Hot humid post in images

Hi All,

It is hot and humid here today after a solid torrential downpour that lasted all night. I think we woke up and had moved to Queensland! It was a toss-up between slaving over a hot blog post and giving you images today so I went with the images so to all of my dear constant readers who like words, you are going to have to satisfy yourself with the image captions. I hope it cools down soon or I will have to type my next blog post prostrate on the bathroom floor! Have a great week and see you next Wednesday…

Before we get down to garden business, look what arrived in the mail today just in time to get into today's blog post.Ms Pauline made me bunting and sent me some most desirable bottle caps that I don't have.

Before we get down to garden business, look what arrived in the mail today just in time to get into today’s blog post.Ms Pauline made me bunting and sent me some most desirable bottle caps that I don’t have.

And here is the gorgeous outdoor bunting that Ms Pauline created. Isn't she clever? It's beautiful Pauline and you are very clever and talented and I am in awe of your sewing ability :)

And here is the gorgeous outdoor bunting that Ms Pauline created. Isn’t she clever? It’s beautiful Pauline and you are very clever and talented and I am in awe of your sewing ability πŸ™‚

Steve has been going nuts with his new Nikon 7100. SO nuts in fact that I have had to take evasive action in order to prevent myself being photographed unmercilessly.

Steve has been going nuts with his new Nikon 7100. SO nuts in fact that I have had to take evasive action in order to prevent myself being photographed unmercilessly.

Steve took a series of photographs and used Photoshop to meld them into a panorama. This was taken at Beauty Point this week when we were walking the dogs.

Steve took a series of photographs and used Photoshop to meld them into a panorama. This was taken at Beauty Point this week when we were walking the dogs.

Here's another panorama taken further down the beach. This is Bezial's absolutely favourite place to be as he occasionally gets allowed off leash and gets to have a swim. He tends to occupy his time hunting for (non existant) fish but whatever floats your boat Bezial ;). He only ever goes up to his chest.

Here’s another panorama taken further down the beach. This is Bezial’s absolutely favourite place to be as he occasionally gets allowed off leash and gets to have a swim. He tends to occupy his time hunting for (non existant) fish but whatever floats your boat Bezial ;). He only ever goes up to his chest.

I thought this was a nice photo of Earl standing on the deck and as he has fans out there, I decided to share it with you. You know who you are ;)

I thought this was a nice photo of Earl standing on the deck and as he has fans out there, I decided to share it with you. You know who you are πŸ˜‰

We walked in a sticky hot Beaconsfield today and the sole saving grace was this find...the blackberries are starting to ripen! This small enclave of blackberries are always the best so now that I know that they are starting to ripen, we will be visiting Beaconsfield quite a lot ;)

We walked in a sticky hot Beaconsfield today and the sole saving grace was this find…the blackberries are starting to ripen! This small enclave of blackberries are always the best so now that I know that they are starting to ripen, we will be visiting Beaconsfield quite a lot πŸ˜‰

This is the cloud cover we are getting today. It is hot, sticky and very opressive. It happens whenever there is a cyclone on the top end of Australia and they decide to share their humidity with us (how generous Queensland! ;) )

This is the cloud cover we are getting today. It is hot, sticky and very opressive. It happens whenever there is a cyclone on the top end of Australia and they decide to share their humidity with us (how generous Queensland! πŸ˜‰ )

These are shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum...I know, hilarious isn't it and who says that horticulturalists have no sense of humour ;) ). They are very easy to grow and will grow in the most inhospitable conditions. We have a lot of them dotted around Serendipity Farm.

These are shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum…I know, hilarious isn’t it and who says that horticulturalists have no sense of humour πŸ˜‰ ). They are very easy to grow and will grow in the most inhospitable conditions. We have a lot of them dotted around Serendipity Farm.

I appear to have a gnome in Sanctuary. The grass that you can see growing here is about to get a haircut but it was too hot to do it today so you have to see it unkempt and feral (it's usual state ;) )

I appear to have a gnome in Sanctuary. The grass that you can see growing here is about to get a haircut but it was too hot to do it today so you have to see it unkempt and feral (it’s usual state πŸ˜‰ ). I decided not to waste last years Christmas tree and am going to use it as an artistic plant stake.

I grew some trays of kale (2 kinds), cabbages and cauliflowers after looking at the back of the packet of seeds and seeing that they could be planted through summer here. They fibbed. Apparently they should be considered winter crops so I just left them outside the glasshouse and forgot about them. Some of them were still alive the other day so I took pity on the survivors and planted them out in the main garden.

I grew some trays of kale (2 kinds), cabbages and cauliflowers after looking at the back of the packet of seeds and seeing that they could be planted through summer here. They fibbed. Apparently they should be considered winter crops so I just left them outside the glasshouse and forgot about them. Some of them were still alive the other day so I took pity on the survivors and planted them out in the main garden.

One of my natural pest strategies and the top of the food chain in Sanctuary (if you don't count that big toad I rehoused in amongst the oak leaves). There are lizards everywhere inside the safety of Sanctuary and they, in turn are eating many of the pests that invade. We have a bit of a grasshopper plague at the moment but I am going to leave them to the lizards unless they build up numbers and then I will have to formulate an alternative plan...

One of my natural pest strategies and the top of the food chain in Sanctuary (if you don’t count that big toad I rehoused in amongst the oak leaves). There are lizards everywhere inside the safety of Sanctuary and they, in turn are eating many of the pests that invade. We have a bit of a grasshopper plague at the moment but I am going to leave them to the lizards unless they build up numbers and then I will have to formulate an alternative plan…

These are apparently "Egyptian brown beans". Forgive me but they look a whole lot like broad beans to me! ;)

These are apparently “Egyptian brown beans”. Forgive me but they look a whole lot like broad beans to me! πŸ˜‰

Silverbeet growing well and pots of transplanted artichokes

Silverbeet growing well and pots of transplanted globe artichokes with the ever-present lurking lesser spotted tomato photo-bombing

Silverbeet going to seed and scarlet runner beans

Silverbeet going to seed and scarlet runner beans. The wooden pole is to stop the possums bouncing up and down to reach the green foliage

My lone tomatillo. I have others planted out in one of the new garden beds but this one has flowers and is making a statement. I have never grown tomatillos before so it will be interesting to see how they perform

My lone tomatillo. I have others planted out in one of the new garden beds but this one has flowers and is making a statement. I have never grown tomatillos before so it will be interesting to see how they perform. Every tomato in this garden bed was self seeded.

A compost bucket grown potato with one of the grasshoppers that should feed the lizards nicely for the next few weeks :)

A compost bucket grown potato with one of the grasshoppers that should feed the lizards nicely for the next few weeks πŸ™‚

Our kafir lime tree. It will be feeling right at home with this sticky tropical weather!

Our kafir lime tree. It will be feeling right at home with this sticky tropical weather!

I only planted these beetroot seeds the other day. They must like the conditions. This is my first attempt at succession planting. Their brothers are big enough to eat now so I figured I would grow some more to stave off that "I wish I had planted more!" condition.

I only planted these beetroot seeds the other day. They must like the conditions. This is my first attempt at succession planting. Their brothers are big enough to eat now so I figured I would grow some more to stave off that “I wish I had planted more!” condition.

The Chaotic state of the garden beds in Sanctuary. I go by the CHAOS theory, you "chuck handfuls all over space". My ethos! I like to think that in all of the mass confusion, the pests are unable to decide what they will eat first and die of anorexia...I like to think that but I doubt that it is true ;)

The Chaotic state of the garden beds in Sanctuary. I go by the CHAOS theory, you “chuck handfuls all over space”. My ethos! I like to think that in all of the mass confusion, the pests are unable to decide what they will eat first and die of anorexia…I like to think that but I doubt that it is true πŸ˜‰

One of the new garden beds with basil planted out. I don't like basil. Stevie-boy doesn't like basil...why did we plant it? Because our friend likes basil and gave us the seeds. I think it was a hint.

One of the new garden beds with basil planted out. I don’t like basil. Stevie-boy doesn’t like basil…why did we plant it? Because our friend likes basil and gave us the seeds. I think it was a hint.

