It’s my birthday and I’ll garden in the rain if I want to

Yes, two facts that might startle those that know me well. I am indeed mentioning my birthday and yes, I was outside in the rain, gardening. Actually that’s three highly unlikely events all happening at once, all in this post. πŸ˜‰

One of three bunches of purple sprouting broccoli that I blanched and froze during the week. The rest is all going to seed which I hope to collect. I'd plant this broccoli again anytime.

One of three bunches of purple sprouting broccoli that I blanched and froze during the week. The rest is all going to seed which I hope to collect. I’d plant this broccoli again anytime.

I really don’t like my birthday. It’s nothing to do with age (I’m 35 in case you’re wondering), it’s just that I’ve had too many birthdays that have been on the wrong side of awful for it to be an event I look forward to with any particular enthusiasm. Still, for the sake of not destroying the concept f birthdays for my kids I’ve decided to suck it up and realise that I have 364 (or 365 in a leap year) days in which to thoroughly enjoy it NOT being my birthday and only 1 that I need to tolerate. πŸ˜‰

So, this weekend has been a bit of a farce really. We had many plans, grand plans even, but I woke up yesterday with a brain twisting migraine. 😦 I couldn’t think straight and simply could not function. I curled up in bed and dozed as much as possible. If I can’t be pain-free I like being oblivious whilst it hurts. It sort of worked. After the event of coffee and pain killing drugs (legal ones ;)) I made it out of bed around 3pm to allow Martin half a chance to realise some of his plans for the day. I got into the garden, planting out one of the huge bags of strawberry runners I’d been given and also a punnet of red spring onions I’d not been able to go past. 2 friends had rocked up on the doorstep around lunchtime with muscles flexed and ready to bring down 2 of our remaining front garden poplar trees which is great. Now the fence can be finished off! πŸ˜€

This is my Tarpan strawberry in flower. It really as vivid in colour as the catalogue photos.

This is my Tarpan strawberry in flower. It really as vivid in colour as the catalogue photos.

After the strawberries were planted, Martin got stuck into a bit more clean up around the garden. With mowers in and out of action at the most inconvenient times we have lots of grass in desperate need of mowing so he whipper snipped it down to manageable levels. We are in the process of sourcing 2 ewe lambs of a shedding breed to keep for mowing and meat purposes but it’s been harder than I thought to source them. We want them young enough to be able to handle them so around 4-5 months of age. The next few weeks I hope will bring us what we’re after.

Martin has also been burning off the leftover twigs and small branches left behind once the poplar trees are sawed up. Miss Anna munches off the leaves but the branches are beyond her limited teeth so he’s had the old oil drum fire burning away. He’s done a tremendous job. The gardens are looking much more managed and more manageable too. πŸ™‚

Today however is my birthday. True to form it dawned amidst a headache and 2 small boys who squirmed into bed with us, Orik choosing my head as his preferred place of rest. Ah, the wonderful aroma of Eau de Wet ToddlerΒ applied in close suffocation on the head under 14.5 kilos of baby. Nothing like it! πŸ˜› I reached the point where the headache and my general grumpiness surpassed the polite suggestions that Martin would feel better if he got out of bed (backache after all he did yesterday) and I booted them out of bed so I could try to let my brain either explode or subside. It did neither until aforementioned husband, now booted out of bed into the world of 3 small hungry people brought me drugs and coffee.

He might be a little wet and soggy in the mornings but he sure is cute.

He might be a little wet and soggy in the mornings but he sure is cute.

Once the brain ceased its attempt to meltdown we loaded up in the car and headed out to Daylesford. We’ve been planning for weeks to take the kids back to the Daylesford Spa Country Railway. We had seen the small Diesel Engine Rail Motor (DERM), the RM63, a few weeks back but Sundays have been so busy we’ve just not got there. Well, today we did and we went on the train as a birthday treat for the kids. It was lovely. Here is the info about the trip. I highly recommend checking out the market and the train too. It’s a lovely family outing.

Our train.

Our train at wet Daylesford station.

Upon arriving back in Daylesford Martin bought my birthday gift. I must say I am the queen of unconventional gifts. I never want what the media would consider a normal gift like jewelry or chocolates or an iron (it’s not like I iron so that wouldn’t be much of a gift anyway) but this time it was most obscure. Next to the food van a small mulcher sat for sale. A little bargaining and it’s mine. πŸ˜€ Martin is out sharpening up its blades now and we hope to turn the smaller poplar branches into desperately desired mulch as opposed to we-can-use-it-but-already-have-heaps-of-it ash. Just as we started to muck around with it thought the rain came down again. It’s been sunny, cloudy, warm, icy, dry, raining and hailing today. I thought Melbourne was 4 seasons in a day but Ballan and Daylesford has had weather to rival Melbourne at her best today. πŸ™‚

My 2 cheeky monkeys with their tickets.

