Tuesday, 14 August 2018

A Fantasy Writer's Land

Okay, you'll think I'm in the wrong blog, but I'm not. You see, I love to write books and I love to get into the garden and get my hands dirty too - and thus I thought to combine the two together!

So, while I'm kicking back and waiting out my lawn, my imagination started working overtime with my garden and how the fun part of it should look. 

Seeing it's a small garden, I thought it should be looking like a nice little garden - which looks and feels bigger than it really is. So, I'm hoping to find a wardrobe door to attach to my garden gate (I'll just screw it onto the hinged part and have enough room to lock it up, not a problem) and it'll be tall enough that nobody can see over it. That will be something fun and cool to look for; and I'll see what I can do with the colour of it - see if I can paint it a nice dark stain to make it look interesting.

Now, I've already put a duck in a cage to signify 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' and after posting the photo of it on Facebook and asking what the book of the photo is on a book site, people jumped in and knew it immediately. Some gardeners weren't too sure - or didn't want to play along. Otherwise, I'm hoping to make my garden a place where there's lovely plants and a place of fun too.
I'm also going to make a tall street signpost with fantasy lands I've read about in books all over it - pointing in the right directions - like the one they had in MASH. It ought to be fun to make that one! 

I've bought a deep white bucket with a lid - one my Dad calls a 'painting bucket' - from Bunnings for $14.00 and have put the kitchen composting scraps into it after the kitchen bin is full and the liquid from that kitchen composting bin is used like Seasol on the lawn (diluted with water in a watering can)... it's all coming together! 

I really can't wait to get in and work out the cool things for my garden. I might even get a few seagulls for 'The Birds'... or even a raven, paint the eyes red and put him somewhere around the garden - he may yet freak out the possums at night. Well, until my next post, happy gardening!

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Save A Little Money

Well, it's August, and I'm up to the stage where I can kick back and wait for the grass to grow - on a very literal standpoint. This is the part of the facelift I do enjoy in a garden - and I can't wait to get myself into a bigger garden so I have more to do; honestly, I get a little bored when it's cool enough to do more, and yet I don't have anything to actually do in the garden but wait. 

I have to wait for the lawn to establish itself enough so I can install the large stepping stones. This means I have to look into working on another project while I do. 

I've been planning on constructing a street sign reminiscent of the one from MASH - you know the one which was outside of 'The Swamp' with all the city and country names on the sign post? Well, yeah, that but I want one which will have all the made-up names from the books I've read; pointing in all the right directions (yep, even Neverland will be pointing upwards to the heavens - second star to the left - in the right direction). Seeing I'm a writer, and I do love my garden, it's only right for me to have part of my imagination in this garden. 

I've already put a book-style art piece in it; and it's worked out. I'm hoping to pop in more pieces of book-style art works around the place... now I just have to find a statue of a white rabbit to put next to the sign post and it'll really start to look like something out of a book! Until my next post, happy gardening!

Monday, 6 August 2018

Little Kitchen Composting

Last night, I pulled out a small bucket from my art gear, found a lid to fit it and made started putting my food scraps inside it. On the lid, I wrote: 'Compost' so I remember to put my food scraps and tea leaves inside it... might even get in and put a hole in one side and put it inside another one and make compost juice for the garden.

Sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? 

Well, I thought to post this little idea to see how it goes before I forget it. Until my next post, happy gardening.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Leveling Out

Well, it's the last month of the garden facelift and I'm so happy with what has happened in my back yard so far. 

1. The unwanted plants were pulled out and tossed - after I offered them to family and friends.

2. The shade area was sorted out; and I found plants I thought had died were still hiding out and alive! 

3. I bought a greenhouse from Bunnings and built it and started growing herbs and tomatoes again!

4. When my folks were at my place to help me out with building the greenhouse, I gave them 2 Agapanthus - as promised - and Mum loved them! 

5. I re-organised the garden so it would grow and look better; even put in a pathway to the back fence so I can get to the rain water gauge easily.

6. Bought new plants to replace the old, tossed-out ones to fill in spots which now lay bare.

Yep, I did a lot of work for such a small area; and now, I've just bought some cheap potting mix for $2.95 a bag to throw on the lawn to level out my wonky lawn... how cool is that? I really do think I need another bag though. But, that's okay. I'll get that and work it out as this month progresses. Once I get the lawn growing again, the garden will look lovely, lush and green again just in time for Spring and Summer. 

I still want to put in large stepping stones in it, but that may have to wait until next year... I'm not sure yet. Until my next post, happy gardening!

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Plans For August and September

Now, I'm coming to the pointy end of my Little Garden Facelift and this has worked out so well! I've recycled pots and made the garden look great! New plants are starting to flourish, the backfilled ones are looking good and then the ones which have been upgraded into other pots have begun to take on a new lease on life too.

The greenhouse is going so well too! The tomatoes are growing fast and the herbs are looking and tasting wonderful! However, the possums have tried getting into it, very unsuccessfully I must say! 