This area was where the pumpkins grew from a pile of compost last year up at the rear of Sanctuary. It was a very dry, hot area and I was wondering what to plant there this year when some pumpkins sprouted and a couple of tomato plants so I took that as a statement of posession and left them to it. I added a large marigold to the mix and some Jerusalem artichokes as they will grow on a hot tin roof. So far, they all seem to be getting along famously...we shall see...

This area was where the pumpkins grew from a pile of compost last year up at the rear of Sanctuary. It was a very dry, hot area and I was wondering what to plant there this year when some pumpkins sprouted and a couple of tomato plants so I took that as a statement of posession and left them to it. I added a large marigold to the mix and some Jerusalem artichokes as they will grow on a hot tin roof. So far, they all seem to be getting along famously…we shall see…

We cut the grapes back to single leaders (as per instruction from a tutorial we found online) and they are going gangbusters now. Apparently we need to let them go mental this year to achieve their final height and we need to make sure that we pull off all of the fruiting bunches for the first 3 years to let the plant strengthen to get the best grapes. We have 7 of these muscat grape vines planted out together that we grew from cuttings so one day we will have plenty of grapes for eating and for turning into muscatel raisins :)

We cut the grapes back to single leaders (as per instruction from a tutorial we found online) and they are going gangbusters now. Apparently we need to let them go mental this year to achieve their final height and we need to make sure that we pull off all of the fruiting bunches for the first 3 years to let the plant strengthen to get the best grapes. We have 7 of these muscat grape vines planted out together that we grew from cuttings so one day we will have plenty of grapes for eating and for turning into muscatel raisins πŸ™‚

These are sweet potato leaves. Apparently they are just about to go ballistic and I am going to have to keep them in check with the whipper snipper but I don't care because the leaves are edible and so narf will be tucking into both ends of the prolific sweet potato with gleeful abandon :)

These are sweet potato leaves. Apparently they are just about to go ballistic and I am going to have to keep them in check with the whipper snipper but I don’t care because the leaves are edible and so narf will be tucking into both ends of the prolific sweet potato with gleeful abandon πŸ™‚

Last Wednesday they were stalks, this Wednesday they are leafy and next week they will probably be about half a metre tall and covered with leaves. Spuds don't muck around!

Last Wednesday they were stalks, this Wednesday they are leafy and next week they will probably be about half a metre tall and covered with leaves. Spuds don’t muck around!

More pumpkins and my cucamelon (also called "Mouse melons") babies in their weld-mesh tube

More pumpkins and my cucamelon (also called “Mouse melons”) babies in their weld-mesh tube

This garden bed has eggplants, basil, tiny tim tomatoes, tomatillos and chillies in it. They were languishing in the glasshouse and I had nowhere to plant them but now I do so in they went! I have put silverbeet, perennial spinach and some other seeds that I have NO idea what they are (and the beetroots) in here as well. I found the seed packets where I had forgotten them a while ago and the snails had eaten the outer packets. I could recognise the spinach but the others are mystery seeds. Here's to interesting gardens! ;)

This garden bed has eggplants, basil, tiny tim tomatoes, tomatillos and chillies in it. They were languishing in the glasshouse and I had nowhere to plant them but now I do so in they went! I have put silverbeet, perennial spinach and some other seeds that I have NO idea what they are (and the beetroots) in here as well. I found the seed packets where I had forgotten them a while ago and the snails had eaten the outer packets. I could recognise the spinach but the others are mystery seeds. Here’s to interesting gardens! πŸ˜‰

One of my experimental compost beds. I dumped buckets of compost into these areas and covered them with aged horse manure and oak leaves and have some interesting things growing out of the mix but mostly potatoes and pumpkins.

One of my experimental compost beds. I dumped buckets of compost into these areas and covered them with aged horse manure and oak leaves and have some interesting things growing out of the mix but mostly potatoes and pumpkins.

Leeks and carrots that went to seed. I plan on collecting the seed when they get around to ripening

Leeks and carrots that went to seed. I plan on collecting the seed when they get around to ripening

I don't think I will plant zucchini's next year. I either end up with blossom end rot or with so many zucchini's I can't even think straight. I might go with pattypan squash next year.

I don’t think I will plant zucchini’s next year. I either end up with blossom end rot or with so many zucchini’s I can’t even think straight. I might go with pattypan squash next year.

More pumpkins... can you tell I love them? ;) All of these pumpkins grew from compost bins. I didn't plant a single pumpkin this year.

More pumpkins… can you tell I love them? πŸ˜‰ All of these pumpkins grew from compost bins. I didn’t plant a single pumpkin this year.

These look like "plums" to me, but they could also be sloes. I threw all of my old fruit seeds that I collected into the compost heaps and am digging out anything that resembles fruit as it pops up.

These look like “plums” to me, but they could also be sloes. I threw all of my old fruit seeds that I collected into the compost heaps and am digging out anything that resembles fruit as it pops up. Don’t you love our rustic glasshouse floor? πŸ˜‰

 

 

My turmeric are up again and I NEED to get a garden bed dug for both them and the cardamom that is threatening to give up the ghost if I don't plant them out.

My turmeric are up again and I NEED to get a garden bed dug for both them and the cardamom that is threatening to give up the ghost if I don’t plant them out.

This year we plant out all of our combined nut trees that we have been growing on for a few years now. Most of these are walnuts but there is an avocado in the mix as well.

This year we plant out all of our combined nut trees that we have been growing on for a few years now. Most of these are walnuts but there is an avocado in the mix as well.

This is a cutting grown myer lemon that I am just about to plant out

This is a cutting grown myer lemon that I am just about to plant out

 

Baby indigo seedlings (Indigofera tinctoria) for future dyeing "events" on Serendipity Farm

Baby indigo seedlings (Indigofera tinctoria) for future dyeing “events” on Serendipity Farm

Baby Moringa trees (moringa oleifera) that have the awesome reputation of every single part of them being useful. When they first sprout they look like blades of grass and I almost pulled the biggest one out!

Baby Moringa trees (moringa oleifera) that have the awesome reputation of every single part of them being useful. When they first sprout they look like blades of grass and I almost pulled the biggest one out!

We still have raspberries ripening inside Sanctuary

We still have raspberries ripening inside Sanctuary

Blackberries ripening...

Blackberries ripening…

Inside Sanctuary..."EEK!"

Inside Sanctuary…”EEK!”

Earl protected baby figs

Earl protected baby figs

Earl protected nectarines!

Earl protected nectarines!

But wait...there's MORE! Earl has done an amazing job of teaching the possums who is boss inside his new compound and patrols all hours of the day and night so that the possums don't get comfortable with "routine" ;)

But wait…there’s MORE! Earl has done an amazing job of teaching the possums who is boss inside his new compound and patrols all hours of the day and night so that the possums don’t get comfortable with “routine” πŸ˜‰

The very first fig(let) to ripen on Serendipity Farm :)

The very first fig(let) to ripen on Serendipity Farm πŸ™‚

Blueberries! :)

Blueberries! πŸ™‚

This is a piece of snapped off blueberry "stick" that I shoved into the ground when it was snapped off while we were covering the blueberries and it has struck! A new baby blueberry in Sanctuary :)

This is a piece of snapped off blueberry “stick” that I shoved into the ground when it was snapped off while we were covering the blueberries and it has struck! A new baby blueberry in Sanctuary πŸ™‚

Steve had me splashing this water under instruction the other day "No...don't splash there, splash in the middle, but splash "quickly" and make a wave..." (sigh...)

