Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Pitter patter rain drops

I have worked like a trojan yesterday and today; ever since, really, that I discovered it was going to team with rain for the second half of the week, starting mid-afternoon today. I had gardening supplies arrive by courier from Hargraves out at Dural, about the only nursery that still had King Alfred Daffodils available. I was keen to get them all in prior to the rain, and then crossed my fingers that there would be some gentle falls, rather than torrential.

Of course, I was also keen to plant up the first bed of our new vegie [or should that be vege] patch. I had added my first compost batch last week, together with the regulation fistful / m2 of el-stinko, but knew I needed more. As Alannah toddled off with her Grandad on Tuesday, I collared Hamish from across the road, and received permission to clean out his chook pen. Hamish calls himself 'the hoarder from hell', but his garden is a delight. It reminds me of the grandmother's garden in 'Hunting and gathering', with one of my favourite actresses, Audrey Tatou. Following his instructions, I carted away a barrowful of the moulding hay bale, a barrowful of the chook manure on and under the tarpaulin, and another barrowful of the scratchings from the hen-house floor. Three barrow loads in total. The hens were worried at first, clucking here, and fluttering there, but calmed down when all I did was chatter to them, and shovel shit.

The hay bale I broke up and scattered over my 'orchard'. I have a dwarf mandarin coming by the end of the week, together with a 'Brown Turkey' fig, and a Kumquat. The latter two will start their life with me in a pot. The other two barrowfuls went into the lower of our two raised beds. I then transplanted out some celery (need to collect 8 lemonade bottles, too), some brown onions, some shallots, and some silverbeet (Foodhook Giants). When I was a kid, I used to call this spinach. What an ignoramus I was! Already I know that I need to be growing my own seedlings to have enough control over quantities planted. I am not sure we need THAT many shallots! I have some seedling starter boxes, and shall consider a small green-house down next to my compost, worm farm, and work bench. Boy, was I chuffed to see some greenery at last. Bit of a while before I recoup all that has been expended on creating this veggie patch.

And what of the King Alfred Daffodils, I hear you ask? Today, whilst Kirsten and Alannah were off at "French Tales" which they participate in each Wednesday in Chatswood, followed by dumplings, I dug 40 little holes in the back lawn, 8cms deep, and now they are being drenched by the rain. Perfect! I also planted a punnet of 'Carmine Glow' Primulas and a punnet of 'Wee Willie' Sweet Williams in my arched garden around the back. After all this digging and planting, I raked another million leaves and have two rapid rails ready to be collected next Sunday. Was keen to collect them as much as possible, as there are few things worse than piles of soggy leaves.

Rain, you little beauty! Rain!!


Joan Elizabeth said...

Daffodils in the lawn are delightful but a pain in the butt. The grass in spring grows much faster than the foliage dies down so you have to mow around them if you want them to multiply and reflower next year ... but I am not sure if in Sydney's climate whether they would reflower anyway.

Your vege patch looks wonderful. I hope it is more successful than ours out at the block. I don't think we are going to bother this year ... it was just too hard trying to keep water up to it. And in the end cheaper to by veges at coles (nowhere near the same sense of accomplishment though).

Julie said...

I can see the vegie patch here from my computer chair. My life revolves around gardening chores. This is not a bad thing.

The daffys are down under a tree where the grass is sporadic, and it does not really matter if it is straggly ... I think. I will soon find out if the bulbs rot through the warmth and wet of a Sydney summer ...

Carole M. said...

aaah...what a joy the standing back and seeing your garden take on new life. The energy you extend into a garden amply rewards you and having the rain at the right time is so joyous too; well done Julie!

Julie said...

Thank you, Carole. I am not able to pick from your blog, but are you a gardener? I suspect, living close to the lake as you do, you may have sufficient space.