How to win friends and profile them

Hi All,

I was going to title this post “Proactivity on Serendipity Farm”…I might have to keep that one for a later date because this post wants to be let out…NOW! ;). One thing that you may not be aware of when you employ a landscape designer is that they like to snoop. They have actually been taught to snoop by their lecturers. If they want to come into your home…only let them if you want to be judged…indeed prepare to be judged whether you let them in or not.  Landscape gardeners tend to be viewed as some of the more benign creatures in the workforce. Lovely gay men wearing wonderful Gucci suits and directing their workers with a wave of the hand…in reality landscape designers are akin to psychiatrists and as such are to be feared and shunned at parties (especially when you are drunk and are attempting to dance Gangnam style…). Steve and I have been trained in the ways of the ninja landscape designer. We both know how to lull you all into a false sense of security with our heads on the side pretending to listen to every single word that you say when in reality our eyes are flickering about your person, your house, your dog, your car all in an attempt to profile you for the type of garden (and coincidentally…the amount of money you are willing to spend) that you want to create. My friends are certifiable and would take me down with them should I ever be stupid enough to attempt to profile them and leak out the results (like wikileaks but with far more widespread results when it came to my own personal safety). We would all have to spend the rest of our lives huddled together in some mental institute being prodded and dissected like all good aliens are.

we just spent 2 days creating another garden bed (this one has 4 beds in it) and preventing possum/wallaby/rabbit/chook/dog/vole damage is the hardest bit of all. After all of the work we have done I am tired to the bone after shovelling acres of compost and bags of mushroom compost and planting out the 4 beds with the vegetable seedlings that we bought the other day. We now have corn, eggplants, beetroot, English spinach, cucumbers and snow peas. Steve is addicted to the process of building vegetable gardens because they are so very rewarding. First you have a paddock with rocks and native wallaby grass and not much else and suddenly you have vegetable futures! We will wait until we assemble some more funds before we make the next of a series of veggie garden beds that will culminate in a large area of Serendipity Farm being turned over to food production. I also planted out some chives and some sage plants for herby goodness and a bit of companion planting. I am really not in the know about companion planting (thanks to being too busy to actually pick up a hort book and see whether sage and chives actually ARE companion plants for anything…) but I have only the best intentions and sometimes that is enough to get you through. My tiredness and the fact that we only just finished and it’s now after 5pm, means that you are getting another reprieve from my 2000+ wordy posts. Today we will attempt to profile ourselves…we will look at our own home through the eyes of a landscape designer and we will see what sort of concept they would come up with specifically for us…

“Obviously outdoor type people…with dogs…

AND alcoholics…

That fork has attitude… what’s in that bag…is that dirt?! And whats in that jar?…

A bookshelf full of cookbooks and gardening books…

Not too sure what this thing is but it IS decorative…

On closer inspection this is a coconut that has been turned into a bag…curiouser and curiouser!

(obviously the alcoholic and his dogs…look at his eyes…just back out of the room and hopefully they won’t notice us…)

Always look at the fridge…you can tell a lot about a person by looking at how they personalise their fridge…this one has more expired calendars than anything else

Several recipes, more expired calendars and more of those recycling magnets…



a somewhat “unusual” interior design scheme…

Lots of very sharp knives…must cook…or kill things…

Definately into cooking…

so the alcoholic is also a musician?

What a messy computer desk! Obviously myopic and in denial by the size of that screen and more of those “flowers”…obligitary cute photo of children…rubber chicken…

Ok…lets just see what a landscape designer would come up with for us with those photos to go by…

“Alcoholic, outdoors people…who have a lot of gardening books and the house is full of weird collections and soil in bags in strange places…Wait a minute! YOU are landscape designers!”…sigh…you got us! Yeh…they would know we were “one of them” from just about the moment that they entered our house…I didn’t even show you the glass full of avocado seeds, the mint in a glass of water, the bowls of various seeds all over the place and the filthy shoes outside the door (but up and away from where Earl can reach them…fool me once Earl…FOOL ME ONCE!…sigh…).

I realise that this is a mere shaddow of a post…there are only 887 words in it! I know…how about a few more photos? What about some photos of what we did today? Ok, after these I am outta here guys…I am so tired I doubt that I will make it to 7pm which is a very sad state of affairs for a woman in her prime on a Saturday night. Thems the breaks when you start to effect change 🙂

The view from the deck yesterday as the sun was going down

The construction of the garden beds that we did yesterday (thank goodness or I may not have made it through today to post!) to save us having to work so hard today

Too tired to wrestle the camera from Steve but you can see that I am at least attempting to wield that mattock…Can you see the big stainless steel cylinder in the background?…Moonshine futures! 😉

Earl cam…

The desk flower is still in shock and unable to face the world after we discovered that it had been “appropriated” from the computer desk while we were hard at work yesterday and Bezial had managed to take it from the lips of doom and was almost to the point of exhaustion in his valiant attempt to save it from certain death…”what a good boy Bezial!” He got an extra pat 🙂

Left to right…Tasmanian quinoa, Tasmanian chia seed, Amaranth and Buckwheat…all organi…all desirable plants on Serendipity Farm and all of them are soon to be experimented on to see if they will grow. I was warned that chia seed once germinated and grown can become a pest species…I can think of worse things to be overrun by guys! 😉

After 2 trips to Exeter to bring back 2 cubic metres of wonderful organic compost (and walk the dogs…don’t forget WALK THE DOGS…) we were able to start filling the veggie garden beds. Here you can see for yourself how tired (and filthy) I am…

Planting out seedlings and a couple of small plants that have been languishing in the glasshouse for 6 months including some small sages and a couple of chives

You can see the first garden that we built and the new garden bed we completed today along with the glasshouse in the background

Some of the remaining delicious black gold compost that we can use to innoculate a new compost heap in the area. You can see how steep the block is from this picture

Steve…either about to go Gangnam style OR The Full Monty…(Hopefully Glad doesn’t see either of these performances!)

