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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Around Here

These past six months I’ve been studying graphic design as well as juggling parenting and work. It’s been intense. However it’s also been wonderful learning new skills and being around other creative like-minded people. I love being in a place where we can have in depth discussions about the finer points of printing on gloss v semi-gloss paper. I guess you could call it crack for crafty people.

In other news, we have been growing beetroot and kale in our garden. Kale is robust and plentiful but quickly takes over the garden. Beetroot are low-maintenance, well behaved vegetables that sit nicely in the soil until you’re ready to eat them. We tried growing cabbage, but it didn’t fare so well as it seemed to attract the entire insect population of our neighbourhood.BeetrootWe had our first visit from the tooth fairy, twice in two days in fact. Surely there’s nothing more gorgeous than a gap toothed smile. Our tooth fairy gives $2 a tooth. I’m not sure what the going rate is, but I’ve tried to factor in inflation since I was a child.Gappy TeethMy children are now suddenly big, independent creatures that are quite good company. To all the parents out there struggling with babies and toddlers…IT GETS EASIER. They seem to spend much of their days swimming, fighting, lego-making, snacking, fighting, crafting, cycling and fighting.Cheeky ChopsI’m really looking forward to the Christmas break and to celebrate the upcoming festivities, have some Christmas posts coming your way.

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The Summer of the ZucchiniAt the start of summer we planted a number of zucchini seedlings along the back of our yard and it wasn’t long before they’d taken over half our garden and we were reaping over a kilo of zucchinis a day. For months we had so much zucchini we couldn’t even give them away (I am continually amazed by the food we manage to produce with our neglectful gardening style.) In the last month our ‘crop’ began to slow and we think we picked our last zucchini the other day. You know zucchinis have become part of the family’s psyche when your 4-year old son starts to produce artworkΩ involving vegetables.

Roar Sweetly tips for growing zucchinis

  • Plant in full sun.
  • Leave loads of space between seedlings because these babies will grow like you can’t imagine. They’ll produce dinner-plate sized leaves and football sized zucchinis.
  • Water frequently in the early stages…then forget about them.
  • Try to pick the zucchinis when they’re slender, delightful things… before they morph into ginormous marrows (see below).

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Blanket I discovered this crocheted blanket at a little church run op-shop. It’s one of those op-shops that’s only open one morning a week and only the locals know about it. I was told that the lady who made this blanket passed away peacefully at home two weeks ago at the age of 83. She had kept active with her crochet and was quite renowned for her handiwork in her church community. It’s nice to know the story behind a blanket. Lego My son keeps producing the most extraordinary lego creations. For some time he followed the instructions meticulously…but like every great artist has kept his style evolving. The past few months have been an era of unbridled creativity. His vehicular creations have extraordinary names like “The Flying Audiologist” in a homage to a recent medical check-up. MintOur mint plant was on death’s door so I gave it a generous scoop from our compost and a good watering. There’s obviously something magical in our compost, because here it is a few days later completely reinvented with a new lease on life. Kitty My daughter has become quite attached to this stuffed cat and sleeps with it every night. It’s called “Kitty” and is getting pretty worn and smelly…but I love this thing.Homemade Golden Rough

This is a wholefood version of a Golden Rough. It’s completely natural, raw, organic and vegan. But don’t let that put you off…it tastes amazing. I will be posting the recipe soon. BooksThese past few weeks I have been quietly amassing a little stash of books and get a ridiculous amount of pleasure at the thought of reading these. There’s nothing more decadent than ignoring the 1001 things that need to be done and reading a novel in bed.

Vintage sheets

And finally…watching vintage sheets hanging on the line in the sunlight. And how do you know that a gorgeous little floral number is vintage?

Vintage Sheet Tag

Check the tag. Made in Australia’s the giveaway.

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The Accidental Gardeners

We’re absent gardeners, forgetful with water and not much is safe around our two toddlers. Yet somehow in the space of a few short months, we have managed to grow ourselves a vegie garden.

A real one.

This year we’ve harvested half a dozen zucchinis, a bunch of baby carrots, a couple of heads of lettuce, a punnet’s worth of cherry tomatoes, a dozen green beans, bucket loads of wildly out-of-control rocket and a crop of 1-metre high basil to keep us in pesto for a year. Our passionfruit vine grew like Jack’s beanstalk and is covered in little green golf ball shaped fruit. In pots we have lemongrass, rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, mint, chilli, a bay leaf and kaffir lime tree.

It’s incredibly satisfying to have an edible garden. Forget Fischer Price, our garden provides endless entertainment for the kids. Watering, mulching, caterpiller capturing and handling little yellow lady beetles. The kids have taken to chewing on basil leaves and can identify herbs from their smell and taste.  Given the size of our backyard, I can’t imagine us ever living sustainably, but we can keep ourselves in herbs and teach our kids where food comes from.

In terms of sharing a garden with toddlers, I can’t recommend enough the Birdies raised garden bed, which provides a little protection for our green friends and puts the vegies at a lovely height for our backs. The kids have a little foot stool each which they happily ferry between compost bins and vegie patch. We had our garden bed filled with beautiful soil from Flower Power…which was a fabulous event all on its own (see below).

I don’t know if it’s our Sydney climate, but I’ve come to the view that if we can garden…anyone can.Soil

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I’m a little ambivalent about succulents, but when you plant one in a vintage tin kettle…it’s ooh la la très chic!

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