Archive for the 'garden planning' Category

It’s always so sad to say goodbye

Even though hardly anyone reads this, I do feel like I should say goodbye on this blog, on the off chance someone finds it.

This is only a young blog, but I started it to record my gardening progress.  However, I feel that now I would like people to use it, to download freebies, to be inspired about gardening.  So I have moved it hook, line and sinker to  a new place called Out from under my hat.  This will mean that it is under the umbrella of my other blog and therefore will probably get more readers.  Which will make it feel less self-indulgent and more useful.

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Making me crazy

Please click on the image above to see it more closely

The builder did a few renovations this year, such as extending my balcony rail of the upstairs balcony which overlooks the courtyard, building a pergola in front of it, and moving into the courtyard corner my “bus shelter”, which is a wee trellissed sitting area that resembles a bus shelter in shape and size.  So this meant that he had to pull up some pavers and pour in concrete.

I have already made a mosaic garden table top on an old concrete paver (enormous and heavy) and a few other pavers here and there my daughter and I have made together, one in the middle of the chamomile lawn, which tells the story of “our little white townhouse with the chamomile lawn” and another is in front of the gate leading into the vegetable garden, the gate which was built this year while the other renovations were being done.

At the moment, there are a few places in the garden waiting for concrete to be poured in so that I can mosaic on the top.  There is a trick to it, efficient work is needed.  Once the concrete has been poured, one has to work fast before it sets which is a challenge.

So in this case I already had the crockery broken and cut into usable shapes.  I put them into colours so that I could grab them as needed.  I always save broken china, because I love being creative in the garden with mosaics proper and crazy mosaics, and some crockery is just so beautiful it is a shame to throw it out.  See the top of the broken dark blue vase in the pile?  My mother made that, so naturally it is a treasure to me, and I am delighted to be able to remember her beautiful work when I look at the way I have recycled it in the small crazy mosaic.  Life is good.

A winter overing

A winter not in the gardenIt has been a sad time over winter.  I wasn’t sure if I would get to garden in the bigger spot next to my townhouse again.  Some new owners bought a place in our body corporate (the body corporate is the group of the six of us owners who own a townhouse each) and the new owners were keen to assert their part in the ownership over the bit of land next to my house.  There was talk that the garden my daughter and I had lovingly worked in and shared produce with the other owners from in the last nine years should be converted to lawn, so that everyone could use it. 

That’s how it was when we bought our townhouse, it was lawn, which everyone could use.  No one came and sat in it, or helped maintain the hedge, or helped cut it down, or paid for the fence, or mowed the lawn.  It was all left to me.  It was too much hassle for anyone else to do anything, and they weren’t interested in sitting or standing or doing anything in it.  So my daughter and I painstakingly converted it to garden, a patch at a time.  A season at a time.  A mosaic paving stone at a time.  What fun. 

When talk of the garden being converted to lawn was first floated at the AGM, I was so shocked, hurt and outraged, when I got home that night I cried.  Various options were suggested.  I put forward the idea that we could all have a vege patch each, or have a garden committee of keen gardeners to work in it.  This was considered but then decided that it would take too much commitment and no one was really interested.  It took till winter of email discussions before the lawn idea went down the river too, because it would cost too much to do and too much to maintain.  My heart by then had gone out of the garden, I was okay with whatever everyone decided, lawn, carpark, whatever.  Although I was broken hearted.

So in the end, the cheapest option for the body corporate is for me to continue to care for it for free.  Although, the body corporate has now agreed to paint the wall and fence which is much needed.  So last weekend, I began again in ernest, patch by patch.  As I weed, I plant and the compost heap gets bigger.  Within a month, the whole lot should be weeded and planted.  The compost from last year is the most beautiful, wormy compost you could imagine.  Birds watch me, waiting for me to leave so they can be the earliest ones to get the worm, although I covered last year’s compost with old carpet to stop them.

By the way, if you like my picture above, you can get the template and put your own pictures and words in from my Art Mama blog here.  Great for recipe books, gardening records, brag book photos, visual journals etc etc.

For us, life is good.

A new season

Today I dropped my parents (aged 81 and 93) back to the airport after a great week together.  On the way to the airport we stopped in at the Strickland Street Community Garden spring fair, where I spent $9 and got the following:

5 chamomile lawn seedlings (I have seeds but this is a kick start for my patch in front of the sitting area)

1 wonderlight tomato plant (a lightbulb shaped tomato)

1 tray of kohlrabi

1 tray of lettuce

Then after the airport, I called in at the Southern Seed Exchange seed swap, where I am a member.

I got the following seedlings:

curly lettuce, red orach, a variety of pumpkin which is like a gourd, raspberry, anjelica, freesias,

plus some seeds:

sunflower, crown pumpkin, dwarf beans, and I think a couple of others.

When I got home, I planted what I should, and put the rest in my glass cloche, with my vege seedlings.  It’s a bit too early in the season here in Christchurch to take the risk with my seedlings and baby plants just yet, so they can stay under the glass where it is sunny and warm. 

Unfortunately I have lost my gardening notebook from last year, where I recorded all my harvests, plantings etc.  It was a shabby wee thing anyway, so I have decided that this year, I will record things properly in a nice book, as well as writing this blog.  So I will have a page for harvests, plans, and this part of the blog will cover what I am doing generally.  Should I also have a wishlist for longer term plans?  After all that is how my garden got to be what it is today.

Spring is here, and although I still have silverbeet, asparagus, maori potatoes (urenika) from previous years still producing, today is the start of the new season now that I have officially planted stuff in the dirt.

Life is good.


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