Happy Neighbour Day!

Hi friends and,

HAPPY NEIGHBOUR DAY!

We’ve been spoiled rotten in the garden this month with the fabulous Waverley Council funding a special Neighbour Day event. There was a new shed to build, lots of great new tools, a crate of new plants to get in the ground, not to mention a delicious morning tea. Once again, thanks Colleen. I’ll let the pics tell the story…

What an exciting big box. Lance and Sarah get to work on the new shed

What an exciting big box. Lance and Sarah get to work building the new shed

Stage one, open the box and tip it out...

Stage one: open the box and tip it out and realise we don’t have a screwdriver. After some neighbourly door knocking, we borrow one from a friendly tradie working on the street…

Stage two erect the sides and back...

Stage two: erect the sides and back…

Stage three: get in the shed for a silly photo!

Stage three: pose in the shed for a silly photo!

Meanwhile, what’s going on in the garden beds?

Wow, we have some serious supplies. Thanks Waverley Council and Colleen in particular

Wow, we have some serious supplies. Thanks Waverley Council and Colleen in particular.

Bed number 1:

Before...

Before…

...and after. Hands up who likes silverbeet and ruby chard!

…and after. Hands up who likes silverbeet and ruby chard!

Bed number 2:

Before, a very messy bed.

Before, a very messy bed…

...and after. OoooOOoo, I do love building a good trellis. Oh snowpeas, reach for the stars!

…and after. OoooOOoo, I do love building a good trellis. Oh snowpeas, reach for the stars!

Bed number 3:

Before: unruly tomatoes and oregano...

Before: unruly tomatoes and oregano…

...after, an eggplant claims centre stage with a silverbeet circle.

…after, an eggplant claims centre stage with a silverbeet circle.

Bed number 4:

Before: not much going on here...

Before: not much going on here…

...after: Tuscan kale, suitable for hipster and yummy mummu green shakes. Oh yeah, we know our demographic!

…after: Tuscan kale, suitable for hipsters and yummy mummy green shakes. Oh yeah, we know our demographic!

TOP HARVESTING TIP: You don’t have to pick a whole plant. Just take a few leaves from the kale, lettuce and herbs and they just keep growing and giving to the next person.

In other news, a drift around the garden always takes me back to the people who have helped. This month’s contributor shout out goes to Pip, who grew this chili plant from seed and which has been in the garden for the last couple of years and is still going strong. Nice one Pip!

Pip, your chili plant is still going strong (and hot hot hot!)

Pip, your chili plant is still going strong (and hot hot hot!)

It was a lovely morning and so great to see some old faces as well as new. A particular shout out to Bridget, Lance and Nikki for their invaluable support!

Last, but not least. I’d love to share a piccie of our brand new tap. Our lobbying worked like a treat last month and now we can water with ease. Isn’t it brassy and shiny!

Beautiful, brassy and shiny. I love our new tap

Beautiful, brassy and shiny. I love our new tap

Next working bee SUNDAY 19 APRIL, 10am. Put the date in your diary and see you then!

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Join us for Neighbour Day, Sunday 29 March 10am – we’ll shout you morning tea!

Neighbour day invite

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Renewed vigor marks this working bee – plus a call for help

Hello and happy new year!

Sarah and I have found ourselves wondering recently how to adjust to our very time consuming roles of wardens of the garden (our first baby) and our (more demanding) real babies (of which we now have three between us) and together we have come up with a number of key solutions to the problems we face going into 2015:

1: Permanent water access: For this I’m going to ask for your help…water access is still a major problem as the tap needs a tap key and the key we have bought from Bunnings doesn’t work. We can borrow Annie’s but this isn’t really practical. Water is essential for our garden so I’ve been lobbying Colleen (from Waverley Council) for a long term solution. She has been lobbying the council’s plumber but although he has promised to fix it, he has proved elusive so far. Even if you don’t regularly use the garden, please help us get our water supply back by going to Waverley Council’s Make a Request page and ask in the strongest possible terms about fixing our water problem. Thanks in advance!!!

