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News from the Moble Garden – A Long Time Between Drinks

April 6, 2021
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A month is a long time between drinks however I am hoping everyone has had some good rain over the last few weeks. We have had 36mm in this last change, far more general rain this time so big smiles here. I do hope you are smiling as well.

March has been a busy month and a most welcome time of year, for me anyway. I am waving farewell to summer and enjoying some superb early autumn weather here; warm days with the mornings delivering a delicious freshness to the air, so invigorating. Surely the best medicine is to breathe in such air.

Early March found Mother and me heading to Tasmania for a Walking and Wine trip. As I write this, it occurs to me that W may just be my favourite letter. Anyway, the trip was stunning and quite hard work as it turns out; well, the walking bit anyway. The wine bit was a doddle you will be relieved to know. Mother kept suggesting to me that we may require a level of fitness beyond what would generally be expected here in January, not a month for excess physical workouts beyond actual work. As ever, she was correct which is why one should in fact read the itinerary and do some research before slinging your boots on, as she did. Turns out my “Just strolling through the paddocks Mumma, how hard can it be?”, can be quite challenging when you are scrambling up every craggy and post-glacial scree cliff on the east coast. Thankfully, we were expertly guided and the views from the heavens are incredible if you are wondering. The wine was delicious as well.

We also managed to spend a night with friends on the York Plains, always enjoyable with beautiful livestock, immaculate improvements, stunning landscape and fine company. I have arrived home with renewed vigour and so inspired by Sarah’s garden. In fact, the whole of Tasmania was a garden, the towns and villages were blooming as was the roadside and the bush. I only wish I could identify what I was seeing. I was thinking thryptomenes and leptospermums, bush orchids and many more however it was all rather outside my patch.

Arriving home full of enthusiasm, I straight away attacked the roses, all looking down-hearted and summery, which seems to be their modus operandi these days, even when the weather is kind. If a change is as good as a holiday, well change they must have. They have all been duly cut back and shifted to an old vegetable garden bed, brimming with worms and potential. I would not necessarily recommend early March for shifting roses dear reader. I would not always recommend you do much of what I do, however the energy and inspiration was there and no time it was done.

My new Tasmanian inspired bed has been filled out with some Grosso lavender, a superb lemon hinted fragrance variety much planted down there, and some irises for luck. The other exciting part of this new bed is that there are eight spare spots, so I will be able to browse and plan my selection with much anticipation. Please let me know if you have a favourite you feel I should include. As an aside, I think I shall shift some catmint for a border as well, we seem to have a catmint here that has adapted to the Moble conditions. No doubt having written that it will all keel over next week.

The Impatient Gardener has been away and I have been enjoying her garden as well. Under the guise of checking the watering system, we have had our daily fill of figs, fresh from the tree. I am a happy fig-fief. Her garden is looking beautiful and the antignon, which always seems to double in volume through the late summer, has totally taken over the roof of her garden shed in the manner of a pink hairdo. It makes me smile every time I walk by. On her arrival home, she has almost doubled her fig enclosure to encompass the rapidly growing tree, a fig tower no less, a triumph of netting over marauding animals.

The first vegetables have gone in with broccoli, cabbages of all colours, some kale and silverbeet and tomatoes. Seeds of carrots, beetroot and parsnips are also in and up, as is the mesclun and rocket. I often leave the parsnips until April however the rain is such a game-changer, I went ahead and sowed them, and they have responded in kind. The peas however, including the Sweet Peas, will wait until later in April, often I plant them on Anzac Day.

 I have two packets of spinach seeds; I grew a variety last year which was fantastic and naturally, now cannot remember what it was called. You know when you read a list, certain you will recall the name when you see it and then, nothing. Yet another example of why you need to revise even for multiple choice (I never did in case you are wondering).

 I have planted all of these into a well of commercial compost, which I will talk about next time. I am currently hankering for one of those large contraptions that sweeps along turning over piles of composting matter, well I am really hankering for a compost farm I suppose.

Almost time for bulbs as well, so much to do that will allow you to be outside enjoying the autumn days and breathing in that morning freshness,

The Moble Gardener