Steve had me splashing this water under instruction the other day “No…don’t splash there, splash in the middle, but splash “quickly” and make a wave…” (sigh…). This is one of the birdbaths on Serendipity Farm. The wasps were a bit upset at having to wait for Steve’s artistic creativity to wane before they could get another drink πŸ˜‰

I managed to get some fresh macadamia nuts. In order to get the best chance of germination, they need to be under 3 months old so I soaked them overnight and have 12 macadamia nuts potted up. I love adding new possibilities to Serendipity Farm :)

I managed to get some fresh macadamia nuts. In order to get the best chance of germination, they need to be under 3 months old so I soaked them overnight and have 12 macadamia nuts potted up. I love adding new possibilities to Serendipity Farm πŸ™‚

Steve playing the mouth organ for the dogs to howl to...we have our telly, they get to howl. It's a fair swap ;)

Steve playing the mouth organ for the dogs to howl to…we have our telly, they get to howl. It’s a fair swap πŸ˜‰

These are 2 bowls of porridge for the next few days. This mornings breakfast consisted of ground up millet, brown rice, sesame seeds, chickpeas, green and yellow split peas, lentils and barley with coconut and dates. It tasted a whole lot better than you would think ;)

These are 2 bowls of porridge for the next few days. This mornings breakfast consisted of ground up millet, brown rice, sesame seeds, chickpeas, green and yellow split peas, lentils and barley with coconut and dates. It tasted a whole lot better than you would think πŸ˜‰

Here are what's left of our potted babies. Can you spot the intruder in the midst? ;)

Here are what’s left of our potted babies. Can you spot the intruder in the midst? πŸ˜‰

The view of sodden Serendipity Farm this morning. Note the debris on the driveway

The view of sodden Serendipity Farm this morning. Note the debris on the driveway

A sodden (as opposed to "sodding") rooster on the lawn

A sodden (as opposed to “sodding”) rooster on the lawn

Steve wants me to show you the metal shovel that he bought for me the other day. It cost him $4.95 and is completely made of welded metal. Is there anyone else out there wondering how on EARTH you could make a shovel from go to whoa for $4.95?! Steve says that this proves that he loves me. When you buy your wife a shovel, that's true love ;)

Steve wants me to show you the metal shovel that he bought for me the other day. It cost him $4.95 and is completely made of welded metal. Is there anyone else out there wondering how on EARTH you could make a shovel from go to whoa for $4.95?! Steve says that this proves that he loves me. Anyone can suck up to their wife with flowers or chocolates but when you are comfortable enough to buy your wife a shovel, that’s true love πŸ˜‰

Well, as Bug’s Bunny would say…”That’s all folks!”

 

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79 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thecontentedcrafter
    Jan 14, 2015 @ 17:18:14

    This is your idea of a wordless post? I’d love to see you ‘being quiet’. πŸ™‚

    So glad that package finally arrived – was it very wet from the long swim? I forgot to tell you that if you want to be ever so slightly fussy when hanging your bunting, every second one can be purple and the rest in whatever order pleases you. Bunting with a Bohemian twist! I’m glad you like it πŸ™‚

    Basil is a good companion for tomatoes. Petunias are even better as my tomatoes have zero bugs even though their living conditions can best be described as over crowded!

    Steve’s photography is pretty good and I like the way he plays around in photo shop doing interesting things too. Just don’t tell him I said so as we don’t want him having to stay in bed all day tomorrow with his swollen head again!

    I remain awed by the sheer amount of stuff you are growing in Sanctuary – and an avocado too! That is sheer wanton luxury to a poor girl in the far south of NZ! Will you be preserving, freezing, drying, pickling and etc with all your excess? If yes, your autumn will be very busy.

    Is the intruder in your potted babies that thistle? I’m with you on the spade price – was it on sale? I’ve never seen anything under $30 here and usually quite flimsy looking. Personally I’d prefer the flowers, but then I’m not his wife…….. sigh!

    I love the thought of your boys howling along with the mouth organ, what a hoot!
    Have a good day tomorrow – I hope it cools down bit for you soon. We have had three increasingly cooler days – a nice respite and I noticed my boys had way more energy to spend – but apparently the heat returns tomorrow which will quieten them both down again!

    I showed Siddy the photo of Earl – he was intensely interested!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 15, 2015 @ 03:53:13

      I love my new bunting Pauline. It only arrived just as I was putting the post together so I wanted to share how gorgeous it was with everyone :). I will take heed of the purple between each one and when I get all of the bunting/items together I will string them all up inside Sanctuary and take a photo of the most colourful results. I might not leave them outside in Sanctuary (hello craft room of great brightness and happiness!) but I would like everyone to see their beautiful and most delightful creativeness is on display in Sanctuary, in some cases, halfway around the world :). I planted out all of that basil (about 30 plants in total all different kinds) as I had heard that it was a good pest resilient species more than as an edible for Stevie-boy and I. I don’t mind pesto but I am not a fan of the flavour of basil and have a fellow blogger in Launceston (Jo from “alltheblueday) who will take all of the basil that I can produce so it won’t be wasted :).

      I have to confess that I really don’t like petunias. I confessed my flower sin to Robbie once and now to you. I know that they are water wise and pest resistant but I just can’t bring myself to include them in my garden. Even if I did, that towering inferno of “green” would swallow the poor things whole. There are beetroots, silverbeet, chillies etc. underneath that mass of tomato that will most probably die from a lack of light. I only planted 2 of those tomatoes (the ones that have grown inside the tomato cages) the rest of them self seeded and grew all by themselves. I didn’t think that anything would have survived being smothered by the pumpkins last year but I was wrong. I was given a few species of tomato by different friends to try leftover from their own planting last year and just popped them in. I thought that they didn’t get a chance to fruit as nothing was visible under the seething sea of pumpkins but apparently they did set fruit and dropped it under the mass as there are all kinds of tomatoes growing. I know there are grosse lisse in the back garden, a tomato that “Joey grew lots of” in there as well and my prize San Marzano’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Marzano_tomato) are going great guns and are covered in tomatoes (I will save seed from them this year) so I am quite excited about my tomato sea. I do something new each year in my veggie garden. This year it was succession plant and next year I will learn to prune and stake my tomatoes πŸ˜‰

      Stevie-boy can’t stay in bed today as I have SO many things that I need him to help me with after a few days working. Sanctuary has a water filled (mosquito breeding) dinghy that needs turning into a water wicked bed, we have to haul that old cast iron bath inside and fill it up for the frogs and aesthetics and I want to get my fridge/worm farm up and running as well as whipper snipping the shame out of Sanctuary so that I can share photos with pride rather than try to sneak in the least unruly ones in the vain hope that you guys won’t notice it needs a haircut badly ;).

      I plan on preserving as much as I can. I already have 4 bags of frozen grated zucchini as Ms Rabid suggested that I do it to have lots available to me in winter (never thought of freezing it before!) I am not someone who likes to make chutneys, jams and pickles but I do love preserving things in oil, drying them etc. for savoury inclusions in harvest free seasons. That’s what drew me to “The Back Yard Farmer” in the first place, he has a wealth of gorgeous recipes for preserving the harvest in a savoury way.

      You spotted it! No-one else has managed to spot that thistle Ms Pauline but you did it and well done on your keen eyesight :). Nope…they are $4.95 regular price. How can they afford to mind the steel/iron (metal?!), send it off to goodness only knows where to manufacture the metal into a spade, send it back, transport it all over the country (a rather large ant just trundled over my monitor as I was typing that sentence! I think he thinks we are in hot, humid, oppressive tropical Queensland as well!) and then to farthest flung upper cumbuckance Tasmania and only charge $4.95 for it! Talk about some poor sod taking it in the neck so that Stevie-boy can express his garden love for me! (That ant just tried to have a drink of my cup of tea…now he is taking the mick!)

