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Forums / Staying well / Who else likes gardening?

Topic: Who else likes gardening?

  1. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    17 May 2020

    Hi everyone

    I hope you're staying well today.

    Who else likes gardening? I would love to connect with people here who are happy to share their gardening adventures.

    For me I know that gardening helped heal my soul during tough times. I hope it will again.
    Then with other things going on, it became a jungle.
    I'm part way into rediscovering it again and doing A LOT of hard yakka atm, when I am motivated.

    I have new dreams and ideas to put into the many bare places, as I remove thickets of lantana etc. This will all be on a tight budget and I'm ok with that.

    I want to create a peaceful place where I can be.
    I would like to grow food again (tell 'er she's dreamin' atm lol).
    I would like to re-establish my worm farms and compost heaps.
    Autumn is such a beautiful time of the year in the garden.

    I'm 'alone' in my gardening journey and would love to share and hear about other's gardening antics. Hopefully we can troubleshoot any issues in our gardens and talk about any healing we're feeling too. There's a lot of knowledge we can share. I hope this thread can brighten your day!

    Love Ecomama

    Please

    2 people found this helpful
  2. bluenight
    bluenight avatar
    25 posts
    17 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi ecomama

    You know I think it's a blessing from god that you enjoy gardening and that it helps you. I use to love gardening and I would often spend time working on my parents garden when I was growing up. I don't live in a house at the moment so I haven't worked in the garden for a while.

    There's a few wild vegetable and fruit trees/shrubs not far from where I live which I've been picking from for the last couple of months. If I did have a garden, I would plant vegetables and fruits. There are some fruit/veggie plants that grow very easily and they produce quite a lot of fruit/veggies.

    Worm farms are pretty easy to start, I think you can buy the bins which store them from bunnings. And the good thing about worm farms is that leftover vegetables or fruit don't have to go to waste.

    Yeh, I just like being out in the garden, it's very relaxing, I hope you get started again soon!

    2 people found this helpful
  3. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    17 May 2020 in reply to bluenight

    Hi bluenight!

    Thankyou for joining the thread. Indeed it's a blessing from God that I love gardening, so much more of a blessing when shared.

    That's great that you can get wild growing foods nearby. What are they? I'm asking because if they grow well with neglect, then they are great to grow lol.

    My eldest daughter spoke to me of some highly nutritious food plants we would usually call weeds. She uprooted some from her friend's garden and planted them in her own! My daughter is into bush foods too, she knows a lot about them.

    I love composting and worm farming. I feed our chickens the scraps first. Whatever they can't eat plus other stuff goes into them. Atm I only have stacked tyres for composting and one "worm tower".

    Soon I will choose 2 'hidden' places in my garden for repurposed old baths to set up as worm farms. I know how to do this but I have to collect the materials first. That's more a springtime job because I have many trees to prune.

    Have you got a Community Garden nearby? The participation element is missing atm, due to covid, but the foods growing are free for everyone.

    When things are less restricted, a Community Garden is a wonderful place for more reasons.

    EM

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Matchy69
    Matchy69 avatar
    1544 posts
    17 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi ecomama i like gardening to.I have been gardening since i was a kid.My mum use to have a vegie garden in the back corner that i use to allways be in.

    I love to grow my own fruit and vegies and have a nice vegie garden with lots of different vegies in it.Today i planted some spring onions in it.I have cabbages,cauliflowers,carrots,silver beet,radishes,swedes and just finished harvesting my watermelons and lettuce snd still have a few egg plants on and have a sweet potato growing mad.

    I have a few citrus trees and am just starting to pick mandarines,bush lemons and tangelos.I have a few other fruit trees like mullberry and bananas,loquat,apple and fig.I like to make my own jam and marmalade out of my fruit.I have a herb garden as well.

    I have a few different roses and am starting to make another rose garden and plant a few more.I have a green rose that was grown on my grandparents farm as my grandmother was a real collector of rare plants.I will be planting a few annuals as well.I have plenty of different things growing in my garden.I love getting into the garden and into the fresh air.

    Take care,

    Mark.

    3 people found this helpful
  5. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    17 May 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Mark, your garden sounds delightful! A real hive of activity. You must enjoy growing so many beautiful things. And eating them too!

    We have some of the same plants growing so snap lol. Mine are the ones that have 'survived' through years of neglect. Honestly the most that's growing atm is lantana lol but I'm getting there.

    I also have a mulberry, bananas, a bush lemon growing from a graft of my kaffir lime tree (I'm keeping both lol). My nectarine and peach tree feed the fruit bats, we never get there fast enough. I have a macadamia that I need to begin to prune, it'll be HUGE.

