Category Archives: garden

One Storm

Harvest

One storm is all it took to pretty much flatten my lovingly tended and ridiculously happiness inducing garden to a sad looking pile of broken and drooping plants. I never took a January photo, I never managed to capture my very first garden at it’s peak – simply because I couldn’t fit it all in one shot. The sunflowers were 6 feet tall and so close to flowering – all gone. The calendula I grew to make calendula baby bottom balm – shredded. The garden that was a few days ago heaving with plants – and food! – is now emptier. And I have to be honest: it hurts a little. So much effort (not to mention expense!) went in to making my little garden grow. And one day of wind and rain tore it up and left it looking pitiful. Luckily I managed to harvest the first billion butter beans, a single forgotten snow pea and a zucchini. The rain may have destroyed my sunflowers, calendula and bshed everything else but nothing short of a nuclear war will kill a zuchinni plant. And I bloody planted TWO. Why??

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Set for summer

We’re not having Christmas in our house this year due to some…personal problems. It’s much easier for me this year to just cancel it and stay at home without other people around. So instead I am going to celebrate the summer and enjoy hopefully our last one without a baby. Summer took its sweet time arriving but it has now and it is glorious. And to celebrate I have:

Yarn. Lots of yarn:

Yarn!

Zucchini! I grew food! The garden has exploded this month:

Zucchini!!

And todays new addition to the never ending ‘must repaint’ pile. A rocking horse! I only dropped in to the op shop to drop off a box of stuff. Dave gave me quite an unimpressed ‘look’ when I came out carrying this!

Rocking horse

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Garden update

IVF is now ONE MONTH AWAY!!! I start my prenatal vitamins this weekend. In the meantime life has just been ticking along. I reached the elusive 25kg weight loss target a month ago and have stayed above it for 3 out of the last 4 weeks. Rather than showing you everything at once from the last few weeks I thought I would do a garden update today. Because just over a month after I planted it my garden is still alive.

Leafy

Early December garden. Leafy. Very leafy thanks to the rain but we need some summer sun to arrive SOON so the plants can start flowering. Well they are all still alive (minus a transplanted parsley which keeled over) and that’s far better than I have ever achieved. Need to thin the tomato plant (top left), plant some lettuce in that empty space, maybe remove one of the towering sunflowers (middle top) and trellis the snow peas although they are climbing the wind netting just fine for now. The egg shell and copper wire has worked well, there has been very little slug/bug damage. The only slow grower is the butter beans, they are only 5-6 inches high and they are a dwarf variety but still…we just need more sun. It’s been a wet couple of months.

Roses

And if you hate a rose bush on your property just get rid of it. Don’t neglect it and hope it dies. Apparently roses like neglect. It’s never looked more laden with shocking pink roses. That nutty old lady planted some weird things in some odd places.

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First garden

When we bought the house in March last year it was late summer so we didn’t put in a garden. We weren’t organised enough to do it at the end of last year either. But finally after costing us approximately 80 bajillion dollars for the beds, dirt, stakes, poles, seeds and anything I missed the first bed of our first garden is IN.

Our first garden

This is such a huge accomplishment for me. We put up anti-cat netting and ran a string of copper wire around the top of each bed to try keep out slugs and snails naturally. Although if that fails I have slug pellets read for them. We have a cherry tomato (that droopy thing in the back left, it got a bit bashed by the wind), parsley from Angela who I met yesterday plus zucchini, butter beans, two types of cucumber, snow peas, sunflowers and calendula (which I don’t think survived the transplant so I sowed more seed too). I waited a little bit too long to plant them out so I may have some casusalties from the shock because I wanted the wind to drop. But a month in and it hasn’t. This is spring in Wellington. Rain then wind and rain then just wind. So I can only cross my fingers and hope they survive the slugs, wind, cats, transplant shock etc. I still have a bed of tomatoes and lettuce to plant out but they were delayed due to user error and are still too small. But there are 21 tomato seedlings alone so give it a month or two and I will be whining about how they are now too big! I can’t wait to make stir fry mix and pasta sauce and all sorts of yummy salads soon!

