Preparing to watch the grass grow…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on October 2nd, 2016 by Coffee

It was meant to be a autumn game, but due to the weird autumn and winter weather we had it’s turned into a spring one. Either way the name of the game has remained the same. It’s called “let’s watch the grass grow!”

Both the left and right sides of the house have been cultivated, cultivated some more, cultivated again, and then stone buried, seeded and rolled. (I might have left out a cultivation or two there). So all that’s left is to watch the green creep over it. Hopefully the green will be more grass than weeds!

left_small

right_small

But for a dose of something that’s not brown, our Rhodo has launched into its best display yet. Almost worth hanging out the washing just to look at it. Almost.

rhodo_small

More lines…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on August 21st, 2016 by Coffee

With the help of some very welcome babysitters last Sunday we managed to get the front hedging in and tree-guarded while the ground was still very wet and the trees were all still alive. All 47. That leaves us three spares in case any take a disliking to their new home, or the nasty hares or rabbits take a liking to one or two.

cyprus_small

But with another very dry summer forecast this year it’s going to be pretty important that we get them sorted out with some water. And as luck would have it yesterday I spotted the neighbour trundling around on a trencher laying a bit of pipe for probably the same reason. I decided Bec was the better negotiator, so sent her over the fence to beg. And over he popped.

trencher_small

And soon we had a nice new trench all the way from the pump shed to the hedge line.

trench_small

Now we just have to plonk a pipe in the middle and fill it in again. Much easier than having to dig it all out and then fill it in!

While he was there we also got him to rip a new trough for a new run of hornbeams. They were in desperate need of some attention, sitting bare root as they were in a bag for far too long.

hornbeams_small

So in a run of those went, with some in pots, and the remainder of the hundred taking up valuable real estate in one of the vege beds. Not sure if they’ll be there for the year now or not. We’ll work that out shortly. I hope!

Next projects…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on August 7th, 2016 by Coffee

Time to come out of hibernation a bit. Yes, the garage really is finished, or was a while ago now. Well, bar the hanging of many items on the wall, potentially a bit of garage carpet on one side, and a freezer. But we’ll call it finished for now! Pity it’s too full of cars all the time, so you can go without a photo for now.

So on to new tasks.

First up to plant a few trees that turned up on the doorstep (one box needs an “eventually” added somewhere in there) this week. Only 180 of them. Of which 120 are bare root, and need attention sooner rather than later. Gulp!

trees_small

I managed to get the the Black Pines and ten Maples done the other night, so there’s only 100 small Hornbeams to go. They’re the ones crammed tightly into the white plastic bag. Oh joy!

reppotted_small

And then to get the 50 hedge Cypress in, along with a random ten Kanukas and then we’re done.

At least until the next stage – moving this rather large heap of mulch around them all!

woodchips_small

Anyone want to come lend a hand and a wheelbarrow?!

Looks like we grew a pear. Or several pears!

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on March 20th, 2016 by Coffee

As seems traditional with any sort of building project progress has reduced to a glacial pace. The electrical side has been completed, so really all we’re waiting for is the garage doors to be installed (they’re in boxes in the garage – apparently there needs to be a bit more concrete ground out of the rebate or something before they can go in), and the drainage to be complete then we’re done except for the painting which we’ll be attempting ourselves. At least to start with. We’ll see how long that lasts!

But in other news, we seem to have managed to get a decent crop from one of our pear trees this year. In fact it’s the first pear crop we’ve really had of any description. Up until last week I wasn’t aware that you’re meant to harvest pears a little under ripe and ripen off the tree, so these might actually be a little too ripe, but we’ll take them!

pears_small

It also seems that unnoticed by us the white peach tree has been quietly ripening its small, but very yummy white peaches. Again for the first crop from them. Bonus!

I suspect a lot of this is down to the extra water they’ve all received this year. Either that or they’ve finally matured just enough to deal with the conditions here. But it’s nice to finally get something back from them!

What the … ?!

