Thursday, 30 October 2014

work in the garden progresses


Its spring, and despite the wierd weather we've been having lately (high winds, rain, snow) things are blooming. I love this time of year. I never thought I'd be the type of person who got pleasure out of watching things come out of the ground, but here I am. I love walking around the yard looking to see what flowered since I last looked at it.

The only foxgloves I managed to grow from the seeds I got from a friend not only grew, but thrived in a spot next to the garage. They're almost as tall as I am now.

The sweet peas I put in last year (in a large pot) not only didn't die off over winter, they have grown and spread. I had to add another section of wire for them to grow up on the porch rail.

Now, I don't really like red, yellow or orange flowers... in my garden. I do like them sometimes... just... not in my garden... But seems nature is bent on adding red to my colour palette so, although I won't actively plant red, orange or yellow flowers, I'll accept the ones that just turn up. Like the red sweet peas.

These are the colours I usually buy. Like these nemesias. Pretty.

And these reedy things. No idea what they're called. I bought them this afternoon from an old lady who sells plants on the street outside her home sometimes. She did tell me the name, they come in white, yellow and orange as well. I got these for the embankment.

Speaking of the embankment... did I mention that long, steep embankment we have on the side of our driveway, where the dirt is as hard as cement?

Yep. I put in some succulents and they have managed to cling on for dear life and even grow. But then, so did the weeds.

I've wanted to do something about that embankment since we moved in here, but its such a large area it would be way too expensive to tier or use things like retaining wall blocks etc. The only thing I could think of using which was cheap (free) was tyres.

But Wayne hates tyres. To him they signify white trash.

To me, empty beer cans or bottles in the yard signify white trash... not to mention 4000 cars, some on blocks, trucks and a couple of old boats... we all have our opinions, right?

Anyway, I'm all for recycling and free, so I won in the end. We are lining the wall with old tyres.

This is the plan:

  • lay down weed matting on the entire wall, leaving enough space at the bottom to allow for re-digging the drainage trench. And enough room on the top for another drainage trench.
  • put tyres on the weed mat
  • put topsoil in the tyres and pine bark in the gaps and on top of the topsoil
  • put plants in the tyres
  • create an an oasis of colour and limiting weeds while stopping erosion
This is how far we've gotten so far.

There's still a section of weed mat to put down, then we have to go pick up the rest of the tyres.

Meanwhile, some of the plants I put into the inhospitable ground were growing well and are now waiting for some topsoil in their tyres.

Love this little guy. When I put him in he was about 1/3 the size. And the little pink thing just came and joined him all by itself.

Meanwhile, since I'm on the subject of garden, tyres and flowers, I've developed an aquilegia obession. Granny's bonnets or columbines to some people.

My purple and white ones are going crazy. I got them from seeds I took from a plant in Merrill's place a few years ago and its where my obsession started.

These are lime white which I bought as seeds at the hardware store. Took them two years to come up.

I'm waiting for my mauve and pinks to come up. My double white are starting to bloom as well. And the old lady I got the pink plants from dug this little double purple beauty for me. Hopefully it lives.

Since I don't do anything by halves... I'm taking my obsession quite seriously. I've started stalking local gardens for types and colours I don't have. And I don't have many types... yet... 

That means a lot of stalking.

Old ladies are starting to double bolt their doors when they see me coming.

Here are some photos I took in the garden of one nervous old lady who's door I knocked on. She promised to keep me some seeds, though she said her son had taken some that came to nothing. But I learned through my research that there are varieties you can only grow after putting the seeds in the fridge for a few weeks.

These one look similar to mine but they're the giant variety and have long spurs plus are a lighter purple.

Have you noticed the lack of yellow and red?


I'm going to have a million varieties growing in my garden!