    I love my orange tree and am surprised it's still going. I also have a Tahitian lime as a "family tree tree", a nod to our heritage. It's going well too.

    I'm so intrigued by your grandmother's GREEN rose, wow. A green one? Do you know it's name? I'm really bad at growing roses. You're showing your green thumb here lol.

    I have Cape Gooseberries growing which are so beautiful to see. Their little fruit, like tomatoes, grow inside a paper lantern. You pop the lantern and there's the berry. These are great in place of tomatoes for a super easy tomato-like fruit to grow.

    I'm preparing a blueberry patch in a shut off section of my garden. This will help me control the ph levels in the soils. I never check ph but my hydrangeas nearby tells me ;-)
    I didn't know what herbs to grow as companions to my blueberries but I think I'll settle for parsley. Parsley grows like a weed in my garden, so it should cope with the ph.

    Do you use any particular fertilisers in your food garden?
    I'm still envious of your rose prowess lol, maybe I can learn from you how to grow them? or just not kill them with kindness IDK.

    EM

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Matchy69
    Matchy69 avatar
    1544 posts
    17 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi em thats yes we do have some of the same fruit trees growing and also have a few more some that you mentioned like nectarine.Mine would be about two years old and got a couple of fruit of it last season.Yes the flying foxes,birds fruit fly love that one.

    My grandmthers green rose is grown from a cutting that my mum had grown from the original one on the farm.I am not of its proper name i will have to look it up for you.Its not a a spectacular flower but it holds sendimental value for me as my mum and grandmother were so proud of it.

    I use 3 things in my vegie garden.I dig in lots of horse manure and compost and I put in dynamic lifter.My crops grow amazing in it.When i plant seedlings i usually water them with a liquid fertilizer like seasol.

    I have grown cape gooseberries in the past and make jam out of them.It is one of my favourite jams.

    Some of the herbs i grow are parsley,mint,rosemary,lavender,pineapple sage and a few others.The garden has a beautiful fragerance.

    I have not had much sucess with blueberries in the ground.Probably didnt have the right soil or ph.I have grown one in a pot and have had it fruiting ok.I will be interested to see how yours grows.

    Take care,

    Mark

    2 people found this helpful
  7. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    18 May 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Hi Mark

    Your family heirloom green rose sounds so special to you, it also must bring back happy memories? Do you use dynamic lifter on your roses?

    Great to hear you compost, it's a wonderful use for 'waste' lol. I don't compost as much as I used to, but I probably won't again, which I'm fine with. I just need ways to do it so I can manage it, without feeling guilty lol.

    Chickens eat a lot of waste and I can't imagine a time I won't have my girls. :-) My girls have the run of the gardens atm. I don't think they'll like being shut out of some areas in the future so I can grow more veg etc. But I'll grow some things in patches so they can scratch around there.

    How do start your cabbages and caulis? I have never had any success with these AT ALL.

    I am getting so eager to begin growing more veg but it's not possible atm, firstly I have no areas ready, free of lantana, old bananas etc & I have ALOT of tree trimming to do, and I mean A LOT. Secondly I'm a bit too busy atm.

    Soon I'm on leave from work and hopefully I can afford to only go back for 3 days when I return in a few months. 3 days will give me more time in the garden for the set up. I found a gardener I am happy with and he 'gets' what I'm working towards, so again hopefully I can afford to employ him! lol. We garden together and talk about gardening and it's lovely having this 'time out' focussing on nice things.

    I started cutting tree trimming yesterday into 1 metre lengths for a Council Green Waste pick up. I decided to use long lengths of jasmine as twine to make the bundles. Our neighbours jasmine has invaded, but since they are elderly, I won't bring up how annoying that is lol. Using jasmine will save heaps of money on twine!

    :-)
    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Matchy69
    Matchy69 avatar
    1544 posts
    18 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi em its a lovely sunny day here i have been doing some work outside on my new garden.

    The green rose is very special to me brings back memories of my childhood and of my hrandmother.I use specific rose fertilizer on my roses.I will fertilize them in probably july.

    I have four chickens as well as egg layers and pest control.I use the chook poo around my fruit trees.My chickens are in the backyard and i have my vegie garden in the front so chickens cant get in there and wreck it.

    I usually buy my cabbages and caulis ect in punnets.When i plant them i give them liquid fertilizer for a few days.I use cabbage dust on them to keep the cabbage moth at bay or the grubs will get into them and eat them.

