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Tactical Ninja - Mmm, sheep poo under my fingernails...

Feb. 3rd, 2014

10:24 am - Mmm, sheep poo under my fingernails...

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Yesterday I got the chance, for the first time in ages, to get out in the garden and do some maintenance. I lifted all the spuds (totally not worth the space they take up, especially since we hardly ever eat them), picked more courgettes,spring onions and tomatoes, added some wool mulch to the beans and baby broccoli, planted some flower and vegie seeds, shifted the capsicums so they are all close together and put the mini greenhouse Dr Wheel gave me for Christmas over them, and used up the last of my bag of sheep poo making their soil a bit richer.

I didn't realise peppers needed rich soil. I thought being from a hot climate they'd like it dry and poor-ish, but it turns out hot !=desert, instead being tropical, with all that entails. So I made them a mini tropic.


Because I realised that I took photos when I made the gardens but haven't really done any since. So here, have an updated garden tour:

First, the herb garden. That potato on the left hand end was planted by Dr Wheel and I'm hoping it does better than my ones. In the rest of the pic you can see (L to R): winter savory, flat-leaf parsley, common thyme, lavender, lemon thyme, sage, chamomile (there's a small bay tree hiding behind the chamomile), red sage, oregano, common mint, marjoram, lovage, catnip, comfrey.



I would like to grow basil but from what I understand it requires similar levels of warmth and tropicality to capsicum, but with the added bonus of being prone to powdery mildew, which is just starting to do its thing as it gets warm enough. So maybe in a pot on the windowsill rather than in the garden.

And here are the vegies. Here you can see the first lot of beans which have almost done their dash, the gap where the potatoes were, a young rhubarb, my wee greenhouse with its happy peppers in (strapped down and pegged to the ground against the wind), the windbreak that's kept my broccoli and tomatoes happy, and far in the distance, a whole lot of tomatoes that are about to get ripe, and a pumpkin plant.



And another angle, where you can see my happy spring oninons, the two baby broccoli with their wool mulch, a shitload more tomatoes, the marigolds I scattered through the garden to help repel bugs, and in the background the invasive weed bank that the whole thing sits up against, and which I'm constantly battling as it tries to take over my fertilised wee patch.



And, flowers! Here's the bit right outside the house, which has gazanias, petunias, snapdragons and larkspur surrounding a lemon tree. The tree is in its first year so I picked all the buds off and am hoping to get lemons starting next year.



The middle bit, with sweet peas, poppies, impatiens, more gazanias, and a flower carpet rose that's hiding under the cosmos.



The driveway bit. Cornflowers, cosmos, geraniums, dahlias, dianthus, delphiniums, yellow violas. And still more gazanias.



Things that have done well this first year in the garden: gazanias (duh), dianthus, violas, larkspur, snapdragons, cosmos, impatiens, geraniums, dahlias, verbena, foxglove. The poppies and sweet peas are nice but short lived, as are livingstone daisies. Lobelia, alyssum and those other rockery staples crapped out early, and it seems the calendula and asters I planted at Christmas are both doing well.

Eventually I plan to fill as much of this garden as possible with perennials, but right now it's mostly annuals because perennials are expensive and I want to give the ones that are already there the best chance they can get.

The plan is to let the flowers finish, then in late April or early May get a trailer load of horse poo, and go to the beach and grab a bunch of washed-up seaweed. I should have enough compost by then so that I can do a layer of it, then seaweed, then horse poo, then straw on top and leave it like that for the winter. With any luck, in spring the soil will be way better. The vegie garden will get this treatment too.

And then there's this - a potted pair of pelargonium I inherited from Mum, that really hated it at the apartment but has since come away beautifully and is finally flowering. Porno-posed gnome is my own addition..




So I'm quite pleased with how that is all going. We are eating out of it, it's looking quite pretty, I'm learning how to rotate tasks to keep the vegies and flowers coming, and I have a plan for improvement. What more could a girl want?

Well, how about more time? Yesterday afternoon I started work on my website. I went with Wordpress as it's recommended by the majority, and also because it's popular enough to work with a lot of other tools. The first thing I learned (after being told by Dr Wheel) is not to get hung up on themes. There are so many to choose from, and I wasted several hours trying out a bunch of them before settling on one and starting to add content.

As soon as I had some content I realised that it's much easier to customise a theme when you have a variety of pages to test it with to see what it looks like. And then I decided to stick with the one I have until I have sufficient content to make the front page work (it's a magazine style, feature-based one) properly. Right now it's only got one post, and since that's a picture it seems to have repeated it just to get some fill.

But, I have a structure and a metric fuckton of content to add, so hopefully if I get a bit of time each day, eventually I'll have it full of tasty costuming goodness (mostly galleries and tutorials I think). And then I'll tell the world. And bask in the sudden onslaught of insults and spam adulation for my newly-learned ability to use Wordpress.

Or something.

