Showing posts with label lemon verbena. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lemon verbena. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gardening Update

There was a few nice showers last night.
Harvesting pak choy, spinach, rocket, coriander, parsley, tung O/Garland Chrysanthemum, strawberries.

My two pots of thai basil propagated from market cuttings. They started flowering straight away and I had to pinch them off to generate more leaf growth.
Pak Choy Green in a pot and doing so well.
I harvested the pak choy for dishes over the next few days. They are really yummy for soup.
The pot is now home for some lemongrass which I have pulled up from one of the clumps. I am hoping they will grow thicker stems here. I replenished the pot with lots of composted manure.
Three of my strawberry plants which I had propagated have put on lots of flowers.
However, my joy was short-circuited when I found the flowers of two pots eaten up in the night. I highly suspected some animal walking on the fence and eating them.
I cracked my head over what to do to protect more flowers from being eaten. Finally I used some wire mesh, wrapped it over with strong plastic sheet and clamped it over the fence to form a cover over the plants. (above pic) Then I threw a layer of net over as a double layer of protection. I think whatever animal that returns will have a hard time trying to reach the flowers now, since its body weight will probably make it fall over that cover.

My tomato silvery fir plants grow bushy very quickly despite weekly pruning. Both have lots of flowers and also some fruits. This time I am very excited about growing tomatoes cos I have found a new way of eating them - salsa!!! Why didnt I think about doing home-made salsa before? It's yummy!
Rhubard Sydney Crimson is establishing very well. I like the idea that its new leaves are all crumpled and gradually they become pretty flat leaves.
Our little corn patch is doing great! I am already spotting the male corn flowers!
Candy Red watermelon seedlings finally taking off. I wonder if I seriously have time and space to grow some watermelons for Yates watermelon challenge. For the sake of free seeds and free fruits and fun, I will continue to nurture them.
Early spring when I looked at my lemon verbena, my heart sank. It was a dry leafless lifeless twig outside my bedrom window. I pruned it hoping it will spring to life. And it did!! Full of new growth!! Looking forward to making more lemon verbena tea this year.
Today, after thinking so hard and reading up a lot, I improved on how I am growing my water chestnut plants successfully. A new pot is hard to come by even if I have money to buy it.  I decided to use a strong plastic tub, add heavy clay soil (fortunately I kept some from our lawn project last Sept), composted manure and replanted the strongest plant there. I added water and the two goldfish that I bought. My son decided to name them Goldie and Fishie. How original is that hahahaha!!!
The original tub looks bad. The water is murky thanks to me putting in garden top soil which is a true disaster. The mud is also too shallow to accommodate so many growing plants. As much as it was a pain, I had to dig up several plants and dump them to avoid overcrowding. I wont be able to accommodate so many big tubs of water chestnuts as it would be too time consuming taking care of mosquito/algae problems. I read that one or two plants can give a lot of chestnuts, so if I am successful, I should just need two plants.
The kang kong seedlings which I have planted out a few days ago are doing well.
These carrot plants are home for tiny critters which fly very fast like whiteflies but they also hop and they are green. No idea what they are but hopefully they are not too pesky.
This is the first year our pomegranate tree produce a dozen or more flowers. Will I get to eat some pomegranates?
Caught Mr Spotted Neck sunbathing on my kang kong patch. He is so adorable. I think he comes every morning and coos on our roof. Almost works like a rooster and my alarm clock each morning. Poor guy still no girlfriend in sight. Recently another pair of pigeons also started visiting our garden.

This morning as I was inspecting our plum tree, I found possum poo! Not very good news. I have been suspecting them as the culprits which nipped off a lot of young plum shoots and stealing my plums. Now the poo confirms my suspicion. And I also think they are the culprits which ate my strawberry flowers. I have to soon put up nets for all the fruit trees and vegetables.

My boy and I spent a whole morning in the garden. He stumbled upon a dead bee and we had a great time examining it. We also studied some ants carrying eggs in their tunnels when we overturned a square tile at the vege patch. Lastly, we studied one common brown butterfly which I caught resting on the grape vine few nights ago before freeing it. It was Insects' Day!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Product Study : Orgran BuckWheat Pancakes & Lavera Body Spa

This morning, my son and I made buckwheat pancakes for breakfast. He asked me to buy this from the health shop on Sunday. The mix can make 10 pancakes and cost about A$3.75. We used half of the mix. Here are the ingredients : stone-milled buckwheat flour 49.7%, rice flour, maize starch, tapioca, raising agents (monocalcium phosphate, bicarbonate of soda) I had to add water, milk and egg as per instructions. 
We ate the pancakes with strawberry jam and golden syrup (as I ran out of maple syrup). The pancakes were rather spongy and very fuss-free to cook. It would surely taste very bland on its own as no sugar was added. Overall, I quite like them.
And a cup of lemon verbena tea to go with it. I dried the last season's leaves and they stored very well.

On Sunday we also bought some other products.  Our family uses body moisturiser a fair bit due to the dry climate here. The lower parts of our legs suffer the most dryness. This is a new brand 'Lavera' from Germany.

Here are the ingredients and the list looks rather impressive for $20. It comes in lavender, coconut and orange. We decided to try the orange.  It has a mild smell and we love it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cool Summer & Garden Update.