    Take care,

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. bluenight
    bluenight avatar
    25 posts
    18 May 2020

    I really wasn't expecting others on this post to have the gardens described above. I really like fruit and veggies and I think it would be awesome to have the plants you both have. A macadamia tree, I don't know how long they would last if that was my tree, I am avoiding nuts at the moment because once I start eating them I go overboard and eat too much sometimes. And Mark has eggplants, watermelon, mandarins and tangelos. I have to look up the green rose, never seen one of those.

    If I had either of your gardens, I wouldn't need to shop very often seriously.

    Out of interest, does having a particular vegetable plant mean you probably won't need to buy that vegetable for that season? I know with lemons, mandarins and oranges, they will last all season if you have a fairly mature tree. My grandma has oranges, best oranges I have tried.

    ecomama I go for bushwalks, today I came across a huge banana plant hidden away but they're cooking bananas and I was told they don't taste great but I think the person who told me that didn't realise that you are supposed to cook them as they look like lady finger bananas lol

    There is a community garden not to far away but I believe it's full and you must put your name down on a waiting list

    2 people found this helpful
  10. Matchy69
    Matchy69 avatar
    1544 posts
    18 May 2020 in reply to bluenight

    Hi bluenight yes it is great to grow your own produce.I try to be self sufficent as much as possible.Their are crops you can get a good season out of like silverbeet that i usually get 12 months out of before i replace them.My egg plants i have been harvesting for 6 months and i am still picking them until the frost kills them.Beans you get a good continous crop out of them and peas in winter.Strawberries to you continously pick to.

    When i lived in the city there was a community garden just up the road from me.It was amazing and had all sorts of vegies and fruit trees.Was great visiting.Where i use to live there was a lot of native fruit trees growing along the creek like sandpaper figs,burdekin plum and native mullberry.I use to pick the figs and plums and make jam out of them.

    Take care,

    Mark.

    2 people found this helpful
  11. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    20 May 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Mr Jam Maker Mark, wow, you are amazing at making the most out of foods you see and have growing! That's so great.

    Thankyou for sharing. It'd be nice to get a recipe or too once we have some excess produce. For now I'm still clearing lantana lol oh and so many other major jobs. Lopping trees is a huge job and I'm overwhelmed by this. Today I decided to get a recommended tree lopper and ask him to hire a mulcher tooboot. I already have about 5 stories of lopped tree branches and the piles are everywhere, driving me a little crazy. Our green bin just won't cut it lol.

    I am preparing for a Council Green Pick up but that's too much work too.

    I'm so keen to get growing and the energy I'm expending on the "issues" is not so pleasant. But I will persevere. Imagining your garden, Mark, is something to be inspired by, thankyou for the inspiration!

    My nana taught me how to blanche excess veg & freeze them for the off seasons. I'm sure there are plenty of directions on the net nowadays. I've got some combinations that I love to cook together too like tomatoes, roasted and cooked in a pot + basil + onions + zucchini. Once cooked you can put the mix in a plastic container with a lid and freeze them for winter soups or pasta. I love re-using Chinese take-away containers washed well. They stack well in the freezer too. I use whiteboard markers to label.

    Happy gardening!
    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Matchy69
    Matchy69 avatar
    1544 posts
    20 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi EM I have over 60 jam recipes that I make.I use to win awards with my Mulberry jam and Roselle jam to.I have in the pass blanched and put my excess vegges in the freezer and had bottling outfit that I use to bottle a lot of fruit and some vegges.

    You have been busy in the garden.I one property I owned had a heap of lantana that I cleared and planted fruit trees in its place mostly mangoes.That would be great to have all that mulch to use on your garden when you get your pruning all munched.

    My deciduous trees are just starting to lose their leaves.They seem to be a bit slower this year.It been still really nice here with the odd cold day.

    I have two persimmon trees ordered and will get them in early spring.I don' know where I am going to plant them yet.They are one of my favourite fruits and my mum had one in the backyard when I was growing up and the first house I bought had one that use to get loads of fruit.I use to make persimmon icecream out of them.

    Tale care

    And

    Happy gardening,

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful
  13. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    20 May 2020 in reply to bluenight

    Hi bluenight and welcome to a totally sharing thread!

    Oh yeah there are Community allotments out there with waiting lists, which is good and not so good. I hope more land is allocated where there's a clear need.

    I actually meant a Community Garden in the way that there's a shared garden. We have quite a few in our area. Anyone at all can go pick whatever they like, usually 24/7. You can get as involved as you like or just enjoy the pickings! Some have workshops which I have run, on subjects like companion planting, organic gardening, worm farming (my fave lol), composting in lots of different ways etc.

