Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wild jungle in my backyard

I am back again after an unexpected trip to South Africa. I went camping with my brother and his wife, and my daughter.  It was good to catch up with family, and enjoy some South African sunsets - it must be the red earth that puts so much colour in the sky.
 My non gardening hubby held down the fort at home although he did nothing about the encroaching jungle.  He doesnt mind jungle - I like the garden a  little more trimmed and contained.
So the weekend was spent jungle busting - I suppose I should have take a before photo.  The vegetable garden seemed to fare the worst - so many weeds.  I pulled lots of weeds, and I think the next plan will be to lay down newspaper on all the bare patches, and then cover with mulch - seaweed possibly. I need to do that before the weeds start growing again.  That will also help to prepare the soil for spring planting.
Hot wet weather here means the tropical plans are thriving.  This buttery yellow orchid flowers about twice a year, and the orange crucifix orchid always seems to be in flower somewhere around my garden.
Without my careful monitoring the compost situation has not progressed.  I moved half of the compost out of the tumbler into the corner bin, added some cut greens and turned it all.  A bag of damp mulched leaves was added to the top.  That can quietly just finish the process and hopefully by spring I will have some useable compost for the veggie beds.  The worms were fed but I have not noticed any actual movement so hope they survived.  The tumbler was filled up with kitchen scraps, greens and mulched leaves.
The long green beans were getting very straggly so I trimmed the vine back quite heavily, hopefully that adds nitrogen to the soil and gives the plant a new lease on life.  The pawpaw tree was totally swamped by the vine.  Everything else looks fine, as this time of year is really just a case of surviving the heat and humidity for both the garden and the gardener.
Turmeric is popping up everywhere, and I dont mind, as it has such a pretty flower.  Hidden down between the leaves.  Sometimes you have to search to find the beauty.
I love to do surverys and somehow accumulated enough points to earn $100.00 in Bunnings gift cards, so have been working on my shopping list.  How cool is that?  Free gardening money. :)
 We annually review the budget and have found that we are spending overbudget on food so hopefully I can at least have a more profitable veggie garden this year.  Do you find you are spending more on food lately?  I have made a big batch of my sister-in-laws bean salad - cheap and easy and provides a weeks worth of lunches.  We are also going to plan some meals before going shopping so have a list, but then also allow for any specials we see once we get there.


Ock Du Spock said...

That sunset picture is gorgeous!

Tracy said...

Love the colours in the sky. Glad to hear your garden survived just fine while you were away. I'd like some free gardening money too but unfortunately I don't like doing the surveys (slow internet doesn't help).

Missy said...

I wondered whether you were away or just having a break from blogging. I'm definitely the gardener here too and when I don't get time, it don't get done. I hadn't heard about the surveys, but I like the sound of free gardening money. Are they Bunnings surveys?

Karen said...

Oh, the colors in that sky.....just gorgeous. I'm glad you had some time to visit family, that must have been nice. Coming back to the garden probably seemed overwhelming, I know how much can change in only a few day's time. Always good to visit you!

Giga said...

Widok nieba na pierwszym zdjęciu jest cudowny. Kwiaty masz piękne i dbasz o ogród. Pozdrawiam.
View of the sky in the first picture is wonderful. Flowers have a beautiful and take care of the garden. Yours.

VirginiaC said...

An unexpected camping trip to South how lucky for you. Wish I could have tagged along and perhaps carry your bags or make myself useful somehow. I'm happy that you enjoyed your trip and that you enjoyed yourself. there.
Thank goodness your garden is still standing, even though in a jungle state. I adore those orchids...very pretty.
I must say "thank you" again for the lovely crochet angel....she will be used in my Christmas tree decorations this year.

africanaussie said...

African sunsets are really special. Also sunrises :) I flew in at sunrise and the sky was rainbow coloured for hours - awesome!

africanaussie said...

Hi Tracy,
Everything comes at a price, and this is one I am prepared to pay!

africanaussie said...

Hi Roz,
Well both I suppose! Oh I thought your hubby might turn into a gardener when he retired! No the best ones I have found are from MyView. You can look for it yourself or if I reccomend you I get bonus points.

africanaussie said...

looking at that photos brings back good memories too. Thanks, it is good to visit you as well.

africanaussie said...

Hello Giga,
thank you, yes you too! Soon it will be spring for you.

africanaussie said...

Yes I was spoilt. It is going to take a few weekends to get my garden neat and tidy again. It sounds as though you didnt get her before Christmas - I will have to do one earlier next time to allow for overseas postage.

James Missier said...

That is a beautiful orchid blooms.
Something that I never get bored admiring them.

africanaussie said...

thanks James, yes me too!

VirginiaC said...

Yes, I did receive her before Christmas, but my tree colours were red and gold.
This year I will probably use white and gold, and she will have a special place on my tree....thanks again.

Lesa said...

Your orchids are beautiful! As you know, I love them too. Mine are taking a bit of a beating now because it's been so unusually cold. We keep moving the ones we can into the house and out again as the weather changes. I don't think they like that. Oh, I used to keep worms in a bin under my kitchen sink which surprised some people. But then I also kept meal worms in the veggie crisper when we had a toucan. Believe it or not, some people were not surprised! Take care and I hope all goes well with your garden projects.

thenewgoodlife said...

Beautiful tropical garden. Yes, our food budget is the tricky one, just when you think you've got it down pat, the price of everything goes up again. I read somewhere that Australia has among the world's highest food costs, mostly because we've let two huge companies monopolize the grocery market so there is no need for competitive pricing. Though we also have high transport costs which also play a part.


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