So far our summer 2010-2011 has been cooler than previous years. We had one day of 40 deg celsius but that's it. Other days are cool and sunny or cloudy. So some of the garden crops are growing seriously slowly such as my yardlong beans (long beans) and eggplants. I am certainly thankful for the weather because I dont ever want heat waves. The patch right out of my main door is filling up with foliage and fruits...tomatoes, corns, spagetti squashes and soon, okra (ladies' fingers).
The pumpkin vine has crept onto the lawn and I spotted a little pumpkin with its female flower. So far lots of male flowers were produced.
The one and only gorgeous lemon verbena is thriving outside my bedroom window. The only issue is it is growing out of the garden edge and soon it may sprawl onto the lawn. I want it to grow taller and bushier so I probably have to give it a prune asap.
The peach tree out of my bedroom is laden with peaches. Just waiting for them to ripen!
9 sweet corns are growing on three corn plants!!!
A male pumpkin flower.
I realised I actually have more pixzee peaches than I thought. They are so prettily pink.
Spagetti squashes are growing fast. This is one of the three.
Drooling as I typed. I pickled a big harvest of green chillies.
Here's my gorgeous grapevine Carolina Black Rose crawling both ways on the pergola.
Why gorgeous? Because it looks so from my kitchen window! I will never get sick of this beautiful picture from my kitchen. I know that trellis isnt pretty, but who cares?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Views of My Garden

Most people would escape out of a cluttered house or an unsightly garden. I probably belong to that catergory. Not anymore! I began to understand the meaning of a green sanctuary because I now own one. Such a marvellous thing to be able to escape to the great outdoors right at my door-step. And I am feeling that wonderful sense of achievement (especially when neighbours passing by yelled out positive comments about my garden) every morning when I awake and look out of every window in the house. Out of every window, there would be a beautiful scenery awaiting me. This view is out of my back door leading to the back garden. Blue hydrangeas which I have recently planted are blooming their heads off and greeting me at the door. Probably due to the soil pH, they came up pink. I have added quite a lot of lime and they are staying pink with some blue tinge. I really dont mind the pink. They are sweet! I still have pots lying here or there before I finalise where they will end up. This lawn is soley reserved for my pooch Marco.
That's the right end of the back garden. Pardon all the containers around for collecting rain. Besides the green shed are the grevillea and pomegranate trees. The former is a nice tree to have because it attracts honey eaters and occasionally parrots (not sure what breed). I love looking at them picking at the flowers from my kitchen window. The pomegranate is having two flowers for the first time I moved in! The Carolina black rose grape vine is on the right side of the picture.
Here's the view from my kitchen window. I am getting more and more excited seeing my grape vine climbing up and across the beams... The view will just get more and more spectacular! This year I wont be having grape harvest because of the overly harsh pruning my dog gave to this vine last autumn. Hopefully next year will be a big harvest.
This the the view out of our dining area. The potted brown turkey fig tree is doing so well in the pot I wonder what magic I have added into the mix. It provides such an awesome display of foliage as we sit having our dinner. Besides the fig tree, flowering dietes (hopefully spelling's correct) grow here. They produce beautiful orchid-like flowers (which I will post in another entry). There is still a fair bit of room for me to put shade-loving potted plants in this area.
Now, for the front garden. View from my front door. Tomatoes, pumpkin, squash, sweet corn, eggplant, artichoke, yardlong beans, sunflowers are growing in this vegetable strip. The soil is very fertile and they are all growing well.
View from my study room where my patio furniture are directly out of its windows.
View from my study room showing the young wisteria, french lavender and my peach tree. In the background is the new lush lawn.
View from my bedroom. Such a beautiful sight and I love peeking out every morning.
View from my bedroom showing the small side gate and the conifers.
The lemon verbena is growing gloriously right outside my bedroom window and between the lavender bushes. I had thought it died as it looked like a dead twig in late winter. After giving it a chance by pruning it, it showed signs of life by budding and now...let the picture speaks for itself...
Left view from my bedroom window...
View from my son's bedroom window where we see most part of the lawn. We have finally mulched the bare areas under the shady trees with graded uncomposted pine bark. There are daffodil and jonquil bulbs around the plum tree but I am planning to plan some winter roses to dress up the area...Also germinating under the plum tree some nasturtiums...
Left view from my son's window. Possibly planting some autum flowering yellow crocus under the olive tree on the left.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sweet Potato Creepers

A windy and cool day with sunny breaks.
By far this calendula flower is the largest bloom and it is produced by one of the calendulas at the patch next to the garage. Great stuff!
One Lilium LA Hybrid flower has opened. Was not as white or spectacular as I had imagined.
I found and bought four sweet potato creepers from bunnings. I thought it is a wonderful idea to grow them on the mulched areas where my golden sheen hedge is. My original intention was to either leave the areas mulched with red gum bark chips or grow some succulent crawlers to control weeds but having sweet potato creepers to do that would be even better. They can weed control when they spread out and they can be eaten too. The only concern would be winter as sweet potato cannot withstand cold. I will have to protect them when the time comes if they survive summer and autumn.
Lemon verbena which I transplanted into the lavender area outside my bedroom window is doing well. It is really a good idea to minimise root disturbance and plant the whole rootball + potting mix in. The plant did not show a single sign of transplant shock.
My sunflower Sun king...5 of not look very fantastic this season. I think the soil here is not very good and I have to improve it after this. I have added more composted rooster manure and watered them with charlie carp today and hopefully they can grow bigger. At least they survived because in the beginning, they did not even look like they were going to make it.
I worked on this mulched area behind our bedroom wall. I removed all four existing shrubs which did not look fantastic nor were useful. The area has a lot of pebbles. I am beginning to understand that the pebbles were added by the landscapist to curb potentially extensive/invasive root growth since the plants were so close to the house. Strange that the lavender area has not a single pebble. Since this area is pebbly and does not get lots sunshine, I contemplate planting aloe vera here.
Two holes around the dripline of the plum tree area were further deepened and I put in a soft drink bottle tube (cut at both ends) each for watering/fertilising purpose.
"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