Monday, September 19, 2011

Busy as a bee

Well, the bees have been busy, me, not so much.

One of the trees down to the chook yard is in full blossom and it sounds like a billion bee cacophony when you walk past.

Billion Bee Cacophony Tree

  It's full of Native and European bees, all doing their thing

Bee Business
The White Mulberry (White Shahtoot) Tree has burst forth with new foliage and what seems like a million fruit.
Immature White Mulberry fruit

up closer

The only issue with this fruit from this tree is that it is in the chook enclosure.  Some of the chook prefer to roost in this tree at night, their dropping end up all over the fruit, so you need to be wary where you pick them from.  Another month or so yet before they are ready.

Wandering over to the garden, I noticed even the stalks of the Spring Onion have native bees all over them, Toni wants to collect the seed, so we are letting some go to seed

Spring Onion flower with native bees
and I could not walk back to the cottage without stopping to admire the gorgeous flower of the Grevillia

Grevilla flower

The property is alive with the warmth of spring and even walking off the veranda, the subtle perfume of jasmine surrounds you

Jasmine flowers

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I actually wanted to head down to the garden to see what Toni was up to, on the way down, I noticed the Callistemon out the front of the garden played host to a plethora of Scarlet Honeyeaters, they were all over the spring flowers.  I raced back to get my camera, cam back, they had moved to the next tree along and have been joined by their compadres.  I counted at least 5 or 6, 4 of them the males, displaying their gorgeous scarlet colour.

Feeding, on the wing, ah la a Hummingbird

Lovin' that nectar
While I was there, Toni came out to see what all the excitement was about, she had been thinning out her purple carrots, a heirloom variety growing at the moment.  The small thinned out carrot were delicious, fresh from the ground !

Yummy purple carrots !

On the back to house, to drop the camera off, I was distracted once again by a gorgeous flower in bloom

after that, I forgot what I had even come outside for !

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hail... mary ?

Well, the small amount of hail the other day was simply a precursor for the doozy that followed it two days later !  We could here the storm coming from miles away, then rain, it poured, 45mm in about 30 mins, mixed with it a huge quantity of hail.  I am from North Qld and have never really seen hail before, my partner is from Victoria and she said this was the longest hail storm she had ever seen.  It kept coming, we were quite concerned about the netting over the orchard, chook yard and veggie garden.  Luckily it survived, just.  One of the poles in the corner of the chook yard was pulled out of the ground from the weight but we managed a quick repair as soon as the hail stopped and a complete repair the next day, that was the only real damage.  Piles of hail were still on the ground 48 hours later and we received light rain for the rest of the night, another 20mm to bring it to 65mm in total

Hail the next morning in the netting, about 50% melted

Hail around the base of an immature Avacado 

We have decided to cut a square out of the netting where the hail accumulated and "sew" in, with 0.7mm gauge wire, a 50cm x 50cm patch of chicken wire to let the accumulated hail fall through. I am sure after all that work we'll never get a hail storm again OR the hail will be so huge it simply blocks the holes !

Fruit has been bagged
We were caught out badly by fruit fly in the Nectarine and Peach trees last year.  On guard this year, Toni had prepared with plenty of bags sown from muslin purchased from a local shop and gauze netting she found  at an Op Shop as well as waxed paper isolation bags where appropriate .  We're hopeful this will stop the little buggers !

Fruit bagged on Peach Tree

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Busy in the garden

Toni has been very busy in the garden, planting crops and getting beds ready for a spring planting.  The garden is looking pretty good
Garden looking gorgeous

The Snow Peas are prodigious producers
Snow peas (left), flowering Choy Sum (right) for seed collection
Broad Beans: grow baby, grow !
and the strawberries are starting to produce, yum !


A couple days ago we had the first hail storm I can remember, little hail (thank god) about the size of a pea

Hail stones on the front lawn

and not too much of it.  It came down with about 30mm of rain as well !