These pretty things in my garden today.....
...are hiding the fact that we are still having a severe drought.....
...and it looks like it will continue....maybe forever.
|I love our little native correas that are happy whether its hot and dry or cold and wet, in the shade or in the sun. They are originally an understorey plant, common under gum trees and wattles etc. Their flowers are a wonderful sight in the bush in early winter and there were several in flower when we went camping a few weeks ago.|
|I am recreating a patch of local bush down near the bottom of my block, amongst a few blue-gum trees. It is slow to fill in, with all the drought and heat in the last couple of years but eventually I will have it crammed with local plants, for the wildlife value and for my pleasure.|
|I recently saw some honey-eaters and pardalotes there, which I haven't seen for years before, because of the invasion of the noisy-miner birds. |
Grrr...that's the council's fault for clearing everything in sight!
|Of course there are lots of weeds down there too but that's OK because this is also the chooks biggest foraging area and, if the ground was bare, they would undermine the steep bank and cause terrible erosion, as they have elsewhere. For some of the summer I have to keep them off this area as it is so dry and devoid even of weeds. This also gives plants such as these correas time without the chooks.|
|Correas are actually edible and the flowers taste better than the leaves but I think the leaves would make a good substitute for bay leaves. |
The Belair Native Flora Nursery has lots and I always choose those grown from seed collected as close to where I live as I can and this is always written on the labels. Those that survived last summer are the ones I will plant more of during this winter.
A simpler life is a more fulfilling one; it is more fun, more healthy for you and more stimulating. Moreover while you are saving seeds you will be preserving biodiversity and that will be the saving of our civilisations. What more could you want?
Life is good. Get one today.
Sometimes the garden has a magical look in the late afternoon and evening, especially in winter when the sun's rays send a soft glow through the trees. Our winters are relatively mild compared to blogs I read in cold parts of Europe and America, where there is snow as well as unseasonable frosts that damage seedlings and cause a lot of heart-ache amongst vegetable gardeners in those areas. Today, for example, was probably about 16C and a typical day for June, with lines of light showers floating across the plains like white washing blowing on a clothes line. We can see them from our house and marvel at how defined they are - sometimes a narrow strip of rain, sometimes a cylinder, either side of which sunbeams sprinkle shiny streams of light onto the earth below.
I started out wanting to write about the vegetables in my garden but now I want to write about the feelings in my garden and how they can be so like a turbulent relationship; one minute everything is so fantastic and I pick baskets full of colourful jewels like last summers crops of capsicums and eggplants and greens etc and then the next day, it seems, the aphids have moved in and decimated all my gorgeous little Russian kale seedlings, making me very disappointed and despondent and on the verge of giving it all away and becoming a consumer again! Up and down, up and down, like a child on a swing.
When you first start out trying to get along with nature and the garden and the whole earth thing, you tend to want to dominate it all and you want everything to happen fast and nothing to go wrong and when it inevitably does, you don't know why or what to do. Eventually, after about a million failures, you begin to stand back a while and see what happens. So, when the aphids came to my place, I waited for the ladybirds to arrive and deal with them.....I waited and waited.....and, I don't know why, but they never came! Maybe it was the unseasonably warm and dry conditions - that is what I think. Now it is cold enough that all the aphids have gone and the garden and I can relax.
This afternoon I felt very at peace with the vegetable garden, for the first time probably since last winter. The seeds sown recently are all coming up and look so fresh and clean and alive. There were the raindrops glistening on the leaves; then there is the way I like to pick a spinach leaf and pour the droplets from the grooves onto my tongue and feel and taste the lovely rain that, only seconds before, was high above me, in a cloud, having evaporated from some far off place and travelled all the way here, to my garden, before coming back to earth again. The perfect recycling system, that is what rain is. Some people then go inside and wash their vegetables. Why would you wash off that purest of all water? I don't understand most things about humans, I am afraid.
The large, lime-green leaves of my favourite chicory are bursting with life and its tiny, new leaves curl around in a cute spiral inside, before gradually unrolling as if it was yawning and stretching and waking up.
Then I just stood there in my favourite spot and looked at the sea, off between the trees, as the sun's rays behind the thin veil of cloud turned the whole scene ever so softly and silently pink. I am so lucky; so, so lucky.
It is a surprisingly touching thing for me to be able to stand in my vegetable garden and see the sea, especially when it is displayed so beautifully and is there, just for the looking, connecting me with the two parts of the earth that I love the most.
|These crisp little flat breads are delicious and so easy to make. They have cumin seeds in them and consequently have a lovely aroma. I wish I had taken photos of making them but I didn't think of it. The whole meal only takes a few minutes to cook, once you have the dough ready, so you really need 2 people - 1 to grill the puris and 1 to cook the rest, otherwise you will end up burning the puris as they puff up and brown very quickly.|
|I will put the recipes on Gardeners' Gastronomy.||Of course you can serve them with anything but for some reason I always forget about them unless I am cooking this seafood recipe I adapted from Rick Stein's Seafood Odyssey.|
|Here are Hugh and Amelia having that picnic I mentioned before. You can see the lovely salad they made from the things from my garden and the trout Hugh smoked and bread etc we bought together at the market. They took the photos especially for the blog - Amelia loves reading it! That is amazing, I think. |
This hill where they are picnicking is just a short walk from our home. The view of the whole of Adelaide and the coast from north to south, from this ridge is almost 360 degrees.