Archive for January, 2011
January 29th, 2011
This is my Blue Echeveria, isn’t she cute? Can you see her little flower spike? She is one of a family of plants all of whom have fleshy leaves and form tightly packed plantlets in clumps around their bases – you can see the little baby plants clustered around the edge of the large mother plant. With their origins in Mexico they are tough little critters! They fill little gaps in and around rocks or at the edge of gardens and make wonderful pot plants.
The succulents are indeed a good starting point for children to start an interest in gardening as these plants are easy to care for, can withstand a great deal of neglect and mismanagment, which indeed is why they do so well in my garden!
January 24th, 2011
It is an exciting moment when you see the very first seed unfurl! For Christmas this year I received a little mini hot house thingee and my very first seed is emerging. How cute it is! All that squirting was not wasted after all! I welcomed the first seed this morning with a few extra squirts! Can hardly wait for his brothers & sisters to pop up! I could get to like growing seeds!
Further into my garden I notice the little baby figs growing very slowly into large yummy figs! Let us hope that my possum doesn’t like figs too much, maybe a bird net? Last year I attempted to grow eggplants. I had gotten quite good, if I say so myself at the tomatoes & decided to branch out so to speak. The eggplants grew rich and green and lush, all was well. I watered them every evening and I noticed they had beautiful purple, blue coloured flowers, how pretty. Unfortunately the possum thought they looked very tasty as well as pretty and ate every single one! I put out a bird net, but he just went under, over or through. I was a little upset but my children were relieved as they don’t like eggplants even when I hide them in the lasagne. ‘Has this got eggplant in it?’ they ask suspiciously before even eating any. Still, I am hopeful with the figs. So far, so good. Perhaps as autumn draws near you will find me eating figs, ricotta and honey. Bliss!
Growing your own fruit and vegetables is certainly fun as well as good for you. It combines all the requirements for everyone living in these busy times. It gives you exercise as you dig and wheel the barrow full of compost. It brings relief from stress and somewhere cool and welcoming to spend time in, the garden, not the barrow of compost. As a bonus you get good food to eat or at least you can feel you are doing your bit to feed the wildlife.
January 17th, 2011
Watching the garden change with the seasons is a true pleasure in life! Watching the seasons change and small plants grow and become what they are meant to become. Observation – taking note – this is at the heart of successful gardening. Your garden has a lot of lessons for you.
Time spent gardening should be a pleasure. For me it is often done in spurts. Little mini missions out into the garden, the odd 10 minutes, a relaxed wander out into the garden with secateurs and a trowel. I am finding that learning how to garden is a healthy exercise. It helps me to reduce my stress levels and is immensely satisfying. Last year I began to make new plants from old. I think that making new plants is becoming an addictive hobby in itself! You gain a real sense of satisfaction from seeing your own cuttings thrive or watching apparently lifeless seeds develop into healthy plants. If you plant seeds you have a much greater variety of plants to choose from for the vege patch. Things you could never get down at the supermarket. The last visit to one of my many favourite nurseries I came back with seeds for some Asparagus pea, aparently these pods are cooked whole and taste a little like asparagus. I also got some Vegetable spaghetti seeds which when it grows looks like a marrow but when you cook it the strands separate and can be used like spaghetti or noodles. Have to give these a try!
January 5th, 2011
All of a sudden the holidays are over and a new year has begun! I would love to be able to say that my gardening jobs are all done and my garden was looking trim and tidy and well mulched, but, sadly this is not the case. There is still much to do and weeds just about everywhere.
But, on the other hand, over the past 12 months, my garden has taught me many, many lessons and given me a great deal of pleasure. Gardening is one of our oldest and most rewarding hobbies. It knows no age or social barrier, with the humblest little cottage garden being as richly rewarding to its owner as that of the grandest mansion.
To me, one of the great bonuses of gardening is that with care and attention a garden grows and improves with every passing year, whereas no matter how good a housekeeper you might be, which I certainly am not, a house slowly deteriorates over the same period with wear and tear. A garden is a living thing and must be treated as such. If it is mulched and watered regularly it responds so very rewardingly. Even a few weeks later you can still see where you have been working, unlike inside the house, where whatever you have been doing, sweeping, dusting etc it all needs to be done again almost the next day! So, with this in mind, I will stop cleaning the bathroom, and head out the door where the birds are calling and there is a gentle breeze. My garden awaits…
January 2nd, 2011
A new year – and time to give thanks for all my blessings. -My health, toes that wiggle; fingers ready to do my bidding. The health of all my loved ones – their smiles and their love that surrounds me. My friends -to share a coffee and a laugh with; to talk to on the phone; to go see a movie with; to share good times together with.
My home and garden, all the pleasures they provide for me from day to day. My very own place filled with my treasures. A place where I can do whatever I wish. My home shelters my dreams. I have a roof to protect me from the weather, a kitchen, and quiet places to sit and relax with friends and family or when I need time to myself.
I give thanks also for my eyes and the ability to see all the beauty the world places around me every single day. All the colours – flowers; green leaves; dark red roses. The shapes and textures, the lines you can follow with your eyes. The sky at night filled with stars – last night a crescent moon! And words, all the words my eyes have read, all the smiles my eyes have seen.