    Another awesome thing to do is to seed save. You can end up with a garden of food with so little cost if any. Some areas have seed savers groups. Some seed saving groups are within Permaculture Groups. Pretty fun actually.

    Another free thing to do is to make 'teas'. E.G. You can use your weeds and grass cuttings to make a great nitrogen rich fertiliser for free. I use an 11L bucket with a lid and fill it full of green waste, then fill with water. You can keep adding green waste as it decomposes down and leaves some room. Beware this is rich stuff! Wear old clothes lol. You only need about a cup of this in a 9L watering can and use it every 3 weeks or so on any nitrogen loving plants. It's called "Weed tea", yum! You'll realise how rich this is when you go to use it, it smells exactly like cow manure.

    When I've planted seedlings or seeds, I also get seaweed from a local boat ramp car park. I wash the salt off in my garden then do the same as above in an 11L bucket with lid. This yummy recipe is called "Seaweed tea" lol exotic names. Same ratio for use.

    Thankyou for reminding us about horse manure too Mark! So many stables, agistment studs etc are begging for people to take this away. Some may even deliver. I prefer to use this in my compost as it really speeds things up in there.

    What are anybody's plans for their gardens this week? I'm going to organise my gardener for next week I hope and a tree lopper and mulcher... though I found out about a lady giving succulents and other plants away for free, I may chase that up too, we'll see.

    Happy gardening!
    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Matchy69
    Matchy69 avatar
    1544 posts
    22 May 2020

    Hi Em i dont think its going to be a great weekend for being out in the garden as we have had a cold snap hits us here and it is windy and freezing at the moment.I was going to try and clean up my vegie garden a bit.Pull the melon and pumpkin vines out and get another bed ready for planting.We had some rain yesterday so it will probably be muddy in there.I love having a vegie garden.Just before i am going to cook dinner i go out into the vegie garden and pick what i need.

    In my garden the leaves on the deciduous are changing colour and falling to the ground preparing them selves for the cold and the frost to come.A whole different look about the garden in winter.

    Happy gardening everone.

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Quercus
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    Quercus avatar
    3457 posts
    22 May 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Hi everyone,

    Hope it's ok I post to save this thread to read. I love gardening. I like reading about your gardens.

    Has anyone considered blogging to record your progress? I joined WordPress and there is a huge community of gardeners worldwide who share photos and write about gardening. There is a post called Six on Saturday where people share links to six photos from their garden. I look forward to it every week.

    We have 5 acres so lots of work to do. Mark have you thought of putting an ad asking if someone would share their garden in return for half of your crops? I saw a program in the UK where people who have land but aren't into gardening connect with gardeners who need a plot and allow them to use the garden. It's free and everyone wins. Just an idea.

    Happy gardening all.

    ❤ Nat

    2 people found this helpful
  16. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    22 May 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Oh Mark, I smile SO BIG when I read about your garden. I love hearing about it all & your musings of the change of seasons too. It is a BEEEAUTIFUL time of the year in Autumn, even if it is a bit rugged weather wise lol.

    I bought the most awesome steel capped boots to garden in recently. I LOVE THEM! I wear them to the shops! My last pair fell apart after 10 years so I definitely bought the same brand, a great Aussie company too which makes me happy. My gumboots are too cold to wear in these seasons.

    But HAPPY DAYS seeing my faraway tree go full Autumn. It's so pretty. I love it too. I'll cut to the chase by saying I pretty much love everything in my garden.

    Does anyone else make a leaf mould with their Autumn leaves?
    I'm definitely making one this year. You need 3 or 4 star pickets and some chicken wire or shade cloth and cable ties. Stake pickets in a square or circle shape. I always make a 'door' on one of the sides to release it after it has composted down from the same length of chicken wire. All you have to do is keep piling the leaves on, nothing else. They break down really fast and the black soil made from it is unbelievable. Mine attract worms you'd mistake for snakes, they're so big. So if I can get to the worms and save them from my chickens, then I do.

    My leave starts today, woohoo! In the first week I have to do boring accounting work, plus start with my new psych and have a counselling appointment too, plus kid's stuff.

    BUT IN THE SECOND WEEK and onwards watch this space.... okay not THIS space, one further down a bit lol.
    I'm getting a quote from a new treelopper to trim lots of trees for compliance and waterviews lol.
    I'm going to ask him to mulch everything too, which I've never done, nor had paid people before this year.
    I need the help for my MH. Seriously. Lantana could do anyone's head in lol.

    I'm also employing my gardener about once every 9-10 days or so. Or when he can. Just for this 2 month's leave.

