Monday, 15 August 2016

The Sun, She Peeps

Well, we are bleary eyed from lack of sleep but we're still loving watching the Olympics.  I get so filled with national pride when I watch our athletes.  We needed a small hiatus though, Steve had a fit of anxiety as we virtually ran ourselves out of dry wood.  The wet weather has been a great excuse to stay inside and watch tv, we have also kept ourselves very comfortable with the fire constantly burning, but outside, all Steve's stash of chainsawed logs were wet wet wet.  So Steve scurried around and found some big pieces and we had a block splitting session, and ended up with a nice big rack of wood that thankfully started drying out quickly.  We had a fabulous sunny day yesterday which helped heaps.
With the beautiful sunshine yesterday, the end of winter orchard maintenance seemed the perfect job to complete.  All the stone fruit had their spray of copper to stop leaf curl, and all around the trees we piled on manure, bark, sawdust, trace elements and fertiliser, finishing up with a hefty sprinkling of blood and bone.  We were amazed to find that the chooks did not like the blood and bone and therefore did not hop right in and throw all the yummy tree food all over the place.  I wonder how long that will last!  The chooks love digging around the fruit trees but they get a bit too enthusiastic and often start exposing roots, hence we throw big pieces of bark and wood around the trees to try and stop them. 
 This is a new acacia that I planted in my back garden last spring, it's called Acacia leprosa "Scarlet Blaze".  Isn't it lovely!  I've never seen anything but yellow acacia before.  This one grows into a small tree, it has a weeping habit and it flowers these lovely scarlet puffballs from August to October.
 A closer look at the flowers.
 My beautiful camellia is starting to take off now, it is covered with buds and flowers considering it is still a small plant.  It is being awkward though, all these flowers are on the side of the plant away from the house, so I can't see them from the kitchen window, I have to go outside.  I'm wondering why, perhaps it gets more sun on the side.
 I love these.  It's a tree lucerne or Tagasaste, a fodder tree that is also a legume.  I planted a lot of Tagasaste and Acacia as they are legumes, they accumulate nitrogen in the soil and thus help out other plants.  This time of year the Tagastastes are smothered with white flowers and the bees are so so happy, the whole tree is buzzing with them.
 Steve very kindly made me a potting table for out the back, using some bits and pieces he found in the shed.  It's going to be very useful as I love striking cuttings and planting seeds.  The only issue I found with this, as it is a bit of a wind tunnel out the back, was that some of the smaller pots were getting blown off.
 So, yesterday, I fixed that issue with some plastic mesh wrapped round and secured with gardening wire.  It's not very strong but it will stop the problem.  Yay!  Note the pots of grass on the left, I put up clumps of new grass and bring the pots in one at a time for Neo.  He loves to nibble grass and has only puked it up once.  :-)
 Steve and I finished our collaborative effort with his frame and my embroidery.  Gosh I am pleased with it. 
 There are mysterious things happening in the shed, I wonder what is going on here!
 We are really really enjoying our duck eggs, as well as our chook eggs.  I cracked three of each to make a cottage quiche the other day, and thought you might like to see the difference in the size of the yolks.  The yolks at the top are the ducks, they are so much bigger than chicken yolks.  The chook eggs have more white than the duck eggs.  They are all delicious!

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