The one where Narf7 gets the flu

on

Hi All,

What do you do when you have a cold, you feel generally weak and lethargic and you sound like Bea Arthur from the Golden Girls? You write a blog post, that’s what you do! I wrote this two weeks ago when I thought I had a “cold”. It turns out I had the flu and am still reeling from a serious bout of it that has robbed me of my entire 2 weeks school holidays! I am somewhat miffed that we weren’t able to tackle our exponential rooster population but they will be tackled soon enough, along with our crazy weeds growing mentally thanks to regular rain all winter long and our sudden onset into Spring, the season of mental weeds here in Northern Tasmania.

Chicken patrol on the perimeters of Sanctuary
Chicken patrol on the perimeters of Sanctuary and grape vines that have a new heap of mulch and sheep dags to keep the soil moist around them.
Closer view of sheep dags around grape vines
Closer view of sheep dags around grape vines
Cherry tree in bloom inside Sanctuary
Cherry tree in bloom inside Sanctuary

The feral cat that we rescued a few weeks ago from his brother who was attempting to kill him and put inside Sanctuary has become an Houdini cat who can escape from Sanctuary despite us not being able to find where. Every day at 3pm, Steve heads on back up to Sanctuary and PK (Pretty Kitty) meanders back meowing to be fed. Steve has been picking him up and depositing him into Sanctuary but he is obviously escaping as fast as he is put inside and seems to have come to an agreement with his brother that they will inhabit different areas of the garden and won’t intermix, so Steve might just leave him outside from now on. I am a bit miffed as I had a biological rat trap for a short while there but he appears to have discovered the “out” clause on our agreement so I will have to make do with our one eyed duck, called incredibly originally “Ducky” who we decided to relocate into this fully enclosed area. She is getting old now and deserves a space of her own and she seems to be very happy inside Sanctuary ridding the plants of all of the slugs and snails that had grown fat and lazy thinking that they were safe from predation inside.

Ducks water bowl and food
Ducky’s water bowl and food inside Sanctuary
Duck in the long grass in Sanctuary
I spy with my little eye…
Suspicious duck avoiding relocation from paradise
Suspicious duck avoiding relocation from paradise

I am racing to complete a crochet shawl at the moment. I couldn’t do much else but I could crochet so I have been busily hooking away to make one for a friend. Steve broke a piece off our dead Lazarus almond that died after we planted it out into Sanctuary and turned it into a stick for a shawl pin that I am going to make soon to go with the shawl. The Lazarus almond died twice before finally turning up it’s toes and I figure that its wood has a special symbolisation about life, rebuilding and never giving in.

New growth on the top of one of the avocado's that overwintered inside Sanctuary
New growth on the top of one of the avocado’s that overwintered inside Sanctuary
Flowers on raspberries.
Flowers on raspberries.
Finger limes
It would appear my little finger lime is happy. These are older fruit and it has a lot more growing on it from this season.
Aged chook bedding mulch
Aged chook bedding mulch around the bottom of my kafir lime tree. We stored the mulch in wheat sacks over winter for this exact purpose.
After spreading mulch in Sanctuary
After spreading mulch in Sanctuary

I worked with a small, but very dedicated, class group of classmates to film my short drama just before the school holidays. Steve and I have been so sick with the flu that we haven’t really had time to even look at it. TAFE is back this week so I had best start editing my footage and sound in earnest if I want to have a chance of passing this course. Both Steve and I have learned tonnes about filming from this course and we are going to invest in some sound equipment so that we can film our own short documentaries to tell the stories that we think might be interesting for everyone to see. I love that we can now film short documentaries about our garden and what we are doing here so stay tuned for a Serendipity Farm update in Vlog format. (Video Blog).

Another view of Sanctuary mulched
Another view of Sanctuary mulched
Yet another mulched view
Yet another mulched view
Pear tree promise
Pear tree promise. I didn’t even see them flower last year as our spring season turned straight back into winter!
Little nectarine tree
This Little nectarine tree grew underneath our ancient old gnarled nectarine. I am guessing that the possums scoffed all of the fruit last year and deposited the seeds and they grew! I am protecting this one and another one that grew.

