Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More progress in the garden!

First off the ranks...I need to let you know that the carrot experiment wasn't a success. Upon inspection the very next day I noticed the carrot lid was to the point of popping off. It was bulging like an explosion was on the horizon...lol....So when I opened the lid to release some pressure....this is what happened....all the fizz came flooding out of the jar.....as I'm not sure this is what is meant to happen, I've tossed the carrot. Carrot NIL...Beans still going........Oh well...worth a try hey!

As I have never grown zucchini, I just had to show off what I picked...
but there is something much more exciting than this to show you.....


Check this out...We finally finished the front garden bed...Phew...what a job! But it is sooooo worth the work, to think that it will provide us with fruit in the future...and plenty of space beneath for the odd vegetable or herb too. I knew that when we finally filled in the bed, I would have an instant garden; because I have been planning it so long...and hoarding plants in pots out the back too.

So when it came time to planting out...I had  grown from seed or cutting...... Comfrey, Nasturtium, Rosemary, Lavender, Violets and Pyrethrum. I also have a pot of Thornless Blackberries shooting, which will go on the fence later on. I've been buying dwarf fruit trees in ready for freshly built garden beds...I have planted out the dwarf Washington Navel Orange, a dwarf green Apple and a dwarf Seedless Valencia Orange.

Remember, any work you do now, any planning and planting in your garden, is an investment for your future. When I look to the future and I imagine the 'fruits of my labour'....I get excited. 

Over the back behind the Feijoa tree, I planted the triple grafted Apricot tree which I bought for hubby for Christmas. Apricot is his favourite fruit.
In the original garden bed in the front yard, the Taro and the Rosella are very happy. It won't be long before I start seeing new buds on these Rosella.

More exciting progress....Hubby was busy on Sunday too, while I was pottering away in the new garden bed with even more plants. .....We had finally sourced enough materials to build a shelving unit for the hothouse. It's only a cheapy from Bunnings, but it gets the job done! The shelving is made up of some bed frames...and some pipe from what we think was once a trampoline cage. I'm so impressed with the shelving...it's made to fit...and without including the ground floor, it can hold 30 seedling trays. That's awesome!

I don't need to put up with the balancing act of the milk crates, and wire mesh now...which was only the floor and one shelf anyway.....OMG I can't believe I filled it...lol....but I do raise plants for the community garden as well as cuttings and seed for the free table at the garden course...along with my own garden needs of-course...Yep, I filled it easy!


One day down the track, we will learn how to graft multiple varieties of fruit trees onto one tree...so I'm planning ahead and growing my own apple trees....They still have a way to go...and I still need to germinate a few more varieties...but this is a start.

With all the rain we have been having...the perennial beans have gone wildly crazy.....they are taking over everything...and to think....there are only 3 plants. They haven't begun to flower yet, but Richard says not to worry, because all perennial beans take longer to flower.

The front 
I just looked back on when I planted them....mid September Wow! Is it meant to be that long before I get flowers or should I pull them out? I wonder?  Richard....you out there? 
The back
Even the side is being taken over.
This trellis was meant for the passion-fruit vine on the left.

This cucumber is really determined to live...so I've treated it kindly, and propped it up....given it some old horse manure...and planted two Mini long Egg-Plant in the front.

The Jerusalem Artichoke are going strong and I can see some flower buds on them now. The same at the community garden are in full flower...but also in full sun...so I will plant them in the front yard next season.

The Water Garden
Every time it rains, the water garden (the neighbours old bath) overflows....which is because I haven't yet gotten around to drilling a over-flow hole in it yet.
I use the Azola to add nitrogen to the compost bin...but I haven't had the the need to add wet ingredients with all this rain. Azola is a fantastic compost generator...and it seems to be enjoying being in this position.
The long reeds are Chinese Water Chestnuts...the fern looking plant to the left is Water Celery and in front of that is the Vietnamese Mint....Scattered all over the Azola is Water Cress, and climbing up the Water Chestnuts is a crazy (PennyRoyal like) mint.

My Water Garden collects the first flush of rainwater from the downpipe.
There's lots of other exciting things happening here at the moment....but I will leave that for another post.


  1. Gosh you have been busy, is that a gemsquash in the photo where you talk of zuchini? I love your front bed with all the dwarf fruit trees. Your water garden looks good too. Sorry about your carrots, but it is worth doing the experiment just to see.

  2. I love all your photos you are so productive. I hope we can have similar success this summer here in Canada.


  3. africanaussie: I think the pale green one is called a 'Lebanese Zucchini' but allowed to grow larger I would call them a squash.....and the round one is an '8 Ball Zuchini'.

    Gill: I hope you have similar if not better success too. I hope to be more productive in the long-term...

  4. Zucchini is such a versatile vegetable. I love it. I use it in so many ways. It dehydrates and rehydrates wonderfully. I hope you love it. Thanks for the beautiful new pictures of your very lovely garden.....Melissa

  5. Narelle - that's awesome!!!!!! I'm thrilled for you - those shelves in the greenhouse are just the thing... It's so hard when everything is willy nilly falling over, perched atop various things at different heights. Beautiful work - I bet you can't wait to see that new garden fill out. It will before you know it!

  6. Narelle

    Pattypan here. Sorry to be a party pooper but you have to be very careful with veggies as there is a risk of botulism if not. The only safe way I understand is to pressure can ([not pressure cook] thats pickles and chutneys apart) the veggies as they need a constant heat to kill any nasties. I am sure that regular readers and myself do not want you poorly.

    Veggies used to be preserved at home by different methods and you can still get old cookery books utilising these methods,[you can in the UK and I assume it is the same for you] but they are not considered safe (methods and understanding have moved on since then. We in the UK are generally encouraged not to deal with vegetables on this basis unless of course we have the luxury of an American Pressure Canner just hot water bathing them is not considered appropriate but is okay for fruit.

    Metabisulphate or Sodium Metabisulphate is mainly used for wine making these days and it is also not encouraged for food use due to sensitivities that various people have exhibited after foods with these kind of additives. So please be careful



    1. Hi Pattypan....thank-you for the lovely reminder...I certainly don't want anyone dropping dead...lol.
      I think I will just stick to salt for preserving and my other methods...
      I wasn't thinking of the difference between carrots being veg, and apples being fruit...silly me...I should know better than that. I'm done with using the Campden Tablets for preserving foods.

  7. WOW! You have accomplished so much. It's exciting seeing all your garden workings. My tiny garden patch doesn't compare, but it's what I have and not more than I can keep up. And it's so darn fun. Well, except for squash bugs - but I'll figure that out.

    brenda from ar

  8. As long as you okay that's all that matters



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