Steve predated a “Plants for $3” stall today. Everyone is suddenly active again in Tasmania…all it takes is a few days of warm weather and the Garage Sale signs go up again, the plant sales come out and the yachts start sailing on the Tamar again.

Steve knows that I love Aquilegias. They are pretty, perennial, they seed, they are incredibly hardy and will survive living conditions that would have ME shrivelling. A fantastic plant for Serendipity Farm 🙂

The finished garden beds…planted…slug protected and protected from marauding critters (especially chooks!). Note that the far end of the garden bed is somewhat higher than the rest of the bed…the reason being that we planted corn at this end and knowing how tall corn can get…we figured that we should plan for this eventuality in advance. We ran out of bird netting and recycled some old shadecloth that we pulled from a ricketty structure that was in between the glasshouse and the woodshed.

Last but by NO means least…Steve decided to rename the very first garden bed on Serendipity Farm in honour of mum. If it wasn’t for mum we probably wouldn’t have gotten started with our veggie gardens at all and one of the last things that she ever said to me was “get those veggie gardens built!”…so here you are mum…we finally did it 🙂

Ok, thats enough…I am dog tired and I can’t think of anything more to say. I love you all dearly but its time for Fran to rest her poor aching body that needs a good rest. Tomorrow is going to be a complete and most delightful slothing day :). I can taste it now! See you all on Wednesday and I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend as much as I am going to enjoy mine 🙂

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. brymnsons
    Oct 27, 2012 @ 23:05:45

    Well done guys,they are terrific beds! I have a companion gardening book and will scan the table and email it to you. What a lovely touch to name the bed after your mum. I bet she has a huge grin on her face. x


    • narf77
      Oct 28, 2012 @ 05:55:37

      Hopefully the veggie grow now! We have given them everything that we can think of to give them the best chance. We want to add a fair few more garden beds but as time and money permit. It’s amazing what you have to do to stop things from scarfing a few humble vege! 😉 Cheers for those pages by the way Kymmy 🙂


  2. Pinky
    Oct 28, 2012 @ 10:51:24

    You’ve done Mum proud Fronk and Steve! Enjoy your day of sloth as you’ve surely earned it. I’ve just watered all the fruit trees and my pots of goodies and am off to work for lord knows how long. Catch you up soon. xox


    • narf77
      Oct 28, 2012 @ 11:46:59

      My day off involves walking Earl for an hour and a half up a steep hill, doing the washing, making trays of steaky goodness dog treats, baking a chocolate cake and clearing out my rss feed reader. At the end of this “day off” I might get to settle down with one of the Karin Slaughter (what a name!) books that I just discovered at the library and fall fast asleep! ;). I hope you had a good day at work. Its lovely weather over here at the moment, sunny but cool. The only problem is that there are blowflies everywhere! It keeps Earl happy though…I bought a rhubarb crown this morning from the ladys plant stall up the road for $2. Steve HATES rhubarb but I can use the leaves for a good natural insecticide brew (along with chilli and garlic…what self respecting insect could handle that lot eh?) might even throw in a bit of mint to really stir it up! and I can make mums rhubarb champagne as well which he doesn’t mind in the least :).


      • Pinky
        Oct 28, 2012 @ 19:38:06

        Try Steve with Rhubarb, apple and raspberry crumble Fronkii! Just the best food on earth. With lashings of hot (or cold) custard or icecream its sure to make him change his ways. As you say though, he at least will drink rhubarb in alcohol form! 😉

      • narf77
        Oct 29, 2012 @ 04:55:19

        Steve can’t handle the flavour of rhubarb and in mums rhubarb champagne that flavour is tempered. I can grow it for myself to eat raw and dipped in sugar 😉

  3. christiok
    Oct 28, 2012 @ 13:53:45

    Great garden beds, and greatly named. I loved the profiling of your home, too. Those blue cabinets are gorgeous. Rest well, you two. The vegetable futures are in!


    • narf77
      Oct 28, 2012 @ 15:11:42

      Thats if the voles (that everyone in the US are warning me about) don’t migrate to Serendipity Farm and eat us out of veggies! 😉


  4. Katie Glenn
    Oct 30, 2012 @ 11:02:44

    The new beds look great! I’ve never heard of Aquilegias before but I can see why they are your favorite. I wonder if I can get them/grow them here? Also, your “landscaper self assessment” photos had me giggling…thanks for the laugh! 🙂


    • narf77
      Oct 30, 2012 @ 12:06:00

      Aquilegias (Granny’s bonnets) would grow on the moon should someone want to take some seed there. They are amazingly resilient and hardy and are both perennial comming up every year and dropping seed to propagate themselves all over your garden. The flowers are so pretty and they are simply the most amazing thing to get growing :). You are welcome for the laugh by the way…I love to share the yuks around 😉


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