Comments:

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From:richaarde
Date:February 2nd, 2014 09:37 pm (UTC)
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It's really odd looking at current pictures of a garden. Where I am, it's the middle of an unusually cold winter.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 2nd, 2014 09:40 pm (UTC)
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Yep, I get the same cognitive dissonance on a regular basis, since the majority of my flist are NH-ers. But oddly, only when it's winter here and summer there. And at Christmas, because Christmas is about strawberries and barbeques at the beach. Yep.
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From:fbhjr
Date:February 2nd, 2014 11:43 pm (UTC)
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That looks like a really cool garden!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 3rd, 2014 12:14 am (UTC)
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I'm pretty stoked with it considering it was overgrown and neglected for 4 years before we moved in.
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From:bekitty
Date:February 3rd, 2014 12:12 am (UTC)
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You could also plant lupins in winter. They're really good at fixing nitrogen and rejuvenating the soil.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 3rd, 2014 12:13 am (UTC)
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If I had ever had any luck at all getting them to grow, I totally would. I get the impression our soil is not sandy or well drained enough, and our temperatures too variable. Either that or I just suck at growing them.
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From:ecosopher
Date:February 3rd, 2014 01:57 am (UTC)
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Looks really fantastic! How your herbs have taken off! I love nurturing plants that used to belong to someone else. It's such an awesome way to remember them.
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From:ecosopher
Date:February 3rd, 2014 01:58 am (UTC)
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Also, I followed you :)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 3rd, 2014 02:33 am (UTC)
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Ah, that was you! ;-)

I warn you, there might be a lot of spammy stuff as I get the site set up and publish all the blog posts that make up tutorials and whatnot...
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From:ecosopher
Date:February 3rd, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
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Oh, it's fine. I'm following through the reader so you won't be spamming me with email :)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 3rd, 2014 02:33 am (UTC)
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I have a winter flowering cactus that is 26 years old, which my Mum gave to me as a cutting when I left home. It's from hers, which was given to her as a cutting when my folks bought their first home in NZ in 1971. I love that plant.
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From:ecosopher
Date:February 3rd, 2014 02:37 am (UTC)
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Oh, wow, that's very cool! My parents had two grape vines they'd transplanted from my grandmother's house... Dad had grown up with them, so they went through three generations by the time they finally succumbed to drought (well, ongoing droughts, really).
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From:tatjna
Date:February 3rd, 2014 02:37 am (UTC)
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Wow, I never knew grapevines could be so robust!
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From:ecosopher
Date:February 3rd, 2014 02:39 am (UTC)
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My mother was very sceptical about them surviving, but they did great! They planted them along the septic drains :)
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From:meathiel
Date:February 3rd, 2014 08:15 am (UTC)
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Home grown veggies are cool ... you have quite a lot of herbs there ... :D
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From:tatjna
Date:February 3rd, 2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
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I was surprised how many when I listed them. But we do use them quite a lot! Well, except for the lemon thyme, I got that because it looks and smells pretty but so far haven't found a use for it...
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From:pundigrion
Date:February 4th, 2014 04:13 am (UTC)
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I throw mine in pretty interchangeably with normal thyme. Sometimes I use both. It goes especially well with chicken and in dressing.
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From:crazedturkey
Date:February 3rd, 2014 08:24 am (UTC)
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Oh I have serious garden envy. We're renting which confines me to pots which makes it difficult - and the heat wave killed everything :(
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From:tatjna
Date:February 3rd, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)
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Before we moved into this place, we lived in an apartment with a west-facing balcony. I feel your balcony gardening pain!
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From:kotturinn
Date:February 3rd, 2014 01:09 pm (UTC)
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Applause! That's looking grand.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 3rd, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)
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I am rather chuffed. ;-)
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From:kehleyr
Date:February 3rd, 2014 09:58 pm (UTC)
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Awesome photos :-D
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From:tatjna
Date:February 3rd, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! ;-)
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From:meri_sielu
Date:February 4th, 2014 12:07 am (UTC)
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Lovely garden, it's nice to see so much green and growing when everything is dormant and grey over here. :)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 4th, 2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
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Ha, true. I get the same kick out of seeing NH summers when we're in the depths of winter. ;-)
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From:pundigrion
Date:February 4th, 2014 04:14 am (UTC)
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I am jealous of those grass borders! Anytime I try to carve a garden like that, it is a losing battle unless I make it really wide and line it with wood. xD
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From:tatjna
Date:February 4th, 2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
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Why is that?
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From:pundigrion
Date:February 4th, 2014 09:03 pm (UTC)
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The grass simply takes back over again. Even with a wider bed and sinking boards into the ground on edge, I still have to constantly fight it.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 4th, 2014 09:04 pm (UTC)
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Yeah. For us it's a creeper known as Wandering Willy. But this garden has a concrete border that's slowed the grass down. I still have to weed more than once a month to keep on top of it though.
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From:pundigrion
Date:February 4th, 2014 09:06 pm (UTC)
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Haha insert once a week against ours! Except really, it needs even more than that, which is why I only add one new bed a year. The maintenance for the first year or two is intense.
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