Showing posts with label artichoke green globe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label artichoke green globe. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bird Watching & Flowers

Recently, my son and I have gone more into bird-feeding and bird-watching. We have scattered some seeds around the grevillea tree (back garden out of the kitchen window) and also under the plum tree (front garden out of my son's window)
So far we have attracted two spotted-neck pigeons which come regularly.
And two non-native mynahs. Here is a picture of all four under the grevillea tree feeding.
One of the mynahs decided to take shelter on my neighbour's toilet window when rain poured.
Then yesterday we had two honeyeaters feeding on the grevillea flowers.  I only managed to take a rough shot of one as the other decided to fly off.  They are fast-moving birds.
I have many flowers in bloom now but I want to highlight a few here :
This is my pyrethrum daisies in a rough terracotta pot.  I bought the seeds from Diggers' Club. They did not flower last year but this spring they have rejuvenated and are putting on flower buds. Fortunately I was patient enough not to throw it out.
I harvested my first proper artichoke green globe flower  for salad last Saturday.  Not bad testing especially the heart. I ate it with whipped mayonaise and white balsamic vinegar.
 This is a picture of my edible Chrysanthemum (Tung O) plant. It survived winter very well and growing taller. It also started to form flower buds but I had to remove them in case flowering affect the leaves.  The leaves are what I harvest for soup (esp in steamboat/hot pots) or miso soups.
Some of the leaves have a funny curvy track on them.  I reckon it is some leaf miner?? Not a big problem as I removed most of the affected leaves.
 My two 'rescued' Tomato Silvery Fir are getting stronger and are having flowers.
Here is an inedible flower.  My first few Dutch Irs Bronze Perfection from Tesselaar have bloomed. Pretty things!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fresh Gai Choy/Mustard Green & Pak Choy Green

I have sown this patch with gai choy/mustard green and pak choy seeds towards the end of winter in August.  They were growing at snail's pace until recently when spring came and the weather warmed up. They are yelling out to me to harvest them.

The spinach in the planter in front of the raised vege patch are almost ready too.

This flowering pak choy has overtaken Big Fig in its pot. Big Fig does not seem to grow well this spring, its leaves rather shrivelled and there is only one fig in sight. The flowers of pak choy is is mildly fragrant and an attraction to bees. I am letting the seed pods formed so I can harvest more pak choy seeds.
Such a beautiful sight of the artichoke flower emerging among its architectural silvery leaves.
So here is some harvest of my gai choy/mustard green. My friend taught me to cook it with some roast chicken pieces (I used the wings and drumsticks), tamarind pieces and dried chillies.  And true enough, there is no bitter taste from the vege. The dish tasted sourish and spicy and very nice!
I also harvested some parsley for meatballs and baby pak choy for miso soup.

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.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Busy Saturday

It was a really busy 3 hours I had out in the garden last Saturday.  I :
  • pruned my chilli padi plants.
  • thinned out my pak choy and gai choy/mustard green seedlings.
  • built a shade for my transplanted green globe artichoke plants & trimmed them.
  • sowed sweet corn and other vege seeds.
  • sowed lucerne seeds for green manure.
  • did watering.
  • deadheaded my daisy bushes.
  • deadheaded my King Alfred daffodils. 
I told my boy that this spring I would not grow any tomatoes.  We ate the frozen ones from last season really slowly.  One reason is that the frozen tomatoes thawed really badly.  They are so mushy that I could only use them for soupy dishes.  I have spoken too soon.  I found a few tomato seedlings growing in the big fig's pot and in the pixzee peach tree's pot. That was mid-winter and they were looking really purple and frozen.  They must be from seeds from the compost bin.  And they must be tomato silvery fir since I only grew that variety.  My first instinct was to let them die in the cold since I had no intention to do tomatoes.
But then two of the seedlings caught my eye, I knew I had to keep them. They were the two strongest seedlings. They looked really healthy, though purplish out in the freezing cold. What a tragedy to let them die when they were trying to survive!!! So I prepared two pots and pulled them out and planted them. I placed a newly-bought plastic cloche on them and let them get some sun.  With a little tender loving care, they are now no longer purple and looking even better.  Okay, tomatoes for the next season...
New chives emerging from the soil. Oh I just loving seeing life spring forth from the dead ground!
Our only plum tree has the whole tree full of white blossoms this year.  I sure hope to eat more than 10 plums this summer/autumn since we really did only had 10 or so each of last two years.
Very pretty white flowers lightly perfumed.
My Tung O plant (edible chrysanthemum) survived winter unscathed.  I gave it a light prunning to open the plant up and remove the browner branches.  I use this vege for steamboat/hot pot or Japanese Miso soup.  It is nice by me but my hubby doesnt want too much of it.
This is the shade I have set up for my green globe artichoke plants.  The weather forecast a really warm end to winter and I knew that my divided artichoke plants could not make it if I do not build them a shade.  Imagine, a shade in winter! Sounds crazy! Well, they have been recently divided and replanted and kept wilting in the day, so I knew a whole week of warm sunshine would do them in. After building the shade, I also remove more whole leaves and halved some of the leaves, leaving only baby leaves behind.  I also watered them with a few rounds of seasol during the week and checked them every few days. That should make sure they really survive.  Now I am glad to have divided them in winter.  Imagine doing so in spring or summer, they would have die for sure.
A really trimmed artichoke plant, staked.
Here's the patch where I have sown sweet corn.  I used plastic fruit containers as cloche and weighed them down using decent sized white stones.
I deadheaded the King Alfred daffodils right out of my son's bedroom.  Now all they need is some good fertiliser to help them make bigger prettier flower heads for next season.
My chilli fire surived winter with the plastic protection.  Since it has now turned warmer, I removed the top plastic for it to get some sunshine.  I did that for my chilli padi plants too.
I had to thin out the pak choy and gai choi seedlings heavily in this raised vege patch because greedy me oversowed by a great deal! The remaining seedlings here are just about 1/5 or less than what I have removed! The work almost killed me.
I sowed some yellow capsicum, kang kong (water spinach), egg plant, cucumber and lady's finger seeds.
"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