Sunday, 30 November 2014

Don't Poke Your Tongue Out At Me!

This November has been so different from last year.  There was no November rain last year and it was as dry as dry, whereas this year we have had steady, regular amount of rain all month, about 65mm in total.  Which is great, I've had to do very little hand watering, the water tanks are almost full and it still looks nice and green.  The only bad side is that garlic and onions don't like being wet just before harvesting, they tend to reshoot and go soggy and begin to rot.  Hence I had to do a quick harvest day inbetween showers.  Everything is hauled out of the ground and left on the surface to dry out, except that it kept raining!  So after a day I put it all into the wheelbarrow and brought it all under cover to try and dry out.
I am pleased with the garlic, I only planted about 60 this year but they grew fairly well with quite a few good sized globes.  Last year we grew more but they were very small.  It doesn't matter though, the point is to provide us with our garlic eating needs for as close to a year as possible.  Last week I threw away last year's garlic braid with only the last few fossilised globes still hanging off it.
This is the haul of garlic, shallots and red onions.  I also grew some really nice white onions but I've used all those for caramelised onion chutney, yum!  Oddly the only onions I planted that failed completely, right at the start, were the brown onions.  Not a one grew, go figure, you'd think they would be the tough boys of the onion family.
Don't the braids look pretty!  I've got them hanging up on the coat rack outside the front door to try and dry them out more.  I'm a bit worried about the shallots, they were quite damp and some were rather squelchy.  I've tossed any soft ones away and hopefully these ones will dry out and not rot.
The other exciting harvest was globe artichokes!  Just the three but still very pleasing.  I can officially announce that they were delicious, boiled and served with a little bowl of melted butter/salt/lemon juice to dip the leaf ends in, then the delicious finale of spooning out the luscious artichoke heart, mmmmm!
 We have had to take quick action to save any tiny fruits on our tiny fruit trees.  I mentioned last blog about those &%$#@ 28s, the green parrots.  Far out, why can't they just politely take one fruit and eat it.  No, the little hoodlums pull them all off just for the fun of it, and break off tiny branches just for the hell of it too.  I saw red when I saw a parrot quite deliberately biting the flowers off my Feijoa, just for fun grrrrr! So it was off to the shop to buy mega amounts of bird netting.
This year the trees are tiny and most of them will have no fruit, but we have a few precious apples that we'd like to save, so now they are under Fort Knox!  Up yer bums parrots! :-)
The back garden is coming along nicely.  Steve thought he would get a break when he finished building the terraced garden bed walls.  Hmmm, no darling, you were wrong.  We have had a temporary fence around the back garden for quite a while now, just chook wire and star pickets.  The roos have respected this.  Until now.  Can you see that kangaroo bum in the centre of the photo?  That is Patience, the old female who waits patiently out the front every morning for her couple of handfuls of breakfast.  Except now she has decided that she would like to live in the back garden and eat all my plants.  About half a dozen times a day and night I'd look out to see her in there.  It was a careful job to remove her too, not wanting to panic her.  If you'd been here in the dead of many a night you'd have seen me out the back in my nightie, with a torch, herding her quietly towards the open gate.  Far out. 
 So Steve has had to pick up his downed tools, and start on the permanent fence around the back garden.  He is going great guns too, one side and almost the back done.  He builds beautiful fences, he uses pine poles as uprights and also as fence toppers with a sturdy wire mesh to keep things out.  It's pretty high and rather formidable looking to a kangaroo I should think, Patience hasn't been seen in there for over a week now so crossing fingers!
 It's all starting to grow out the back and looking rather nice.  It is sunny in the mornings then shady in the afternoon which makes it a lovely place to sit after a hard morning's work.  I don't usually park my car there, nor are those two gates remaining there, but that is the side of the temporary fence, so the car and gates are the barriers to persuade Patience to stay out until Steve finishes the proper fence.
These are the steps from the back door up to the clothes line and back part of the garden.  I really like how they look, and the growing plants are softening the lines of the timbers.  He's a clever boy that husband of mine :-)
This is the side of the house from the front looking to the back.  I love how my yellow pokers are flowering right behind our Easter Island head, makes him look like he has a headdress.  :-)
We had a visitor up near the back door, he scared the crap out of me actually.  A beautiful blue-tongued lizard was hiding behind one of my pot plants.  PS - got the name wrong, it is a Bobtail, or Shingleback, the scary blue tongue mesmerised me :-)
 He wasn't particularly conversational.  And was not very appreciative when Steve gently got him onto a spade and released him back into the bush.  Their gnarled, multicoloured skin is somewhat reminiscent to a dinosaur in my eyes.
Speaking of eyes, we both went and had long overdue eye checks.  Steve just needed the next strength up of his readers, but my eyes have gone to crap.  So, I've had to take the step up to multifocals.  It takes a while to get used to them I've discovered, but I think they way the glass just knows when it's sunny and turns dark is way cool!
 I finally finished the quilt for my father-in-law for Christmas.  I hope it brightens up his nursing home bed.
 Do you remember the excellent wooden book statue Steve made me a year or so ago?  This is a current photo of it.  It sits out in all weather and we were interested to see how it went.  I love it, it is cracking, has spider webs and algae on it and is ageing beautifully.  It has become incredibly interesting and I love seeing it every morning when I visit the chook yard.


  1. Dy, your 'bluies' have more colour than ours and more pronounced scales. I thought first off he was shingle back. We have a family of them in our yard and the hardest thing is managing the dogs who love to bark and chase them. Your yard is looking great it must be such a joy to see it progress.

    1. You are absolutely right Steph, it is a Shingleback, or as we call them in WA, a Bobtail. I had a senior moment and forgot the name!

  2. Holeymaloney... what a wonderful crop!!