Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Wet, wet, WET!

Day 7  Monday 28th March
Absolute write off! In terms of the garden or sewing anyway.
We found a lump on L6's chest on Saturday, hard and about the same size as the bony lump on the outside of your wrist.  So Monday was spent visiting the doctor, getting a chest xray, visiting the doctor and getting a chest ultrasound.
Good news though - bones are perfect and no mass (ie read tumour) is present - looks like it is just an overgrowth of cartilage.  Though I haven't got the official results yet, I do know that the doctor has reviewed the report and cleared it for filing - meaning their is nothing urgent or scary.  Now I just have to wait until she is back at work (she doesn't work Tuesdays and was sick today) to get the definitive info.

Day 8 Wednesday 30th March

 Of course I felt like I was behind today, after not getting any gardening done on Monday - so I was keen to get a lot done.
Fortunately it was a brilliant day for gardening!  Gentle but steady rain, and warm but not hot.

I finished the no-dig beds!
3 more layers, manure, lucerne & mushroom compost.
The material that I had laid on Friday had already started compressing, but I tromped the lucerne down some more to flatten the beds so that the manure wouldn't just roll off the side.  I did the same for the second layer of lucerne as well.  And watered each layer in as well.
And here they are!
I think I would like to live here if I was a vegetable.  How about you? (And I do know that I have left a HUGE open door for some people here).

Now, remember all those extra straw bales?  I told you that I had another project that I needed them for?  Well I finished that job too.  Any ideas?
OK, I'll tell you.  I built another no-dig bed. This time a 'raised' one.  6 of the straw bales made up the walls of the bed.  I saw this idea in Mary Horsfall's book "Fabulous Food from Every Small Garden" and thought it was great - cheap, quick & easy (compared to many other options for raised bed construction).  OK, it's not a permanent structure, but that's not a problem here, my garden will change design when the kids' fort is no longer used, and the straw will gradually rot away to contribute to the soil itself.

This is the site, between the vege garden proper & the slide.  I raked & shovelled the forest mulch out of the way.  Underneath it is starting to look like lovely rich soil - but less that a year ago it really was just wood chips, large ones, on top of weed mat.  But after 10 or so months, with a fair amount of rain (remember those floods?  Yeh, didn't get to us, but we still got wet) and 3 chickens doing plenty of digging (and poohing) it is starting to compost down nicely.  I even saw a couple of worms!

And here's what the bales look like made into the walls of the bed.
All the layers are the same as the other beds - except I added an extra layer of straw on top, and covered that with my hessian bags.  After all, there isn't a fence to keep the chickens off this one!

 This was so easy! It took me less that 2 hours to construct, including trimming more sacred bamboo for the green layer!

And like all raised beds, it can be built pretty much anywhere - even on concrete.  So if you want a relatively cheap garden, maybe in a rental, this might be the way to go.

I plan to put the potatoes here.
The finished straw-bale bed (minus one hessian bag).

As it was so beautiful in the rain I thought I would show you a couple of other things in the garden.
Both the bottle brush, and our flowering gum are currently in flower.
Hope you like them.

Bottle brush flowers glistening with raindrops.

Only one sprig out, but lots more to come!

Gum flowers in the rain.

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