Daylight saving daze

Hi Everyone,

Its going to take some getting used to daylight savings this time. We have started getting up at 6am (which last week, as you all remember, was 5am) and my body/brain, at least, hasn’t quite gotten used to it yet. I keep thinking that its much later than it really is. I know that circadian rythms are effected by daylight savings but I didnt realise that my circadian rythms were that enarmoured of that extra hour in bed. I have been having trouble sleeping lately and seem to be going about most of my days in a somewhat dazed state. It might be because of the study stress, it might be because of daylight savings, it might be because of the large amount of beer that I have been drinking lately (I hated beer before I started studying horticulture, one day I might have to do a thesis on alcoholism linked to horticulture!), perhaps its the 2 walks a day that we are doing with our dogs, but I severely doubt that its the beer (isnt that what prospective alcoholics do first? go into denial?!) whatever it is, I seem to be spending my days in a sureal haze lately. A bit like fuzzy jetlag. If anyone is interested I found this information about the 24 hour circadian rythm clock. Interesting stuff if your brain isnt like fuzzy cotton wool like mine is at the moment….

Apparently I am not normal. I just parted the cotton wool to have a look at this clock and I dont seem to conform to it. Oh well, I guess I am just not normal! (That won’t come as a surprise to anyone that knows me well…). We get at least 5 eggs a day here at the moment. We have been giving them away as fast as we can but have built up just on 4 dozen in the fridge. We have 4 broody hens sitting on eggs and thank goodness for that as if they were not broody they might be adding to our egg mountain! What can we do with them? Cake? Frittata? Omelette? Egg nog? (that made me just twitch, have you SEEN all the Christmas stuff in the shops lately?)…Steve might just have to start eating some of the asparagus harvest that we have been getting with some lovely free range soft boiled eggs or we might have to start eating breakfast, the traditional egg eating time of the day…By the way, anyone wanting a really good cup of coffee and excellent customer service, head on out to Goria Jean’s Kings Meadows. I have never had such good customer service or coffee in ages! Today we went into town to spend our aniversary trolling around garden landscape businesses and hardware shops pricing materials and hire costs for our diploma unit. Steve has now realised that his “plan” is a very expensive one! Considering that “we” are the clients in this initial plan, we have decided that we cant afford ourselves and will be going elsewhere! That is before we put our labour charges on…. Oh well, there goes a career choice, might just have to go back to the drawing board and learn how to cook… (Fran makes a note to hunt out egg recipes….)…

To all of you horticulturalists out there, make sure to check out your sources of Araucaria seed at the moment. We have noticed seeds under most varieties that we have come across lately. I know where there are some hoop pines, some Norfolk island pines and a few rare ones that I don’t dare try to harvest seed from as they are in the botanical gardens in Hobart (chances are they are sterile anyway as most Araucaria are dioeceous having male and female qualities on different plants). Back in 2009 we headed off to Melbourne with a group of horticultural giants to go to the Melbourne flower show. We were bright eyed novices and EVERYTHING was fair game back then (as will attest to our choices of plants that we grew and now have to find somewhere to grow in our garden!). We discovered 3 Araucaria bidwillii seeds underneath an amazing big tree just inside the park grounds and decided to (most naughtily….DON’T READ PAST THIS NICK!!!) bring them back home with us and have a go at growing them. We LOVE trees. Of all the plants that the good lord put on this earth, trees are the most facinating to both of us and we have a good collection of trees growing in pots that need to be planted out ASAP. We didn’t hold out much hope of growing our Bunya nut trees because we had no idea if they were sterile seeds or not. There didnt appear to be another tree around and so it was crossing fingers time. We planted them and waited….and waited….and WAITED… and gave up. We are very keen horticulturalists, but we are also procrastinating lazy sods when it comes to the ‘dirty stuff’ like throwing things out and so we just shoved the pots of seed (after 6 months no show) to the back of our other pots and promptly forgot about them. You could have knocked me over with a feather when Steve came in (wonderment all over his face) after about a year and said “those Bunya’s that were dead are not!”. He had a seed in his hand with a distinctive root and shoot on it! He had peeled the seed and we hurridly repotted it and this seed grew the quickest. Of 3 seeds we have 3 small Bunya nut trees and it just goes to show that you shouldnt give up on things that quickly if you really care about them (or are too lazy to throw them out!). I am always hearing from gardeners about how they threw something into the compost as it was dead and suddenly it grew. We ourselves had a story like this with a self pollinating almond tree that we bought that died. We moved house and left our daughters in our old house and one day when we were visiting, my eldest daughter Madeline said “you know that tree that you were throwing out?” “Its not dead”. I know for a fact that it was as I had done the snap test and it had snapped off dead as a door nail, but it was growing leaves and looked alive to me when I next went into town!

