Adding garden landscape designs

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Posted by Neville | Posted in Garden, Planting | Posted on 17-09-2011

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Garden Landscape Designs Add Value

Would your house be improved by adding to, or redesigning the landscape around it? The answer will most likely be yes, and that is an exciting prospect.

Garden Landscape DesignsThis is something to look forward to because there’s nothing that is much more fun than garden landscape designing. It’ll get your imagination working overtime and you will have a ball, ordering, buying and planting your flowers, plants and other features.

By adding a well planned garden landscape design you’ll have the ability to give a whole new degree of beauty to your landscape.

Your yard may be the first thing that visitors are impressed by when they come to your residence. Giving a great tour, which includes a fabulous garden, is definitely exciting and fun. You’ll be the talk of the neighborhood, and for the right reasons this time around, when you establish a great garden landscape design.

Adding a garden landscape design is simple to complete.

First you should consider the flowers that you will plant. The choices that you make with the flowers and other plants will affect precisely how a garden landscape design is organized. For instance you don’t want the taller plants to be in the way while looking at the shorter ones. This really is an obvious thing to consider, however, you should still create a rough sketch of your plan showing how you want things laid out for the garden landscape design before beginning. This time spent in planning should help you to help keep things as easy as possible. A garden landscape design is developed much faster by doing this and you’ll encounter less problems along the way.

Next consider the shape and structure of your garden beds.

On good design principle suggest that you have around three layers. Your back row should face north (or south in the southern hemisphere), whenever it can. It should also have the highest plants and so that the rows descend in levels, making all plants garden landscape designsvisible and able to get sunlight. One secret to building a good garden landscape designs is knowing  that often  the plants we buy are baby plants. You may have to speak with experts working at the local gardening store about how exactly large the plants will grow to. This really is answer to effective garden landscape design.

If the front or middle rows of your garden landscape design will grow much faster compared to last row, then you might have to do some modifications and ordering of more plants.

This layered effect of the garden landscape design will add depth, making a garden a lot more interesting to check out. This is what will make your Garden Landscape Design successful.

Long Overdue Update

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Posted by Neville | Posted in Broccoli, Pests, Tomatoes, Vegetables | Posted on 22-12-2010

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No Tomatoes for Christmas.

Tomato

Just Starting Out

The tomato plants that were planted with the plan for getting tomatoes for Christmas are doing very well, but the fruit setting nicely will not be ready until the New Year. That’s something to look forward to.

Tomatoes that I have grown from seed have all taken of well and they are starting to set their first fruit.

Some Cherry Tomatoes in a wicking bed are also developing, so it look like  a tomato glut in a month or so.

Broccoli

One that Survived

Broccoli Blues.

The carefully tended broccoli seedlings that were planted deep as a minor experiment, were unfortunately discovered by earwigs on their very first night in the ground and took a setback, but managed to produce some small bunches.

Zucchinis.

Now that’s another story. We started picking zucchinis about 2 days ago and just can’t keep up. It looks like Zucchini recipes will need to be put to good use.

There’s lots happening right now, including Purple King beans producing their first crop, the rhubarb is looking great, and will soon be ready for the first picking, button squash plants are developing their first flowers and the list goes on.

Blog Relocation And A Special Visitor

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Posted by Neville | Posted in Birds | Posted on 16-12-2010

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This blog has been transferred from Blogger to my own site, usiing WordPress.

It has been some time since the last entry, and there is so much to catch up on, but I will leave that until later.

Blue WrenToday I just want to share with you a picture of a small visitor to our garden. This Super Blue Wren and his little family spent lots of time in and around our garden today. I just managed to get one photo, from some distance that shows his magnificent colour.

A little later I caught him trying to frighten away another bird just like himself, but that bird was just his own image in a car’s side mirror.

There seem to be lots of different birds around at this time of year.

