I took a photograph yesterday, which will probably not make the cut, of a very pleasing little corner of the garden which took me by surprise this week. The late afternoon light was shining on a vivid purple bougainvillea, seemingly up-lit by the Old Man Saltbush hedge underneath. It was quite breathtaking, especially given that all this disguises a dog yard and frames the corner of the garden shed. I love the way the garden catches you off guard. Naturally the photo I took was not in the same light, so you will have to use your imaginations, as usual.
Following up on some previous notes, I thought you would be happy to hear that Mr. Pohlman and Mr. Yates are pretty much neck and neck in the vegetable garden race here. A little flick back reminds me that I planted the vegetable seeds from Mr. Yates at the end of March, almost a month ago to be precise. Can almost and precise be used in the same clause? Seems so.
The following week I planted some seedlings from Mr. Pohlman. Over the last ten days I have been planting out my own grown broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages and an inspection this morning (just now in fact, I am typing with dirty fingers from pulling out thistles) shows little difference between punnets and home grown. What is worth noting is my seedlings planted out are growing faster than those left in the seed box, which is extremely encouraging.
There is no scientific basis to any of the above of course; no control element, no white lab coat and clip board. That said, the punnets and my own seedlings were all planted into the same bed and received the same amount of neglect, if that counts. I have enjoyed growing my seedlings again though and have been watching the temperature forecasts closely to work out the best planting out time, as we have had a run of a few warmer days. The garden is only reason for worrying about the temperature in my book, otherwise knowing it only makes you feel hotter or colder, which rarely helps. I shall brook no heat waves and polar vortexes here thank you very much.
The one thing I have still not perfected is the moderate and controlled sowing of seeds; I have far too many seedlings and cannot bare not planting them. As I have little opportunity for passing them on at present, further action was required. Consequently, I have dug over a new vegetable plot behind the chook yard, in their back run. As the girls have stopped laying, I may as well put their scratching prowess to good use. They enjoy quite a large run, so I have borrowed a section where they have been turning over the soil for some years. Please be assured they still have vast reaches of chook run still untouched.
I used old pallets as my exclusion fencing; quite apt really, as the pallets are what is left from over one hundred kilometres of exclusion fencing. Mr. Moble and The Impatient Gardener are quietly un-impressed with my yard building. I must own I see their point; a more careful selection of matching pallets would have afforded a more even outline, rather than something resembling a higgledy-piggledy ramshackle for the dispossessed fowl. I was rather daunted by the towers of pallets, to be honest.
Years ago, when my wishes for yet another extension to the garden fell upon deaf ears, I would simply start building the new fence myself. Brian would arrive home, oblivious to the horror that would await; my own, unique fencing techniques laid out before him. My coup de gras was simply that I would tell people he had built it if he would not help me, and help he always did. Skulduggery and blackmail were alive and well in the early garden.
Thus, I have now planted out upwards of forty tomatoes, peas along the high netting fence, rows of cauliflowers and cabbages, with more to go in. If they can survive the hundreds of corellas, Lord Dudley who, unlike the airlines, can still fly in and the frosts, it will be a more productive chook run than the two eggs I am collecting every afternoon. I will even plant a bed of sunflowers later in the season so the chooks can enjoy their shade and seeds when I re-open the Great Wall of Moble at the end of winter.
Lastly this week, I have been meaning to mention the tarragon I have growing here, a yellow flowering variety. After much fruitless searching, I have concluded it is Mexican tarragon and by all accounts, very inferior to French tarragon which I have also grown here with a blue flower. Whilst the chefs say the Mexican variety has a muddy taste, I still find it aniseed enough for my liking and it is prolific. All through summer it has romped away, its saffron yellow flowers, rather like tiny marigolds, a burst of acidic gold and the lime green foliage most welcome. I have dug up my clump and shared it around the garden and it never missed a beat. It picks well for a little squeeze of lemon in a vase as well, so if you are looking for a heat buster, give it a whirl.
Hope you are enjoying this autumn weather,
The Moble Gardener