My 2 cheeky monkeys with their tickets.

No matter what though I was determined to garden so I dug out the drizabone and out into the rain I went. My 3 hazelnut trees are planted finally (1 is rather doubtful of survival sadly), my persimmon is in and I have room for 1 more tree along the fence line and 1 more tree to put in. Happy days. πŸ˜€ The fence will be finished tomorrow if all goes to plan and I can then finish off the garden bed along the base of it and hopefully with a sharpened mulcher I can start filling up the new garden beds with mulch (the paths too) and with some blood and bone and compost on top I shall have some lovely new beds. It will be looking spiffy! πŸ™‚

Don't ask us to smile or anything.

Don’t ask us to smile or anything.

Well, I’m off to enjoy the rest of myΒ headache free birthday with my family. πŸ™‚

What has been happening in your gardens this Spring/Autumn (Fall)?


19 thoughts on “It’s my birthday and I’ll garden in the rain if I want to

  1. fe squared says:

    Happy Birthday πŸ™‚ Have fun.

  2. graceoverflowing says:

    Happy birthday!!! I was thinking about you today when I saw the date. πŸ˜‰ A mulched sounds like an awesome birthday gift, especially with your own trees to fell. Can’t wait to see all your trees in full bloom in a few years. Going to look amazing.

    I am still planning out my backyard and trying to decide of some espalier trees to shade the windows that get full sun during summer. A fruiting tree will be perfect. Just to decide which one to get. I am also planning a cherry guava hedge for down the side of the house and about 6 blueberries bushes for the back fence. I am thinking of moving my orange tree into the chicken yard and using the barrel to plant raspberries. Problem is my plans seem to run faster than my budget and ability to keep up. I’m sure you have experience with that!!

    • I can’t wait to see them in bloom either. And they will present me with a beautiful garden to enjoy my birthday in for many years to come. πŸ™‚
      Have you thought about multi-graft trees? 1 variety with different laterals from different cultivars? I plan on experimenting on one of my 2 Granny Smith trees (I forgot I’d bought one and bought another) and giving grafting a go myself. I have the knife and I can do budding from now on I think. I figure I have nothing to lose but everything to gain. πŸ™‚ Buying a multi-graft is just too expensive in most cases but it’s a hugely awesome skill to be able to do ones own grafting. If you could you could then have a multi-grafted apple for one window, cherry for another and a peach, nectarine, apricot, plum tree for another. They have lovely large verdant green shady leaves too so would shade the window beautifully. And if you google espalier you can see images of the different shapes possible. The ‘Y’ formations work well with cherries, the horizontal and verticals with apples and I’m sure the stone fruit favour one too but I’m sure they will all work with matching shapes. Oh the fun you could have!
      Our whole back deck faces a northerly direction so I’m planning on my Cara Cara orange (tolerates frost :)) and some feijoas too (remember the prolific one at Jacka St?) and we are training 3 kiwi vines to grow up the deck now. Eventually they will encase the entire deck in their branches and we will simply have to step outside each winter to pick fresh fruits full of vitamin C. πŸ˜€
      We both have big dreams hey. πŸ™‚ Just a shame the budgets don’t match. πŸ˜‰

      • graceoverflowing says:

        Now you have got me thinking! Argh! Too many options but I love the learning curve! I have been thinking about feijoas also. Loving your veranda idea! That sounds amazing!!

  3. Linne says:

    How time flies! Happy birthday, Jess! Sounds like it was a great day. I’m just catching up with blog reading so it’s good I started here, isn’t it? Loved reading about your garden progress, too. And seeing the photos, esp. those sweet kidlets . . .

    • I have a book to find and open (if that’s when it’s intended for). Rather excited by the prospect! πŸ™‚
      The kids were so sweet and mostly angelic yesterday too which just added to the brilliance of the day. One of my best birthdays EVER! πŸ˜€
      Great to see you’re back in the blogosphere too.

  4. narf77 says:

    Sweet nothing has been going on via human channels but the garden has been exploding with new life and looks lovely without our help. Still raining here in Tassie but that’s not going to stop me. I knew your birthday would be on the 13th. Same day as my grandma’s πŸ˜‰ I could have bet on it. Went out into the garden with my beater (Bezial) and decided that this is the year that I hack back the undergrowth and find the paths…”Take back the fortress narf7!”. Even thought about starting a new blog to document “my year of finding a garden” but realised that it would take up too much time where I could be OUT in the garden and it would give me a procrasination “out” so no blog…yet… ;). Happy birthday and glad you got a mulcher, best gift EVER πŸ™‚

