Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Bodies In The Kitchen

We are coming to terms with our bore water, the components of it meaning that it is not good to wet the foliage of plants as they then suck up the minerals and then get upset with the excess ones.  We have to rethink a lot of our strategy and will need to water at ground level.  Eventually we will be putting in drip systems through the garden beds but for now we continue to use sprinklers to water and just do a rinse off with rainwater.  A little tedious but if it helps then its worth it.  But there are going to be some plants that just wont want to grow here, but on the other hand there will be others that I've not thought of that thrive in saline conditions, I have to move my mind towards plants that are happy to live near the coast.  It's all a learning curve!
Meanwhile, trying to drag myself away from the misery of looking at the plants that are unhappy, I am thrilled to see some wonderful things.  Those tiny green balls are mandarins!  You may not think much of that, but that little tree has stubbornly been on the brink of death for about 5 years, it was on its last hoorah this season and was threatened with being pulled out and replaced.  It must have heard me as it has started to green up, started to grow, and produce teeny fruit.  I will cross my fingers that they don't all fall off, but the fact it has even produced them is a bonus, there hasn't been a flower on it ever until now.  So yay!
This is one amazing plant, the banana passionfruit vine.  It has literally hundreds of young fruit on it and is thriving, with no signs of unhappiness with the water.  The passionfruit also has loads of fruit but the leaves are showing tiny signs of bore water damage so I will need to use more rainwater to keep that one happy.  So looking forward to ripening fruit!  Our sick peach dropped all its fruit but the other peach has a dozen or so fruit that are starting to swell up towards maturity, and the sick nectarine is recovering well after dropping half its fruit, the remainder starting to swell up, not far off ripening. 
 This is a naughty chicken.  The girls get to range all day in the orchard, and they love it, but this one has learned to jump the fence into my garden, and gleefully spends the day alone, hogging all the worms and bugs she finds.  I'm amazed the others haven't copied her, perhaps she is the most athletic of them all and the others can't get over the fence.  She's not doing any harm, just makes a big mess kicking mulch all over my paths!  I have to forgive her though, she and her mates lay lots and lots of eggs for us :-)
 Some of you may find this revolting, but I like spiders and I have no huge problem with the odd little spider web in my house.  This is the web of my kitchen spider, he has lived happily there in the corner of the window for about six months, catching the little midgie things that get through the flywire, and also the odd fly.  Good job Mr Spider I say.  Occasionally he leaves debris on the window ledge, he turfs out the dried bodies of his victims when he does his web housework, and on a few occasions I have thought he had died, a curled up limp body on the window ledge as in the photo above, but I finally worked out he is shedding his exoskeleton as he grows, and turfs that out too.  I find it all rather fascinating.
Keeping Mr Spider company in the kitchen, I had a day of Xmas biscuit baking, knowing that my children are rather fond of them.  Two more sleeps and they will be here for a visit, so looking forward to it!

Merry Christmas to one and all xx

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