    I'm finally growing grass again after having lots of chickens for years. I only have 4 left now and they are too snobby for grass lol. So I have to get a MOWER, Lordy me. Sighhh.

    MAYBE just maybe, I'll get a handyman to build a door frame once I cut a wall out of my destroyed above ground pool. I'm making a greenhouse out of it. I would love to have this set up by Spring. I'll see how my finances go.
    I'm taking half pay to stretch out my leave and the kids just keep eating! They're pretty awesome, so I'll keep 'em.

    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  17. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    22 May 2020 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Nat, you are MOST CERTAINLY very welcome to save this thread and share your garden capers too.

    5 acres... woah, I'm tired just thinking about that lol.

    About the online posting pics etc... my daughter and I are hoping to start Vlog. I think I'm probably on my own with it really, she's doing so much Uni and for years more. But her heart will break if I do it without her so IDK.

    For now, I'm triggered by a lot of stuff so I'm getting more help and hopefully I can do what I'd like to do, free of the yuck stuff.

    It's nice to finally feel excited about gardening again, sharing here has helped change the tune of my thoughts actually. I'll move further afield in the online world in time.

    So Nat, do you grow fruits? anything else you like to do in the garden?

    I'll be restraining myself from gardening for a week or so whilst I tackle financial jobs etc. I might need the physical outlet at times, but it'll be more or less maintenance tasks.

    Does anyone else find that 90% of their work in the garden is taken up by maintenance jobs? I so much prefer the creative side but alas, barely ever get to those.

    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Matchy69
    Matchy69 avatar
    1544 posts
    23 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi Em and everyone else reading this.I am still in bed and it is still dark outside and it is 6 am in the morning.I am listening to the birds all singing and talking as a new day begins.

    The leaf mould sounds great.I have never thought about making one.I usually pick my leaves up with a mower and put them in the compost bin.

    I think gardening is mostly matinence and thats what i love.I like you going to give something a little prune and you end up with a huge pile of prunnings.It is propbably the weeding i don't really enjoy especially when they take over after some rain.

    I really enjoyed hearing about how much you enjoy your steel cap boots and wear them everywhere.My steel cap boots are covering dust as i hardly wear them these days.I use to be a barefoot gardener but these days i put on a pair of rubber clogs just so i dont get the khakie prickles in my feet.

    A very creative person you sound em.I like the idea of a greenhouse made out of your old above ground pool.I am really into recycling and reusing and repurposing things.

    Every year on the first of May that was the day i move into here i take photos of my garden in the same spots and post them on facebook in my special album for them and like looking at the changes in my garden and how things i have planted have grown.It is interesting looking back on them.

    Happy gardening,

    Mark.

    2 people found this helpful
  19. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    23 May 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Dear Mark

    oh how lovely your first sounds in the morning are and what an amazing amount of foresight you had to take photos on the SAME date and from the SAME places each year wow! It's great you saved them somewhere and you can look back at them lol.

    Atm I can hear kookaburras laughing in the bush nearby. I don't see nearly as many magpies, I just realise.
    We have an over abundance of Brush Turkeys here lol I love them but boy they make gardening a challenge.
    One we named because she thought she was one of my chickens! She slept with them INSIDE my house and is a real character.

    Thankyou for giving me another perspective on maintenance. The trees are too much for just me to manage and it's a bit depressing seeing so much of that work to be done. I really need to be here when the next tree lopper comes to cut things. The last ones did 2 days work, when I was at work, and they butchered my trees. They DID lop the trees I wanted cutting but they did it in exactly the opposite way to as I asked. I think they killed 6 so I'm disappointed, but if I ever have the money to put a cabin in down the back then that would have helped.

    Reusing and recycling is my a fundamental here too. I decided to use alot of the thick branches cut off, to make borders around some gardens. I have to saw off all the other bits to make them more presentable lol. But the kids thought it looked lovely in the front garden, so that makes me happy. It's only a little courtyard area in the front. I have plans but that's for later on.

    I was so excited yesterday when a psych at work offered to bring me succulent cuttings from her garden! They're unusual too, so they'll be great for some pots I picked up from someone throwing them all OUT! Couldn't believe it frankly, but he's happy I took them and I'm happy to have them. More projects lol.

    Down the back I'm using the branches to border my fruit trees. There's very little grass growing atm but when it does, it gives a guide for the mowing. Also it's a sloping garden. I want to capture any goodness and water around the tree root's boundaries, so I've put a wall type thing of branches on the lower side. This also helps deter the chickens and turkeys from making a total mess, they can't budge the branches!

