Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Sorry ladies

Make the most of it ladies. Your days of playing in the vege patch are coming to an end.

They've discovered the last of the strawberries (tiny little red ones that never properly mature) and in a very unchickenlike way have learnt to peck off the fruit without disturbing the plant. They don't even dig and scratch in that area so I haven't minded them being there.
Over Summer I gave up on the vege patch.
Since Christmas with all the rain we've had and the heat I just felt like it was all too much work for too little reward. It has made me realise what will keep growing with total neglect. Not the most scientific of experiments but it has shown me what plants don't really need a lot of TLC. I wasn't surprised that some of the herbs survived, but the strawberries did surprise me. They have virtually finished fruiting now and are sending out runners so it's time to revamp the strawberry bed ready for their next crop.
I've started (hopefully) a few seedlings, dug up the beds and removed the weeds so I'm almost ready to go. Just need to liven up the soil with a liberal spreading of compost and decomposed cow manure and maybe some blood and bone before I start planting.
This all should have been done a few weeks ago but better late than never. 

I bought Green Harvest's cool weather seed collection which includes silverbeet, cabbage, kale, leeks, beetroot, peas, lettuce and broccoli plus a variety of different coloured carrots (inspired by Hazel). Some will be started in seed trays and some sown directly. Because I'm running late getting started I will probably buy seedlings as well - depending on what is available.

Soon we'll have a productive garden again - I've really missed it.

But it's bad news for the ladies - they won't be allowed in any more. Hope they forgive me. 

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Bees, bugs and butterflies.

How do you photograph insects? I would love to be able to take good photos of the many insects that inhabit the garden. Is there a trick to it, is it skill or is it luck? Some one must know. I've seen so many great photos it can't be just luck.
The bee was so intent on gathering pollen it didn't mind having it's photo taken so I at least had time to line up and to focus. Most of the time they are so busy going about their business and so quick I can't even line up a shot, let alone have it in focus.

I even had a few to choose from.

I can photograph lady bugs but they're pretty boring just sitting there.

I would like to be able to take action shots.

This guy was flitting back and forth near the pond so, with the camera set on its "fast action" setting, I clicked in his direction every time he came close or landed.  Most of my shots had no dragonfly in them or just part of a wing in one corner.

Trying to take a photo of the Blue Triangle Butterfly I thought I'd missed completely
This was the original picture I took but when I zoomed and cropped, there it was just in the top of the picture.

Admittedly a teensy bit out of focus but there it was.

and further down in the grass was his mate.


Maybe I should just stick to taking pictures of cute lttle bugs that will pose and smile.

I'd really like to know how others get such wonderful insect shots. Can anyone help?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

GBBD - Flowers for March

The slight chill in the air each morning says Autumn is here. No ones getting out the jumpers or blankets just yet. We are still experiencing up to 30C in the middle of the day but the days are definitely getting shorter and the mornings cooler.  In the garden quite a few of the Summer flowering plants are still in bloom and some of the Autumn ones have started bloomimg as well.

The hibiscus are still flowering

Calliandra flower for most of the year

 Canna has almost finished flowering for this season. Soon they'll need to be chopped back ready for Winter.

Strelizia have burst into flower since the recent rain.

Beehive Ginger will finish soon as the weather cools.

The climbing bauhinia still has a few flowers, though not as profuse as in Summer

One of the real stars of  Autumn is the Tibouchina

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Garden on the 15th of each month. You get to visit garden from all around the world and check out whats flowering.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The new garden shed

It's not quite finished yet but I couldn't wait. I have visions of this garden shed transforming our lives. I see an end to wandering around the garden searching for the rake or the garden fork thinking "I'm sure I was using it here last weekend." I see neatly stored garden tools put back in the shed after every use. I see a tidy orderly  set of shelves where I will be able to find things first try. No longer will we have three containers of Seasol because we forgot where we'd put the other two.

We had the cement slab poured a few weeks ago and bought a kit. It fits snugly between the chook pen and the large water tank.

Missy supervised every step of the way. Whenever there's "construction" work to be done in the garden we have a definite heirachy. John is the tradesman, Ros is the labourer and Missy's the overseer.

The four side panels were screwed together by the tradesman with the labourer holding them upright and the overseer snoozing in the shade.

The roof went on...and...we have a garden shed. It still needs to be dyna-bolted to the slab but it's almost finished.

My Mum used to often say  "A place for everything and everything in it's place". It drove me crazy as a child.
Now it's my dream.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

A problem but not a bad problem

The garden (and Missy) is being neglected while the grandkids visit. After the party we all headed to Seaworld with the birthday boy for a couple of days. We only had one problem. No one could decide which was their favourite part.

The stars are still the dolphins but they have a fair bit of competition.

The polar bears are impressive and cute for such a large animal. They swim right up to the glass.

The penguins are simply stunning - so elegant and entertaining in their refrigerated world.

The fairy penguins are sweet and don't seem to mind the Queensland climate.

The sea lions put on a show. They must be very smart animals to learn all the tricks they can do on cue.

The underwater viewing of hand-feeding the sharks and all the other fish was impressive.

Sting rays are such photogenic creatures - so large, but graceful but gentle.

I think the boys enjoyed the battleboats best, even if they got soaked.

The little birthday boy loved the Sesame Street Show

and the waterplay. He wasn't too sure about the water spouts though.

Big brother definitely loved playing in the water.

The rides were pretty good too.
We decided that it was impossible to pick a favourite thing - we just loved it all.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Peter Pan Party

We have been very busy at Missy's Garden this week. Our grandsons from Cairns (and their Mum and Dad) are visiting and we were preparing for a first birthday party.
The littlest grandson was turning one. His older brother (who's 4) decided we should have a Peter Pan Party with Pirates, Fairies, Indians, Mermaids and a Crocodile. It's one of his favourite stories at the moment. The plan was to have various parts of the garden as the Indian Camp, the Pirate Cove, Mermaid Lagoon, etc. Everyone was asked to come in costume and to follow the second star on the right to find their way to Neverland. We planned lots of games to play in the garden but as usual here lately it rained, so we moved the party undercover and inside.
We had costumes and decorations to make and food to prepare.

The Bali Hut and pool were on obvious choice as Mermaid Lagoon and even though it rained, the kids still had fun in the pool. It's warm even when it's raining.

Luckily the back patio is large so it became the Lost Boys Hideout . Everything there was green - plates, cups and of course balloons.

Pirate Cove was moved indoors.
with Pirate Crackles to eat.
The crocodiles moved indoors as well.

and there were crocodile cakes.

The Birthday Boy was a very cute crocodile and Mummy was Tinkerbell.

Big Brother was Peter Pan

There were Pirate Games

The birthday cake was the Island of Neverland and the Jolly Roger.

We all had some cake.

then the crocodile, with some help from Peter Pan and his Pirate friends, opened his presents and was just about ready for bed.

It was great fun!


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