Anyway, I've got to work on the lawn as the days become longer and warmer and Spring is about to show its lovely warm face to Australia. And seeing we haven't had much rain, but it's been cold, it'll be up to me to get in and water the lawn more as the weeks go by.

First though, I'll be looking into buying some good quality lawn seed, Feed'n'Weed and lawn food as well. Before any of that goes down, I'll have to spread out some potting mix (cheap stuff) to level out the surface of my lawn first and make it look the way I want it to. This will be the first thing I'll be doing next week - buying the $2.95 potting mix to put out on the the shallow parts of my lawn and then putting out the lawn seed. 

After that, I'll get in and get some 2nd-hand pavers and pave the garden bed and a bag of white stones. The white stones will be for the front garden (to cover up the roots of the trees out there and make it look better). And then, I'll get in and put in some lawn food over the lawn seed and water that in - otherwise that'll burn the seed. 

By the beginning of September, I'll hopefully have a nice level lawn and a pretty garden to walk out into for the rest of the year... and lawn should be nice and lush and strong for the hotter days to come. Then, once it's established, I might get in and lay larger pavers into the ground leading out to the greenhouse. Those pavers will be right at ground level so that when I mow, the blades won't be grazing the paver.

It sounds like a lot of work, but all the hard work is done. This is the easy part... the touching-up part of the garden. Well, let's hope it is. Until my next post, happy gardening!

Friday, 20 July 2018

Been Busily Gardening

It's been a fortnight and the Little Garden Facelift has been chugging along really well. So far, I've installed a lovely little greenhouse to protect not only my most delicate of plants, but to get in and grow other plants too! 

Yep! I'm back into growing herbs and tomatoes again - isn't that great? I'm so pleased to be able to close it up in that afternoons and know nothing will get into it at night.

In the past two months, the large Sun-Loving Broms were removed and thrown out - and nope, not even my family wanted them, so I couldn't give them away. And then I had 2 pots which were useful to me as well. I potted up some lovely plants, repotted others into larger pots and tossed out ones which had lost their bloom and use around the place; reusing their pots for other plants which will be for the garden soon.

I bought a Camellia and a large pot for it, and recently planted that up for next Summer... it's looking great! I can't wait to see it in full bloom next Summer! And I'm planning on getting some pavers as well to put down, as I've made a pathway into the back of the yard to the fence... and because it'll get really muddy, I want to be able to make it a lovely little path through my garden. 

Last night, I pulled apart the solar light strings and pulled out the flat batteries for them and looked at what kind of batteries they were. You see, as the lights are okay, I'll just replace the batteries and get them charged up as the days become longer and the sun moves around. It'll look great again and light up my garden again for the next 6 months - and besides, the batteries only cost around $5.95 per pair. So, that's a saving for me in the longrun.

I still have a few things to get in and do for the garden. There's still a plant to put in, pots to put away and other things to clean up around the place. I want to add in some succulents for the frame next to the back door and re-do the stones in the front garden area (as they're not looking great and need refreshing) so the townhouse looks nice and clean for Summer. 
All of this will come in the next month; and by Spring, the gardens - front and back - will be all ready for the warmer month; and all I'll have to do is watch it grow and enjoy it all. Then, there's the lawn to care for too - as it hasn't gotten out of this without some damage. My yard gets no sun over Winter and so it's now a little muddy... and so I'll be getting in and working over it with some Feed'n'Weed and lawn food as well as September comes through.

So, there's what I've been up to over not only the past two months, but what's going to happen over the next two. Yeah, there's still some things to get into, and other maintenance to get into before Summer hits us again. Until my next post, keep gardening!

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Gardening Journals

I keep a gardening journal - not only online, but also offline - to keep my actions around my garden in print. 

I know this may sound like a finicky thing to do, but if I keep up-to-date what I do with my garden, what I spend on it, how much money goes into it, which plants I buy, how much potting mix is bought and what lives and what doesn't in my garden, I have an idea what I can do with it - and also what I can't do with the garden I have. 

I started my gardening journal I have now in 2013 and it's been going on since. Once in a while, I don't write but then it's when I don't do anything to change the garden; for example this year! 

This year, I've bought a new greenhouse, plants and potting mix, moved a whole lot of plants around, gotten rid of plants I no long need/want in the garden, back-filled other plants and repotted others still which really needed it. But then, I'm looking at buying a few other plants to fill out some gaps which have been created around the garden from the tossed out plants and a lot of herbs to grow for my kitchen.

All of this has been going into my gardening journal; and this is a good thing. I've also written in the aim for my next pay packet - how many bags of potting mix I'll be needing, the big pot I'll be needing next week and another plant I want to buy for the garden... it all goes in there... as aims for my garden. It's all there for a reason and it's so when I look at it next, I know what I want for my garden is for it to flourish next Summer.

Do you keep a gardening journal? Is yours online and offline? Have you got a Facebook group or photo journal to keep yourself on track? I have all of these and the people in the group on Facebook are few, but they get inspiration from what I do in my small garden - they know I don't have a lot of money, nor a lot of space, and yet I make the most of it all. So, do you make the most of your garden and your space? Until my next post, happy gardening. 