    This week is my inside work week, so (lol) I'll only aim to fill the green bin and rake some autumn leaves. And scrub the porch from the chickens messes and... it goes on!

    Happy gardening!
    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  20. Matchy69
    Matchy69 avatar
    1544 posts
    23 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi Em I like how you could hear Kookaburras laughing.As a child we use to put meat on the kitchen windowsill for the Kookaburras who use to be waiting on the clothesline and then use to fly up and grab the meat.I don't see to many here but i do have a lot of magpies here as well as lorrikeets and wrens and grass parrots and all sorts of different birds as well as crows.Where i use to live their was a lot of bush turkeys and one had a mound nest in my yard and yes they do make a nest of the garden.I don't have any here.

    Talking about recycling i make plant tags out of aluminium cans.I cut them up and punch a hole in them and use a pen to put a indentcation on them when i write so its permanent.I usually tie them on my fruit trees and roses and put the name and variety and rootstock and date i planted it so i know what i have that is growing well.

    I find gardening is good for my mental health though i got to force my self to get outside some times even just to walk around the garden.You.and others on here are getting me inspired to get out in the garden.Thank you.

    Happy gardening,

    Mark.

    2 people found this helpful
  21. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    24 May 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Hi Mark

    You are also inspiring me to enjoy my garden more so thank you :-)

    Today I'm just going to enjoy looking out to my back garden from time to time. My faraway tree has lost so many more leaves and it's looking more bony now. I started cooking a beef brisket early. I need to do inside work.

    I said that to myself yesterday and did do inside work but my washing machine flooded the laundry and hallway, so that turned me OFF. I went into the front garden and cut already lopped branches to fit in my green bin. There's a whole tree to dispose of. SO much more of the trees out the front need to be cut back in compliance with the electricity company - 1.5m away from all lines. Sighhhh only did this a year ago. Much more this year. I'm trying to not get depressed over it all and remember that a tree lopper is coming soon. I'll do what I can.

    In saying that I have 5 crepe myrtles. 3 I planted and 2 in the back yard already here. I got them so they could heavily shade our home in Summer and drop their leaves for sun in Winter. I didn't think they were much more than that besides beautiful UNTIL a Wildlife lady helped us with a little ring-tailed possum left under them on a very hot day. She told me that they only eat blossoms, oh that made me so happy that they eat those flowers. I feel better for keeping them and the work involved. I care deeply about our native animals.

    I can see the oranges on my tree ripening and that's a cheery sight. It's very dry down there. Since removing the lantana, the soil is bare and exposed. A wicked (lol) jasmine vine is constantly creeping over from next door which drives us crazy but the neighbours are almost 100yo and I don't bother them with anything. I just give them eggs and food from my garden or our Church food pantry.

    The rain has been very welcome! My front water tank is about 2/5 full now which is awesome. Our back yard water tank is probably full. Many things have been stolen and destroyed in past years. The hose and connections for that tank were. So that's going on my Bunnings list! I don't have a pump for any tanks but with a sloping garden, gravity works well. The orange tree will get more tank water after I get connections :-) For now it gets the slimy green overflow from my frog pond lol which is our "inside out boat". The water is on the INSIDE and the frogs came back.

    I'm looking forward to 10 days time when I can get out there more.

    :-) EM

    1 person found this helpful
  22. Quercus
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    Quercus avatar
    3457 posts
    25 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Thanks EM for the warm welcome,

    I love Mark's idea of using cans for plant labels! We have no idea which apples are which now since the k9s ate all the labels. I'll have to try it.

    Heck yes about never ending maintenance. 5 acres is a lot of work but it also teaches you to just pick one task at a time. Weeding is a pain right now. The builders brought in Cape weed on the trucks and it's a constant battle. It makes me laugh that Miss 5 and Mr 6 know which are weed seedlings. Hearing them grumble about 'bloody Cape weed' I realise how much kids pay attention and copy.

    We have lots of fruit trees. I like to plan long term gardening. One day we'll have plenty to share with the community. The hardest part is getting them through the first two summers here in rural WA. Do you have any water saving ideas?

    Anyway I'm off to brave the storm and go to work. Fingers crossed we get the 50ml BOM predicted. Tanks are so low.

    Happy gardening all ❤

    1 person found this helpful
  23. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    12841 posts
    25 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi EM, a good thread topic.

    I was once someone who adored gardening for so many years, before I was married and during it, mostly from my wife's design, which there was never any disagreement, roses we loved and have a few palms and fig trees in the house.

    My love for doing it stopped when I had a vehicle accident and depression controlled my daily lifestyle.

