Sunday, October 9, 2016

Tillellan Update

The pile of woodchips has been sitting for nearly two years and getting richer and darker. The worms really got into it around autumn and have broken quite a bit of the leaf matter down into a dark, damp soil.

The grass has also encroached over the pile to take advantage of the smorgasbord of nutrients and moisture that is available. I have mined some of this mulch to add to our garden at Petit Paradis for the summer garden. I am somewhat confident that it will assist in holding water in the container gardens - how successfully I am not sure. Even an average summer in Albany with the January easterlies can suck moisture from the garden regardless of summer rains.

While I was bagging some of this magnificent soil I was contemplating the future garden at the Tillellan site. Renovation works started about two weeks ago. Excavation works for the back retaining wall will start soon hopefully, as there are the lumber remnants of the trees that stood on the back of the block to bury into swales. The excavator operator does not yet know of the pivotal part he will play in the future garden. But the builder has been briefed on what is to come.

As far as a design for the garden is concerned I have moved away from the initial design I had envisioned for several years. I will need to meet the families food needs whilst also allowing for the increasing amount of room required for the increasing numbers of animals. Plus allow for the possibility of a future residence at the very back of the block, which was part of the initial plan and was to come first. In the first instance, we are now focussing on the renovation first so that we can move in, and then the possible second residence.

Monday, September 5, 2016

So, what's been going on?

Life has remained very busy since the previous post (in January!) but I have some time to make a bit of an update in anticipation of our project getting underway very shortly with the start of the house renovation.

Last summer came and went without too much attention to the garden so for this summer I am gearing up for the eventual move to the new house and the setting up of the garden there.

More recently we have been sorting through boxes and boxes of my MIL's lifetime of accumulation of stuff. Not such an easy feat with young family and work. Gradually the clutter is clearing and there is a rather large pile of 'material' that is ready for burying. Quite literally it will be buried as part of the new garden. There has been so much paperwork to sort through and deal with that anything that will benefit the soil in its decomposing I have put aside to bury rather than fill out our bins.

A part of the garden as it was at the end of winter.

I managed to get some time in our garden here (PP) the other week and found a few casualties from the last couple of months. A few neglected plants that have survived (just) and some that are thriving. I planted out seeds after sorting through the collection and prioritising  those that are going to need planting out this season to keep viable seeds.

Our two female rabbits will hopefully have young soon after having visited a friend's place recently. Part of my time in the garden was spent getting the animal hutches set up for summer so they can be fed and checked easily.

Once again, to make the most of our small space I am planning lots of vertical gardening this spring and summer to allow for food production and seed saving. Much of this is still to be set up, but I hope that this years garden will match previous years where the garden is bursting with plant and animal life.

Our boys are finding the garden space very entertaining at the moment and now that there is deck space to play they are also making the most of it. We had the rabbits on the deck for a while to nurture them and observe them. Now that they are back in the garden we have our 'outdoor room' back.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The G-Pigs

The G-pigs are doing well at the moment and making their way through the grape vine that is gradually being trimmed back. The leaves have started to dry out already. Some months ahead of their normal pattern. No fruit on them at all this year after a heavy fruiting season last year. Amazing.

Monday, January 25, 2016

January Pumpkins & Celebrations

Our January garden was looking lush until a more recent few days of heat followed by a couple of days of rains. Really out of character for January, but not altogether surprising either.

I've just harvested pumpkins, with a few more to go. These have been great as they have largely taken care of themselves and have not needed much time or effort. As in previous years, some of the best performers were self-sown from the compost and no doubt with local Farmer's Market origions.

Fruit salad platter for summer.

This part of the garden is looking quite different now. It is now drying out and the bananas are taking off!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Pitaya Flowering Again

Our Dragon Fruit is budding again as it did about this time last year. I have been watching and waiting and despite my regular observations it was my wife who spotted the actual buds and brought them to my attention. A couple of days at work can make a difference.

So this year we will be around to nurture it through and hopefully have some pitaya fruit to show for it at the end. We were not around much when it started to fill its fruit last year and they were eventually shed from the plant under stress.

It is such an amazing process to watch as it unfolds and each day they are a little different. Last year the plant had about five flowers. This year it looks like there are nine. That is what I've counted thus far.