Digging Deep For Broccoli

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Posted by Neville | Posted in Broad Beans, Broccoli, Compost, Planting, Seedlings | Posted on 03-10-2010

My Broccoli Experiment
Potted Broccoli Seedling
I have now planted my 3rd succession of Broccoli seedlings that I have germinated from seed. This time I decided to plant them deeper than before as a result of watching one of the experts on Gardening Australia doing that with some seedlings and also some small shrubs and trees. I was also inspired to do that after watching Chuck do that with his tomato seedlings in his Tomatoes For Health and Wealth DVD.
These seedlings have been nurtured by potting them into larger pots and keeping them my mini greenhouse over the colder days, before preparing to plant them out.



In The Ground



The soil was prepared by adding compost and some manure. A hole deep enough to take the plant so that all of the base of the stem, up to first leaves, was then dug. After the seedling was taken from the pot, I placed it in the hole to check that it would at the right height, and backfilled the hole with soil.



All Mulched Up and Ready To Grow



Finally some mulch was added to help maintain moisture around the root system, and the plants were watered in. At the moment the seedlings look a bit overwhelmed sitting in their mulch, but it should not take long before they dominate the patch where they sit.
It will be interesting to watch and monitor this group of brocccoli plants to see if they benefit from the deeper planting.
The Broccoli plants that I first panted has now finished producing their heads, and are flowering with cute yellow flowers that are attracting the bees, The bees are then moving on to the broad beans to help fertilise them, so the first crop of broad beans is not far away.
And that is just touching the surface of what is happening in the garden right now! 

Out Of The Garden and On The Road

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Posted by Neville | Posted in Seasons | Posted on 23-09-2010

Yesterday was spent travelling the 200+ kilometres from home to the city, where I will be spending a couple of days. That means I will be suffering from garden withdrawal symptoms for a short time.

Canola in the distance

On the trip down south I was astounded by how green the paddocks were, except for those where Canola crops are in flower.

It was a cloudy overcast day, with occasional burst of sunlight, and those patches of sunshine always seemed to have picked out these Canola crops. The bright yellow colour was at times incredibly bright.

With the wattle trees along the sides of the roads also in bloom at this time, and patches of soursob in some places, the countryside is predominantly various shades of green, from the crops of wheat, barley, oats, peas and beans, and the yellows of the plants mentioned earlier.

This is a huge contrast from the browns and pale  straw coloured yellows of summer and autumn.

It’s amazing what some rain will do. And this year’s rains have been good, with the farmers at this stage looking to have bumper crops. Some have been trying to make sure that their crops get the best chance of great production by having them sprayed by air. I saw at least 3 crop dusting planes in action on my trip.

It won’t be long and the crops will be starting to dry, and the roads will be busy with grain trucks heading to and from the silos.

It’ll be back to the garden in a few days, no doubt to pick some more peas, and check how well things have grown.

The Patient Gardener or The Gardening Patient

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Posted by Neville | Posted in Fruit, Seasons, Vegetables, Weeds | Posted on 21-09-2010

Being a gardener helps with developing patience. It takes time for plants to grow, and there’s not much, apart from making sure the plants are watered, fertilised and protected from the elements or predators.



Wattles in Spring



This has been reinforced for me recently after returning home after a couple of weeks after a short hospital visit. The need for fresh fruit and vegetables has become important for me, but there is not much that can be done to speed up their growth.





As we head into spring, however, I can look forward to some of the work done earlier bursting into life. Some examples:
    
  • Broad beans that have had flowers for weeks now should start to set their pods soon. I heard some bees  buzzing around them today, and should get some pollination going.
  • 

  • I can’t keep up with the snow peas. I have to give lots away.
  • The grape vine around the back  shed are starting to shoot new leaves.
  • 

  • Blackberries are also shooting new leaves. The young plants looked dead all winter.
  • I discovered a Chaste Tree (very small at this stage) buried in the weeds, and it has leaf buds about to burst.
  • The olive trees planted months ago are also shooting.
  • Flowers are forming on the orange and lemon trees.
  • And more…..
I’d better stop writing now and get out there to do some more of those jobs that Spring weather produces. Weeds!

