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.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Seniors Week Harbourside Market

The build up to attending this market has been big. Along with collecting seeds, growing plants, starting hundreds of seedlings  and continuing to mother them every day. Making objects like concrete chickens or birdhouses,  and then trying to get members to pack seeds so they can feel part of the process, or donating anything,  has been a lot of work.
Kim the lady in charge of the  successful Harbourside Markets said today, " without people like us who organize, create and just do, you wouldn't have any of the clubs, gardens or historical facts, presented to the public to take pride in, to enjoy, to attend, and sometimes help."

What a sad place that would be without volunteers.

Mostly Cabbage Seedlings 

This really hit home as one of our members at 85 was new to the district, in a retirement village, depressed and no family, on prescription medicines. He chose our garden to help, although it takes him 20 mins to half and hour to drive in. Attends on all 3 days, and now brings biscuits his neighbour makes plus milk for every day. I started morning tea on Sundays to encourage visitors, and now it is every morning we are open.

Seeds for Sale.

We have given this lovely man his own keys to open and close, to be in charge when needed, like today, his depression has gone, no more tablets and looks forward to every day, plus has started his own home garden of which all the retirement village  ladies admire and they made an effort to come and visit our community garden. This is why we do these things.

The Gang

We started at 5 am to have breakfast after loading up the ute the night before. Collected my sister by 6am and had unloaded all the gear and set up by 7.30am.

The temperture got to 30C hot and windy and a massive gust nearly blew the gazebo away, and had fellow marketeers running to help to hang on to it. The wind knocked our ladder of birdhouses over, it was so strong.

Birdhouses by John

We listened to a an Octarian play Country and Western on a lap steel guitar, all seniors Big Big Boogie Band, the retirement home Ukeulele Band where quite a few are over 80. Two choirs, and watched 2 ladies do Zumba dance steps to some toe tapping beats. All fabulous!

Bought all our fresh fruit and vegetables, grown locally and well presented. I purchased 5 kgs, of bananas to dehydrate, as well.

South Coffs Community Market Stall with a Harbour Market  Marquee.

All in all a  successful day, tiring, very hard work and not rushing to do another one too soon, but $210  will certainly be useful for our community garden.

Till next time,

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Busy as a Bee

It seems lately all I am doing is gardening. We have just come back from  our Community Garden meeting, and suddenly tiredness has wafted over me, or actually hit me with the force of a sledge hammer. Today was also our opening day, and 2 new couples joined which was lovely. Things must be starting to happen.

Good news is we have approval to start the Orchard, to my design and the money finally donated from  long standing promise, has come through.

Plan of Orchard so far.

We will start with citrus, lemon, lime, 2 mandarins early and late and an orange plus a fig all ordered and ready for next week.

Seedlings on verandah

Meanwhile I have been tending seedlings ready for our market stall next Sunday.


Most of them have been in the protection of our verandah, but now have been moving them to the empty beds in the sun, to harden them off.

Some moved to sunny area

Today one of the members bought in 3 trays of plants, so we fitted one lot in my small car. By the time next week comes the ute will be filled to the brim.

Plants for sale

Couple more

I sorted out my lemon grass plant and have so many pieces, thought I would sell the pieces, so they are covered and ready to pull as necessary.

Lemon grass pieces.

Combined with a heap of BHG magazines, birdhouses, seed packets, some fabric bags made by my sister, tumeric pieces, we should have plenty to sell.

Loofahs grown at the Community Garden 

John finished our seed holder as well.

Taken today.

Along with all of this, I have also started The Grand Cleaning Plan with the Homemaker's Forum. We are up to week 2 and I also am trying to deep clean every room, usually in the afternoon as we go, so most  mornings  I am in the garden which is still slowly progressing, or at the Community Garden. Then housework, shopping, sewing class, medical stuff, fitted in somewhere, craft is taking a back step unfortunately. Retirement is certainly busy.

Till next time, stay safe.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Front Garden Update

Well another week, has gone quickly. Happy Easter to everyone, l hope you all have had a nice break. This week had my infusion, did the shopping, went to embroidery class,  visited mum in the nursing home, and the community garden. Just a normal week really.
We did manage though to fill up one of the finished beds with some of the mushroom mulch and cow manure mix.

One smelly soil mix.

Two ute loads actually.

Filling up the wheelbarrow

John loaded up the bed, and I pushed it everywhere, with the odd bucket full to fill in spots.

Hard at work

The herb bed has actually  been raised higher and I have started pruning eveything plus adding more soil mix.

John has nearly finished the other bed on the opposite side, I just have to sort out the soil  on the inside as covered in nut grass, which I will weed, then cover the base  in cardboard.

