Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gotta do the gardening...

Ever feel like you've just GOT to do the gardening??? That is me right now! Love it. come and see what we've been digging...  

Outside is where I want to be. The sun is warm on your back. The weather is just plain glorious. Well, that is, except for the rain on Tuesday afternoon. But that just softened the soil up nicely :-) All ready for some more planting...


So what have we been planting? Last weekend I hit my 'grown-up' herb garden. It was sadly (frost) burnt, and had some plants in it that were filling a spot. Filling an empty spot seems better to me than bare dirt. At least until I get brave enough to work out what to do/plant. There are already perennial herbs in this garden, inherited from the lovely people who lived here before us. We planted some more the first summer we were here, we harvested from them last year and used lots to make yummy salads/pizzas. Now it was time to extend those plantings. And to re-propagate the rosemary - it has got woody and straggly.

Here's the gear to propagate. Done this before? I've had great success at propagating, but I'm absolutely hopeless at planting out the new plants before they outgrow their small pots. This time I decided to propagate straight into the garden, skipping a step to try and succeed in producing a plant that actually gets to grow in the garden!

Some plants are MUCH easier to propagate then others. Rosemary is one of the easy ones. So is lavender. Really. I promise. Anyone can do this. I'm no pro! 

Steps to propagate:
1. Cut short cuttings from fresh tips of plant (try to avoid flowering tips)
2. Wet cut end of each cutting
3. Dip wet end into rooting agent, found at all gardening shops/departments
4. Pop cutting wet end down into soil.

Here's the little cutting planted out... (note - I've somehow managed to get a tip with a flower bud). Already, broken my own rules! I did say I was no pro :-)

Also in the mix for this garden were some store-bought herbs. Some mint to boost our current plantings, the mint we have got gets frosted every year in the winter but recovers in the summer! Talk about bounce-back! But I'd like a bit more this year for yummy summer drinks. Some more chives are going in too, we eat lots of those in the summer and I want to freeze some (chopped up in a glass jar/sealed container) for the winter. And lastly, rocket. We tried rocket last year in our courtyard herb garden... more on that garden another day... fingers crossed it holds off on going to seed so quickly this year.

In they all went. Dig, plonk, backfill. Easy peasey, no fussing about. The poor little rosemary cuttings though, are almost impossible to see in the whole scheme of the garden! They are at the back, near the fence. I propagated 4, just to cover my bases and get some coverage fairly quickly. The flowering plant (small purple flowers) at the end of the garden bed is our current rosemary - the woody one ;-) If the newly propagated cuttings 'take', or shoot, then it's days are numbered!

Of course we then added water (to the plants)... and a hat (to the littlest one)... it was getting warm out there in the sun. And we're sun conscious here in Australia! I also covered the garden in lucerne hay, old lucerne hay. It's great compost; keeps the heat off the soil surface and therefore the moisture in the soil for the plants. Plus, I reckon, it makes the garden look nice and neat. Like wearing a scarf with an everyday outfit, or icing a cake!

And then because I'd washed my hands when I watered the plants in, I decided to play a little with the camera...

Found a few friendly little bees... 
                         ...was wishing I could justify a lovely lens like this one newly aquired by Mummaducka.

Admired my chives up close...
                    can see a couple of cut stems that I took recently to top a herb, garlic and cheese pizza. Yum!

And so a happy, sunny morning was generally had by all! By me, by the littlest one, by the plants and the bees... a simple life, just as I like it :-) I will admit here and now though that my afternoon wasn't quite so simple (understatement of the month!). That's not how real life works, well not for me at the moment, not with small people the ages they are, or with our community involvement, or with friends and family. That is a whole other post... next week! 

Am off for a coffee with a friend now, so I'll get another happy, sunny morning. It's swimming lessons this afternoon though, so I'll be sure to order a double-strength espresso to sustain me right through! And when I get home I'll make a cup of tea and wander out to smell the roses herbs :-)

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous Emm and what a wonderful little helper you have. Good luck with the Rosemary. I can't wait to see it all taking off. Jx


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