Tomatoes for Christmas.

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Posted by Neville | Posted in Jobs, Planting, Tomatoes, Weeds | Posted on 19-09-2010

Well Maybe!

There is tomato seedling in there!

The first tomato seedlings are now in place in the ground. I cheated and bought a couple of Grosse Lisse at Wirrabara Farmer’s market this morning. They are now in the ground, where they will get morning sun, and protection from the hot afternoon sun in summer.

To protect them from possible (or is that probable frost in the next month or so, they have a cut down plastic bottle over them. That will have to be upgraded when they grow. A frame is also in place to cater for them climbing and to keep potential fruit of the ground.

 What else was happening in the garden today?

This afternoon’s weather was perfect for spending some time in the garden, and there’s plenty to do.

  • Weed pulling. The ground is so soft from the winter rains that the weeds just fall into your hands when they are given a little tug.
  • Ground preparation for some future plantings.
  • Plant out some shrubs that have been waiting months for their time in the garden.
  • Clearing a path to find a way down to end of the backyard.
  • Talk to the neighbour as she was going down the street.
  • Enjoy a cup of tea while soaking up some Vitamin D
  • And best of all, discovering a lost plant that got covered with weeds, and find that the buds on the almost dead looking twigs are about to burst into leaves.
  • That’s just some of things that were done today, out of all the possible jobs to do.

I wonder what’s in store for tomorrow?

My Useful Weeds

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Posted by Neville | Posted in Fertliser, Mulch, Seasons, Weeds | Posted on 18-09-2010

The weeds in my back yard have grown incredibly well this winter. Heading into spring, I am sure that they’ll take off even further.

Rather than let the work involved in getting rid of them get me down, I thought I would see if I could get them to help me in the garden.

Fertiliser From Weeds

Firstly, I have made some fertiliser/plant food from the stinging nettles. Well, some of the stinging nettles. I’ve far more than I can use to make the nettle fertiliser, or containers to make it in.

To make the fertiliser, I filled a plastic rubbish bin with nettles, covered them with some of my excess rainwater, added a little Seasol (fish extract plant food) to kick the brew along a bit and sat back to wait.

Well, actually I left home for 2 weeks while it did it’s bit, leaving any smell for the neighbours to suffer through. Sorry no pictures, of this one, it’s just too gross looking, almost as bad as it smells.

In a few days I will separate out and bottle the liquid, for adding to my vegetables to give them a nutrient boost.

Straw For Mulch
Secondly, I have started to cut down some the grass type weeds, like barley grass, rye grass and wild oats. They have been put in a couple of places in the yard to dry out and form the straw that I can use for mulch when the weather warms up.

So weeds are not all bad. Now I just have to work out ways to use the other weeds, like marshmallow and the horrible prickly ones with milky sap.

Any suggestions?

Growing Tomatoes Down Under: Part 1

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Posted by Neville | Posted in Seasons, Seedlings, Seeds, Tomatoes, Vegetables, Wicking | Posted on 16-09-2010

Time to start Tomatoes Down Under (Australia that is)

After nearly 2 weeks away from home I was really thrilled to see that some tomato seeds that I had planted some time ago had finally germinated.

There were 3 different methods that I tried and amazingly they all have started to germinate at the same time.

Mini Greenhouse, Plastic Cover Removed

One group were started in small pots with seed-raising mix, started in mid-July and placed in my small greenhouse with the hope that enough warmth would be provided to get them started. After several weeks of no action they were moved into the shed near a north-facing window that has several hours of sunshine (when the sun is shining, of course) each day. Still no action, despite making sure that the pots did not dry out. I was about to give up on these so I set up another couple of trials.