If I hadn’t been SO very sick with the flu, I would have been incredibly snaky about not being able to attend a workshop with a lovely local lady who was going to teach me how to dye fleece and yarn naturally using an indigo vat and local native cherry wood as well as weld (a natural gold/yellow dye). She has most kindly said that I can reschedule for when I am better but I would have LOVED to have gone. The upside to that is that when I do reschedule, I might ask Jennifer if I can film the process and will share it with you all here if she agrees ๐Ÿ™‚

Small cherry tree
This small cherry tree is all that is left of the larger parent tree that we had to cut down last year as it rotted. Life goes on ๐Ÿ™‚
Broad bean futures!
Broad bean futures! I wasn’t lazy last year and planted out some ancient dried broad beans that Steve had bought me from the health food shop and most of them grew! I love broad beans ๐Ÿ™‚
Strawberry plants and tomatoes
I bought 5 healthy tomato plants this morning from a little roadside stall. I paid $2.50 each for them and am most pleased with the varieties that I was able to purchase. Lets see how they grow this year with the promise of a warmer, more sunshiny season
Tomato experiment
This is a Rouge de Marmande tomato that I bought this morning. I am trialing it in a wicking tub. As you can see a strawberry has already taken up residence in the tub.

I am not going to do a very long blog post here today. I figure I will let our springtime images show you how life is at the moment on Serendipity Farm. I am constantly amazed at how much better everything looks in photos but hopefully you can get a small window into how Sanctuary is progressing and how Narnia and our fridge wicking beds are going and have kept growing right through winter. I am going to get broad beans this year and that makes me one very happy camper! Have a lovely day, week, month and see you when I have gotten over this flu and am ready and able to share more interesting things with you all ๐Ÿ™‚

Broad bean happiness
Broad bean happiness. This is only a small percentage of the broad beans that have grown exponentially in the wicking beds over winter.
Lovely fluorescent stems of rainbow chard
Lovely fluorescent stems of rainbow chard. This chard is in it’s second year in the wicking beds.
Mix of chives and other things (including cucumbers) in a wicking fridge
Mix of chives and other things (including cucumbers) in a wicking fridge
Tuscan kale
Tuscan kale that has been languishing in Narnia in a fridge wicking bed all winter long and has only just decided that life is worth living since the sun came out again.
Red Russian kale in a fridge wicking bed
Red Russian kale in a fridge wicking bed
More rainbow silverbeet
More rainbow silverbeet in a fridge wicking bed. This one has overwintered as well.
My persimmon tree NEEDS to be planted out STAT!
My persimmon tree NEEDS to be planted out STAT!
Chinese cabbage flowers with a bee
My attempt to grow Chinese cabbages over winter was an abysmal failure however the bees love the flowers so all is not lost…
This plant has very pretty flowers but is VERY spiky which is why it still lives in the garden as the possums don't like being spiked.
This plant has very pretty flowers but is VERY spiky which is why it still lives in the garden as the possums don’t like being spiked.
Seaside daisies on the outside of Sanctuary
Seaside daisies on the outside of Sanctuary
Fig with mulch
Fig with mulch inside Sanctuary
Another mulch shot of Sanctuary
Another mulch shot of Sanctuary
Wild strawberries growing in a fridge wicking bed
Wild strawberries growing in a fridge wicking bed
Steve's little Chinese bonsai grown from a seedling from the ancient Japanese maple on the property
Steve’s little Chinese bonsai grown from a seedling from the ancient Japanese maple on the property
Sanctuary mulched with artichokes and rain barrel
Sanctuary mulched with artichokes and rain barrel
More artichokes and mulch
More artichokes and mulch
Lastly, a dew drop on a nasturtium leaf
Lastly, a dew drop on a nasturtium leaf

 

