Saturday, May 29, 2010

May's Harvest

While I've been busy, the garden has been quietly plodding along. I even have a harvest to show! My peppers are still going, surprisingly. The fruits have been ripe and awaiting to be picked these last few weeks hence the "size-able" collection from my small garden. Also, in amongst my beans, beets and carrots, my spinach and pak choi has enjoyed the cooler weather. The pak choi in particular has grown so well, I would highly recommend it! It takes up little space and has been enthusiastically sprouting leaves which (so far ;) ) are healthy and lush.

As for using up my harvest, I thought I'd put those baking skills to the test! I should reveal, one of the reasons I have neglected my blog (sorry guys) is because I started studying part-time this year (amongst work, another (online) course, an ill bird, my gardening and well, life..). I'm doing a baking/pastry chef course, something I've wanted to do for years. We're currently studying the pastry module and so, in go the greens for my first (home) attempt at quiche.

As for the peppers, they're still sitting on the kitchen bench =P I'm thinking at trying my hand at drying them as we are soooo chilli'd out! That's a technical term there. That one plant is overloading me with more fresh chillis than I can use. So much so, I have been banned from cooking with them until further notice.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Polly want a cracker?

What do you do when you can't have pretty flower boxes on your window sills? Why you decorate it with some cockatoos of course!

It will cost you a few biccies though...

Hello Autumn

and goodbye to a not so productive summer for my little garden. Between the humidity, bugs and my (not by choice) neglect, there was not much to speak about.

I spent some time clearing up the balcony plants today, ripping up what is on the way out and came to the conclusion, I probably shouldn't grow cucurbits. I don't know if its because we seemed to have so many downpours this summer or if its the lack of air movement on the balcony but I just can not get on top of the mold. The plants germinate beautifully and grow voraciously until the mold appears. And yes I have been careful with my tools, spraying the mold inhibitor spray, etc. So while everyone else blogs about zucchini glutteny, I said goodbye to 7 zucchini, 3 pumpkin and 2 cucumber plants this summer. Without tasting any fruits. So sad.

On a happier note, I seem to do well with the nightshade family. I still have a couple of tomatoes from my surviving plant but my chilli has taken over as my best producer in recent times.

I don't remember the type of chilli it is but its lovely and hot, and produces more than we need. Definitely a winner for a small balcony. And is it just me that thinks the flowers are so pretty?

I've also got some capsicums that I have been watching with baited breath for weeks and finally, Finally! The first few have ripened to a beautiful yellow orange.

They're minature, and oh so cute!

Lastly from the nightshade family, my eggplants were growing well, the plants that is, no fruit to speak of but... the bane of my balcony this summer seems to have a taste for them. Oh how I hate red spider mites. I have now culled all my plants that were overrun by this tiny scourge, even my basil (Damn you spider mites! Damn you). All except for my last lonely eggplant, flowering and all.

It'll have to go too. Just as soon as I can bring myself to do it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sweet! or is it Sour?

Hi there and welcome back. It's been quiet here I know! and its been quiet on the gardening front despite it being summer here in Oz. I haven't had much time for myself recently and while things have been changing on my balcony garden, most of that hasn't been noteworthy -or positive if I'll admit it. We lost some good men out there. Including my precious strawberries. Sob. But you live you learn, and we grow from our mistakes. I hope.

But.. one thing that is noteworthy, I bought a meyer lemon tree! Its a wee thing in terms of trees but that's a good thing because frankly, I don't have much space. I'd been pondering on a dwarf/ fruit tree for a while and reading up on it, was considering citrus as my best bet for the balcony climate. Then right before Christmas, shopping in Bunnings, there she was.. I was like a kid in a candy store begging my husband "Can I have it?? Oh pleeeeeease!?" his sensible reply was "We live in a unit. What are you going to do with a tree?". Drawing from my extensive citrus growing experience, ahem, I promised she would grow slow and would bear lots of sweet fruit which I would bake into all sorts of treats. Its at this point I will mention my husband's Greek heritage and for those of you in the know, you realise I didn't have to press my point any further. Lemons, can be used for everything and my meyer came home.

My faithful Umbrella Trees got replanted in the common garden area and hey presto, plenty of space. I was nervous potting my meyer, I've never grown a tree before! I've not really transplanted anything before either and certainly not as big, as most of my plants have been grown from seeds. I kept a loving eye over her corner, making sure everything was just so and....


I take it she's settling in just fine.