Friday, July 24, 2009

Garden Roundup (No, not the Herbicide)

School holidays have slowed my posting down a bit, as you might have noticed! But I have managed to do some gardening-related things. On Wednesday I spent a couple of hours at Flower Power at Enfield. This large nursery has a big shrub section, lots of pots, and a really impressive array of seeds from many companies. Being winter, the flower punnets were all of the pansy tribe. I picked up some some white "face" pansies, as well as thyme, apple mint and winter savory. Most of these were planted yesterday.

The only disappointment was the offering of currants and cool-climate fruit trees. These generally do not cope with the humid Sydney summers, and fruits that require chilling simply don't get it here. Then there's the fruit fly issue. This plant choice doesn't inspire confidence in the nursery, but my experience with the staff was of friendliness and helpfulness.

In one of my rare forays into composting, I built a small (1 sq. m) heap last weekend. They boys helped by hosing the layers, then each other. (Sydney in winter, where boys end up running around wet with no clothes on!) I've obviously managed to get the proportions of materials correct, as it heated up very quickly. It was gratifying to see steam rising from the air holes on the next cold morning! The pile has already collapsed about 20cm and is still very hot.

I have followed Yolanda's advice and planted my remaining dozen peas into an egg carton. I have a horrible feeling that either rats or pigeons (which are just rats with wings) have been eating the seeds in my garden.

This week's garden harvest has included beetroot for borshch, lettuce for a salad, and lots of chervil for a potato salad. The air is filled with the sweet scent of my fringe wattles. And best of all, Lizzie has started laying pale brown eggs.