      I am not a “flower” girl. I am like Lori from Day by Day the Farmgirl Way and love practical things. I blame the German in me. I love simplified things, down to nuggets of what something is. I don’t like curlicues or bows or intricate carving as a rule (although Faberge eggs and the Sistine chapel are amazing) and I am always suspicious of a man bearing flowers ;). Stevie-boy brings me flowers from the garden and that is lovely. I am a great one for “the thought” behind things rather than the cost πŸ™‚

      You should hear Bezial and Earl singing! If I could find a way to record it well I would put it on the blog. When either of us pull out one of Steve’s harmonica’s they both start singing away in beautiful tenor voices. Bezial is the best at it and the most musical. Maybe he was Barry White in a past life? πŸ˜‰

      I certainly hope it cools down as hot, humid and oppressive Queensland weather makes me wilt. I seriously HATE that kind of weather. I am going to have to suck it up when I tick my bucket list item off and head up to Cape Trib to eat my weights worth of tropical fruit (and save the seed and bring it back to Serendipity Farm to try to grow! πŸ˜‰ ). You are welcome to join me Ms Pauline…maybe we could meet up some day in the future and have a ball for a few days in far north Queensland and wilt together? Check this out…

      http://www.capetrib.com.au/bed.htm

      They have sold the cottages but hopefully they are still good value! Otherwise I might have to find another place to stay while I eat my fruit, or I could just bed down among the fruit trees and get a nice early start πŸ˜‰

      I am glad Siddy liked the photo of Earl. Earl was trying to look stately and like he was a dog with a purpose rather than Bezial who was being a dog like a porpoise. Bezial figures that if Earl wants to be the boss, that he can be responsible for all of the patrolling and barking etc. as Bezial can be let off the hook and can go upside down on the deck to sunbath his belly to his hearts content. I am with Bezial on that one :). Have a fantastic day today Pauline and here’s hoping you share that lovely cooler weather with us soon πŸ™‚

      Reply

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 05:21:35

        So, I’ve just finished reading your brief reply and enjoying the side trip to Queensland along the way and I tell you my heart leapt! I have just learned [yet again] to never say never and that the most wonderful experiences await for those of us who simply say ‘yes’ to life – so I’m IN! You do ralise we would have to share a bed however? They distinctly said ‘catering for couples’ and bed and ensuite. Singular not plural! And I a way to old and would be made way too crotchety by sleeping on the floor. I have never been to Queensland and although the weather would probably kill me – unless we went in winter time perhaps? – I would like to sit on that deck looking at that forest, listening to the creek and eating that plate full of fresh tropical fruits!! With the narf? Oh heaven!!

        Let’s visualise immediately if not sooner!!

        Can’t wait to see Sanctuary all bedecked with bunting! And as the idea was mooted before you decided to have your own craft room I see no problem with sequing the idea to the indoors, where as you note the bunting will last much longer and give you many more hours of happy enjoyment. I was just musing thismorning as I smiled walking past my art room, how much the room makes me smile. It is everything I ever wanted in a space and feeds my soul in the most wonderful way. It makes me happy just knowing it is there and I can spend time in it every day! I am sooooo blessed and so happy – I know this is the happiest time of my life and a good deal of it is down to having fab friends in the world like you! xoxo

      • narf77
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 05:26:59

        I reckon we could do it Ms Pauline. I reckon we could quell that crotchety nature that both of us harbour and display so well and suck it up for the trip of a lifetime. Sides…we would both be too busy eating tropical fruit to vent our crotchety spleens ;).

        Most of the bunting is indoor bunting and wouldn’t survive the wind and rain that we get in our winters. I would hate to see it tattered and faded so indoors it is after one big “display moment” in Sanctuary :).

        Your craft room is beautiful. The image of your little window, all your crafty instruments neatly in lovely containers, and “You” everywhere you looked was inspiring and comforting. We crotchety bolshie babes need to stick together so it was inevitable that we would find each other on the interweb ;). BIG hugs from somewhat less oppressive Sidmouth πŸ™‚

    • narf77
      Jan 15, 2015 @ 04:30:56

      Look what I just found on Yelena’s gorgeous blog…I reckon I might just need this recipe at the end of our short growing season and although I am not a jammy person, this looks awesome! I am sure I would have a lot of people that would love a jar of this gorgeousness…

      http://www.melangery.com/2014/10/green-tomato-marmalade-with-orange-peel.html

      Reply

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 05:31:30

        That does look unique. But how could I make it without the sugar? It won’t set without sugar. Could I just have something like this is my store cupboard for little special occasions? I haven’t eaten any jams or marmalades, or sweet sauces for that matter for over two years now – oh the conundrum! Probably won’t have too many green tomatoes on my plants any way so it becomes a moot point! I hope you make some and don’t forget to tell me what it is like!

      • narf77
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 05:54:03

        I just hate to waste things and if I end up with 40 buckets of green tomatoes (which isn’t too far off the mark I am guessing) I will need to use them for something. I figure if it tastes good I can give it away as like you, I am sugar phobic and there is only so much marmalade that Stevie-boy can stuff into his craw… πŸ˜‰ I will let you know how it tastes if I do end up making it. Might even send you a jar πŸ™‚

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 05:56:39

        Don’t, the border police will steal it away! Bring a jar to Q’land πŸ™‚

      • narf77
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 06:01:36

        I forgot…probably cheaper to catch a flight and bring it with me than to send ;).

  2. thecontentedcrafter
    Jan 14, 2015 @ 17:26:57

    der url yoo zi sitch a ansum dorg in that foto orn yur blogg. i am feri glad ewe ar mi tetsha an tetsheng me sitch alot that i am groing indo a fien yung dorg mumma sez zo. i kin now p in the dorgparg widout fawlin ova witsh i coodn befoor an wundae i jumb onna cad an he skwish ona flor fladout bud then he tel mumma an she say do me noa siddy nod alowd jumb ona cad hafa be genil. bud i god that jumb in. hi5. yor fren siddy

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 15, 2015 @ 04:00:11

      Gudai suddi. Ay em th boz aroun ere bud nowun elz fingz sow. Ay av tu loog seriuz oar nowun liznz tu mee. Fadarz down pul is wayt sow ay av tu doo id awl. Ay em tichin ewe tu bee ay gud dorg tu bee mai lootenint dorg as fadarz dint worg owd. Gud tu heer yu cane pei ona treez ina parg az weez godda loog tha biznuz wen wee iz a pagg ov dorgz, yoo an mee. Gud dorg forr squashin th cad bud prolly done doit agin ore yu wone ged ani mor treedz. Treedz is gud. Cadz arn worf happi zquishin iv yu looz yor treedz for squishin em.

      Reply

  3. Dana LokisdΓ³ttir
    Jan 14, 2015 @ 19:00:21

    {Well, as Bug’s Bunny would say…”That’s all folks!”}
    …That was Porky pig

    Reply

  4. Angela @ Canned Time
    Jan 14, 2015 @ 23:22:45

    I’m working in the snow today here in DC do thanks for all the beautiful warm pics.

    Reply

    • Angela @ Canned Time
      Jan 15, 2015 @ 02:56:31

      Oh and those figs are just adorable. So envy your getting to eat fresh produce grown from your own hard work and organization. You rock Woman!!
      β™₯

      Reply

      • narf77
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 03:22:48

        Cheers Angela. We grew those figs from cuttings. I think you have to really think outside the box if you are time rich and money poor and we are proud of being able to grow our own food from cuttings and seeds. It takes a lot longer than buying a tree from the nursery but it is a lot more rewarding because you have a lot more to do with the production of your food if you have to grow it yourself from scratch. A friend has just asked me if I want some fig cuttings from her friends brown turkey fig that produces figs the size of your palm…yes PLEASE! πŸ™‚

      • Angela @ Canned Time
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 03:47:51

        Envy. Envy. You’d just die here with our urban ways 😦

      • narf77
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 04:02:37

        I reckon I would grow something even in an apartment. Even if it was just fermented things. Fungi are plants too πŸ˜‰

      • Angela @ Canned Time
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 04:08:25

        But the “disposable” attitude would just be too much for you. Glad you’re there where you can grow inside and out

      • narf77
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 04:24:08

        Me too Angela. I would just join a group of bolshie dumpster diving fregans and go from there πŸ˜‰

    • narf77
      Jan 15, 2015 @ 03:09:32

      After a sweltering hot night I could do with a bit of snow! πŸ˜‰

      Reply

  5. The Snail of Happiness
    Jan 14, 2015 @ 23:25:20

    Lovely bunting from Pauline… I can’t wait to see it hung up. I have a package to send too, but Mr Snail wants to add something to it, so it’s still waiting!
    I’m not sure what counts as an intruder in the picture of all those lovely plants… it would probably have to be an elephant for me to spot it!
    Not convinced about that ‘porridge’ seems way too healthy to taste good!!
    x

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 15, 2015 @ 03:13:14

      It was a teeny grasshopper on one of the leaves. You might have to click the image to get a bigger picture to see it. That porridge should have tasted like a cross between porridge and soup but it didn’t and that surprised me. I was after something with more protein and staying power than regular porridge and it worked so I guess my breakfast might not have been pretty but it was a success ;). Tell Mr Snail, thank you in advance from me but isn’t it expensive to send something made from a pallet all the way from the U.K.? ;). I am most humbled and very grateful for everyone sending me items of bunting/outdoor things for Sanctuary. Social media, and the friendships that you make online are incredibly rewarding and the generosity of people that you have never met, never ceases to amaze me :). Thank you both from the bottom of my heart πŸ™‚

      Reply

  6. aFrankAngle
    Jan 15, 2015 @ 00:11:15

    Hot, humid, & oppressive in Tasmania? Really … then again it is a matter of perspective. To be honest, I’m clueless about your weather, but this surprised me.

