Sunday, October 24, 2010

So far so good

Our two new chicks, Gertrude and Olive, are healthy and happy and running around like mad things.  They seems to like each other more now as there is less exploratory pecking and more cuddling up.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

We've got chicks

On Tuesday, just a few days before the eggs we'd set under Berry were due to hatch, she's decided she's had enough and stalked off into the rain.  We were only able to rescue the eggs when we got home many hours later.  So my son set them up in a box under a lamp and we hoped for the best.  There were nine eggs and two eggs have hatched.  I third one cracked open but the chick didn't make it any further sadly.  I dount whether the others survived either as there's no action there, but we're still watching.  So we now have two adorable chicks, fondly named Gertrude and Olive

Gertrude popped out first and is full of energy and her little sister Olive followed behind later in the day.  We've never seen chicks hatch before and so were quite alarmed when Gertrude seems to fade, lie down and close her eyes.  I thought the worst, but as it turns out, chicks have micro-sleeps.  It's very funny to watch.  Run, run run, then wilt and sleep.  Then 10 seconds later, up they pop and run, run, run.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spring has sprung... at last

I've been watching and waiting on a few things in the garden, but none more than the kiwi fruit that seemed to well and truly gone south (and not just for the winter).  Whilst I knew they were deciduous, I was worried...But yesterday, my patience paid off and it seems we are back in business. 
And just cause I thought it looked invited, here is a snap of the new bird bath (nice and shallow as instructed)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Up close and personal

Everything seems to be growing happily and so I thought you might like a few close ups of the action
 The lupins seem to like living next to the rainbow chard as they are growing bigger here than elsewhere nearby
 The spring onions have grown into giants and I'm letting them go to seed to collect some
The strawberries are growing much larger in the front garden than in the back garden - a little more sun I think
And the blueberries are coming along nicely.  I have them in three different spots and they are forming fruit in each spot... blueberries for Christmas....

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Out the back

As I mentioned earlier, I've got only a little space out the back, but here's what I've done with it.  I had saved some seeds from my rocket over the summer and threw them in the new bed that I cleared out.  Here is a photo after I've thinned it out yesterday.
And along the shared driveway, passionfruit and peas to provide some privacy and food
And the rest is pots

Lessons from a rasberry

I was so enthusiastic about getting my garden producing as soon as I could, that if I found a plant I would research the conditions it liked and plant it.  Whilst this is part of the trick, the most important lesson from the garden is, of course, patience.  And given my nickname, clearly the lesson I need.  Here is a fine example.  I found some rasberry plants, and given I love rasberries, planted them.  What I ignored, or hoped would go away, was the fact that it was late autumn and clearly not the time for planting rasberries.  Here's what happened

The leaves all eventually went yellow, shrivelled and fell off (I later learned they were deciduous).  Then to my surprise, now that spring has sprung, a little green leaf appeared on each of them, so I loaded up the chicken poo compost, mulched and watered and here's where we are today.  No doubt they will become towering giants in the months to come.

So I got lucky that planting too early didn't kill them altogether.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Spice Girls

We currnetly have four chicken, named after another family favourite in our house, ice cream flavours.  This is the very beautiful Caramel, with Mango to her right, not so attractive but very bountiful in the egg department and Berry hidden in the background.  She is also a beauty but currently very broody.  So after trying to snap her out of it, we've finally given up and put some fertilised eggs under her.  So watch this space... And lastly the industrious Chocolate is out of shot but a well loved member of the band.

Step four

Now for the orchard.  I had two apple trees in pots on the east side of the house, but Cameron told me they don't do well in pots (which I was discovering), so we planned to move them down and create a mini orchard at the top of the garden next to the garage wall, which would be a bit cooler than the rest.  We could also get a few other stone fruits in there as well.
So all that's really left in terms of major work is to lay the path.  We're going to use crushed terra cotta tiles.

Step Three

The next weekend, it was time to extend the new garden bed over where the raised ones had been and put in a few trees whilst I was at it.  So in went a mango and a guava tree and banana down the bottom.

Step Two

From there, I moved the lemon tree out of the bottom corner (clearly a better spot for a banana) and moved the second raised garden bed

My husband and my son helped move all the dirt for the second raised garden bed, and again, I was the only one who ended the day feeling excited...


First steps

I realised if I was going to move the raised garden beds, I'd need the first new garden bed in place before then so as to transplant some of the existing plants to.  In the new position, it wouldn't suit everything that was in there and as usual, I'd been too ambitious in my planting and so things were a little squashed in the raised beds.

So I put the middle triangular bed in place with soil and compost from my bin and thne moved the first bed.  It was quite an effort for one weekend, but very fulfilling (my 14 year old son who helped shovel the soil from the raised garden bed didn't feel fulfilled I should add)

My Spring Project

We have a small suburban plot in Sydney. I've slowly planted out the small courtyard we have out the back with pots and converting the small beds we have.  But the biggest canvass was out the front.  I didn't want to take it on until I had some permaculture knowledge under my belt.  So I read a lot, did the intro course and then asked a permaculture designer friend to help out.  So here are the photos from the afternoon we spent in the garden, looking at the observations I'd collected, discussing positions and microclimates before we finally came up with a plan.  The only downside was that my friend Cameron insisted that the best design would be achieved by moving the two raised garden beds (of course he was proved to be right, but the idea of the manual labour involved was a little daunting).  We already had the chicken run in as well, so we worked around that.