The winter clean up

This morning Pasta man pulled out the Russian Lady’s Slipper and Golden Shower creepers, they were getting too big and climbing into anything within reach, they had served their purpose which was to cover up the fence until the garden grew. There’s lots of pruning and tidying up to do at this time of year, it’s all about creating space and light and we ended up with a mountain of cuttings that we’ll have to deal with later. The strawberries were tidied up and needed some new mulch so I spread a thick layer of casuarina needles around them (apparently pine needles are the best), hopefully they’ll do the trick. We planted some celery and lettuce seedlings and need to plant some root crops when the moon is in the right phase. We follow the moon planting guide if we can and have been doing so for years, not sure if it works BUT it seems like we get a better strike rate and the plants grow vigorously, so why not? I found this absolutely beautiful toad in the mulch, it’s so exciting to find creatures like this living in our garden – especially frogs and toads (supposed to be a sign of a healthy garden). This time last year I dug up the horseradish and was keen to make some horseradish relish but was disappointed to find that the roots had brown rings throughout the flesh (not sure why or what happened) anyway I threw most away and replanted some for this year’s crop. Today I dug some up and was thrilled to find thick roots and a perfect white too, so guess what is next on the agenda – horseradish relish!

I was surprised to find 5 chooks in our garden a few days ago, these wayward creatures belong to a neighbour and it was lucky I found them and chased them out before they discovered the silverbeet, lettuce and spinach, hope they don’t come back!

I discovered the real name of the plant I call Elephant Ears, it’s called a blood lilly, it’s a rather large bulb and my sister gave me one years ago, this one has multiplied and the nurserywoman at Van Loons nursery informed me that they are rare and never available in nurseries, how cool is that? I also had a lovely chat with a Italian gentleman when I stopped to take a photo of some white tree dahlias, he offered to give me a root cutting next spring, it’s wonderful how two strangers can connect over a common interest.

can't wait to grow these beauties

can’t wait to grow these beauties

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