Advertisements

48 Comments Add yours

  1. Jane says:

    Love the photos especially of Sanctuary, love also the woolly jumpers for the grapevines. It all looks lovely. We had the driest start to winter on record, still havenโ€™t had much rain, but weโ€™ve had frost almost every morning for the last 5months. Still quite green, probably thanks to the wet end to April, and my hay fever is barely noticeable which is unusual for this time of year. Sorry you had the flu and I hope you feel much better soon, it takes quite a while to recover I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Thank you Jane ๐Ÿ™‚ We had the wettest winter for many years for here in the North. It’s usually quite dry here and we get our rain in spring time but spring is just the odd rain here and there. Its very green here. Down south in Hobart it’s a different story, its drought! The lovely lady who is going to teach me how to dye plants naturally gave me the bags of sheep dags. They apparently make excellent mulch and fertiliser for the plants. I also had bags of aged wood bark and sawdust that we collected from the area where we get our log drop done every year (Steve then chops the logs into circles and then into wood for Brunhilda) before our wood man dropped next years logs for us. I also had left over grass we raked in the park opposite the Batman bridge. We keep an eye out for whenever they mow there as it’s lovely clean grass with very few weeds and makes perfect mulch. I can get many bags from there as it’s a couple of acres of lovely grass. I also had wood shavings from Steve chainsawing some of our more difficult logs and aged chook bedding that I put around our little citrus trees to give them a bit of a boost. Our old one eyed duck followed us around at a distance to keep an eye on the proceedings. We rarely get frost either but we have had it a lot this year. Keep up the mulching in your garden. It makes a HUGE difference to your soil and if you keep it mulched you have a better chance of your soil biota/bugs/microbes etc. growing for you. I am getting quite creative about where I get my mulch from I can tell you! I still have the flu but thank goodness it is slowly getting better. It doesn’t seem to want to let go but I am studiously attempting to drown it by drinking a lot of water ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

  2. Jane says:

    I forgot to say canโ€™t wait for the vlog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I will get Steve to be my presenter and I will film it. I hate being on film! I ended up having to be one of our classmates actresses and I will never watch that film I can tell you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

  3. Flu…eeek! I currently have a horrible cold so am relieved I didn’t have it as bad as you. Great photos and lovely to read what you’re up to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Thank you Ms Chica. I commiserate with you completely. Get well soon ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  4. Hello there Narfie! Good to see you back alive and (almost) well! Isn’t it odd how sickness waits for the holidays to show up – when I was a young teacher I’d be a picture of health and vitality all term long and then collapse for the duration of the term break, becoming healthy again as term loomed…… Now I think it was my wise system ensuring it got rid of exhaustion and toxins on a regular basis ๐Ÿ™‚ Despite not feeling up to doing much your garden is looking most verdant and productive – those years of hard work are really paying off. I also love to hear that you are hooking and making something pretty for a friend – two very worthwhile occupations in my opinion! Very much looking forward to seeing your new film efforts – the previous ones were so good and enjoyable I just know the latest ones will be even better. Be well, have fun – you have such a great life!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I can’t wait to see photos shared, and posts about your upcoming special visit. You are such a creative person Ms Pauline and I truly admire your talent. This lady in my class reminds me so much of you. So much in fact, that I kept calling her Pauline for quite a while at the beginning of our course! She paints also and is very good ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

      1. Oh, I think you have mentioned her before to me – the bit about the name sounds familiar ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that you have found someone special to share your many gifts with – I’ll bet she feels really fortunate to have met up with you! โค

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        She is also interested in knocking her back yard into shape and putting in some veggies. I have some purple congo spuds that she can have and Steve and I have volunteered to help her get started. She is a really caring, lovely person but lives alone and her kids are interstate and overseas. She gets a bit depressed at times but tries her hardest to keep her chin up and keep moving forwards. I love her attitude. She deserves happiness.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I love this! You will make her very happy!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. narf7 says:

        I hope so Ms Pauline. Everyone deserves a bit of happiness ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

  5. foodnstuff says:

    Everything looks so lush and green. Amazing what rain does, isn’t it? Same here in the bush. Now I’m worrying about bushfire season!

    I reckon those fridge wickers were the best thing you’ve ever done. Also looking forward to the Vlog!

    What are the purple and white droopy flowers in the main photo on the title page? Do they attract bees? I’m looking to grow more flowers here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Isn’t it the country way that everything is going hunky dory in your garden and in the back of your mind you are thinking “snakes, bushfires, ticks…” ๐Ÿ˜‰ The purple and white flowers are old fashioned grannies bonnets (Aquilegia vulgaris). They will grow on a hot tin roof with no water, are beautiful, the bees love them and you can get all kinds of colours. They grow from both seed and are perennial also and would make a really lovely addition to your garden. There is a single plant right next to the back door that Earl pees on every…single…day. It’s been living there, water free, for 3 years now and is STILL alive! What comes out of Earl is not something conducive to growing conditions for anything other than Mars! Anything that grows in our garden is hardy. Rhododendrons, azaleas, Echium (those tall purple spikes of flowers that the bees LOVE), camellias, Aquilegias and try planting some Californian poppies, those lovely orange ones as they will grow like topsy. Also you might have some luck with violets as they are practically weeds down here. I just looked up “waterwise flowering plants” and found things like salvias (bees also love them) and I was given a pineapple sage that went so mad I had to hack it back to the soil and it is starting to grow back again. Bees adore the bee balm herb also and it’s pretty hardy. I would be planting things out around your fruit trees etc. where you have funneled water to but most of the flowers that I have mentioned don’t need much water. Have you thought about canna lilies and day lilies? I know that they can be a bit clumpy but they are both edible along with dahlias which are also very drought tolerant and don’t forget old fashioned cosmos. You can have a really lovely garden filled with edibles that people don’t realise are incredibly hardy as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. foodnstuff says:

        Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll get some seed next time I’m at Bunnings. At the moment all I have is calendulas and nasturtium just coming up naturally. The rabbits will see to those though ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        So what you really need is something that the rabbits won’t touch. You need to look into the more attractive, less palatable options. Time for Mr Google to assist methinks ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

  6. Jane says:

    My guess is the purple and white flowers are aquilegia sometimes called Grannyโ€™s Bonnet, not sure about the bees.
    I have been given heaps of yuccas. Not really my type of plant I thought, but they were free and delivered to my door. As I was stripping some of the leaves off before planting I realised they would be good for mulch so I cut them up small and so far Iโ€™ve got half a chook food bag full. Iโ€™m beginning to warm to yuccas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      That’s like me with agapanthus. I HATED them before I moved out here but they line the driveway, they have pretty flowers, they don’t die EVER (even when you hack them to the ground with a whipper snipper) and nothing (except snails) eats them so they are now one of my foundation plants. Yuccas looks spectacular when you plant them together and have you ever seen a yucca flower? They are truly magnificent! Like huge spikes of pearly white bells. Google yucca flowers and get planting those hardy windfalls STAT. You can also weave the leaves into baskets and they don’t decompose very quickly. They are similar to Cordyline australis plants. The only negative that they have is that their leaves tangle up the whipper snipper.

      Like

    2. narf7 says:

      Oops…yup, you were right by the way Jane, it was an aquilegia ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  7. Jane says:

    I like agapanthus too and for all the reasons you mentioned plus blue is my favourite colour. When I moved here I was given some and they also line my driveway. In our horror summer of 2015 even the kangaroos dying of starvation didnโ€™t eat them. I donโ€™t have a whipper snipper and we are too dry for snails and other slimies. I have seen yucca flowers and they are certainly eye catching, I believe some are edible and also the roots, but as I donโ€™t know what type of yuccas I have, I wonโ€™t be tasting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      My motto is mass plant them. Try adding canna lilies and day lilies to your mix in clumps as again, they are edible and can withstand a lot of drought and abuse. Have you tried growing Echiums? They are the ones with the tall purple/blue spikes of flowers and bees LOVE them. They are growing in the waste land all around here and we get very dry over summer (maybe one or two rains all summer long) with no additional water. Again, they are perennials and very tough and they put on the most spectacular show when they are in flower. Most of the bulb family have toxic qualities to them. That’s why you see masses of daffodils and jonquils at those old abandoned homesteads that seem to grow more and more each year. Nothing will eat them. We gardeners have to get smarter with what we plant. If you have a lot of animals trying to scoff your plants and you have very dry conditions, try looking at plants that grow best in the American South, like salvia etc. That’s what I am doing. I am checking out anything that is listed under the searches “water wise plants” and “xeriscape plants” and “drought tolerant plants”. You would be seriously amazed at how many plants actually fit into these criteria. I am adding a couple of keyhole gardens to my mix this summer (when I can ladle Steve off the PS4, there are 2 of his favourite driving games coming out this season ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). One for herbs, that I haven’t looked at much yet, and one for dye plants. I just keep adding things. I noticed that Sanctuary was the best that it has ever been this year when I headed up to do my annual spring viewing. The years of lugging mulch and making raised beds etc. have paid off and it’s incredibly rewarding to see what was a barren patch of denuded Aussie ancient soil, rock filled and bare, turn into an actual garden full of worms. I went up yesterday to plant out some strange blue spuds (sort of like King Edwards but with blue splotches instead of pink) that I had bought a bag of at our local farmers shed in the city and was rootling around in the spud patch area at the back of Sanctuary to plant them. By the time I had dug in the 6 big sprouting spuds that I needed to plant out I had unearthed enough lovely new potatoes for Steve to have with his tea tonight and I didn’t even plant them! They just come up year after year and Sanctuary doesn’t seem to get affected by frost much. The duck is certainly enjoying her new home and we added a small kids paddling pond to the mix yesterday. Steve went up to check that he had turned off the glasshouse water and saw her splashing happily around in the pond. Some happiness can’t be measured in dollars ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  8. Jane says:

    I have planted 20 yuccas so far. Some across the top/dry edge of the swale at the front of the house and some along the fence of the horses paddock. I might interplant some with the agapanthus along the drive. I did have two ecchiums but the frost this year killed them both, as it did most of my citrus trees and all but one of my succulents. Strangely I still have lush grass and clover in my baby food forest so the kangaroos have left everything else alone so far. I must be the only gardener to be desperate to keep grass to save my food plants๐Ÿ˜„ all my fruit trees look good so far. I have decided not to mow this year to try and keep more cover for the soil, though I will probably mow close to the house. I love all the things you do in your garden but Sanctuary is my favourite. Hope you are feeling better by now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      That sounds like a very industrious planting Jane. Keeping your grass everywhere except for the house block is a wise move. The more ground cover you have on the soil the better your soil biota in my opinion. I have noticed that we have a lot more fertility now that we have started covering up the soil with mulch. My carefully hoarded mulch at the end of the season earlier this year paid off. I was able to mulch around everything before it started to dry off. Today I feel quite a bit better. I still have the flu but I can do things now. Steve is going to whipper snip the house area inside the fence (I might take before and after shots to do another blog post) and I am going to make small wire mesh rings to protect a couple of little fruit trees that the possums kindly ate the fruit last year and left the seeds on the ground and they grew! Waste not want not when you are trying to grow fruit trees I say! This years plans involve the 2 keyhole gardens which I am pretty excited about as that’s another chance to cover up some exposed soil and increase the fertility in the area as well as putting drip irrigation about the fruit trees. Earl does his best to “drip irrigate” everything but I think actual water might be a better option this year ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sorry to hear about your echiums. You must get pretty severer frosts where you are as the wild echiums are out in full bloom around the corner from here but then you are inland and we are right on the coast so our frosts must be milder. We have a friend who has a property of 50 acres inland a bit from us and sometimes, the frost stays on her property all day! Now that we are getting back into the swing of gardening (I picked up a Japanese eggplant from Bunnings yesterday as well as a bale of sugar cane mulch for the wicking beds and some basil and mixed salad green seeds) I will probably post more on the blog. If Steve whipper snips in Sanctuary today (aside from giving the duck conniptions that you will probably hear from your place!) I will again take before and after shots. I am starting to think about the first vlog post and will probably do it on the value of fridge wicking beds as I really want to spread the word around that there are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to permaculture and you really don’t need the latest, greatest (most expensive) options to get a good result. Too many people go into permaculture gardening thinking that they need a landscape permaculture designer to design their properties and to spend a fortune to affect the result. I know it is brilliant if you can afford that but if you can’t, it’s better to at least have the resources and facilities around (online tutorials etc.) to be able to have a bash at it yourself with what you might have available as cheaply as possible. Who cares if it’s pretty at first? Sometimes you just have to dive in head first and get the processes rolling rather than feel frustrated and alienated from the group because you don’t have a huge bank balance. That’s what I want to teach people. Cheap-arsed permaculture as learned from my mother and my grandmother’s knees as well as a bit of work can get you what you want.

      Like

  9. Jo says:

    Oh, goodness, I think everyone in Tasmania has had the flu by now – isn’t it awful? Still, I’ve been reading a novel about the Bubonic plague of 1666, and have decided the flu is preferable to that..

    Hope the sunshine is perking you up as well as the plants. Isn’t the spring growth extraordinary? I just turned my back for a minute and everything grew a foot..

    Like

    1. narf7 says:

      Sorry I didn’t answer this comment Jo, I just found it in the spam folder! Grrrr! Why is it that WordPress and Blogger can’t just get along eh? Sigh… I felt a bit like I had the Bubonic plague in the middle of my lurgy but now I am just irritated that it keeps hanging on when I have SO much to do in the garden! This spring weather has been delicious and there is so much to do. I have a new persimmon tree that Steve bought me and I NEED to get it planted out but I have no idea where to plant it (don’t say “my place” ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) I think my mojo came back with the sunny weather. I had no inclination at all to go out to the garden through winter but I am suddenly desperate to spend time there. Thank you for commenting Jo ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  10. Jane says:

