competitions are held for display gardens. Both small and large and a great for picking up ideas, especially as they are done in less than your average backyard size.

Dessert Style

Impressive size

Tropical style

This is the Royal  Melbourne Exhibition building itself. Built in the 1880, to host an International Exhibition

Still going strong 137 years later.

Lots of Statues for Sale as well.

Nearly Life Size

These would  look really good for a long driveway

So Clever
An Idea for those old white Chairs.

Hanging Basket Competition

These flowers were in pots, looked very effective under baskets

Never seen a succulent hanging basket before, quite a few.

Time out Legs were getting Tired.

Competitions are also held for students in floral decorating, from shop windows to dresses and large displays.

Display of all the competition Designer Dresses in Plants Leaves and Flowers.

A Couple of the large Flower arrangements.

So as you can see a very big day and it was a long weary ride home on the train, at peak time.

Next time the final leg of out Victorian Holiday.  Stay safe.