Thursday, 16 October 2014

nothing to share

Here's gratuitous photo of the horses lining up along the top fence, for no reason in particular. They're looking pretty darn good right now. Losing their winter coat and looking sleek. Every time you go near them lately you get enveloped in a cloud of horse hair, but its getting better. Except Chipmunk. He's still a hairy little monster cause he doesn't enjoy grooming. I'll get him though...

It dawned on me many times over the last few days that I haven't posted for a while.

I've been busy doing stuff that isn't worth bragging about sharing. Things like working, doing washing, some work in the garden... I did do a trash and treasure market with a friend on the weekend which was barely successful. Eh. Live and learn. I do way better with my craft markets.

I've also been busy painting for two art competitions. More on that later.

And this weekend I'm off to the Poodle Championship Show in Melbourne. I'll be grooming my fingers to the bone prepping 7 poodles and enjoying the smell of hairspray in the morning.

I've missed playing with long poodle hair!


Friday, 3 October 2014

the newest additions to our family

Say welcome to the newest additions to Wind Dancer Farm.

Gobbler is the one with the big tail, for obvious reasons. He's the noisy one. The other one only makes tiny little whimpering noises so far.

We have no idea if the smaller one is a young male or a female. Does anyone know? Can't name mini-me till we know if its a girl or boy.

These guys have been living in the shrubby land between us and the neighbours. We've seen and heard them over the last few months but lately they've been coming down to our fenceline daily and we've been tossing them some feed. So today we let them in. They look quite content.

The dogs aren't sure what to make of them.

We rather enjoy a new bird call among all the others.

Its funny. We started with the ducks we inherited. Now we get visiting ducks of different breeds, a family of plovers who breed on our land every year, native hens that live here, our dwindling population of chickens (one chook and one rooster at the moment but we're getting a whole lot from friends who no longer want theirs). We added 3 geese last Christmas and now we have a happy family of six.

And today we added two turkeys.

Anyone who visits us here can't get any sleep at night cause of all the noise. We're used to it and love it.

We started with one horse. Now we have four. 

All these mouths to feed, all these chores to do.

And we love it.

We also have a huntsman spider living in the letterbox. I'm thinking his name is Harry. He's welcome to live there now that I know he's there and he doesn't surprise me when I put my hand in to get the mail.

At least Harry fends for himself.


Thursday, 2 October 2014

which brackets?

 When I finally finish painting the house, I want to put decorative brackets on the posts to really give it some wow.

There are quite a few types out there but I want something simple as our house isn't really fancy...

I found some I like and put them on the posts using Photoshop (MUCH easier than doing it in real life - not to mention cheaper!). So, have a look and tell me which you think look best.

Option 1.

Option 2.

Option 3. Similar to Option 1 but just slightly different.

Option 4. Much fancier.

I already think I have a favourite but I'm curious to see what others think ...

I started cleaning and organising the casita today. I got as far as emptying my workshop area of all the crap I'd piled up, making it impossible to get in and work and making a start on sorting it out.

I cleaned up all the rubbish and put all the odds and ends into the store room (it'll take me WEEKS to go through all the crap stuff in there to sort it out and put it where it belongs*). I moved the big cubby storage unit to another wall and put a hole in it to be able to access the power point behind it. I removed the square of carpet I had on the floor there and put it under the front porch to stop weeds from coming up. I brought in the metal frame of an old workbench that belongs to Wayne so I can make it into a workbench for myself.

Would you believe he was going to throw it away?

You'll see how that's sacrilege when you see it.

Of course I couldn't put the bench together cause we didn't have any bolts for it, so I had to go into town to buy some. I also need to find the right wood to make a top for it as well as a bottom shelf.

I wasn't able to do all the stuff I had planned cause I ended up being out about half the day having meetings and social gatherings.

Eh. I'm on holidays!


* The dream is to sort all my junk out in boxes so that when I have the need for a spring, I can go to the spring box, or go to the rusty washer box for a rusty washer. Cause you never know when you'll need a spring and a rusty washer.

I can't wait to be able to work in there again and get started on things again!