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Sowing the seeds

I potted up all the seeds for our first garden today. A lot of people might laugh at me and take growing stuff for granted but not me. I have killed a LOT of plants in my life – a cactus (who kills a bloody cactus?), orchid, Ficus bush, camellia, catmint, raspberry plant, tomatoes, strawberries (even an idiot should be able to keep THEM alive!) and two lemon trees. But deep down I still nurtured a little hope that I could grow something one day. I have a garden shed full of random seed packets and bags of various soil improvers that I never could stop buying. I subscribe to NZ Gardener magazine. I ignore the fact that my garden beds are so overgrown I have to mow them before I can weed them.

Starting a garden

And then a friend gave us 2 little tomato seedlings last month. One died. No surprises there. But something strange happened. The other one lived. And it even grew! It grew true leaves and started to smell like a tomato plant. I began to entertain the possibility of a garden this summer after all. And then I remembered the garden centre gift voucher we got last Christmas. And so yesterday I bought seeds. And today – in the same weekend as I bought them – I planted them. This is huge people. I planted 4 types of tomato, 2 cucumber, 2 beans plus one each of zucchini and lettuce. I planted calendula seeds too to make my own calendula salve. I even ran out of pots before I got to the sunflowers and catmint. I ran out of pots. Which is like Joan Rivers saying she’s had enough plastic surgery. You just never think that it is going to happen.

I have plans to can up a whole bunch of pasta sauce, pizza sauce, stir fry vege mix and of course make that calendula salve – it’s good for baby bums you know and, as you all know, by the time this garden is all tuckered out and canned/frozen/eaten I plan to be pregnant. Next year I hope to be able to plant an extra garden bed – the baby food bed. It’s a hope I nurture fervently but right now I’m just going to concentrate on one of each seed I planted making it through to fruition. Baby steps.

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Finding focus in felting

I could blame it on the heat (which is crazy hot right now) or the lack of sleep it is causing. Whatever it is that caused it I have been restless and indecisive all week. But finally I got my butt into gear and forced myself to do something to focus my mind for a while.

When I started looking at wet felting my original intention was to make felt balls. But when I found out that you can wet felt rocks and soap of all things I was intrigued. I haven’t found any rocks worth felting yet but I finally tried felting a bar of soap.

Felted soap

I didn’t honestly expect it to look as ‘good’ as it did for my first attempt (and only third attempt at wet felting overall) but it came out pretty well I think. Well enough to make me think that my whole family is getting felted bars of soap for Christmas! The soap cost $1.59 for 4 bars and the felt goes a long way so these are super cheap to make for a whole bunch of people and are useful too. Plus they smell so good!

The heat has had other effects besides my laziness. My strawberries have exploded!

Harvest

We had those two tiddlers a couple of weeks ago but these are the first proper harvest from my first ever grown thing. Seven *big* red juicy strawberries lovingly homegrown by me. I was worried for a while because they were squishy and some were rotting and I couldn’t figure out if it was too much water or not enough. Well I left them alone and these big fat mama’s grew. Does it count if I grew them by doing absolutely nothing?

And because I am a big softie here’s a gratuitous photo of the lump who owns me. He’s been allowed outside for over a week now and life is so much nicer because of it but he still loves sleeping inside in front of the fan – such a fan hog.

Ragamuffin lump

I’ve just written all about these things I made and grew and the great big, shedding, scabby cat and I can’t help but think “wow, I feel lucky today. I am content with my life”. And now I am off to have ice cream and homegrown strawberries. Sigh.

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Awesome

Some days I suck. Some days I don’t. Today I don’t. It’s one of those lucky days where everything is awesome.

– I grew strawberries! Awesome. When it comes to gardening I can kill a plant faster than anyone I know. But my strawberries grew and grew and turned red and smelled oh so good. Tonight Dave and I ate one each. Not exactly a great harvest but considering my track record it was a huge moment for me. My first ever home grown produce. Awesome. The second pot is about to produce some too and by Christmas there will be heaps. Yum!

My first strawberries

– I finally mastered blanket stitch. Awesome. Any ideas you might have for projects requiring blanket stitch would be appreciated. As soon as I learnt it my mind went blank about how to use it.

– I learned English paper piecing too. Awesome. It’s so easy once you know how and I handstitched this ornament from scraps. Anything that uses scraps is a winner, plus it just looks really good. I was thinking of doing a tutorial for it. Would anyone be interested in one if I did? They’d look awesome on a Christmas tree.

Hexagon ornament

O for Awesome. Tehehe. This has cracked me up for years.

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