We’ve been away for the past few days. We travelled to Tamworth for the funeral of P’s grandfather, and I’m totally sick of driving. It is more than 5 hours each way (without children), and much longer with them.I’ve never been to that part of our country before, and I was really struck by the beauty of the landscape. The hills shine golden in the sunlight and the dark green crops provide a rich contrast on the plains. As we drove past a field I was always curious about what was growing, but I could never tell.
Now that we’re back, I was really keen to get the rest of the front garden bed prepared and planted, and also to get my new fruit trees in. I was aided by the fact that the kids are quite sick, and they always sleep more when they’re snotty.
Almost as soon as we arrived home last night I worked P like a slave driver. He ripped out the remaining roses, worked the soil to a reasonable depth, added copious cow manure, and spread sugar cane mulch along the entire bed. All ready for planting out today.
Our block faces south, so I’m trying to plant the tall things at the front so they don’t shade everything else. For this reason, I want to plant climbing peas and beans along the front of the bed, but I haven’t been sure about how to best support them. I bought some bamboo poles with the vision to drive one in every metre or so, but I don’t want it to look like a fence. I asked P what he thought, and he said that whatever I did was going to look weird, so he went inside and refused to help. Thanks a lot.
I’ve been watching with interest in Friz Haeg’s Edible Estates project, and I noticed that he’s been using teepees as structures for climbers, so I thought I’d give that a go. I only had ten poles, so I constructed my teepees out of only three poles each. I hammered the poles in with a rubber mallet and bound them together with jute twine. When I was finished, P came out, declared them to “not look too bad”, but suggested that my triangles should all be equilateral. If one is going to criticise my geometry, one shouldn’t bail out before the hammering starts.
As I constructed my works of modern art, I noticed that the cars driving down the street were going a little slower past our place. Look at the crazy lady making teepees!
Below the teepees I planted a combination of climbing sugar snap peas and sweet peas. I hope that that flowers (sweet peas) will make it slightly prettier. Around the same area I planted quite a number of greenfeast peas. They don’t climb as such, so I should be able to support them in other ways, like sticks etc. I’ll work out the details later – any ideas?
Also today I planted out three globe artichoke plants at the very right hand side of the bed, some garlic chives evenly spaced right along the back, and scattered an entire packet or french marigold seeds along the bed. I wonder if any will grow? I think I might be pushing my luck a bit considering how much mulch I’ve spread.
The first batch of seedlings that I planted a few weeks ago are coming along really well. I particularly like how the golden shallots look along the back – so spiky, and such a lovely green. These were a gift from a lovely elderly lady at church – now I wish I had more of them! The mini wombok cabbages are exploding – they grow so amazingly quickly. I hope I can think of enough stuff to cook with them, because I planted quite a few.
An update on the green manure. Is is growing nicely along the bed immediately in front of the house. Unfortunately my seed scattering wasn’t very even, so I have a few bare patches and it actually looks like I’ve just let weeds take over. Maybe I should add something else in the bare patches. You can see also that my kaffir lime is well and truly dead now 😦
Today I also bought a small half wine barrel pot for the fig tree. J helped me fill it with potting mix and I transplanted the fig. Grow little tree! Make me figs!
I’ve decided that planting the dwarf lime out in the garden bed is too risky. The mandarin I planted is looking a little sad, so I’m going to wait and see before risking my new little baby out there in the big wide garden. Instead I uprooted a nearly-dead azalea and absconded with it’s lovely terracotta pot. You can see the unfortunate azalea in the photo above of the green manure. Should I take pity on it? You can’t eat azaleas, you know.
So my plan with the lime is to put it in the pot on the back deck for a while (careful not to overwater this time), and put it out into the full sun of the front yard once it is well established in the pot (and harder to steal). If the mandarin recovers, I might plant it out into the garden, but I’ll leave my options open in the meantime.