It seems only a week or so ago that I was complaining about the heat. Now the weather has turned and we have days that are quite wintery. One huge difference between living here and living in our former home is heating. In the past, I have always had gas heating. Getting warm was simply … Continue reading Step by Step Firewood
Our greenhouse vegetables are growing beautifully. We’ve already harvested and eaten the radishes, which were delicious. The lettuce, carrots and beetroot are developing well, and it won’t be long before we begin to harvest these too. Lettuce and root vegetables are pretty straight forward – plant the seeds, water, and wait. However, the cucumber plant … Continue reading Our Greenhouse Vegetables
We haven’t had a lot of rain, but in the last few weeks, we’ve had scattered showers here and there over a number of days. Measured in millimetres, it wasn’t very much, but measured in newly growing native plants in the bushland, it has been extremely valuable water in our crunchy dry bushland. For a … Continue reading What a difference a little rain makes!
Two recent visitors have wondered aloud about weaving bark, and how it might be possible to retain the wet colour of the bark. This also interests me, so I thought I would give it a try while looking after our granddaughter. We collected some bark which was close to the house, soaked it in water … Continue reading A Bark Weaving Experiement
Intellectually, I’ve known that life-changing events can happen almost randomly. This idea became a crushingly clear reality over the last two days after a large grass fire swept through our area, burning at least 16 houses and 18 out-buildings to the ground. The fire took hold some 500 metres or so away, on land across the … Continue reading A large fast-moving grass fire…
Over the last couple of weeks, we have began to use the greenhouse. First, to hospitalise plants that were burned in the severe heat, and then to raise seedlings in punnets. Thanks to family help, we also have one of the raised garden beds filled with soil, and have directly planted it with seeds as … Continue reading Setting-up the Greenhouse
It has been so hot here that over the last week, it has really been quite still. Nothing dares to move, including me. Well, not quite. I have been for a few walks around the boundary, but the birds are finding shelter any way they can, and are well out of sight. The ground is … Continue reading Sunbathing Cats
In November, when we built our new fence (to form part of the cat enclosure) we had to radically prune a few plants, including the beautiful Banksia Rose, a large daisy bush and the jasmine. In particular, the Banksia Rose was reduced to a stump, and I feared we’d killed it. Less than four … Continue reading Regeneration
I haven’t written about the vegetable garden for a while, but we are enjoying the home-grown produce so much. After a long time of producing a handful of cherry tomatoes, the tomato vine is beginning to flourish. These small tomatoes are packed with full flavour – so much tastier than the ones available in the … Continue reading Today’s Harvest
With the exception of the front door, the greenhouse is now built. To put the door on, we need to dig out the area immediately in front of it – the land rises and prevents it from swinging open. The next step will be to build the raised garden beds inside it.
I’d imagined Summer would be a hive of activity, with new birds arriving for the water in the dam, flowers appearing everywhere, and an active planting season in the vegetable garden, but I’ve come to realise Summer is a time of waiting and watching. Waiting for the vegetables to grow, waiting for each high fire … Continue reading Waiting for the end of Summer
If you have ever made a mayonnaise for a salad, then you are already familiar with the basic process involved in making body lotions. Home made body lotions are essentially emulsions of oil and water, with added ingredients to provide fragrance and longer shelf life. This week I set aside time to restock my bathroom … Continue reading Lotions, Potions and Soap
This week, we are preparing to construct the greenhouse. After a busy couple of months, we are finally able to focus on this. The timing will be good as it will allow time for seeds to emerge and take root as we come into Autumn. So far, we have the front and the back section … Continue reading Getting Back to the Greenhouse
For the first time in weeks – it seems like a couple of months – it rained here. Well, we had good rain for a whole five minutes. After that, only fine drizzle for a few minutes at a time over an hour or so. The forecast predicts more rainfall over the next couple of … Continue reading Five minutes of good rain
Over Summer, we’re forever monitoring the wind direction. This is new for us. Living in the city, we monitored temperature throughout the day, but wind direction was just a vague acknowledgement that North Winds were hot, and South Winds were refreshing and cool. Also, when the Southerlies came in on the back of a hot … Continue reading Hot Northerlies, Cooling Southerlies, and Rough-Barked Trees
It has surprised me that the path to growing all of our own food has been more difficult than we’d imagined when we arrived. The existing vegetable garden is only small, and when we arrived it was newly planted by the previous owners. An entire half of the vegetable garden is still taken up with … Continue reading A Small Plot
At long last one of our fruit trees produced enough fruit to make preserves! Our Tahitian Lime tree is inside the cat enclosure and protected from parrots, so our limes ripened without interference. I used a Lime Curd recipe in a book I was given late last year: Marisa McClellan’s ‘Food in jars: Preserving in … Continue reading Lime Curd
Here the pictures tell the story. Look at the photo’s I posted last week, and compare them with these. I don’t think we are going to get much fruit this year. The fruit trees are only small. From the sharp edged marks in the top of the pears, I think the culprits were parrots. I … Continue reading Fallen Fruit: A not-so-happy story
In an earlier post, I worried about disturbing the Superb Fairy Wren’s habitat in our back yard. I also worried about our cats killing the wrens if they were able to find a way into the newly constructed cat enclosure. Most of all, I lamented that I would no longer see their cheery form hopping … Continue reading The Fairy Wrens and the Cat Enclosure: A happy story
Yesterday, the temperature here reached 39 degrees celsius. We were lucky – many parts of the State had temperatures in the low 40’s. Even so, we didn’t feel lucky – high heat, high winds and dry vegetation is a dangerous mix. In our former life, in the middle of a large city, we would have … Continue reading Too hot for swamp wallabies, and for me too!
It has been a long time since I wrote about our vegetable garden and orchard. Partly this is because I became entranced by our birds and began compiling a species list, and partly it is because there wasn’t a lot to write about. Everything had already been planted – mostly by the previous owners – … Continue reading Fruit and Vegetables
I could not understand why the garden beds were planted with so many succulent plants when we first moved in. To me, they were unattractive and at odds with the lush growth of a cottage garden, which I preferred, and also with the natural bushland, which abounds here. My initial intention was to pull them … Continue reading Learning to love succulents
Recently, we’ve been to a few Community Fire Authorityn (CFA) information sessions. These sessions are aimed at ensuring property owners are aware that we are coming into the ‘fire season’. This is the time of year when, due to the combination of high heat and low humidity, vegetation is dry and bushfires are more likely … Continue reading Fire Plans and Pumps
Many of the plants in our fernery were there when we bought the house, but we have been playing around with a few things. The cats also have free access to this area, which is shady and cooler on a hot day. This series of photos is not captioned. If you receive this in an … Continue reading Inside the fernery