Other side, needs the bottom soil sorted, then cardboard.

There is still two more smaller beds to build alongside the bigger one and the path way to work out.

Project Manager Einstein

The community garden also seems to have taken a lot of time this week. We have a market coming up in a fortnight so getting ready for that. Planting lots of seeds in punnets, and finishing up our seed packets to sell. This time we have our own stand.

Daylight saving also just finished , and today felt a bit weired time wise. I actually missed not having that extra hour of daylight.

Till nest time.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Autumn Time for Pruning

What a mess my garden is. This week it rained on and off every day. Today though it is hot and sticky, and I am tired after spending all weekend scrapping at the Guide Hall.

I have managed though to prune trees and weed some of the garden between showers. Not that I found time to actually put it all somewhere.

The apple trees were first, I think now they should come down altogether as with the weather warming up even tropical apples are struggling. I might feed them more than usual this year and see what happens.

Size of the apple Trees

Pruned as far as I could

The pond is really hard to sort out. Means actually getting in and doing it. I haven't got the strength so waiting on John to do so. We have the waders for the job for 3 years now, but he can never find the time.

Very thick growth

Need help!

The Mulberry tree is supposed to be a miniature one but it is the fastest grower of all. Love Mulberry Jam, of all the tress I would keep this one.

Mulberry Tree before pruning
After pruning

The lemon and Lime trees had got very leggy so cut them back as well while I was at it. Certainly opens everything up with all this pruning.

Lemon Tree

Lemon and Lime Trees

The Madagascar bean had taken over so much fence and also escaping into next door. I have plenty of beans to last the winter so gave it a good cut. It will grow back quite quickly so not worried how it looks.

Madagascar Bean

Lots of bean growth left on the ground as at this point heavy showers. Still need to pick it up.

Bean growth

John covered the tomatoes for me with some netting as I didn't want any fruit fly attacking them. They have put on some marvellous growth with all the rain. It is still quite warm for them to grow well.

Next to Lemon Trees in Round Beds

Apollo Tomatoes

Of course all the flowers under the apples have come out. Japanese windflowers.

Very Pretty

Still a lot of work to go. The plum tree needs pruning also and of course John is still working on the front. Not enough hours in the day lately. Hope your week has been better

Till next time.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Polytunnel/Shade House

The past weekend has resulted in the part building of the Community Garden polytunnel. The parts of this have been sitting in the container for a year now, and given to us by a farmer I believe. It was way to high and 60 cms was cut off each pole. It is still about 2.4 metres high.

8am start

Some preparation of the  main poles being concreted in, was done earlier in the week.

A working bee on the weekend was organized , and the arches were put together and raised. Initially the whole thing had been cut in half to transport, so was a bit of a jigsaw puzzle working it out.

Morning tea time by we 2 ladies at this stage.

 We also had a couple of really nice, but very heavy gates and these will be used  for keeping it locked and protecting the seedlings as one day we hope to sell them. The 2 local nurseries have now closed.

Looking good

The shade cloth was purchased from a grant, about 9 months ago,  and was used to cover it. We had a lot of trouble fixing it to the board surrounding the base. Although John purchased the correct metal clips, they were useless. In the end they got it fixed with something else.

This polytunnel shade house is 6 m by 4 m and quite big to cover. The green cloth is 50% coverage, and suitable for what we will do. It will also save me a great deal of time starting and looking after seeds at home.

The next trick will be how to sort joining the centre, for another day.

Till next time.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

A Wet Week

Another week gone by, and I am pleased to say we got heaps of rain. Filled the 10,000 litre tank at the Community Gardens, which I am thrilled about. Meant we couldn't get out to our wet yard though.

The seed packets, the members were doing are coming in, plus I did a few more smaller ones and are ready for selling , and looking like a good start.

 John decided to make some birdhouses while it was raining with some old fence palings. These will hopefully sell at the Harmony Day next week. We also were offered another combined Market stall at the end of March,  which if anything is left over, can try again.

Meanwhile at home although too wet to do the garden, which is such a shame as I was hoping to get planting. I did manage to dig up some nut grass and sift a bit for the wooden bed finished, and noticed today more nut grass coming up so will do it again. Gives me a good start even though I know I will never get rid of it.

Bird Feeder in the making.

The protea is still blooming away, it is getting a bit high now so another tree to prune once the rain settles down. I love the shape of them and they last a long time in the vase.

King Protea.

Now that the children have left it is off to do a big tidy and clean. No washing, it is still raining, one of those dull days to curl up with a project.  How was your week?

Till next time.