Saturday, 31 January 2009

Ramblings About the Garden

Following on from my previous post, here's a photo of the sweet corn and the maize. The sweet corn is on the lower left corner of the photo and as you can see, has not suffered damage due to the heat. The maize in the adjacent bed, however, is suffering quite a bit.

The main difference is the preparation of the sweet corn bed before planting - it received a double dose of manure. Although I have watered the maize more than the sweet corn and given it seaweed extract, it is less resilient.

Clearly, bed preparation is going to be paramount in the years to come.

Despite the hot weather, it's not all bad around the garden at the moment. The elder has decided to have a second flush of flowers, reminding us that elderflower cordial is particularly cooling in the hot weather. The recipe I use is from Self-sufficientish. We've been enjoying this today, mixed with mineral water and ice.

With the warmer weather, many seeds are ripening in the garden. This morning I collected a mix of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage seed, which I'm calling "brassica surprise"; mignonette lettuce seeds, carrot seeds, white beetroot seeds and calendula seeds.

All the seeds are looking very healthy, thanks no doubt to our little buzzy friends.

While watering the roses this morning, a thought popped into my head about planting lettuces between the roses. I consulted the companion planting books to find that mignonette lettuce make a great companion for roses, as do garlic and onions. Well, now I know where those lettuce seeds are going . . .

love and light


linda may said...

G'Day I found your blog tonight sticky beaking around and following links, I really couldn't be bothered with the tele most of the time and prefer reading in puter land. I enjoyed looking at your pictures and garden stories. Nice to find another Canberran in here. It is un- comfortably hot isn't it.

Cheryl said...

HI glad that your garden is surviving the heat.....
Companion planting is fun and works very well....I have a really old book that talks of these things.

I have seen TV reports on the heatwave in Australia......40C the news that right??

Wendy said...

I also heard about your heatwave! Hope you're staying cool.
I like companion gardening too. It's fun and satisfying.
Looks like you've got quite a few seeds!

River said...

That's a lovely crop of seeds you've collected there. I'm currently collecting parsley seeds.
Could you give more information about the elderflowers please? Do they grow on a bush or a tree and is it the elderberry tree? (bush)
I've googled pictures of it but they're not clear enough for me to be able to identify any similar trees in my neighbourhood. Would one survive in a pot or does it need to be in the ground?

naturewitch said...

Hi Linda May

Welcome! There's a few Canberrans in sustainability blogland - have a look at The Wild Backyard,Going Feral(ish) and Apprentice Domestic Goddess - links are in my sidebar.

Oh yes, the heat is getting to be a bit much. Even though summer is our main growing season, I do prefer the cooler weather. xx

naturewitch said...

Hi Cheryl

Yes, some areas such as Adelaide and Melbourne have been experiencing temperatures in the mid-40s. Quite a few people have died as a result of the excessive heat

Here in Canberra so far we have maxed out at about 38C, but that is still way too hot, as far as I'm concerned. It's getting pretty bad we we welcome days in the low to mid 30s!

The garden is looking a bit stressed tonight, but I can water again in the morning (we have water restrictions in force), so hopefully that will pick things up a bit.

Maybe we should share the heat with you for a while - you could be a bit warmer and we could be a bit cooler . . . xx

naturewitch said...

Hi Wendy

Yes, I do like finding out what goes with what in the garden. And the seed haul was pretty good, with more to come when they're fully ripe. xx

naturewitch said...

Hi River

Elders are smallish trees - here's the link to a post I did previously on Elders.

Unfortunately, not many people grow elders in Australia, but they are fairly common in Europe, I believe. There is a native elder in Australia and one in North America, but the main medicinal one is the European one. This is Sambucus nigra.

I don't think that elders would grow well in a pot. They need rich low lying land and a reasonable amount of moisture.

Hope this helps. xx

River said...

Sambucus Nigra. Thanks for that. I'll add it to my list of trees to get when I have a yard with more space.

naturewitch said...

Hi River
It's one of those plants no garden should be without. Hope you are in the position to get one soon. xx