Monday, June 20, 2011

We bid a fond farewell!

She has dazzled us with her fashionable hats, wowed us with her precise botanical drawings and charmed two of the recalcitrant chickens with her love and care. And now she is taking all her artistic talents and botanical knowledge up to pastures anew in the far North of New South Wales (together with the chickens, she tells me!).

Ms Designer a.k.a Ms Chicken Whisperer will be sorely missed. The garden blossomed with multi-coloured balloons on Saturday afternoon to farewell our lovely lady. Ms Tagalong suspects this was a dress rehearsal for the second anniversary of our beginnings and as Ms Chicken Whisperer was one of our founding members it seemed fitting that merrymakers gathered around the table, champagne glasses in hand and toasted success to her a few weeks shy of this momentous event.

Ms Tagalong just arrived, plonked down, had a wonderful cup of tea and reveled in the fact that she had not had to organise anything!

We have not seen the last of this talented lady as her work with the University of Newcastle will bring her back monthly and she will be fought over as we jostle to provide some accommodation for her.

Many successes with your ventures in horticulture and self-sufficiency. Keep us abreast so that we can update the readers!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Champagne and rain

Ms Mova is good at planning surprises, so close does she play her cards that Ms Tagalong nearly missed out on her own birthday celebration in the garden!

Veering off on her bike towards the new house she shouted to Ms Mova’s back that she was just going to see if she could get in the house. Fortunately for her, she couldn’t, and so rode back to see a little clique in the garden. Despite the near zero temperatures, well being prone to exaggeration it was probably 10 degrees with a very unhealthy wind chill. Still, the bubbles in the champagne soon warmed the cockles of our hearts and we giggled and laughed as the sun went down.

Even impromptu cocktails in the garden are worth attending! Thank you Ms Mova.

Rain and more rain this weekend have probably put paid to a lot of work in the garden but Ms Tagalong did spy some rather bedraggled faces peering from under hoods of their rain jackets shoveling out some good soil and chicken manure from the trailer. They smiled and flicked the drops off their hair as Ms Tagalong passed in her car. She thinks they were smiling; gritting their teeth could have been a distinct possibility.

In between torrential downpours Ms Tagalong ventured outside early this morning to let the chickens out. They all looked soaked except for one extremely plumped out white chicken perched directly in the middle of the roost. Rushing out they chased to the fence to see if laying pellets were forthcoming.

And still the rains came; so much so that our wonderful Union Street CafĂ© was rained out today. Thank goodness for next week although I’m not sure that the forecast is much better with flooding forecast. Mr Ideasman will need to check those rain tanks!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Boxes and ovens!

Boxes, boxes everywhere and not a thing to pack! Would that it were. Ms Tagalong has been up to her ears and eyes in boxes and packing this week and reneged on her facilitator duties for the working bee. She needn’t have worried. Ms Mova, as usual, had everything under control and when Ms T arrived in the garden with boiled kettle, milk and a few paltry biscuits, things were well under way.

Paint Pot Pat had provided a nutty slice for everyone and grabbing steaming mugs of tea she was shown what had been happening. Bricks had been picked up from several houses together with some fibro board and the site had been cleared.

On Ms Tagalong’s next foray in the garden at lunch time to partake of splendid barbequed meats, garden salad and pesto pasta (of course) she was astounded by the absolute hive of activity. There was a veritable chain gang cleaning the lime off bricks, a weeding team, a youth endeavour of a spiral herb circle outside the perimeter fence and some cutting of plastic baskets for the rosemary and lavender cuttings which incidentally are not looking too great. Methinks we all forget to keep watering them, hidden as they are in the little greenhouse.

Several hundred boxes later, Ms Tagalong is prone to exaggeration as you well know, she reappeared to have a final look before pack up time. Wondrous occurrences! Sheets of tin had been neatly stowed behind the water tanks, good hardwood was piled neatly for the next construction project, other wood sawn for fuel, cleaned bricks stood in neat piles , the outline of the base of the pizza oven had been laid and the young ones were watering the seeds in the herb spiral.

Redundant is a word that comes to mind; teamaker is another. But not one to be shrugged off Ms Tagalong is sure that she will rise again to the occasion as we celebrate our second birthday in July. So roll on working bee, come up with ideas for this splendid event, gardeners and give Ms Tagalong something to facilitate!

On another topic entirely Ms Tagalong wandered in on Sunday, just to get away from those dratted boxes you understand, and there were several children munching happily on just-pulled carrots! A sight to warm the cockles of your heart indeed. Deep in conversation was Ms Ishibaw with the Piper’s Son. After a few comments from the Piper’s Son about just coming in to glean produce, thank goodness for that, most people just like to come and admire it, Ms Ishabaw revealed that she might need a new name. So to keep in with her love of floristry where she is the happiest Ms Ishabaw is now I’m-much-happier-as-a-florist or Ms Imhaaf for those in the know!