Friday, 19 April 2013

Tip Top Tip Shop

This week we had the pleasure of the company of mum and dad to stay.  Here they are being lovey dovey at the Ocean Beach lookout.  It was lovely to have you to stay  xx

And of course, what do we do when we have people staying with us, we trot along to the Boston Brewery! It was very nice as per usual, we are gradually working our way through the entire menu.  :-)
Meanwhile, we have been busy outside.  It's planting time, the rains have started, off and on, so Steve set to work clearing out the vegie patch.  He's poured in many bags of horse poo and loads of pig poo compost and has planted seedlings and sown seeds.  Let's see, what is in there.... loads of sugar snap peas, about 4 times as many as last year as they grew so well and were absolutely delicious.  Broad beans, about a third of what we grew last year, we are still wading through last year's frozen beans!  Lots of garlic, onions and shallots, they all grew really well last year too.  Dwarf beans, cabbages, beetroot, carrots, broccolini and other things that I have forgotten.  In the foreground are the two remaining capsicum plants, still producing.  That was great, we could never grow capsicum in Perth, they used to get burnt to a crisp.  At the back is our flourishing couple of rhubarb plants, even happier since they had a boost with half a bag of horse poo.
Sometimes I forget to use the rhubarb, but this week I made rhubarb muffins.  Lovely texture but perhaps a bit bland, interesting actually as the recipe called for 2 cupfuls of chopped rhubarb, quite a bit, but really there was no rhubarb taste in the muffins.  Anyway, I now know that rhubarb is best used in pies or crumbles and I'll leave the muffins for when I've got blueberries!
While Steve has been busy planting up, I am getting twitchy about growing my herb garden.  As we haven't got any garden started in the giant sandpit around our house, I decided to get a few pots going up by the front door, idea being that hopefully the roos will be too scared to venture that close to nibble.
I've planted some lettuce which is in the foreground and I'm pleased to see that my herb and other seeds are sprouting.  Coriander, marjoram, sage, marigolds, snapdragons and cornflowers are all peeping up from the damp earth.
And the rocket seeds are their usual reliable selves, it's amazing how quickly they germinate.  I am looking forward to picking a few leaves at a time, that is, if our friendly furry roos don't get there first.
Do you remember a while back I commenced an experiment with growing sweet potatoes above ground?  I had a couple of big boxes from our dishwasher which I filled with yummy compost, straw and manure, then popped in cuttings of sweet potato plants.  Well they are growing like made above ground, I keep stuffing rampant tentrils back inside the box.  It remains to be seen whether there is any action below ground, but I am restraining myself and not looking for sweet potatoes for at least another month.  Here's hoping!
The main reason I planted the sweet potatoes above ground was that we have trouble with kikuyu grass invading where it is not wanted, and sucking all the nutrients out of the soil.  So I covered an area of ground with cardboard  and then put the cardboard boxes on top that I planted the sweet potatoes in.  Cardboard is great at smothering out weeds, as long as you overlap it well and leave no gaps.  Have a look at what happens after a few months, the cardboard starts to rot down and turn into compost and underneath where I've peeled it back the soil is lovely and black and there are worms everywhere.  And no kikuyu is growing under the cardboard, next to it yes, but not under it.  So far so good!
We have loads of flattened cardboard boxes in the shed after our move, so I set to and started spreading more out around my plants, to kill off the grass and weeds.  For now I've put bits of wood over the cardboard to stop it blowing everywhere, poked a few holes in it with the fork and saturated it.  Eventually it will settle into the soil and I can take the bits of wood away.  I've also got a couple of pieces of carpet on the ground, doing the same job.  Notice my plants have a fence around them, that is to keep those furry critters in the background away, I never knew how much kangaroos like eating shrubs!
 There's a few pretty flowers around, keeping the little birds happy.  This is a White Anzac bottlebrush.
And this is pineapple sage that I've talked about before.  It's been flowering for months and is so pretty.  It must be a good nectar flower as the bees love it.
We had our regular visit to the local tip the other day.  We always have a little wander through the tip shop, and this time we scored a couple of very useful things. This rug is perfect for on the floor in front of the settee that's under the patio.  In great condition and pretty clean.  I was waiting for something awful like creepy crawlies to come wandering out of it but no, it's bug free!
Our other score was this very sturdy little table which is perfect for just outside our front door.  Ideal for parking one's bum when putting boots on, and also great for popping the shopping bags on whilst unlocking the door. We love our tip :-)
Gosh our trailer is brilliant, we've only had it a few weeks and already so much has been done with it.  We've never owned one before, we didn't know what we were missing!  Today's load is a pile of wood from the bottom of our property, Steve took off in Jimitu and the trailer with his chainsaw in hand, and came back with another big load of wood ready for the fire, excellent.
On a random note, I thought the moon looked pretty cool yesterday.  This is before dark, midway up the northeastern sky, and I was rather tickled to see the detail that came out in the full zoom photo.

And how can I leave without a photo of our furry friends.  This lot are right outside our bedroom window having an early morning feed on the kikuyu that has sprung up at the side of the house.

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