    Look forward to seeing your keyhole gardens up and running but make sure you donโ€™t overdo things if you are still sick. โ€˜Flu is nasty, you need to rest or you might give yourself a setback. The frost here was the worst ever it just went on day after day for five months solid. We donโ€™t usually get it that badly. We have a couple more possible frost mornings coming soon. If the frost stayed all day Iโ€™d die never mind the plants. Yes I agree with you about doing things on the cheap. I collect everyoneโ€™s junk and at the moment my food forest looks like tip with all the bits and pieces around the trees to protect their mulch from being re-arranged by the chooks. Iโ€™ve got a few apricot, peaches and quince trees that came up out of the compost from the chook run and they all give me lovely fruit, though the birds get ALL the peaches before I do. Iโ€™ve still got heaps of yuccas to deal with. The trees that were delivered were mostly over 6ft tall and too heavy for me to plant so Iโ€™ve been breaking them up into small pieces to plant. I think Iโ€™ll be planting them forever!! Canโ€™t wait for your next instalment, your land may be difficult to work but it is so interesting to see what you come up with๐Ÿ˜€.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      We would usually get a very mild frost once or in a blue moon twice a year here and then it would only be a very light dusting and wouldn’t be present inside Sanctuary (I think the netting prevents it) but this year we have had many days of frost but not really bad frost but Sanctuary had it as well. I was worried about my two little cherimoya (custard apple) saplings but they were fine. I transplanted some little warrigal spinach seedlings that I noticed growing on the side of one of the walks that we take the boys on about 3 months ago into Sanctuary. Bev, from Foodnstuff blog, uses it as a green ground cover on her property and I figured that it might act the same in Sanctuary now that I have converted Sanctuary to a perennial and fruit and nut tree espalier garden with flowers for the bees and it has taken off over winter despite the frosts so there are some pretty hardy “tropical” things out there ;).

      I would love an apricot tree and a couple of almond trees as well. We live in the middle of apple orchards and vinyards all around us but the possums eat any apple trees we had on the property to death. I have one small apple tree that must have grown from a seed from the ancient (already dead when we arrived) apple tree that was on the property that we cut down and I am a bit of a supporter of the underdog so I thought that I would do my best to protect it from the possums. When it was tiny I put a round of wire around it but then it got too big and I noticed that blackberries were growing around the base of it so they are the ONLY blackberries that I allow inside my house perimiter fence and the possums don’t touch this little apple tree. Good symbiosis (for once! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

      The birds would LOVE to get a look in with the fruit but the possums are all over it before the birds can even get a sniff. They eat the fruit green. I can only begin to imagine what their digestive systems look like! o_O your fruit trees grew from your compost? I get avocados growing from mine but not a lot of fruit trees but then again, we don’t eat a lot of fruit so I guess that’s a given ;). One day you will be SO happy that your friend gave you those yucca’s. They will give your property a new presence and will add to it’s character as well as being tough as nails. I guess we are like you in having to be incredibly innovative with what we do. A combination of being stony arsed broke and determined to use permaculture principals wherever we can give us a solid determination to try to find solutions that might not be conventional, but that work. I don’t care if something isn’t pretty, so long as it works! Thank you so much for following my blog Jane. I love interacting with you and learning about your property and how you deal with your own set of problems. It’s a great feeling knowing that someone out there gets it I can tell you! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  11. Kim says:

    Commiserations about getting the flu in the holidays. I think that relaxing actually lets the bugs in to do their worst. Hopefully you will be completely better soon.
    The garden looks amazing ….. but where’s Earl?!!!
    My turmeric plants (two outside, one filling the kitchen window) will presumably be dying back soon and I’ll be able to see what they’ve done. Reports on growing turmeric in the uk later.
    P.S. It’s pouring and chuffing cold here right now. Yuck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I did take a couple of pictures of Earl but he was slinking around in the undergrowth which is, at the moment, somewhat more like overgrowth and so all you could see was his head. I thought that my turmeric had croaked last year but it came back stoically. I didn’t lift it from the outside wicking bed last year and just left it in situ so fingers crossed it will come back again this year. It was attacked mercilessly by slugs and snails so I might have to do something about that this year. I will be most interested to hear how your turmeric went :). I love rain and cold but we are about to give way to heat and dry so I had best get used to it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a lovely winter. It will be gone before you know it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jane says:

    All my peaches and apricot trees are volunteers. I only got three peach volunteers but they all fruit well and have done so since they were between three and five yeas old. Unfortunately the cockatooos and rosellas take them all whilst they are still green. About the same time as the peach trees appeared three apricot trees also appeared two of which produce tons of fruit, and one that has never fruited. The apricot trees have a more dense leaf cover and I think thatโ€™s why the birds left them alone. In 2015 it was so dry here that the kangaroos started stripping the leaves and blossom from them in spring, and before the middle of summer the trees had gone dormant. I thought they were dead, but last spring they came back to life and put on heaps of new growth but not blossom or fruit. This year they are loaded with baby fruit. I hope the birds leave them for me liked theyโ€™ve done in the past. This year there are apricot trees popping up everywhere. One even appeared in a homemade paper pot that I was trying to grow tagasaste tree from seed in. No sign of the tree I was trying to grow so I just planted the pot and apricot seedling instead. I love apricots but the supermarket ones are seldom nice. In one of the Bill Mollison videos I watched he was just sticking nuts still in their shells in the ground when he was out and about. I might try that as well. Also planning to take lots more cuttings of things this coming autumn. May be a cheap way of getting more forest. I hope I donโ€™t regret planting the yuccas, it seems they can be invasive, but they are also supposed to be good for erosion control, so Iโ€™ll look at the creek banks next.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      If I remember correctly, stone fruit have a good year followed by a not so good year. I am going to have to buy some apricots and try the volunteer method now! I have done the nut tree thing. I have planted out some chestnut trees that I grew from supermarket nuts last year and I grew hazelnuts from our neighbours daughters hazelnuts that she gifted us a few years ago. I also grew a LOT of walnuts that I gave away because we already have a walnut tree and they grow HUGE. If you want a tree that the cockies will scoff and leave your peaches alone plant walnuts! Cuttings is the way that my mum grew just about everything in her gardens. She started out with absolutely nothing (in a state housing home, she was a single mum) but a bare lawn and turned it into a lush garden full of trees and plants. She had to leave the house and move into a smaller flat when they wanted to knock her house down and put more flats on the block so she took cuttings from her old garden and started a completely new garden in her new flat. Within 2 years she had built raised beds everywhere, had put fruit trees in all around the perimeters of the fence and espaliered them and had built an extensive native plant garden outside the front of her house all on a pension. Mum was one of the most industrious gardeners that I have ever seen and she learned it from my grandma. Determination goes a LONG way to getting where you want to be and I remember stopping the car as a kid and us all piling out with some old bags and harvesting dried cow manure in paddocks for mums garden. She never let a chance go by and always had the most lovely gardens. She would save up for anything special and it was like Christmas Day for her whenever she managed to save enough for some precious plant. I think that the yuccas are a wonderful opportunity for you to add height to your property and once they establish you can start planting little groves underneath them. Regreening your property and I doubt that roos will bother with trying to eat them so they can only be a good thing. People call things invasive but most invasive things are only invasive if the conditions are right for them. If conditions are tough, they won’t go mad. Our back block is up the top of a hill and has sparse sheoak cover with poa grass underneath and pretty much nothing else. The bottom of our block is down near the river and has blackberries and a lot of introduced weeds but they never make it up to the back block because the conditions for them are not right up there so they fail. Anything that will take tough conditions, that will grow through drought and that will give you a bit of height to work with is going to be a brilliant way to establish little groves of shrubs, ground covers and vines all over your property and will be a brilliant asset in establishing your food forests. Putting them on the creek banks is a great idea and once they serve their purpose you can always remove them or move them to somewhere else. Thank you for telling me about your peaches and your apricots as I am now going to try growing them. A friend in the city has an apricot tree and I will ask him if I can have some this year and will plant the seed studiously out. Same goes for peaches. I love free food ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  13. Oh no! The flu sucks, and I feel very lucky that I’m rarely sick (knock on wood.) That said, when I do feel under the weather, I’m so unaccustomed to it that I really don’t know what to do with myself. That usually means movie marathons, endless cups of tea, and precious little else. Kudos to you for staying productive by working on the blog, at least! I have enough trouble maintaining mine even when I’m at the top of my game, truth be told…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      We rarely get sick either but I am in the process of losing a lot of weight (17kg so far) and was pretty stressed out by organising and filming my short drama production so it caught me on the hop and I got it hard. I still have it and am getting a bit tired of being sick BUT I am not letting it get in the way of spring processes. I planted out a Japanese eggplant yesterday and today I am going to plant out some salad green seeds and some basil seeds. Future food is more important than coughing ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow Fran, late as ever in my arrival here my friend. And Everything in the garden is thriving by the looks of things..
    Glad ducky is enjoying her space. And love what is growing in Sanctuary.. All hands on deck as they say,
    I am happy you are feeling brighter after your bad bouts of flu.. Those aquilegia’s are a wonderful colour..
    I bought a lovely little plant from Chatsworth Flower show that had a dark maroon colour,, Then Hubby was weeding and as I had cut it down because it had finished flowering, Suddenly it vanished.. Not blaming, just shaming lol, Needless to say now I get the job of weeding that patch.. haha..
    Wonderful to see you are having Sun and warmth, just as we are cooling down..
    Oh and yes will look forward to the blog vid on gardening..How Cool will that be. .. putting your newly learnt skills to use.. โค
    xxx Now to your next update..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Its hard to kill aquilegia’s. I think you should give hubby a medal for his efforts. Earl has been trying to kill the little aquilegia that decided to grow right next to the back door for years now without avail ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha.. well they did go to seed before they disappeared and i did manage to sprinkle some around and planned not to disturb that area as I had other seeds I scatted as an experiment.. So we will see if anything comes up.. lol.. They can be very hardy and I had one grow between the cracks in concrete on the side of the drive before now. it was stronger than the one in the border. ๐Ÿ™‚ xxx Enjoy your week too Fran.. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        If you sprinkled seed then the odds are you will get quite a few growing. I have quite a few in Sanctuary and most of them grew from seed that I didn’t even plant there.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hope so, as they were very different with a double flower head.. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      4. narf7 says:

