Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pak Choy Green & Gai Choy/Mustard Green

All the pak choys that I have planted in winter are ready for harvesting....those in the large pot,
The baby ones in another large pot,
And those in the raised vege.  The gai choy/mustard green are also ready for use in cooking.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sowing Seeds & Bird Watching.

Yesterday's temperature was 28 deg and accompanied by very strong winds. Then in the evening we had a bit of rain (not as much as I have wished) and lots more even stronger winds. I definitely am not a fan of high winds. It brings a lot of destruction.

I sowed another two pots of water spinach (kang kong) and two pots of bok choy. My focus will be on leafy vegetables this season.
 My Jasmine flowers finally bloomed. I think I could sit all day out in my back garden to enjoy its fragrance.
 My son and I harvested our fat coriander, some spring onions and vietnamese mint/laksa leaves for two dishes.
 We have placed some bird seeds on the front and back gardens in order to attract birds.  I very much wanted to attract lorikeets and galahs but it seems like wishful thinking as we do not have any tall native trees in our garden. So far our grevillea has attracted beautiful honeyeaters.  We also get some noisy nymahs. Today we have two fluffy and cute spotted necked pigeons as our first customers.
 They managed to find the bird seeds and were busy feeding themselves.
 If you look carefully, you would notice a white sticker on one of the birds' leg. My husband forgot to throw this sticker which he has peeled from the new garden edging which we installed on Sunday.  Poor birdy stepped on it and it got stuck to its feet. I wonder how it is going to stand on tree branches if the sticker doesnt come off.

 In the foreground of the picture are two hanging pots of trailing kalanchoe. I hung them out of my kitchen window so I could admire them. Amazing so far, a honeyeater has tried to land on the flowers and then a spotted neck pigeon tried doing so as well. Unfortunately when they saw me peering out at them, they took off. I thought that was very amusing.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Picking Up Treasures for Gardening

My boy and I are down with a cold thanks to the unpredictable hot and cold weather here in Melbourne. However, that did not stop us from spending a few hours in the morning sun cycling around the neighbourhood and then doing gardening.
 My green globe artichoke plants.  What a relief to know that the three which I divided late winter survived and are growing well. See them right after dividing.

 The two tomato silvery fir plants which I have rescued See the rescue here from Big Fig's pot, nursed under cloches, and planted here are growing bigger too. I have removed their cloches since yesterday (background).
 Doggy. He trotted around the neighbourhood while we cycled. Now he is happily resting under the olive tree and trying hard to get the treat out of his toy.
I captured a picture of my boy making himself so comfy on the lawn and looking at his car pictures.

It is the time of the year when the council comes in their trucks and collect bulk refuse, which everybody will place on their nature strips.  Every time we cycle around the neighbourhood, I kept an eye out for things which I can use for my gardening.  This morning, I picked up two glass door panels.  I cleaned it up and use them to cover over my seedlings to create a mini green-house.  It sure beats using plastic sheet!!! People's rubbish certainly can become my treasure!!!
 And I also picked up a showerscreen panel.  I know it may sound disgusting and I was really hesitant at first.  But it was rather clean without any human scum.  I took it home (it was heavy and I needed to come home to get my car to return to the panel) and gave it a good wash.  I want to use it over my vege patch during colder days.
 This morning I did some work, including sowing new seeds of Choy Sum in this planter.  Note the wire protection over the planters.  I cut this out from a larger piece and simply bend it into a curve before placing it over the planters.  It would deter any pests from landing on the veges when they grow bigger.
This is the second season for the tulips next to my small gate. Pretty! I do notice the stalks are rather short this year. I dont mind shorter stalks, just curious why they came up so short this time.

Today is a rather hot, scorching and breezy day. Temperature max 22 deg cel. It is a glimpse of the hotter weather to come and I seriously pray that we wont get any heat-wave coming summer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Updates After Our Trip

Our family just came back from a week of getaway - to Mt Buller for the snow and to Sydney + Nelson's Bay.  With a hobby such as gardening, I had to do all that I could to keep it going fine before I went away.  I was happy that not one plant died on me when I came back. The pak choys and gai choy/mustard green in this patch are growing well.

My propagated strawberry plants have done well too.  Before I left, I placed pot dishes under the pots and water them well. Whatever excess water was collected in the dishes and the plants get their water throughout the week from absorbing the water in the dishes.
This is galangal ginger which I bought last autumn from the Melbourne Flower Show. I have removed their plastic protection so they would not get frosts. They dont look too good now but I am quite confident they will take off soon.
I germinated some rocket seeds which were given by Bunnings when I went shopping.

My lemongrass with its plastic protection removed.  Surely looks better than without protection.
Found a herb growing in Figgy's pot.  I thought it was a coriander but it turned out to be parsley.

I realised I am not the only gardener who uses styrofoam boxes for gardening. I used this box to place the 'Kao Kee' vegetables which I am trying to propagate. After using the leaves for soup, I made a mix of propagating sand & compost, trimmed their stems, stuck them into the mix and watered them. I covered the box with plastic and stood the box in the shade while we were away.
Here's how the stems look like. Hopefully, they will root and give me Kao Kee vegetable for soup.  I have no idea what the English name for this veg is.  I only know the dialect name for it.  It is yummy when cooked with pork liver and wolfberries.
Just found out that one of the two original green globe artichoke plants is having a flower!!!

Four of my 12 sweet corn seeds have germinated. That was very long time but I guess we didnt have much warmth to germinate the seeds with the cranky unpredictable spring weather.

Carolina Black Rose Grape Vine

Is that a cluster of future grapes?? I am not sure as I have never seen grape flowers before. But it is something which I have never seen before on my grape vine so I assume this is a flower cluster. Anticipating my first crop of grapes this year!
I pretty much pruned my grape vine based on my instinct in winter.  Obviously I have made some mistakes. Some of the new shoots that emerged are growing against the overhead beam and I had to adjust the branch to give the shoots room to grow.

I take pictures of new shoots as references so I can look back next winter to improve my pruning work.
Here's another shoot growing against the beam.

Here's how my grape vine is growing along the beams.
"All that mankind needs for good health and healing is provided by God in nature...the challenge of Science is to find it." - Paracelcus, the father of Pharmcology, 1493 - 1541