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