That reminds me of a story that a fellow horticulturalist once told me. She is also a friend and as such we cant reveal her identity because she shouldn’t really be hanging around with reprobates like us because she is in a position of some influence to innocent young budding horticulturalists but seems to like us for some reason (penniless old hippy hermit lover!). She used to work for Beck’s in town and told us about how she and some work mates had sprayed a dead tree that had been in stock with gold paint as a Christmas tree one year and it started to grow! It just goes to show that the plant world has amazing recouperative and regenerative properties. Wouldn’t it be great to just be able to hibernate for a bit and then wake up ready to go again year after year? I have plant envy. I would love to sleep right through winter and wake up yawning in spring, rested and recouperated and raring to go. This weekend we are rewarding ourselves for an entire week long study blitz where we have most of our studies finished and ready to go to our long suffering lecturer and so next week we can afford to spend a bit of time in the garden. We are going to start building dry stone walls to encase our vegetable gardens. We inherited a small fibreglass dinghy that some amazing spark who is female and shouldn’t be allowed to back up as she has NO sense of spacial awareness when going in reverse…) ran into and put a hole in and so we are going to make a feature of it and put it in the centre of our prospective large veggie garden and fill it (after drilling the appropriate large holes in the bottom) with good quality topsoil from Exeter Landscaping (we have been told that its the best place around to buy good quality topsoil without weeds, thats a tip worth sharing guys!) and then filling up with lovely herbs. We are going to create lasagne gardens and raised no dig gardens as we have rocks out the wazoo here and no chance of ever removing them (some seem to be small mountains that were burried and the deeper you dig, the more you expose!) so we may as well go with the old adage “if you cant beat them…join them” that doesnt mean that Steve is going to be burying me any day soon (er…I HOPE he isnt!), rather we are going to think outside the box and bollocks to the rocks, we are going to use them to our advantage (that is, the rocks that we can liberate, not those that apparently have their apex in China somewhere…).

Steve and I have just been out looking at our precious babies. Earl did his best to top most of them when they were inside the compound. “The compound” was supposed to keep the pests (for pests, read possums and wallabies) out and the dogs in. Little did we realise that Earl was a worse plant pest than ANY amount of possums, wallabies and aphids all put together! He topped my pseudopanix and that was just the beginning. We ended up moving the whole lot out of the compound to take their chances with the possums and wallabies as they were likely to do less damage than a single Chupacabra. I think that Earl was, in a previous life, a bonsai sensei. He seems to want to ‘minimise’ plants. The weird thing is that everything that he topped (including our muscat grape vine in town that we thought that he had killed) has come back better than before! Anyone want to borrow ‘Sensei Chupacabra’ for their pruning? He comes cheap and is partial to any sort of potted plant especially pines. I have a great crop of hosta’s out the front this year. I call them gastropod fodder as they dont seem to last for long with their lovely lush leaves until they mysteriously develop holes all over them. In my earlier horticultural days I didn’t know much about perennials and thought that hostas were annuals and that mine had died. I collected the seed from my ‘dead hosta’ and again (lazy procrastinating horticulturalist that I am) I shoved the pot to the back of the others to gather dust and perhaps get re-used one day when I ran out of pots….all of the seeds that I took grew and the original hosta grew back bigger and better than before! Lovely things, but keep them surrounded with snail pellets or you will only enjoy them for a little bit till they get quickly scoffed one rainy night! We did the same with some gorgeous tuberous begonias that also up and ‘died’ on us. We threw most of them out but I insisted on keeping a couple of pots as I had a niggling thought in the back of my head that they might regrow (one of my past memories from my mother and grandmother who were/are amazing green thumbs and I just wish that they had passed that on to me rather than my brother!) and despite Steve’s scorn because of my obvious stupidity, I stuck to my guns and kept the pots and lo and behold they grew back! :o)

Its about time that we headed up North again to check out the nurseries. Don’t ask me why we want to buy more plants when we already have more than we know what to do with. Thats a silly question to anyone that is as addicted to plants as we are. By the way, does anyone out there wants some sweet chestnut trees? I had some chestnuts in my fridge that I had forgotten to eat and discovered not so long back that I got Steve to put into some potting mix and most of them have sprouted. Once we get them potted up, we are going to either have to call this place “Chestnut haven” or give some away. While your at it, do us a favour and take some eggs will you? :o)


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Apr 05, 2013 @ 01:05:03

    My addiction is rocks. Plants would be more nourishing. We’ve had several things grow out of our compost – garlic and squash.


    • narf77
      Apr 05, 2013 @ 04:22:26

      I LOVE garlic. I think I must have been Italian in a past life ;). I also love zucchini and ours did alright this year but not magnificantly like other things. They got powdery mildew thanks to the incredibly hot weather but I just left them in the ground (mildew and all) rather than pulling them all up and they are still producing the odd zucchini (our word for squash) and I noticed that the mould eating ladybirds have started building up in numbers so our beneficial insects are taking up the slack minus pesticides and that made me as happy as a pig in mud when I saw that while I was collecting spinach for Steves calzones yesterday afternoon 🙂


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