Sunday, 18 October 2009

creative space

This house is not only large but it sits in a very big block. The garden is quite overgrown and bushy, although since I've been here, I've tamed it a bit using secateurs and pruning saws. We have several enormous jacarandas, a couple of big eucalypts, loads of other bushy shrubs and tree ferns, azaleas and gardenias. There's also quite a pile of rubbishy stuff there too and it's that which I've been hacking at. Plenty of space for our small echidna to hide and plenty of leaf mould and rotting pieces of wood to provide it with ants and insects for food.

The big trees make the place quite shady and there are few biggish spots which get enough sun to make planting any vegetables worthwhile. Not only that, but gardening means contending with the local wildlife. Last summer, I planted out a punnet of rocket in a tub on the path. Next morning all were gone, eaten to the ground by snails which I hadn't actually seen here before then. Local currawongs and magpies fly in onto our middle floor balcony or sit on the balcony rail and scold us for not feeding them, along with several kookaburras. Tiny tomatoes have only to show the slightest tinge of pink and one of these snaps them up. Tomatoes outside in the garden would be eaten by the possums which can prise open the lid of the compost container and give someone a nasty fright when they go to empty the compost scraps. Did I mention the leeches which inch across our front tiled porch having come out of the leafy garden next to the steps. Not that these eat the garden stuff, but they are part of our wildlife.
I planted these tubs about three weeks ago. The top shows some oakleaf lettuce which has grown enormously. I can pick these by the leaf, so hopefully the harvest will go well for quite a while yet. We've had one salad from them, The taller plant is a chili. We eat loads of the pungent small ones here, the bright red, very hot chilies about 10 cm, 2" long. I've always liked and used these but my tolerance and liking for them has increased greatly since moving here. We use about 5-7 in a normal stirfry and they go in lots of other things as well. I plan on going to Hornsby one Thursday soon and getting a couple more plants so we have a plentiful supply. Local markets are in Hornsby outside Westfield every Thursday with plants, good bread, ethnic food and more. Organic meat and vegetables available too.

The second picture shows baby spinach almost ready for its first picking. I'll try some more rocket too and put it with these other pots on the balcony wall.

1 comment:

Lynne said...

A regular zoological garden at your place!