Saturday, 30 June 2018

First Month In!

It's the first month into the Little Garden Facelift and so much has been done! 

So far, I've cleaned out the Broms - all of the ones I don't want anymore - and the whole garden looks and feels so much cleaner; not to mention, I've scored some big pots to recycle! I've also cleaned out a cane I no longer need, and that left behind a nice terra-cotta pot too!

In one of the pots, I planted 4 cloves of garlic before the Winter Solstice. Which is good. I've got year to wait until that comes to harvest. I'll have to keep and eye on that! 

I then bought some bags of potting mix and started looking around for a rose for my dear friend, Hannah. I also bought 2 bags of rose potting mix - which is good for camelias too - and over the past few weeks, I've hesitated buying a rose bush because it may not grow properly in the place I'm currently living. So, I might give Camelias a try; as they're a nice plant and don't have thorns. They also attract the bees - which is good for the planet. 

I also bought a Geranium to support the Breast Cancer Foundation - and it's a hot pink one! It's jumped in and flowered in the most gorgeous way! But it's been in a bird cage to keep the possums away from it.

I have a solution for this - and another plant which was struggling with this problem too - and that was to buy myself a greenhouse! So, I did. I went out this week and bought myself a Naturallife walk-in greenhouse. It's a nice little one and it cost me only $44.90; and I have posted my day yesterday putting it together on Earth Gardeners on FB. A few people on there have advised me to save up for a better one - that this one is okay for now, but it will fall apart once the days get really hot. 

So, I know what I'm getting myself for my birthday this year! Yep, a bigger and better greenhouse! I'll be able to grow everything I want to eat in it and have it bolt together.

But for now, this one will have to do as it's what I can afford. Dad is stoked at how much my garden has jumped forward in the past year; and was amazed I offered him and Mum a couple of Agapanthus. Mum was so happy! She loves the plant and asked what colour they flower - as they flower either white, blue or purple - and when I said purple, she was so happy about that too! 

Truthfully, I can't wait to get in and grow vegetables again without the possums helping themselves... I really do miss eating my own herbs without fighting the possums for them... and getting to my tomatoes before the possums and flying foxes do. Well, until my next post, happy gardening! 

Thursday, 21 June 2018

The Shade Area

Yesterday morning, I was out in the garden pulling apart the shade area to make it grow and bloom next Summer. 

I hadn't had any breakfast and had put on a load of washing; it was 8:30am and the chill was still in the air. 

After pulling out the table and chairs from the shady area, I then picked up a nice plant I didn't know the name of and repotted it into a larger pot. It had grown pups over the last 6 months, and I knew it needed room to move. When I pulled it out of the pot, I found the roots had become rootbound; so I had come by it just in time! The pot I was putting into was twice the size and perfect for it to have room for the next year! It looks great!

The next thing I did was pull out all the broms I had let go from the past 5 years... they were just getting too much and I ended up throwing them over the garden gate and into my car port to be thrown in the bin - as it was collection day yesterday. I found my Desert Rose and repotted that dear little thing - as it didn't flower last Summer and I thought it had died. So, that's got a bigger pot to expand into.

I pulled out more broms and found some pots that I had 'lost' amongst the forest of weeds and overgrown broms and plants... and then, I came across a very grumpy Blue Tongue Lizard who was trying to hibernate. Poor little guy! He showed me how ticked off he was and bit me... and I well deserved it for interrupting his sleep and put him back where I found him. 

Once it was all done, I put the table and chairs, left the lizard alone to his sleep and hung out the laundry... with a happy note that I had gotten rid of a good lot of plants I didn't need and now have plenty of room there to add some I'd like to have in that area during the facelift. This is going really well! 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

One Step Forwards - Two Steps Back

Sometimes I wish I had a credit card - but only sometimes - as I would never be able to handle the payments. Anyway, this week, I had a good lot of purchases towards the garden for the facelift it badly needs.

Yesterday, while I was out and about after doing the grocery shopping, I bought 2 bags of potting mix and a large grate for what I've decided to be as the climbing rose - Angel Face. It's hopefully going to be a purple range of rose (my favourite colour) and very pretty.

Now, I have the rose potting mix, the grate and the next thing I need it the pot - but really it just needs a big pot; which might just be one of the pots from the garden I already have. You know one of the ones which the Broms I have to get rid of live in now? Yep, one of those ought to do until I move and then I'll transfer it into another pot or better still into the ground! 

And, well, that's all I can buy for the garden - as that's all I can afford right now - until next pay, where I'll be buying just 1 bag of potting mix and a rose in a bag (which will be okay so long I keep it out of the sun and away from anything which might eat it). So, I might have to keep it inside near the door, or in the shaded area - I'm not sure yet. Otherwise, I'll have to look around at the yard this weekend and see what I can pull out of the pots and toss out.

Yep, it's going to be a busy weekend. What are you up to? Until my next post, happy gardening!