    Wow … you are quite the gardener. And Steve is right … nothing says love like a new shovel. Cheers to Miss Pauline for sending you stuff … now I considered sending you bottle caps, but that would require stealing the caps from the store … meaning I don’t drink enough beer, thus it would take me forever to make a collection to send you.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 15, 2015 @ 03:17:00

      I am most grateful for your offer of theft Mr Frank but I am hesitant to ask you to go through with your most generous offer. I wouldn’t want you to have to go to jail for Stevie-boys beer bottle bunting ;). I was surprised that Ms Pauline had that many bottle caps to be honest. I thought she was tee-total! ;). Our weather has been forced upon us by a histrionic cyclone at the top end of Australia which I am assured has something to do with our unstable barometric conditions we are experiencing at the moment. Hot, humid and oppressive have been our companions for a couple of days now. I can handle that in the day but not at night time. I might have to fire off a missive to the bureau of meteorology expressing how miffed I am. Bring on autumn! πŸ˜‰

      Reply

      • aFrankAngle
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 03:22:37

        Thus I take this weather pattern is not normal. Correct? … and oh that Pauline, she may be on that has many of us fooled. πŸ˜‰

      • narf77
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 04:02:07

        Nope…that weather pattern is NOT normal. We do get a few hot days here but they are usually few and far between. Its usually pretty dry here over summer but Hobart (Tasmania’s capital city down south) just broke 100 year records for getting over 100mm of rain in a single day. OH the flooding! We live up a hill, we don’t do flood. It certainly watered the garden well πŸ™‚

      • aFrankAngle
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 07:16:32

        Ah ha … so definitely abnormal. Cheers to being on a hill and having a well-watered garden! … after all, I know you will enjoy the fruits of your labor.

      • narf77
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 14:51:26

        πŸ˜‰

  7. Littlesundog
    Jan 15, 2015 @ 02:14:09

    Oh my… that shovel! FD brought home a pair of Muck boots for me one time and the guys he works with thought he was nuts. He told them I’d give him the business (southern slang for “trouble”) if he brought home jewelry or flowers. He told them I was practical and got excited about “useful” items rather than frilly and silly. And there’s all the more to love about a guy that finds a bargain to boot!! Aren’t we the luckiest gals in the world??

    I’m so envious of the “green” photos… so much growth and harvest and food to eat! Of course I am happy there was a photo of Earl in there… oh, and Shasta Daisies! I have some here too. Such a simple flower – such a happy flower!

    I’ll take hot, humid and oppressive… that’s what I love about summers in Oklahoma!! πŸ˜€

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 15, 2015 @ 03:20:46

      Some people are summer people and some are not. I am not. I was born in winter and I love it. I love 3 months of the year and “bear” summer but to get to the other 3 you have to handle this one so I am stoically refusing to let it drive me nuts except when it is hot, humid and oppressive via Queensland! πŸ˜‰ Glad you liked the gratuitous Earl shot. He was looking stately and I thought that you would appreciate it :). Shasta daisies will grow just about anywhere and they are so drought tolerant and hardy but put on such a lovely display. Glad you liked all of the green. We are going to whipper snip the grass down in between the garden beds probably today as we are a bit worried about snakes slithering in and visiting and not being able to see them. It’s pretty dry outside and inside is like a little oasis of magnetic happiness for anything after water or food. I love the lizards in there but don’t think I could handle anything bigger!

      Reply

  8. Sue Dreamwalker
    Jan 15, 2015 @ 06:21:51

    There is just so much wonderful new shoots fruits, trees, Veggies… WOW… I loved your story in pictures.. A real life spade giving Gnome too πŸ™‚ Now we had around a dozen blueberries on our bush last year.. And when we next looked every one had disappeared LOL.. Which reminds me we have to prune our raspberry canes down before spring..
    Love your Fig!…. and I have never heard of Egyptian Brown beans either… πŸ™‚
    Now staggering your beetroot is worth it.. we did and were picking right up until the week before Christmas when we had the last of them..
    We love a Beetroot smoothie made with apple juice in the morning..
    Basil I do like, but it always dies on me..
    I bought a real expensive plant and brought it in the kitchen for the winter.. It still died… and I don’t know what I did to it 😦

    Good Job Earl in keeping Possum watch too..

    Right now to your next post x

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 15, 2015 @ 06:26:52

      I use the beetroot leaves in my green smoothies as well as cooking them like spinach. My basil will probably be the most successful and productive plant in my whole garden this year due to the fact that I don’t like it ;). I think basil is “precious” and best left to the experts or those that don’t want to eat it to grow πŸ˜‰

      Reply

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 06:51:58

        LOL…about the Basil.. πŸ™‚ I agree… Usually the case.. I had not thought about the leaves in smoothies.. I use spinach and use beetroot leaves in salads.. I never thought to add to smoothies DUH.. Thank YOU.. LOL.. Just have to wait till this next growing season..
        Enjoy your Day.. x

      • narf77
        Jan 15, 2015 @ 14:57:48

        I had green smoothies for my breakfast every day last year and threw both spinach and beetroot leaves into the mix. If you look at the beetroot leaf, the stem is bright red so surely it’s got similar goodness in it to the roots? Glad I could share and help πŸ™‚

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Jan 16, 2015 @ 00:58:14

        You did, and thank you.. πŸ™‚

  9. foodnstuff
    Jan 15, 2015 @ 13:01:09

    I love the photos + minimal text option. I shall have to try it. Everything looks so green and productive. We have had beaut rain here too. I don’t have to worry about watering or bushfires.

    Re the shasta daisies with the amusing specific name…there’s also another with the specific ‘silybum’. Botanists have a wicked sense of humour.

    Love the way you can just poke in a bit of broken off blueberry and it will strike. I do the right thing…proper cutting, dip in hormone and they all die! I’m going to try the ‘growing-seeds-from-frozen-berries’ as per Ms Hippy.

    Never thought to try a Meyer lemon cutting…thanks for the idea.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 15, 2015 @ 14:54:03

      I hear that all citrus will grow easily from cuttings (that’s how I got mine). Rabid said that her blueberries are teeny tiny and she can’t even prick them out. Might ask her about how her experiment went before having a go. I will send Steve around to break off a branch of one of your blueberries and then shove it into the ground. It must be his “green fingers”. They certainly do have a wicked sense of humour Bev ;). I have more comments today on my half a post than I get on my regular posts. Maybe it’s time for a rethink of how I am delivering my posts?

      Reply

  10. Margaret Griffin
    Jan 15, 2015 @ 14:47:19

    Hi Fran, I was very impressed with the panoramic photographs, they look fabulous.

    I agree hot humid weather can be very trying although it does promote the desire to have lots of naps.

    We are having cool weather here since it rained over the past week. Rain? Lots of it? Quite a novelty in Castlemaine in January. And welcomed as rain is a natural fire retardant as well as supplier of water for tanks, gardens, creeks, dams etc. I am sure the kangaroos will appreciate the new green growth which will spring up in the next few weeks.

    The amount of green in Sanctuary is amazing. I see the nasturtiums are holding their own.

    I am sure you and Steve enjoyed tucking into the blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. Fruit smoothies? Blueberry muffins? Are you freezing the berries?