    Now that my mental health has been good for years, physically I'm unable to do any gardening.

    I only wish I could.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  24. Matchy69
    Matchy69 avatar
    1544 posts
    25 May 2020

    Hi Em and everyone else here.Geoff I am sorry to here you cant do any gardening these days because of you accident.I know their will be a day when i can't do it anymore.I try to get the kids help when i can.

    Quercus it really is important to have a water wise garden in some parts of Australia.I am on tank water here and was just about out of water to the rains came in the beginning of the year for us here after months of drought.I use plenty of mulch in my garden and i do recycle my grey water to but cant use that on the vegies.Planting things that dont need a lot of water helps to.

    I managed to get outside and do a little bit of gardening as it wasn't as cold here today.I removed all the old water melon vines and started preparing that bed for planting.

    Happy gardening,

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Shelll
    Shelll avatar
    5726 posts
    25 May 2020

    Hello

    I like pottering around in my garden. Though I don't have much of one at the moment.

    There is a long garden beside the driveway. I just call it the driveway garden. It has a row of small trees growing evenly spaced. Then underneath there is a row of plants bording the wire fence. These plants of tiny purple flowers on thin strappy leaves, they grow in clumps. They look beautiful when out in flower.

    On the other side of the driveway is a passionfruit vine growing along the other wire fence.

    In the front garden, plants do not seem to grow well there. Except a bird of paradise plant. Which I do not like growing there. Its quite messy. I want to fix all this garden up. But don't quite now where to start.

    I do not think the soil is good around here. I have started a compost heap and been composting for a few months now. Turning it. But there are so many black ants in it. I was hoping to improve the soil by adding compost to the existing front garden.

    Anyway I do like flowers, home grown vegetables and herbs and want to learn best how to grow them where I live.

    So I have just started a free course. A sciencey garden type course.

    Today I was learning about how to identify plants. By first looking at their flowers (if they have any). Came across a word that said umbell. Well I never heard of that. But found out is like an arrangement of the flower on a plant that looks a bit like an umbrella. I think parsley was an example. I need to double check that.

    Then looking at the leaves, like the shape of the leaf, how it is arranged on the stem, whether it has a scent.

    Then looking at the shape of the whole plant. Like is it a tree, shrub, vine, ground cover?

    Then look at the bark.

    Anyway it was all quite interesting.

    Next I will be looking into the most common plant families.

    Hopefully learning a bit more about gardening and plants I can improve what I have here.

    I really do want my own vegetable garden.

    2 people found this helpful
  26. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    25 May 2020 in reply to Quercus

    Dear Nat, 'bloody cape weed' lololol TOO CUTE papa bear.
    My children spent so much of their childhood's in the garden. Once when a teacher of theirs was walking with them, she said "Oh and this is a magnolia children" and proudly pranced ahead.. one of my children piped up and said " no it's a Gardenia" lol. Ooops. He was 4yo at the time, time for a lesson on tact.

    Hellooooooooo to W.A.! I love Mark's can idea for labels too! I love getting great tips from other gardeners. We use old CDs for labels. Pity about your dogs' appetites :-0

    ABC Gardening Australia's presenter Josh Byrnes lives in W.A. and he has vast organic growing / gardening experience for those climates. You can see past info online and he has some books too.

    But I cannot recommend the series of "Back from the brink" books by Peter Andrews highly enough. I had total paradigm shifts in the way I viewed any landscapes after reading his series. He writes for the Australian landscape and mentions WA a lot. He has so many unconventional ways to hold water in the landscape on any properties, no matter what size. His Australian Story was beautiful. Proof that what he did worked through long droughts on a farm. Green grass on his side. Dead grass over his boundary fences. I believe he had less water available to him as well.

    In the past (before destruction here) I put every Peter Andrews practice into place. I actually had friends who learnt directly from Mr Andrews, then developed many philanthropic and paid services. They came to my property and saw what I did. I wanted their advice on next steps. They were blown away lol. The most effort was in the careful observation of my landscape over seasons and weather patterns; flow of water, entrapment of water, capturing and HOLDING fertility on the soil. I don't use bought stuff much. I don't use any chemical fertilisers. The "labour' was the least intensive I've ever done for maximum return.

    I'm a water scrooge lol. I seldom if ever water my garden. One neighbor came up and said "You must have TOTALLY different soil to our land. We can't grow anything in this drought". I said "Look, same mountain, same soil. It's what I DID to save this soil that is the key". They were 2 doors down in an urban neighbourhood. Everything was the same, except what I did.

