How does my garden grow?

Today thousands of people around the country are marching to demand safer places for women to work, walk and live in, demanding that we be listened to and that things change. Revelations of rapes and sexual assaults in our federal parliament have, rightly, dominated discussions everywhere, except, it appears, in the Cabinet rooms of the Prime Minister and other Ministers.

I do not want to trivialise this issue by talking about my garden. However, the right of all women to feel safe and blossom is such an important issue that I can’t do it justice at the moment, but I am standing alongside of all those who are marching. I may write more later.

If you are interested in knowing more, you can read here.


So, how does my garden grow? Last time I wrote about it I described it as ‘floriferous’; today my adjective would be ‘bedraggled’. I can’t even blame a blistering Summer, as it is has been the coolest Summer for 17 years. So, let’s put it down to not being able to move as easily as I have in the past. Over the past few months I have been doing what I can, and accepting that I can’t do everything. I am moving more freely now and able to do more, so Autumn should see good results.

Things have survived in the front yard. Do I remember me telling you how I was changing to native plants? They seem to have survived, and will hopefully bulk up more over time. I have planted a couple more plants, and started to put some in pots. The pots have the added bonus of giving height to the ‘design’ (😂🤣😂) as the other things are rather low growing.

(Would you like to know why I have a pot of feathers there too? Well, I will tell you all about it in the next Letter from My Studio. Sign up for it here.)

I planted out some petunias, hoping they would take over the front of the front. Instead I have this stunted little thing. 😩 The flower is almost bigger than the plant!

Some parts still happily do their own thing, with only a little repotting and cutting back from me. And the bees love the salvia.

We are changing our composting system. We have been using those round compost bins that lurk at the bottom of many people’s gardens. In it I would put bigger kitchen scraps, garden clippings and Autumn leaves. Maintaining the bins (ie stirring them) has been at the bottom of my To Do List for quite a while, leading me to shut the lid very quickly every time I would dump the kitchen waste.

We also have a worm farm. And a council green bin that takes food scraps.

It’s obvious that the new plan is to ditch the compost bins, use the worm farm for smaller kitchen waste and put the rest into the green bin. We can get compost from the council when we need it.

Today I gave the worm farm a much needed clean out. I now have a couple of tubs of well developed castings to be spread around the garden…..so that maybe the adjective I will use next time to describe my garden will be ‘floriferous’ again! 😊

25 thoughts on “How does my garden grow?

  1. We got a hot compost bin last year and so far it seems to be doing OK, we put kitchen and good garden waste in the top and three months or so later we get compost out of the bottom, there’s also a tap to drain ‘liquid feed’ off. Our council garden waste bin is still chocablock with weeds etc though 🙂

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    1. How do you make it hot? I know that heat can be generated in the big metre cube bays, but they seem to be made all in one go rather than adding the scraps as you go. The sort I used was cold compost, and needed regular stirring to get things moving.

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  2. It seems compost is a hot topic at the moment – must be the time of year.

    I saw the reports of the women’s marches in Australia which have coincided with the abduction and murder of a young woman in England and the subsequent efforts to bring the topic of the safety of women generally to the fore. Unfortunately, a vigil planned to mark her passing fell foul of Covid-19 restrictions and descended into mayhem.

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    1. I saw the reports of the UK vigils on the news too. It makes me so cross when women are told to be more careful, dress more dowdy, don’t drink etc. We are not the ones that should be modifying our behaviours. 🤯
      On a brighter topic, how is your garden emerging this Spring?

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      1. Exciting to see what’s going to come up. We’ve already had hellebores and heathers blooming since we moved in last November and, since then,snowdrops, daffodils, crocus, grape hyacinths, primula have all made an appearance with lots more to come both with the flowers and fruit and veg I think judging by all the buds and shoots. I think it is shaping up to be a lovely garden once the OH has done all he wants to do with it

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  3. Your garden is looking better than mine! Somehow I just never find the time to do all the things I want to. However, I have planted shallots and garlic and got a pile of potting compost for some pot plantings. I love the area in your garden with the Salvia and it really is something that the bees love. And talking of bees I’m currently reading a lovely book called Dancing with Bees by Brigit Strawbridge Howard – very informative and very readable; I’ve learnt lots I didn’t know about all sorts of bees.

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    1. Take heart, I have a very selective lens with the photos ~ I haven’t shown the sideway, the awful fences, down the back near the compost bins nor the bits of stuff that seems to litter the place. The salvia area is the place that I look to when I need to look away from everything else! But I do what I can.
      That book sounds fascinating, and is now on my list.