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 15, 2015 @ 14:56:36

      We aren’t freezing the berries yet (they are still a novelty) but we have to pick a lot more tomorrow and so after I make some muffins I will freeze the rest. We just picked up 10kg of jam cherries that are blemish free for $1.50 a kilo when the premium cherries are going for $15 a kilo in the same establishment. A lady bought some of the premium cherries and then saw what Steve was buying and said “are they jam cherries?!” and hurried over to buy a kilo of them as well ;). We could do with a bit more rain but Hobart is probably sick of it after breaking January records for rain the other day. If the kangaroos stay out of your gardens it will be a really good summer this year for flowers πŸ™‚

      Reply

  11. Robbie
    Jan 15, 2015 @ 16:14:52

    I was thinking about your posting today + wondering when I would get around to it…well, here I am and it is 10:46 at night. I never forget it is your day to post-Wednesday:-) Your garden is amazing + what an amazing amount of food you are growing. I am setting a goal for myself-listen to this one-lol. I am trying to save all my seed next year-we shall see if that works:-) Wish me luck:-)- I will need it! I sorted through all the genus-species etc + figured out how many, I can grow for the seed to be viable between years. I picked my favorites and now will grow out the seed to save the seed, so I have new ones that I love-I digress:-) Carrots may be a problem since they do cross with the weedy carrot-same plant. Can’t grow everything,but am trying to be self-sufficient.

    You place is just filled with FOOD. Wow, you are a working farm( I have said that before-broken record- I know). When will you have a food stand at the end of the road? It is an amazing amount of food, or possibly you will have a restaurant that you grow all your food. That would be a dream of mine- to have a bed and breakfast where we grow all the food we eat! lol, that would be neat, if I did not have to cook but could be in the garden all the time. You , my friend, do it all!!!! You amaze me-do you ever sit down? I have such a small place compared to you + I am tired with my small space. I fall in bed at night + am DEAD tired! How do you take care of all that acreage:-) + walk the pulling dogs-lol

    That bunting from Ms. Pauline is beautiful:-) She just has a way with color. I can sew, but it is not my favorite thing to do. I wish it was for it is a useful thing to do.
    Your photos of your property and sanctuary look beautiful. I am itching to get outside, but there is snow all over the ground.

    I planted trays today of seedlings to go out in the yard + I have a surprise for you that will make you happy, for it made me happy today. My daughter called me about 4pm to tell me she rescued a 6 month old pit bull. The family had to find a home for him for the place their family was moving, would not allow pit bulls. Yep, in some states or towns in USA they are banned. The all American dog at one time-crazy!
    A family brought him over to my daughter’ s home. She expected a small puppy-he ( t hey called him TANK) was not small-he was a large 6 month puppy. He WAS a puppy but not so little-lol The family had a lot of people that wanted him but they were afraid he would end up a bait dog since he was so mellow. There are CRAZY people out there!The thought of that just upsets me beyond words. I stopped watching those animal rescue shows with dogs-I would just cry through them when they would take them out of abusive homes!.Well, he has found a home. I have never seen a 6 month old puppy that bulky-lol. It is a pit and they are always solid muscle!

    I always enjoy your pictures of your dogs-they are the best!

    Happy Gardening. It is after 11 and have to take my dogs out to the bathroom and heading to bed…I am tired- but I could not go to sleep without visiting! Have a good week-love the pictures + all the stories:-) Always enjoy your posts!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 15, 2015 @ 17:56:57

      Hi Robbie, Steve says that if we had a bed and breakfast, he would have to be Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers. If you haven’t ever seen it here’s a link to a really hilarious episode (if you have the time to watch a bit of it) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ztk910o-RHA I am SO glad that the beautiful Pitty baby found a new home. That makes my week AND weekend Robbie :). How did those sunflower sprouts go by the way? Did you like them? I just headed up to pick some spinach to put in Steve’s dinner and got 2 leeches in the process. We have had a lot of rain around lately and that brings the leeches out in force. We are working on the water wicked strawberry bed at the moment and I have decided to turn what was going to be a worm farm (the old fridge on it’s side) into a mint bed and a pond (the sealed freezer bit) as the worms don’t need a farm, they rule Sanctuary anyway. We will haul the cast iron bathtub that we got last week into Sanctuary and stabilise it and fill it with water as a pond for the frogs and for water plants. We are also going to whipper snip Sanctuary and tidy her up (and I might just deal with those blackberries as well πŸ˜‰ ). It’s wonderful to get into the garden and just get stuck in to growing and tending for vegetables. We are going to have SO many tomatoes this year we won’t know what to do with them. I joined a really great group on Facebook who share seeds with each other and I am most interested in your seed saving adventures because that’s my next step as well. I want to save seed and share them with people who can use them (as well as grow from our own seed like you are going to do). What an adventure this all is :). Again, I am SO happy about that pup. It always makes me smile when I see them go to good homes as they are the best dogs in the world with people. My 2 are laying at my feet as I type this knackered out after a 2 walk day and a trip to the city (they got to walk in the city and it was like the country boys in the town and Earl ran his pee valve dry πŸ˜‰ ). They have eaten their dinner and are fast asleep. They don’t know it yet but they are going to get some eggs for dessert as I don’t want the egg numbers to build up too much and the best way to use them is to feed some to the dogs. They have the shiniest coats and are very healthy :). I am very honoured that you read my posts every week. I try to share all kinds of things as I know that I have lots of different people reading my blog but I always make sure to include things for my dear constant readers that they will enjoy. I hope my blog posts enthuse you as much as your blog posts enthuse me! I always come away from your blog posts full of possibilities and girding my loins for horticultural war ;). I hope your snow isn’t too deep so that your dogs can go to the bathroom without creating yellow snow πŸ˜‰

      Reply

      • Robbie
        Jan 16, 2015 @ 06:56:46

        What if he makes you do your hair like that gal in the episode! It was a tower! LOL. People really dressed like that-too funny. I love the annoying lady at the counter-she reminded me of Julia Childs! Never saw that before, but I have no doubt I would enjoy it:-)I love BBC! I watch a lot of mysteries on that channel:-)
        My daughter called me today + said they took him to the vet and he is only 6 months old.I have never seen a puppy that big! He won’t get larger than 100 pounds! YIKES. I thought my pit bulls were big( muscular), but they are + were not as big as Abram. My daughter said there are different kinds. He had the big head + big paw…soooo cute + all a big bunch of love. He has bad manners, but that is workable:-) He licks the food off of my grandson-lol…he was raised with two mastiffs that picked on him + a house full of kids. He climbed in Sam’s ( my grandson) play tent and crashed-LOL. Too cute. Sam will be 2 this summer and is telling him to “sit” and “go” etc…My daughter has another dog she took in that is a mastiff named-Nika + she is mothering him and getting him in line:-)…

        Well, I don’t have a worm bin for my entire yard is a worm haven! I compost during the winter and when spring starts they are all under the traveling compost bin. I spread it out and move on-lol
        I have to try that with the egg-great idea. You know that tall “hawaii” marigold( erecta) well they used to feed that flower to chickens for a nice “orange” yoke!
        bet the coat from those eggs would be REALLY shiny!

      • narf77
        Jan 16, 2015 @ 12:07:42

        The annoying lady at the counter with “that hair” is his wife, Cybil ;). I guess if Steve was Basil, that would make me Cybil! ;). He sounds (Abram) like he might be a pitbull American bulldog cross (or American Bulldog as they are called here). They are like pitbulls but much bigger. There are a pair of them that their owner drives past us in the mornings to take them for a walk over the bridge and they hang out the window and bark at our boys ;). I won’t need a worm bin either as Sanctuary is full of them. If my “yard stick” was anything to go by, I have a worm plague! ;). Might have to try it. I got cuttings from a Mexican marigold (the one that is a shrub that smells a bit like pineapple) a little while ago. One died but the other one seems to have struck so fingers crossed I have one in Sanctuary now to go with my pineapple sage (I don’t even like pineapple! πŸ˜‰ ). I have to hunt every day for where my lot have laid. Steve forgot to count the girls last night and one stayed out all night on 3 eggs. Lucky the quoll didn’t decide to pay a visit or she wouldn’t have been here to see the sun rise :(. Steve now knows to count at night! πŸ˜‰

      • Robbie
        Jan 16, 2015 @ 14:52:30

        Oh, I would be so afraid, I would do that and leave one out -one evening and the raccoons or coyotes would get it in the city-yep, they come in to town and hunt deer and small animals:-( It is not their fault part of the circle of life…but I hate it when it happens on my watch, or I did not count!
        You live more on a farm- I am such a wimp + so not a country girl. I am a city girl that loves nature-the actual living out in the wild-hmm.. I am a wimp-the first time I found an animal hurt, I would leave!

