In August! And no, I am not in the northern hemisphere. It is winter here. Maybe the last few days thereof, but it is still winter. It’s been absolutely lovely outside in the sunshine, soaking up fresh air and vitamin D but after 2 days of doing so, my vitamin D requirements have been overshadowed by sunburn. I hadn’t even thought about it. Sadly, the kids are a bit pink too. Nothing more than a shade of colour but not feeling like such a great Mummy this morning. Pink kids will do that to you. 😦
The last few days have been amazing time spent with the kids and I though. We have an excavator arriving sometime between this morning and Saturday morning to do its level best 😉 to, he he, level out our garden. Well, even it out at least. Our driveway is best navigated by 4×4 and is accessible only to 4×4’s in winter. Even our 4×4 we are leery of driving out the back in winter as we only have standard tyres on the car. We are also hoping to set some slight terraces into an area of the garden where we plan to move some of our corrugated iron garden beds to have a zone 1 veggie patch for fast growing veggies like leafy greens, spring onions and probably some herbs too. The slight slope towards the creek will be evened out so that it’s more a plain slide than a rollercoaster. 😉 Then to the area towards the creek. Well that’s stump pulling. All the poplar trees inside the fence line have been chopped down (although we still have plenty of them across the creek 😦 ) but to prevent them sprouting again in spring and to clear the way for a fruit tree orchard, those stumps must come out. And in the front garden too. Once they’re pulled and the ground evened I will be able to get out there and dig some holes for the fruit trees I’m yet to purchase. Shopping that I actually do enjoy. 😉
Anyway, in preparation for all of the above there was just a little bit of mess to clean up. 😉 We’ve a had a couple of young blokes from around town here helping for quite some time. The stacked up roof tiles have been all excavated, the unbroken ones stacked in a corner out of the way of the excavator and the broken ones left to be used to fill a large hole as well as break up to gravel to mark a drive way. The piles of timber have been sorted into usable for construction, firewood and treated pine. Empty insulation bags and a few empty potting mix bags all made the pile. Rolls of different fencing wire have been temporarily relocated to an area of the veggie patch and the swing set is currently marking out a veggie patch path. The cubby house, toys and other sundry bits of need-to-keep are piled up in out of the way places too. The pergola pieces still need to be relocated but our garden is looking remarkably clean and clear and LARGE! 😀 I can’t wait to be able to unpack the kids toys, set up the trampoline and get everything ready for summer out there. 🙂
Wednesday saw me helping one of the guys with moving woodpiles to the woodshed and hauling timber scraps, twigs and all sorts around but yesterday was spent far more pleasurably. Our mate S came down, bringing with him a trailer-load of manure from the sale yards and lake weed from the dumped pile of Lake Wendouree dredgings. Both make awesome soil ameliorates. Once again, S’s car managed to get bogged in our garden which seems determined to swallow it whole. 😦 Once unbogged we got stuck into the unloading and doling out of the poopy mix. 3 garden beds received amelioration which is awesome. With a few worms already in the manure it was already rotted down somewhat which meant I could carefully plat out into it with some soil to cushion the roots from direct contact. I planted one of my seed grown almonds and one of my seed grown apples at the end of 2 veggie patch rows. I dug over a garden bed that was filled with very well-rotted manure and lake weed and it was almost more worms than compost! I dug up half of it and moved it across to a newly built bed so the worms don’t need to travel to get to work. 😉 The cream of the crop of worms were relocated into the worm farm which is absolutely filled with little piles of what looks like miniature plates of spaghetti – baby worms! Thousands and thousands of them! 😀 A few more very large worms into the mix and I have a writhing mess of fertiliser makers. 🙂 The worm wee comes out in litres! 😀
I’m working through what I hope is the final reorganisation of the veggie patch too and got another bed or 2 to start taking shape. One of the last tyre beds in the patch was removed and replaced with a larger corro raised bed which is ready for some bulbs or radishes and carrots and such. S helped me to get some of the reo mesh grape trellises in place and I’ve found another piece of reo mesh that is on its way to becoming a grape arch now. 🙂 I’m ready to buy the 7 grape vines needs to plant out now. 🙂 Most of those will be underplanted with strawberries and asparagus too. I figure they all utilise different growing space and from what I’ve read they make good companion plants. 🙂
Just have to share this! As I type this the kids are playing with the suitcase… Nothing like starting the days to a heap of giggles. 🙂
Anyway, all this garden activity was done stripped down as much as possible for action and vitamin D. It was forecast to be around 18°C but my thermometre said much hotter. I’m doubting that the 27°C it showed was accurate but I reckon it was at least 20°C. The older 2 kids were back in the mud bath although thankfully not as thickly coated as yesterday (although they didn’t get sunburned through the mud yesterday so maybe in hindsight) and we all had a lovely day getting stuck into the garden.
I’m itching to get back into the garden again today. I’ve 2 pear trees purchased on the weekend that need to be planted out along the front fence to be espaliered at a later date. They’re budding up in the unseasonably warm late August weather so I need to get them in the ground ASAP. The Satsuma (blood) plum made it in on Tuesday and the grape vines went in on Sunday evening. Sadly the serious hard yakka yesterday has left my neck in an uncomfortable condition. I tried some digging this morning but gave up fairly quickly. Maybe I might go plant some tomato seeds instead. Maybe.