A message from Brigid ....

I have been a blogger since 2005. At the height of my blogging busy-ness, I had "a small stable" of blogs on different topics: social and political commentary; desert spirituality; food; waste and ....

A few years ago I called time and ceased blogging altogether - although there was an occasional post. I had called it quits. I am an aged woman these days with a couple of serious illnesses. I am not allowed to drive. I am no longer active in organisations. I think it fair to say that I am housebound. I am active on Facebook, although I am not there as often as once I was. I have decided to embark on a re-entry into the blogging world ... beginning with The Trad Pad and, possibly, a return to my food blog, Oz Tucker. I have always used a lot of photographs on my blogs ... and I miss not being out and about with my camera.

The Trad Pad has been my blog for the lovely things of life. The controversial or political has seldom intruded. Occasionally, the spiritual has found its way in, but I kept spirituality for the blog, Desert. I don't yet know if I will revive that. I will stick pretty much to food and the lovely things of life. If I have some regularity with those two categories, I feel that I will be doing well. I hope that, with this blog new friendships can be formed and old friendships renewed; new lovelies discovered; new reflections can enter into the meaning of modern life. I would love to hear from you - particularly if you have suggestions for new topics to enter into the conversation. So, it is a new year. Let's see what it has in store, what it can bring to us. And I hope that those who share the spirit of The Trad Pad can spread the message of a world of beauty, the creativity of humanity, and the joys of simplicity and tradition. ~~~ February, 2017

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Wombat, Spring, and the edible garden

Miss Eagle disguised as The Wombat of Upper Gully

To-day is Show and Tell over at Kelli's.

I have been s-o-o-o busy the last few weeks - for a number of reasons. The over-riding reason though has been the garden. Miss Eagle has been carrying on in the backyard like she's The Wombat of Upper Gully.
About a quarter of the backyard has been dug up and given to veges and herbs.
I have been wombatting in a most determined fashion, dear Reader, because Spring does not wait for anyone and can, at times, be quite anxious to turn into Summer and all that growing time is gone and cannot be reclaimed.
One of the difficulties in this mature garden is light. Fruit trees planted in the long ago are of great height and are heavy in branch and leaf - not to mention roots. I got quite carried away with the pruning of the plum tree to get extra space by the provision of more light. Above, can be seen a piece of the pruning I have rescued which I hope can do duty as a trellis for the snow peas whose seeds are planted beneath and around it.

I have tried to stretch my budget (if you could call it that) further this year by using a lot of seeds rather than seedlings. The wisdom of this decision will depend upon how many seeds come up, won't it?

A few notes of interest.
  • I am fortunate in the provision of various bits and pieces through "hard rubbish": waste items put out on footpaths for collection. Herself says that at The Trad Pad we are not into Retail Therapy but Refuse Therapy (Opp Shops and Hard Rubbish). And, guess what? No credit cards required!

  • Garden Picture No. 2 shows a white lattice propped against a plum tree. Garden Picture No. 3 shows a garden gate propped against the corner of the garden shed. These, if all goes to plan, will be trellises: the former for the ivy geraniums and the latter for golden zucchini.

  • In Garden Picture No. 2 you will notice in the foreground a wire edging. Hard rubbish again - in sufficient quantity to go around the areas I have dug on either side of the shed. Herself had expressed a desire a couple of months ago for some garden edging but hadn't got to Bunning's to do anything about it. Just this week the very thing has been provided! It has a tad of rust - but we find rust in our vintage a bonus!

  • Can't recall where the wire object from which the pots are hanging in Garden Picture No. 2 came from. Methinks that Herself acquired it in a swap or some long ago hard rubbish. The pots I have had for the best part of ten years and they are still going strong and they are planted with the seeds of cherry tomatoes.

  • The toadstool sitting under the pots was a gift, more than a decade ago, from some very good friends. Now this sort of garden ornament is not really my style but my friends are very dear. To make it more me, I have a friend who does a very good line in frogs drawn in an Aboriginal style so I got him to draw such a one sitting on the toadstool. Now this quirky object and I have a whole lot more in common.

  • In Garden Picture No. 1 the child's outdoor setting, the little wooden wheelbarrow, and the two wooden tubs are all found items. The large painted metal wheelbarrows I have had for a number of years. They came from garage sales.

  • The area dug is on three sides of the tool shed with a small bed (planted with nasturtiums) on the fourth side. In these three areas are planted: sage, parsley, basil, coriander, silver beet, rocket, climbing beans, golden zucchini, beetroot, cherry tomatoes and snow peas. I have seed-boxes containing capsicums (peppers) and sugar-loaf cabbage. I need to find a home for cucumbers.

  • My two yellow wheelbarrows contain: penny-royal, sage, thyme, common mint, Corsican mint, and oregano. In other parts of the garden I have other herb plantings with the addition of golden marjoram and lavender.

  • I have not yet planted tomato seedlings. I can only find Gross Lisse seedlings. I am looking for heritage tomatoes such as I planted two years ago. I will take a drive into The Hills later to-day to see what I can locate up there. And maybe I'll let my fingers do the walking using this list.

  • Here at The Trad Pad, we compost. We have two bins - but two older single women don't make a lot of compost very quickly. I add to our household scrap pile in the bin by adding, every few months, some additional layers. I will put in a layer of cow manure; a few months later, a layer of lime. Sometimes I find I have left a small amount of potting mix to its own devices in the tool shed, so it goes into the compost too. I didn't have quite enough from the two compost bins to provide an adequate layer over all of the dug area so there was a narrow patch on the long side of the toolshed where the rocket seeds have been planted which received cow manure. I prefer manure to blood and bone. Blood and bone is an organic fertiliser/nutrient but I prefer not to use it. If I could be assured that it comprised the remains of old and injured animals who have been killed in a humane manner, I would use it. However, most blood and bone would be the detritus from meat processing facilities which kill animals for food. So I prefer to go with cow manure because it means that an animal has not given its life for the main purpose of providing humans with food.
It hasn't all been veges and herbs. Pretty baskets a-plenty are decorating the trees in the back yard. Here are some of them. And I have not included any pictures of the succulent collection in the courtyard outside the sunroom. BTW, these wire baskets are found items!

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