        They grow like weeds here (fingers crossed for hubbies sake ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Robbie says:

    Visiting today and so glad I stopped by to see how lovely it all looks. The wicking beds are working great!!! I was thinking to myself as I read- I bet the only time you rest is when you are sick:-) You are a good example of a person that lives life to its fullest!!! You squeeze out every minute out of every day. I admire how you accomplish, learn and grow daily.
    I look forward to seeing what you are growing this summer…our gardens are closing down….excited to read and in the future see what you are doing:-) Good to hear you are on the mend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Much healthier today which is lucky because today I have to write a script for a fellow classmate, practice lines for acting in a fellow classmates short film tomorrow and plant out mixed salad greens, 4 kinds of basil seed and a small handful of chuffa (tiger nut) seeds that a friend sent me as an experimental crop. Life is certainly interesting at the moment! Thank you for dropping by Robbie. I love it when you do ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Robbie says:

        Well, sunshine will be coming for you are in summer….we are heading into winter darkness. I look forward to reading your blog when we are in the cold season. Good to hear your energy is back:-) Your classes always sound so interesing and what fun all the people you are meeting!!! You are finding you have endless talents:-)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        I am not entirely sure that “talent” is the right word there Robbie. More like determination ๐Ÿ˜‰ I had to yell at my lecturer (my husband in a drama production) a lot yesterday. So much so I thought that my voice was going to go! Hopefully the film turns out alright. Not entirely sure I want to watch myself yelling in it though ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Robbie says:

        LOL…you are too funny. Yep, yelling not something I want to see with myself either. I am busy today getting ready to cover my blueberry bushes before the rabbits eat the tender roots. I look forward to seeing what you are growing while I’m buried in snow!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. narf7 says:

        My blueberries that are ancient like Methuselah (I inherited them third hand!) that I thought were going to croak last year in the wicking beds didn’t and at least two of them are actively pumping out flowers now. I need to get me some more of them and plant them out somewhere in Sanctuary. I have some pink English gooseberries that I grew from seed that also need to be planted out but first, get rid of those pesky chooks that invaded Poland!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Linne says:

    Love all the garden updates but not hearing that you two have had ‘flu’.Not nice, is it? I learn more every time I read a post here and I really like that. Hope you are all over the lurgy by now. I’m also looking forward to seeing your vlog. Are you planning to start a YouTube chanel (and maybe even monetize it?) I know a couple of people who’ve done that, but am not sure how profitable it is. Either way, it will be exciting to see your work again; I’ve enjoyed your short films whenever you’ve shared them. Have a wonderful week, Narfie, and Steve, too. (and the boys, of course)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      We aren’t interested in making money out of videos, just sharing in a more personal way so whatever we film will be shared here for the fun of it. Thank you for your good wishes Linne and I hope that everything is going well with you and yours ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s