    • Kudos for realising that doing is going to be more important than releasing the muse. Not always so easy to get stuck in. And don’t I know it! πŸ˜‰
      I was born on Friday 13th to boot.Glad to have one more thing in common, even if its with your grandma. πŸ™‚ Happy birthday to her. πŸ™‚ Many memories to you too I guess.
      I have to agree with the awesomeness of the mulcher as a gift. I NEED much mulch and it’s far cheaper to buy a mulcher than all the necessary mulch. I’ve got my name down for free mulch free delivery from Mulchnet but I suspect I’l have my name there for a while. Still, worth the wait. I’m tempted to get a free tree lop quote too to remove the HUGE poplars along and across the creek. They’re far too big for us to take down. I wonder if they’ll discount the price when we tell them all mulch will remain on site? Can only ask I guess. πŸ™‚

      • narf77 says:

        Is the mulcher a petrol one? We are thinking of hiring one for a day to cope with all of the defoliation we are about to undertake. Otherwise we will have piles and piles and PILES of debris laying around all over the place. Gran was born on Friday 13th October as well but a good few years before you were. You would have loved her, she was incredibly strong, very capable, completely able to turn her hand to absolutely anything and always knew what to do in a crisis, she was the matriarch of her entire family. She grew herbs way before it was trendy and was into permaculture and “natural gardening” back in the early 70’s. She used to have weird and wonderful herbal creations on the brew and amazing curries and unusual foods strung out everywhere. It was like going to an alchemists when you went to my grandmothers ;). Glad you had a good day for your “not to be mentioned” ;). Hope the rest of the week holds lots of promise as well πŸ™‚

        • The mulcher is mains powered which is good. It means one day we could feasibly run it with the sun. πŸ˜€
          Your Gran sounds like a champion and I know who she’s passed it on to. Your kitchen with its kombucha, kefir, soy and more sounds rather like an alchemists too doncha think? πŸ˜‰

  5. foodnstuff says:

    Happy birthday for yesterday! A mulcher is a great present. I got a compost tumbler for mine once. When I asked for it, him indoors said, wouldn’t you rather have frilly knickers? No way.

    Hope you had a good day, although the migraine sounds nasty. I get them, but not badly. No headache, just the visual disturbances.

    I turned 35 too, last month. My second 35th, though.

    • Frilly knickers instead of a composter? I know I’d choose the composter any day. πŸ™‚

      My migraines are sadly the pain ones with little visual disturbances. I just don’t open my eyes because it hurts. 😦 Thankfully I don’t get them as often as my mum and I’ve worked out my triggers.

      Happy 2nd 35th. πŸ™‚ That means 2 cakes, right? πŸ˜‰

      • foodnstuff says:

        Ooh, what are your triggers? I’ve never worked out mine. It was only one cake but I got taken out for a smashing lunch!

        • I can’t drink red wine (I no longer drink so that doesn’t worry me much) and I am reluctantly looking in to see if gluten is affecting my head. I’ve been so far able to eat sourdough with no issues but I had pigged out on sourdough on Friday so… 😦 Massive amounts of sugar will now set me off as I am processed sugar free when at home (99% anyway) so a big junk food and sugar binge will send me into headache hell. This migraine however is a tension headache. My neck muscles are as tight as the strings on that good old lute and sleeping to cater for the small person who climbs into our bed at all hours, all but evicting me from the bed in his quest to snuggle in, doesn’t help any. There are a few other triggers too but they’re the main ones I’ve learned over the years.
          Lunch out sounds lovely. I’m glad you had a lovely birthday.

  6. Happy birthday to you! I hope your birthdays get happier every year now, a mulcher is a great present πŸ™‚

  7. Barbara Good says:

    Happy Birthday, but what a day to get a migraine. I get them occasionally and coffee and drugs are my choice too (even though I’m not usually a coffee drinker and everyone tells me that coffee makes migraines worse). The little railway looks very sweet, I’ve just told Mr Good we need to do that with the girls one Sunday very soon.

    Loving your garden and I agree a mulcher is a perfect present. I got a worm farm a couple of years ago and Mr Good is building me a birthday compost bin – god we’re so romantic. Next on the list is a recycle potting tool shed project.

    • Nothing like getting worms for ones birthday. πŸ˜‰ As for compost bins and tool sheds, I can think of nothing better. Maybe not romantic but serving up a candle lit dinner that has come entirely from ones own garden is about a sexy as it comes! Every ounce of food is saturated with love and care. πŸ™‚
      I seem to get migraines when they are most inconvenient. Mothers Day, the day my husband absolutely positively and utterly cannot stay home to watch the kids, etc. It’s a real gift I have. 😦 Ah well, these things happen.
      Coffee can make them worse but it depends on the type of headache/migraine. If it’s a caffeine withdrawal headache then it’s a cure! πŸ˜‰ Constricting the blood vessels further like when you’re hungover is probably not likely to mean coffee will help either. I had a well educated osteo. πŸ™‚
      I totally recommend that train ride. It’s not expensive ($20 for our family as our kids rode free) but I think it’s $25 for a family and it’s a lovely ride through beautiful countryside. And it’s local! YAY! πŸ˜€

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