Saturday, 30 July 2016

One Month Till Spring


It is hard to believe that we are almost at the end of August with just one month of winter left. We have had a mixture of cold, wet and windy days and also frosty mornings which give way to a beautiful sunny day.


At the moment we are in the frost then sun cycle and the skies are a stunning blue. Lots of blossoms are out which are looking really pretty. I have been under the weather a little so have been taking it easy instead of being out in the garden trying to pull out the weeds before the next lot of rain comes along. However, I thought I had better take stock of what is actually growing at the moment as it is good to have a record to look back on this time next year.





I will have about a dozen cabbages ready at the same time by the looks of things. Oops! I said exactly the same thing last year :-) This will be the last year I will plant cabbages and cauliflowers as the pests really like them and I usually end up with some of them getting powdery mildew like this one. Now that I can buy organically grown brassicas for a reasonable price at the Farmers Markets I will do that.





 I learned something new this week when speaking to the staff at Green Harvest in Maleny. A few years ago I ordered East Indian Lemongrass as I read that it didn't rust so thought that would be a good plant to buy. I didn't realise that it is mainly used for mulch and for tea and isn't the lemongrass that is commonly used in cooking. So I have ordered some West Indian Lemongrass for that purpose.





There are still mandarins on the tree although the top of the tree is bare thanks to the local cockatoos.





The old mulberry tree which was supposed to be cut down and replaced by a dwarf version is still standing and getting ready to produce yummy berries in the next few months. Last year I froze some to bake Mulberry Cobbler with no added sugar on cool days when the mulberries were finished.




These are always looking cheerful at this time of the year and this is a really old plant that I inherited when mum died. It used to be one of many that were on her front verandah and protected from the dreadful frosts where she lived. I can't remember the name of the plant. Can anyone enlighten me?




Last year I saw a photo of pink lavender in this post on Rhonda's blog. I asked the CEO to look out for a plant and, if he saw one, to ask if he could take a cutting. Well, he said he saw one in the garden up the road so was given a few cuttings and I have been anxiously waiting for months for it to flower. Well it is flowering but it isn't a pink lavender unfortunately although it is a lighter shade than our other lavender. Back to the drawing board now.





This is my favourite bromeliad as I think the flower is just beautiful and looks much nicer in real life.




The avocado tree is full of fruit but I daresay the wildlife will be along soon to have a feed.




Because of the unusual winter rain there are hundreds of bulbs shooting up everywhere even in the succulent garden. LOL! Lots have been planted in the past 38 or so years since we have been living here. They will look lovely in spring and I just hope it won't be too hot as spring was hotter than summer last year from memory.





On one of the warm days we had a couple of weeks ago I was feeling all summery so planted a couple of cucumber seeds just to see what would happen. I put the pot in a spot where it would be protected from the frost and I noticed a seedling the other day. It will be interesting to see if it actually grows much more.





These tomatoes are growing in a sheltered spot just under the house and I cover them every night in case of frost and so far so good although a few leaves have been frosted. I would so love to have a few tomatoes that will keep growing until the warmer weather arrives as I really don't like the taste of bought tomatoes. 



Another reminder that spring is just around the corner is the appearance of the Californian Poppies. Apparently the plant is a herb although we don't use it for medicinal purposes at all. According to Isabel Shipard's 'How Can I Use Herbs In My Daily Life'  it was used by American Indians for colic pain and is a useful herb for spasmodic pain. I just think they make a cheerful addition to the garden. 

I hope everyone is keeping well. Here in our area we are heading into flu season as the EKKA is on in Brisbane very soon and the flu always hits after that. I believe that some areas in the US are having heat waves and I guess it won't be long before we are in the same boat. In the meantime, I am enjoying being able to sleep during the cold nights which seem to have stopped the possums from jumping on the roof at 2am every morning and the cockatoos from squawking outside the bedroom window at daylight.  Don't you just love wildlife?







18 comments:

  1. I think your plant is a zygote cactus?

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  2. Recently found your blog and am enjoying it very much! Thank you for sharing with us, I am in the Midwest, US. I believe your plant pictured is a Christmas cactus. We have one from an uncle long since passed away. Mine never blooms at Christmas but random other times of the year.

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    1. I am glad you are enjoying my little blog. we have a few of those plants in different colours but the one in the photo is quite old as mum had it for many years.

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  3. It will be interesting to see what your little cucumber plant does and how many of your avocados you actually get to eat yourself! My avocado, which is growing well but is only a young tree has started getting some flower clusters...so we're going to watch and see what happens. I know, if it ever does get fruit, that the possums would have a big party in it!

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    1. Between the flying foxes, cockatoos and possums it is hard to grow too much fruit apart from tamarillos, mandarins, oranges and some avocados and the pests eat the rest. The possums were back on the roof again last night, Meg. Noisy critters they are.

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  4. Well I hope you feel better and don't come down with anything serious. It is a little amusing that your lavender and mine are blooming about the same time! We ARE in the middle of a heatwave and grateful for the bedroom A/C! Fall is just around the corner! In the spring in California in the hills and in the deserts - if it was a wet winter - the poppies carpet the ground! We used to go to the poppy preserve in the Mojave desert and the orange poppies and the blue lupines were just awesome to see. We keep a few up here now too, they are one of our favorites.

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    1. We don't have aircon, Kathy but it doesn't get too hot here except for a few days in summer. It is cooler here than closer to the coast thankfully as the humidity there is dreadful.

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  5. I'm being woken up by cockatoos every morning too Chel...but still waiting for any blossom xx

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    1. Meg, we have three trees in blossom at the moment and they look really pretty with the backdrop of the vivid blue sky but that will change tomorrow as rain is forecast.

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  6. Yes, Zygo cactus (common name). It is lovely to see little spots of colour around the place. All too soon we'll be gasping due to the heat. Hope you're feeling better Chel.

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    1. Yes, I don't feel too bad Barb. Thankfully nothing eventuated. Will catch up soon.

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  7. Your garden is looking very productive Chel. Will there be lots of sourkraut making coming up soon? Hope you're feeling 100% again soon. Here in SA, I wish we could keep August for three months, and cut back on a month or two of hot summer. ;) X

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    1. Yes Sally there will be lots of fermenting going on soon I think. Somehow I got seeds mixed up and instead of having half a dozen cauliflowers and half a dozen cabbages I have a dozen or so cabbages. Not sure what happened to the cauliflowers at all. LOL!

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  8. Your garden looks wonderful. I bet it loved the winter rains we received a few weeks ago. Apparently we're due for more rain tomorrow. Here's hoping. :)

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    1. Chris, it is nice to have rain every now and again although I have been loving these nice sunny days but that is coming to an end now with a cold spell arriving tomorrow.

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  9. The Zygo Cactus were really popular about 15 or so years ago. Everyone had one growing, and many people grew more than one colour. I didn't realise that about the lemon grass Chel, its good to know. Our mulberry tree is coming into fruit now too.

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  10. Sherri, my mum had a number of different coloured plants. They look lovely at this time of year especially when there isn't much colour in the garden.

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