      • narf77
        Jan 16, 2015 @ 18:00:41

        We have a sick chook at the moment. Neither of us wants to put her down so she is going to have to just die a natural death in her own good time. We are both sooks and aside from a couple of roosters that we had to kill as they were ganging up on the girls, we can’t kill anything at all. We were once city slickers and it is hard to lose that even when you live in the country for a while :).

      • Robbie
        Jan 17, 2015 @ 00:37:18

        Remember my old mutt-punk? Well, maybe you don’t remember her ( I don’t write about her). I adopted her in 2000 + she is just dragging herself around these days. I thought she would not make it through last summer-surprise-her will to live is amazing. She has osteo-arthritis + loves the garden. She is going to be 15 yrs old this April. She is hanging on and never did- I think she would outlive the youngest dog at our home-Schatze:-( I got her the year, I was dx with cancer.She has been with me through that and raising all our kids through teenage angst-lol.
        She is so thin right now + everyone can hardly believe she gets around. But she has not told us with her eyes, it is time to go. I am sure she will this year—-. She gardens with me and sometimes waits out there for me. She stands out there looking in the house so stoic:-) When I emerge from the house she trots in front and explore. She is 98 yrs old in dog years! My kids are like she is in bad shape-we are hoping she does the same as your chook.
        She has her pain medicine and trots and explores and took care of two rabbit nests last year-not a fun thing for me to experience.
        I admire you both for doing all that you do-I am too chicken to go and live out in the country. I have my land in the city and all it’s problems:-) + I grow food. I would love to have more space to grow more, but I would have to hire help for I can hardly keep up with this place:-)

      • narf77
        Jan 17, 2015 @ 06:09:54

        You aren’t chicken (or is that chook?! πŸ˜‰ ) you are amazing Robbie. The things that you do in your space inspires people, inspires me! I see what you are growing and I head out and see if I can grow it here. I don’t have much of my 4 acres sorted out yet. You should see some of the weed problems we have here, it would make you cry! You do, occasionally, mention your old girl and I am with you, so long as there is life, and she is showing interest in it, who are we to say “over”. I think my chook won’t be alive this morning and we will bury her under the mulberry tree where her body will become part of the tree in time. Death is part of life and no matter how much people want to negate it, it comes to us all and how we deal with it shapes our futures. A dignified death is most definitely earned by your old girl. She has seen you through so much Robbie and she is your dear and constant companion. 98 is a damned good innings, especially for a pitty, they tend to live short but intense lives. When the time comes you will know but hopefully, as you say, she just goes to sleep one day and doesn’t wake up and spares you the additional pain of having to make that decision for her. BIG hugs because if you don’t own a dog and that dog hasn’t tunnel mined it’s way into your heart, you will never know how hard it is to say goodbye to one…

      • Robbie
        Jan 17, 2015 @ 11:13:22

        lol..”chicken” in USA means you are a weany-lol….chook-so should we say in tasmania =You chook or You are a chookin-lol….oh yeppers remember my piles!
        I think it is neat you have more property for it is great that you can leave some for nature:-) I would like to have just a bit more for nature:-) A pond to walk around!
        But I have what I have + am thankful for that , for some people have non…..living in apartment after having space to grow would be so hard:-(
        Well, off to chase my grandson. Watching him tonight:-)
        They are the “perfect ” love – a dog-for they just love us unconditionally….the best kind of love:-)

      • narf77
        Jan 17, 2015 @ 16:41:24

        Have fun running around after your lovely grandson πŸ™‚

      • Robbie
        Jan 16, 2015 @ 06:58:36

        + I almost forgot , like the idea with the old fridge-NEAT-+ the cast iron tub with the frogs etc…do post them both-want to see those-sound like they will be beautiful!

      • narf77
        Jan 16, 2015 @ 12:08:24

        I plan on growing things around both of them so that they look attractive and blend into their surroundings. Sanctuary is a work in progress and I like how she is progressing πŸ™‚

      • Robbie
        Jan 16, 2015 @ 14:53:14

        I agree she is progressing well:-)

      • Robbie
        Jan 16, 2015 @ 07:57:03

        yum..finally found enough without the shell, very good. thank you for telling me about them, my husband likes them too! Had to wait for them to get larger enough to shed their shells, I found a few, but not all are ready yet-can’t wait!

      • narf77
        Jan 16, 2015 @ 12:09:28

        I used to throw sunflower seeds out for the parrots and the seeds that they didn’t eat grew in the lawn. I would go around with a pair of scissors “harvesting” them when they were about 4 – 5 inches tall. They still taste lovely then πŸ™‚

      • Robbie
        Jan 16, 2015 @ 14:54:04

        They really are yummy. I have to admit the first time I tasted one, it was different. Then I had some more today + wow, they are great!!!

  12. rabidlittlehippy
    Jan 15, 2015 @ 18:55:59

    I think “chaos roolz” should become the new order of the day and I am taking a leaf out of yours and Angelo’s books and strinking the chaos pose too.

    I guess my husband must love me too as he’s bought me a guillotine (back when I was making CD covers and all that jazz) for a birthday gift as well as a gardening apron, 2 tools and some hose connectors for Xmas 2014. Everything has already proven its worth. No flowers and diamonds for us I guess (although if I asked Martin for diamonds I’d get 1/4 of a pack of cards).

    Lots of Lizards here at Cavae too. And my runner beans are looking good like yours are too. πŸ™‚

    As much as I love your word-filled emails and posts, there is something so very inspiring about seeing photos. All that green does the old heart good. πŸ˜€

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 16, 2015 @ 04:26:05

      Strinking?! Is that a combination of “shrinking” and “striking?” If you think about how natural gardens grow, they aren’t visibly neat but there is order among that chaos and it all sorts itself out nicely. My lizards and spiders deal with a lot of the pest problems (grasshoppers at the moment) and so long as I keep up the water and keep the mass tangle from spilling over too much (and keep an eye on those pumpkins and redirect them when I have to!) it starts to hum along all by itself. Weeds can’t grow in that mass (neither can smaller veggies so I planted more in the new garden beds πŸ˜‰ ) and a mass of vegetation (especially how Angelo does it with lots of ground covers in between) organically keeps moisture in the soil. Poific way to replicate nature. She hates bare soil and whenever I see neat rows that are weeded in between I think “HARD WORK!” I made Don Burke look prolific on the lazy gardener stakes πŸ˜‰

      Yup, Martin adores you. Those guillotines aren’t cheap you know! If I asked Steve for diamonds he would hand me a shovel and say “here, dig for them!” ;). Lucky that we aren’t gem hogs isn’t it? πŸ˜‰

      I am thinking I might change to caption posts now as I have had more comments from this post than I have in a long time. I think I wrote a blog post in comments and it’s much easier as you are just talking about the photo. I might post like this and if I have something to say I can do another post. LOTS of propagation going on at the moment and this year has fired me up for more. I will be propagating my derriere off this year. Lots to grow, lots to swap for new seed and new plants…OH the possibilities! πŸ™‚

      Reply

  13. Chica Andaluza
    Jan 16, 2015 @ 09:24:20

    Beautiful! It’s Wet, Wet, Wet (now wouldn’t that be a good name for a band?!) here but of the cold, windy, hailstoney, even the dogs don’t want to go out for a pee let alone a walk kind of Wet 😦

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 16, 2015 @ 12:10:43

      I have to say that it’s wet, wet, WET here as well! No snow or hailstones but lots of wind and rain but we (stupidly) too the boys to the park for a walk and as we had driven we figured we should justify the fuel so walked them anyway. Steve’s hair now looks like he has an Irish comb-over and lucky mine was in a plait or it would have blown away! πŸ˜‰

      Reply

  14. teddyandtottie
    Jan 17, 2015 @ 22:55:43

    Hi Narfie! I totally get your aversion to humidity – it makes me wilt faster than spinach in a hot fry pan! And I get very grumpy, too. I love reading your posts so much – I always feel as though I am watching an episode of The Good Life. I still love watching repeats of that TV show! I half expect Penelope Keith to saunter through Sanctuary in her designer clothes and give you her two-cents worth! Seriously, though, you and Stevie Boy have been doing a power of work and Serendipity Farm is looking amazing. Those views to the water are heavenly and Earl is so handsome! Love your weekly instalments. Keep up the great work. xoxoxoxox