Another group were sown in a small wicking bed, and a transparent plastic meat tray placed over top to act like a mini greenhouse. These were sown in mid-August, and nothing appeared to be happening by late September, when I was away from home for about 2 weeks.

The other group were sown like the first group, in small pots and kept in the small greenhouse. They were also sown in mid-August. They also had not germinated by late September.

The results:

Wicking Bed Seedlings
Small, but germinated at last!

When I returned home on 13th September all 3 groups had started to germinate. The group in the Wicking bed had the best rate of germination, the pots left in the shed had dried out a bit, because they could not be watered while I was away, but 1 seed had germinated. The 3rd group had a couple of germinating seeds.

What next:
The seedlings that have already started will be nurtured so that they can be planted out when the weather warms up a little, and after the last frost.

I will keep some of the plants in the wicking bed, because I want to check how they go in there, and also because it can be moved around the yard into the best position to help with growth.

I have been surprised how much the simple act of growing a few vegetables has excited me, and that is the perhaps the prospect of having fresh and nutritious food to eat when they mature.

Progress reports should follow in the next few months. I might even have some extra tomatoes to share.



Small Tomato Seedling



Back Home Again. And It’s Raining

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Posted by Neville | Posted in Broad Beans, Seasons, Snow Peas, Vegetables, Weeds, Wicking | Posted on 13-09-2010

After 2 weeks away from home for a minor operation, I arrived back home to find that the weeds had grown another 30cms or more. I just had time to have a quick walk around the yard before the rain set in, AGAIN!

Every time I come home it seems that the rain starts immediately. At least this time I think the gutters will hold up and I won’t get any overflow into the bathroom.

This is what it looks like out my back door. I can’t get any further, it’s too wet!

The Back Yard.
The weeds are almost hiding the vegetables. Broad Beans (on the left) are the most visible, because we cleared the garden beds in front of them just before our time away.
In the centre, the telephone peas are just peeping over the weeds, but everything else is hiding.
There are 2 wheelbarrows in the yard. Can you spot the second one?
On my quick trip around the garden I found:
  • The Broad Beans will need support around them to stop them swallowing up the vegetables nearby. The poor old Globe Artichokes can hardly be found. The Beans have lots of flowers but not much evidence of setting pods yet.
  • I have about 10 or more meals of Snow Peas to pick, when the rain stops.
  • The Rainbow Chard are doing well. Growing in size and showing great colour.
  • The Telephone Peas are starting to set their pods, and there are lots of flowers. They got battered around in the storms when we were away.
  • The Rhubarb is starting to develop new leaves. We thought we might have lost them in the cold, wet winter.
  • New leaves are developing on the Thornless Blackberries. They also went quiet in winter.
  • The bugs still love the Tuscan Kale. I’m not sure we’ll get much from those plants this year.
  • The Broccoli is starting to flower, so it looks like I’ll have a few meals with fresh Broccoli in the next few days.
  • The Horse Radish has sprung back to life.
  • In the Wicking Beds, the Rocket has gone to seed, Lettuce has reached maturity, Broccoli (planted later) are growing well, new plantings of Rocket and Lettuce have stablished themselves. See the photo below.
  • I have some Tomato and Capsicum seeds that have germinated. Now to nurture them to get started with this summer’s crops.
  • And that’s just the vegetable patches!
Wicking Beds in the Rain!

As I was coming into town I just had to check what was happening under the bridge, and YES the Rocky River has water in it!

With today’s rain I guess that it will get some more, so I’ll have to get out in the next few days to take some photos.

In the flower beds, we have some progress too. A couple of Nasturtium plants have flowers, so I’ll be OK if hay fever sets in soon. I chew a Nasturtiun flower at the first sign of hay fever, and it seems to work a treat.

The Herb Robert Geranium is going crazy, as is the Fruit Salad Sage. These are 2 plants that we have had difficulty with in the past.

I just can’t wait until tomorrow to have a closer check of all that is happening as Spring starts to make its presence felt.