Posted in Plants and Gardens on March 12th, 2016 by Coffee

Eleven nights into autumn and we get our first frost! Grrrrrrr! Weather report was for 6 degrees C overnight low in the city, but it was obviously a bit colder out here. White lawn, ice on the windscreen, and some damage to the more tender plants in the garden. Nothing that looks fatal yet, but a reminder that it can all change any night at this time of the year.

frostdamage

But at least the tunnel house is still cranking along. Masses of toms, eggplants, chillies and peppers still to work out what to do with. It’s gotten to be a bit tricky to walk from one end to the other now without pushing through all the tomato plants.

THouse

Look Ma! No pipe!

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on February 18th, 2016 by Coffee

NoPipe_small

Hard to believe that it’s just over 5 years since these guys trenched in the line, which since then has been poking up out of the lawn in exactly the wrong place.

moretrenching2

But we might now be able to mow the back lawn without having to get off the mower and move the bloody irrigation line!

Garlic Harvest 2015

Posted in Food and Drink, Plants and Gardens on December 31st, 2015 by Coffee

Just 2015 though. Yesterday seemed like a good day to fork up the garlic crop and get it under cover before the promised showers. Can’t recall any showers, but it was time to pull it up anyway.

garlic

Hopefully this year we’ve got enough to get us through both the planting season and the eating season. Think we were about 8 bulbs short this year and had to do a bit of a garlic splash and dash to get us through.

I suspect it’s going to be a bit interesting sitting on that outdoor furniture for a bit though!

It’s a start!

Posted in Food and Drink, Plants and Gardens on December 30th, 2015 by Coffee

cherries

They might not look like much, but what you see is a giant leap forward in orchard production. The first time we’ve managed to get a handful of anything much in all the time the trees have been in. It’s only taken four and a half years to get to this point!

I suspect it’s a combination of all that time, some extra watering this year, and so far at least a particularly light year for the dreaded grass grub beetle. Pity about a couple of hail showers, but we’ll take that.

There’s still peaches, pears, nectarines, a plum or two, and some apples to come this year. Assuming they make it! Here’s hoping.

The time the little orange digger came to play…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on December 17th, 2015 by Coffee

Long time readers of this blog will no doubt have previously been informed that the ground around here is slightly on the bony side. Any more bony and we’d probably consider opening a quarry! So the thought of trying to drag a spade or shovel through a few hundred meters of trenching has not had great appeal to date. So every time we’ve mowed the outer reaches there’s been a long sigh as we’ve had to go move the irrigation pipes out of the way first.

But no longer!

digger_small

A little orange digger came to play one day,
When Nan and Big Kev came up to stay,
It chugged and it chugged up and down the land,
And cut through the ground as if it were sand,
On the day the orange digger came here to play.

Well, truth is it took a little longer than a day, but then it did have to assist with the creation of a couple of larger raised beds than has been the norm around here. Hardwood ex-power poles take a fair bit of effort to manoeuvre into place, even with the assistance of a little orange digger. And a fair bit of spoil from the BBQ area and the decking needed to be pushed around down the back too. So all in all a hugely productive long weekend.

newgardens_small

So now all we have to do is get the pipe settled in the bottom and shovel the dirt back over. A job that’s almost enjoyable. Much more so than trying to get the dirt/stones out of the trenches!

covered

A huge amount of thanks to Kev, Nan and Tom!

Yes, we are still here!

Posted in Plants and Gardens on October 4th, 2015 by Coffee

Ok, so it has been a very long time since we last posted any sort of update. A looooooooongg time indeed! Sorry! But it has been autumn, then winter, and a very slow start to spring. So really nothing to report for the last few months. Until now. And even this isn’t going to be that exciting, but at least it’s a start, so bear with us and try to appreciate it if you can!

Today I finally managed to get around to re-potting all of the seedlings that have been slowing popping up in the propagation trays on the kitchen table for the last few weeks. I’m not sure how they’ve managed to survive the prodding and poking of the kids, but they did. Which is good. Or will be when they start producing produce.

Speaking of prodding, I do like the propagation trays we’ve got. As well as being self watering through the germination phase they’re great at re-potting time as with a simple prod from the bottom they pop up ready to be transferred to their next home. Bliss! Much better than trying to wrestle them out without pulling leaves off.

repotting_small

Somehow this year I’ve managed to get a much better balance between the seeds sprouted and those that end up getting re-potted. With hopefully just enough spares to keep the workmates happy during the ad hoc seedling exchange meeting sometime this week.