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 18, 2015 @ 05:45:28

      Thank you Ms Teddytottie. The bit about being penniless hippies (much like Tom and Barbara πŸ˜‰ ) is that it’s more work than moola involved. We try to circumvent anything that costs us money and find a way to do it from side left. We just used an old rowboat that was left here when we inherited the place to make a water wicked strawberry bed. No water loss to the soil, just filling it from the top and less having to water in the process. We filled it with oak leaf mould that had been rotting down at the bottom of our property under a HUGE old oak tree and it’s ready for planting with my poor potted strawberries that are going to go MENTAL once they hit that gorgeous stuff. Less pots on the ground mean more space to plant. I have 4 turmeric plants and 2 sad cardamom (been in pots for about 7 years now!) that I am going to plant out in a garden of their own soon. I picked up a corner deep shower unit yesterday for $5 from the tip shop that we are going to use as a pond and I am going to try to get hold of some water chestnuts to get growing in there. We got an old cast iron bath from where it had been dumped (free) after asking the council for it, and now we are going to make either another water storage unit or a raised bed (or something else funky) inside Sanctuary in it. My half fridge is going to be planted out with mint (the escape plant) and another small pond installed in the freezer side. SO much going on and most of it free. I love working around the outside of the fiscal system and as we are time rich, money poor, that’s a good thing! ;). It is so very satisfying to be able to do what we are doing and share what we do so that maybe other people who feel helpless in their lives might get an idea that they can do it to. Glad you like our little patch of happiness Ms TeddyTotty, we love seeing you here πŸ™‚

      Reply

  15. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Jan 18, 2015 @ 13:27:29

    Oh me, oh my! Moringa, you’re growing moringa?! Is there anything you aren’t cultivating out there? I’ve been absolutely dying to try the stuff, since I’ve heard all about the health benefits and would love to sample this genuine superfood. How do you plan to cook it? And how is the taste? I just wish I visit and steal a few leaves… πŸ˜‰

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 18, 2015 @ 15:26:25

      My moringa (all 4 of them that germinated πŸ˜‰ ) are going mental in the glasshouse so I am going to have to repot them into bigger pots ASAP. I will let you know what I am going to do with it when they grow a bit bigger. I want to use the leaves like spinach and apparently the pods have a really excellent oil in them. Every part is edible and I have been trying to grow this plant for a long time now. First time I have been lucky enough to germinate them :).

      Reply

  16. cathyandchucky
    Jan 18, 2015 @ 20:38:40

    Just found your last full blog Fronkiii as i have been out of it for days post op. Just coming back to my senses today a little. Love how everything is growing in your lovely sanctuary. Xox

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 19, 2015 @ 05:13:12

      How are you?! I didn’t know who to ask but knew that you would be back and would let me know. Hopefully you aren’t feeling too under the weather? Steve said you might end up with 2 black eyes! I hope he was wrong. My sister as a raccoon ;). At least you should be able to smell the roses a bit better now πŸ™‚

      Reply

      • cathyandchucky
        Jan 19, 2015 @ 09:39:58

        I was fully expecting to be that raccoon Fronkiii. The surgeon was amazing and I have very little swelling anywhere aside from my nose. That is going to be mostly blocked for a few days to come and I’m just starting to breathe a little through it now. I’m on antibiotics for another couple of days as a precaution every six hours and saline nasal sprays as well. It’s odd how when I had no sinuses I had no pain, now that I have empty spaces again, I have those good old sinus headaches. At least till I fully heal. I’m weaning off the painkillers as they make me drowsy. Still, I’m feeling the best I have in a long while today so we might make the long journey home from Max and Johns place.

      • narf77
        Jan 19, 2015 @ 09:56:56

        Look after yourself Pinkiii. Those sinus headaches won’t last, they are just the result of your sinuses remembering that they exist ;). Make sure to eat lots of yoghurt or get yourself a good probiotic supplement to balance out your antibiotics. Fingers crossed you are feeling on top of the world soon :). Safe trip if you do travel back today πŸ™‚

      • cathyandchucky
        Jan 19, 2015 @ 10:20:06

        Thanks Fronkiii xox

  17. mommermom
    Jan 19, 2015 @ 02:32:24

    I don’t know how I missed this marvelous post! I really need to check my notifications. I’m supposed to be getting ready to go to church and here I am laying in bed reading all of these delightful responses to your delightful post! I so admire everyone who has a such a green thumb the Sanctuary looks fantastic! I can’t wait to see all of your buntings displayed. Pauline did a marvelous job on hers and it looks fantastic. Talk about enjoying life, it looks like you and Stevie-boy are enjoying it to the max. it also looks like you are working very hard to keep up with that amazing garden!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 19, 2015 @ 05:15:46

      That garden is just one little bit of our 4 acres. The rest is wild jungle and keeps invading Poland. We have to get out there and tackle it but it is a bit disheartening when you can’t get to it for a while and it reclaims the battlements…oh well…keeps us on our toes! Thank you for your lovely comment. I love sharing our little patch of paradise with my dear constant readers, it’s great fun to be part of their worlds and them mine albeit remotely πŸ™‚

      Reply

  18. Born To Organize
    Jan 19, 2015 @ 06:49:21

    That’s a whole lot of words for a wordless post, Ms. Fran. I feel completely caught up.

    I’m feeling miserable on your behalf, too, as I don’t suffer the heat well, and heat and humidity send me into the lower depths of feeling sorry for myself. This skin was meant for the British Aisles, damp, damp and more damp. I’m sorry to hear what you’ve had to endure.

    On the other hand, your garden clearly is happy with all that heat and moisture. It’s growing like gangbusters. You’ve worked wonders on the farm and now you’re reaping the benefits of all your hard work.

    Pauline’s bunting is beautiful. I’ve had a few ideas bouncing around my hand for my version of the same. I’ve even made a trip to a craft store, but as yet nothing ‘just right’ has appeared on the horizon. I best get to it. Ms. Pauline set the bar mighty high, as I knew she would. It’s lovely.

    I hope you can find a way to cool off, either with a break in the sticky weather, or a trip to someplace cool and refreshing.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 19, 2015 @ 09:52:19

      That hot weather came in on the back of a cyclone off the top end of Australia that pushed Queenslands weather down to us. It’s well and truly gone now and we are back to lovely low 20C days and cool mornings and evenings. My kind of weather :). Lots going on in the garden this week to post about and Ms Pauline’s bunting was delicious and certainly set the bar very high indeed :). I hope it isn’t too cold over there and I have similar skin to yours, white and freckled and prone to sun damage. We were obviously born in the wrong place. We can blame our parents for that πŸ˜‰

      Reply

  19. christiglover
    Jan 19, 2015 @ 15:55:06

    Blackberries and blueberries AND mac nuts! Yum. We just might have to get a macadamia nut tree. They grow in Hawaii like crazy. Very tasty. Love the pictures, Fran, and your garden is really growing. Hot humidity sucks. We finally got some rain (the first this year) this morning and the plants are happy. It’s been so dry. Pauline’s bunting is lovely and perfect for decorating Sanctuary. And she sewed it herself! I love her. And you! Hey to Steve-boy and his great-o shovel. Aloha, Christi

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 20, 2015 @ 03:05:23

      Get a couple of macadamia nut trees if you can Christi as they are awesome things and are very tough (being Aussie plants) and will take just about anything you throw at them. SO glad you got some rain! We are due some more today apparently but I tend not to believe the weather people any more, I think they just throw a dice and have a guess these days ;). Pauline did an amazing job on her bunting. I can’t sew so I am in awe of her and with all of my gorgeous bunting, Sanctuary will be splendiferous when I put it all up and take a photo when it all arrives :). A great bit ALOHA right back atcha Christi girl πŸ™‚

      Reply

  20. Yelena
    Jan 21, 2015 @ 10:38:42

    The panorama photographs are just wonderful, wiry well done! OMG, the blackberries, so big and ripe, I would cook them in syrup for pancakes for breakfast. If you need some ideas, please let me know, I will inspire you-))

    Hugs,

    Yelena

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 21, 2015 @ 16:03:23

      We just planted a thornless blackberry and a passionfruit vine to go with everything else so I might just have to ask you for some recipes in the near future Yelena. Glad you liked the post πŸ™‚

      Reply

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