    We grew SO MANY foods and were stunned by the amount of produce we got year after year.

    :-)) EM

  27. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    25 May 2020 in reply to geoff

    Geoff! My building GURU! Welcome over here. Thankyou for all your advice on the Building thread. Your advice is awesome.

    I'm sorry to hear about your accident. That's horrible.

    I want to ask, but only answer if you're comfortable.

    Would you be able to garden in a raised bed? I have helped establish gardens for people with disabilities.

    The Men's Shed (here) is invaluable in assisting with all sorts of construction of gardens for anyone with MH issues and / or physical disabilities. So far they've provided these services for free here. Ours also constructed worm farms in old baths. They are high enough for little bending. Accessible for wheelchairs. Men join these awesome groups for so many reasons. I don't think anyone need give a reason. But it's lovely to see the joy in their faces from giving.

    I donate our old bikes, broken lawnmowers and other stuff to them and they fix them and give them to people who need them. I love this group. We are so blessed having them. Ours gets good sponsorship, so that helps a lot. Keeps the tea and coffee flowing too.

    Not sure if you've considered getting an upright plastic greenhouse? They come in all sizes and I've grown food in ours on our balcony.

    Many blessings Geoff. I hope there's a way to access this past time for you.

    EM

  28. ecomama
    ecomama avatar
    246 posts
    25 May 2020 in reply to Shelll

    Dear Shelll, a warm welcome to you! I reckon we're going to have LOTS of fun with your garden lol.

    Your garden sounds sweet. That online Course sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing your learnings! I'm sure we'd all welcome more of these interesting facts.

    I bet you'd love looking into Biodynamic Gardening after that one. It's FASCINATING.

    I got a Scholarship to complete a Permaculture Design Certificate years ago. Wow. Love all things Permie lol.

    One key thing to your gardening success (besides a never give up attitude) is OBSERVATION.
    Look at how water runs on / off your property - we can talk about that later.
    Feel how hot / cold / humid / dry each potential growing area is and WHEN. These are your microclimates. Success is exponentially increased if you observe and peg them in your head or start a notebook on each area.

    The microclimates in my garden are so diverse, that I can grow tropical plants in some areas and extreme cold loving plants in others. This took me a LONG time to work out lol. Hopefully your discovery journey is shortened by chiming in here and posing questions to the rest of the green thumbed brains trust lol.

    Your Birds of Paradise are telling you a lot where they are.... depending upon whether they look vibrant and happy or light green, not multiplying and sick looking. How are they looking? Please observe before ripping anything out lol.

    I'm so impressed you've started a compost heap HIGH FIVE lol. And you've done that first, that's incredible.
    Black ants? They're telling you something also.
    Little black ants like eating sugar, white bread, cakes, that kind of stuff.

    Composting (there are SO many ways)… If you're doing the layering of carbon (paper, leaves, wet cardboard) and nitrogen (green waste, foods and other stuff lol) then these layers could be about 5-10cm deep. Wet each layer of carbon as you lay it. This may help. You may have "too much" sweet stuff in there but this may be easily balanced out by carbon.

    I heard one gardener say to another one at a Permie meeting... "You don't have an over population of snails, you have an UNDER population of birds!"

    It's kind of an ADDING formula instead DETRACTING … including from your energy expenditure, the hard work of taking things out then losing the lot.

    Chooks are the best but having a bird feeder right near where you want insects eaten can work well. Have a think of what you want to plant there later. It might be EATEN by those same birds lol. Herbs soon.

    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Matchy69
    Matchy69 avatar
    1544 posts
    26 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi Em and everyone else on here.Talking about Bird of Paradise plant brings back memories of my mums garden as she had one near the back door.It was allways in flower and just kept clumping out.When i moved in here there was one growing here in an old concrete laundry tub in the backyard so i planted it in the ground and it is growing and flowering now.It is such a great plant to grow in dry conditions as it never gets water and only gets watered from mother nature.I used the old laundry tub to grow cuttings in and have Geranium cuttings in it at the moment.

    Birds and spiders are mother natures pest control.I leave all my spider webs up and think they are playing a part in my garden.I try not to harm living nature of i can help it.

    Hsppy gardening,

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful
  30. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    12841 posts
    26 May 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Hi Mark, my Mum loved her gardening and had a 'green thumb', anything she put into the garden just as a stem would grow, didn't matter what it was.

    She also had a Bird of Paradise which she fed with banana skins, and the raised garden bed, is that something you were indicating in the Home Improvement, and you can have a raised garden bed for flowers, my wife (ex) loved them.

    Will continue later on.

    Geoff.

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