Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homely comforts!

The lavender is beautiful at the moment. The three bushes we have may not quite give you the impression of being in southern France but they are prolific in their flowering. Gathering bunches to place in the house, saving the seeds for iconic lavender bags really brings the French countryside into your home.

Conversation this week has revolved around turning the compost. In fact it was the highlight of the weekend. Ms Tagalong was off gallivanting on Wallis Lake and on her return she asked Ms Mova what she had been doing. With such delight she told her that there was quite a group oohing and aahing at the hot compost as it was turned. The sweet smell of success!

In the spirit of all things chicken, Ms Tagalong's sister-in-law sent her a 2012chicken calendar which she is just loving! And walking into Ms Mova's kitchen today there was the beautiful gift of a glass chicken. Thanks to Ms Renovator who had had her eye on it for a while it now has pride of place on the dining table.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bring on the heat!

Ms Mova lost no time in passing on her newly found knowledge on permaculture by leading a composting workshop in the garden last weekend.
She was flocked by residents wanting to know how they could heat their decomposing matter to a degrading 70 degrees. Ms Tagalong has been looking at some of the methods of composting and is very excited to learn that If your compost is too cold and isn’t heating up at the beginning of the process, the best thing you can do is wee on it. Yes, urine is the bomb source of nitrogen, which will heat things up in your pile. If this seems inappropriate under the conditions, just get yourself a bucket with a lid, wee into that, add a bit of water and pour it on.

Ms Tagalong will ask the Ms Freedom who has come down from The Channon how that compost pile was actually made. Do you think she will tell me the truth? Is that steaming pile reaching its temperature due to some nitrogen input?
If you, adventurous reader, wish to add to the process, just make sure you wear dark glasses and come into the garden at midnight.

Ms Freedom has been making a huge difference in the garden, tidying,arranging and potting like a never tiring fairy. There have been whispers of expertise in mosaics so watch out for yet another workshop.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beeware! Bee alert and beehave!

Bee on the lookout, that's what Ms Mova said, early this week. Ok, the desperate punning will end!

Ms Tagalong had blithely walked by this dripping cone of bees hanging out of the trees by the gate to the chickens without even noticing them. She is just so observant.

An expert was called in; beekeeper jacketed and hooded to take the rogue swarm to its new home. Apparantly the swarm in Ms Mova's wall had decided it was getting exceedingly overcrowded, don't you know, and wanted to find a home with a view, some space to spread out in and close to a good source of pollen.
So they did. Images of white beehives did come to mind with combs dripping with honey but unless we had a member of the community who would like to do the beekeeping it was not going to be a good idea. So they have gone to a good home.

But stand up and be counted if you would like to keep bees, it is possible that the wall swarm might buzz off again as the expert reckoned there was still a lot of overcrowding even after the seemingly million bees moved out.

Ms Tagalong arrived to join the crowd in the garden when the last couple of hundred bees were making their way into the box. The main swarm had caused the branch on which they hung to break so many of the little buzzers where crawling arond wondering where their queen had gone.

Lucky we had the expert who knew how to tempt them in!

Seems as though bees are in the news worldwide and causing a stir with the new plastic beehives especially for urban gardens. Having heard more disturbing news about the plastic soup out in the Pacific perhaps we should steer clear of plastic use when we can.

Enjoy your crumpets with honey this week!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Green Man

This is not, for the benefit of my English readers, the name of a local pub, but something Ms Tagalong saw at Hunter Valley Gardens. She really liked it and is thinking of how we could incorporate something similar in the garden.

Just imagine! Constant surveillance! Dark, spooky shadows at night and a happy cheerful person during the day to engage and entrance the children. Who would dare to enter to swap chickens under his watchful eye?

Last week's Cocktails in the Garden saw Ms Tagalong and Mr Ideasman meeting and greeting new garden members, sharing some wonderful prawns and chatting around the fire. Yes, we like prawns, members can bring them any time!

We spotted a possum and its baby tightrope walking, their brush tails curling down from the wires and scooting along into Ms Mova's favourite trees, the brush boxes along the side of her house. A perfect end to a perfect evening.