Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Our Petrea volubilis is in full flower at the moment, I thought I'd do a post on it for those not familiar with the vine. It's a native of Central America and it has quite a few common names, Queen's wreath, Purple wreath, Bluebird vine and Sandpaper vine, which is what it's mainly known as here. It doesn't seem to have a lot of pests, possibly due to the abrasive nature of the leaves. A mature specimen can grow up to 12 metres long. The racemes of mauve/purple flowers are a refreshing sight on a sunny spring morning. The top shot is above the pergola, the flowers are quite propeller like. At it's current rate of growth it should almost cover the pergola by next spring.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Well the rain had a predictable response on our little frog community. The green treefrogs have appeared and the Striped Marshfrogs are breeding already. In the top photo the marshie is a little hard to see, its in the bottom RH of the shot with the frog spawn at top left.
I bought some nibbles at the ekka which were quite tasty. As they weren't available at the regular shops we thought we'd make our own.
2 cups pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons tamari sauce, Herbemare seasoning or sea salt to taste.
In a large frypan, heat pumpkin and sunflower seeds until they begin to brown. Add in sesame seeds and toss around until all the seeds are browned and beginning to pop. Turn off heat and add in tamari and seasonings and toss well. Cool and store in an airtight container. You can vary the quantities to suit yourself, the sesame seeds brown a lot quicker than the others so its important to add these later.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, iron and selenium. Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E and sesame seeds are rich in calcium.
Friday, September 01, 2006
We woke early today to enjoy the first day of spring. The weather was showers clearing and we were greeted with one of those refreshing sunlight showers as we inspected the garden for new growth after this weeks welcome rain. A Friarbird flew down for a feed of nectar on the red spider flower Grevillea as we sat having our first cuppa for the day. We spent the early morning potting up some extra herbs to surround our new water tank. For southern hemisphere bloggers we hope you had a beautiful spring day and for those in the north a beautiful first day of autumn.
We thought we'd have a bash at a few fruit trees, not having much sunny garden beds left we could use, we thought we'd try them in large pots. On the left is an Imperial mandarin and a Tahitian lime next to it. Above is a dwarf variety of lemon called "lots of lemons" they are grafted onto a rootstock called flying dragon ( whatever that is) Has anyone had success growing fruit trees in pots? They get plenty of sun where they are and we used a good citrus potting mix, so hopefully they should be ok.
It seems ironic that some years ago the council made it illegal to have a water tank if you had access to town water, and people had to remove existing ones or face a penalty. How things change, today the council offer a$500 rebate on tanks 3,000 litres and over plus the state government give a $1,000 towards the cost of any tank and installation. The tank people are out to 8 weeks delivery and quotes are taking a fortnight. The guy who installed ours said that some are starting to charge $50 just to quote. Ours is a Slimline colourbond 1850w x 2150h x 850 deep with 3000L. capacity. It was just the right size for our wall , we didn't have to move our hanging baskets at each side. Fortunately we got it just in time for the showers this week, it was great to put your ear to the side listening to the rain trickle in. Its about half full now, so that might be it for the present as the rain has pretty well cleared. Larraine and I were having a laugh because its given us an excuse to buy some more plants. We used to have the clothes line there, so now the tank's there we thought it needed a few herbs and shrubs to keep it company. With the plants on the other side we were hoping to create a sort of entrance to the back section of the garden.
This shop had a positive outlook on our current drought selling childrens wellies and pocket umbrellas. We've had some wonderful rain this week, I recorded this precious commodity sitting nicely on the leaves of our Eucalpytus "Summer red". I heard something interesting on ABC radio recently about rain that I didn't know. Have you ever noticed how fresh and green your lawn and plants are after a thunderstorm? Well apparently storm rain is charged with nitrogen, effectively natures fertilizer. The rain was a long way from drought breaking, but certainly a welcome relief from a long warm spell. It looks like we'll have level4 water restrictions some time in October, which for gardeners means bucketing before 7am in the morning and after 7pm at night on alternate days. For the poor folk in Innisfail its only just stopped raining, it reminds us of how much a continent of extremes we live in.