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  4. I’m not going to get into the debate about women’s right to walk safely either. I think native plants are always good as the backbone of a garden as they usually thrive – because they are ideally suited to whatever soil and climate you have. The non-natives are fro when there is time to fuss and pet them a bit! Maybe it is your careful photography but your garden looks pretty good to me especially as you have been unable to get around so well. As to compost I put everything into bins made of pallets and then, when there is time layer it all with manure and leave it be. It seems to work though some seeds remain viable giving me tomatoes, kales and so on in unexpected places. They can always be weeded out later.

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    1. I gather from you blog that you have space to put in those compost bays, which I think make superior compost. The good thing about my round plastic bins was that I could add the garden waste and kitchen scraps as I went. I think with the other sort you need to build it in one go and then let the microbes do their magic.
      You are so right about the natives, and they should attract the native insects too. I hope to plant out the whole front with them ~ over time!

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      1. Composting is a sure fire way to get gardeners swopping recipes and instructions! I reckon whatever works for you is good. I have such a lot of garden waste I have to have big bins to hold it all and sometimes that is all I do but sometimes I layer it with cow much from my neighbour’s farm. Both work well. In a smaller space plastic bins work well.

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  5. well I can’t see “bedraggled” in any part of your garden, maybe some bare spots but you have nice bark mulch laid on the ground, and not weeds that I could see…

    it was three decades ago when I joined the woman’s right to be out after dark and be safe, so maybe the trend has come around again…I actually at that time had no issues, I drove safely, parked under street lights, as close to the venue as possible.

    I remember one night leaving a group dinner and walking at level pace to my car and getting in…I was about to start the car when a face appeared at the passenger window, tapping on it! I jumped of course, then found someone from the group mouthing something at me, I leant over and wound down the window a tad to have this woman say “you should have waited for us to escort you to your car”… I looked at her and said “why?” to which she answered “you could have been followed…”

    I replied with a straight face “well yes I was followed by you…” wound up the window, started the car and drove away! I never went back to that group of women, they scared me much more than the “dark nights or the people who could follow me” and I never felt safe around such women who made such a fuss of life. I’m not a strong person, i.e. self defence but I rarely put myself in difficult situations (still don’t) maybe because of the issues I had with my ex-husband…who was out of my life when I found myself driving around alone!

    And now I’ve found a better way to be out at anytime, maybe I will try going to the movies or similar at night – with using an app, which automatically takes fare from my credit card which means no hassle with cash or eftpos, on my phone to have a cab pick me up and drop me home…

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    1. I’m not suggesting that there is no problem, of course there is for some people and obviously the situation is different wherever you live, how one conducts ones’ life and so forth. This was just my experience, it was a lesson that put me at ease or similar and showed me that I was strong. It hadn’t been like that for a few decades due to the mental abuse my (then and now ex) husband metered out to me…which took my self esteem down into the deepest of pits.

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    2. I love your attitude, Catherine! It is easy to cower at home, or only go out with a group. It angers me to think that women should be the ones to modify their behaviour. Our behaviour is not the problem, predatory behaviours are! As for my garden, I have a very selective lens! At least our neighbour has begun talks about getting a new side fence. That will remove one embarrassing area.

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  6. I was at the march in spirit and I was happy to see the numbers, a bittersweet necessity, and flabbergasted -yet again- by the PM. Sigh.
    Happier things… it’s not been a great gardening summer, so imo you’ve done well. We’re also finding pots useful, they can be moved around to suit, and the growing media recycled via the compost. We still use the old style bin… the process takes a while but makes excellent product. I’d like a worm farm but don’t want to take on any more dependents… between kitchen efficiency, good appetites and chooks, we don’t end up with a lot of scraps.

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    1. The chooks would certainly gobble up the scraps, and I prefer their eggs to worm eggs!
      I am recognising that the Fella and I can’t do what we used to be able to, like growing lots of veggies. It is unrealistic and I am recognising that things have to change. otherwise it ends up being another thing to weigh me down. And who needs that?!

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  7. I used to have a worm farm. It was a very long time ago, in my gardening phase before painting took over my life. It was a thing of fascinataion and produced lovely compost. They all died for some reason. Maybe I overfed them. I cant remember. Sorry worms!

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    1. It is hard to fit everything into the day, isn’t it? I am enjoying spreading the worm castings around the garden. Somehow it seem more inviting than the compost, which was often still full of twigs, egg shells and avocado skins.

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    1. I heard that Denver had another load of snow dumped on it. Mike must be super impressed (not)! As for the toxic work place of Parliament, hopefully these demands for change will result in women being able to work freely and in safety.

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  8. I just spread compost over a few spots in my own garden yesterday…spring is almost here and I’m more than ready for it. Mr Husband made our bin out of wood, the slats are spaced just enough to allow a little air flow and it has two sides…the “done” side and the “still cooking” side. Kitchen scraps go in and the lawn clippings.

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