2: Get rid of one of the compost bins and stop members of the public using the other: Unfortunately we have found managing two compost bins too much to manage so this month we have emptied and freecycled one of the compost bins on. We have learned that opening the compost to everyone means people don’t compost the right things (think chicken carcasses, whole coconut shells etc) so we spend way too much time wading through rancid rottenness during the precious time of our working bee. Sorry public but if you’re in the Eastern Suburbs and want to learn how to compost properly and want your own compost bin or worm farm check out the compost revolution. If you’re a member of the garden’s group however you are welcome to still use the bins. Just remember, only veggie scraps and things like cardboard and straw are what we need!

Emptied, washed and freecycled!

Emptied, washed and freecycled!

3. Ask for help: This month Sarah and I met with Colleen from Waverley Council who has promised some help. Our wonderful friend Annie, who for the past three and a half years has allowed us to use her porch as our storage shed, has sold her house and is moving on (although hopefully staying in the area) so we needed a new storage solution. The wonderful Colleen has promised to buy us a new shed/storage solution which we can keep onsite at the garden. We’ll fit it with a combination lock so gardeners can access everything all the time. This is fantastic news. Thanks Colleen, you are a star!

4. Workshops: We also met with a local gardening educator about running quarterly workshops at the garden so we can all brush up on some skills. Council has promised to fund this but the person we have in mind has quite a few commitments on the weekends we have in mind, so if you know of any other garden educators who would like to run workshops at our garden (on the third Sunday of the month, four times a year) please get in touch via our Facebook page.

5. Keeping people coming: We want to urge YOU in the loveliest possible way to come along and help us during a working bee or two this year. It’s easy to remember our dig days – the third Sunday of every month and we’ll always send a Facebook invite as well. We can’t wait to see you.

That’s all the news for now so happy gardening and we hope to see you next month. As Sarah and I are away on the third Sunday of next month the next date for your diary is March 22nd at 10am.

Ta ta for now xx

Our garden is bloomin' great!

Our garden is bloomin’ great!

 

 

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Show me the love – it’s springtime!

What’s going on at the garden this month?

Our composts are full to bursting

Our composts are full to bursting

Fecund and saucy, this bed is always bursting with life

Fecund and saucy, this bed is always bursting with life

Exhibit 1: trendy kale - a staple foodstuff of all the Eastern Suburbs yummy mummies

Exhibit 1: trendy kale – a staple foodstuff of all the Eastern Suburbs yummy mummies

Red delicious - who doesn't like beetroot? You're bonkers if you don't!

Red delicious – who doesn’t like beetroot? You’re bonkers if you don’t!

It seems a shame to ruin this bee's playground as the rocket starts to flower

It seems a shame to ruin this bee’s playground as the rocket starts to flower

Garlic hides among the flowers

Garlic hides among the flowers

Artichoke dominates this bed with grace and beauty

Artichoke dominates this bed with grace and beauty

Greens, greens, greens!

Greens, greens, greens!

Wild growth - I love it!

Wild growth – I love it!

Broccoli and daikon battle it out in this bed

Broccoli and daikon battle it out in this bed

The composts are full! The need for a better composting solution in the east is obvious

The composts are full! The need for a better composting solution in the east is obvious

Breathing space after the working bee

Breathing space after the working bee

The plants can spread their roots

The plants can spread their roots

Thanks team. Enjoy the take aways!

Thanks team. Enjoy the take aways!

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Getting ready for spring

So, what did we get up to this month?

First job, checking on the compost

First job, checking on the compost

Second job, getting some seeds in

Second job, getting some seeds in

Margie spreads those seeds

Margie spreads those seeds

Annie and James survey the scene

Annie and James survey the scene

Team July working bee - cold but beaming

Team July working bee – cold but beaming

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Winter working bee

A few choice images from our winter working bee. See you next month!

Carrots and beets make their preview

Carrots and beets make their preview

Rich and red, a great colour on your plate

Rich and red, a great colour on your plate

Garlic plants looking strong and healthy

Garlic plants looking strong and healthy

Sage, rocket, garlic and more!

Sage, rocket, garlic and more!

And King Henry of Broccoli said - "off with her head"

And King Henry of Broccoli said – “off with her head”

It's dinner time!

It’s dinner time!

See you next month

See you next month

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Jolly plantings and a cautionary tale…

Jolly plantings:

We had a bumper crop of volunteers for our third anniversary dig day (yes our lovely garden is three years old!). It was a joy and a pleasure to give the newbies a tour of the beds and share the history, but then it was time to get planting.

First up were about 50 leeks needing a new home. They were raised from seed in a make-shift nursery against my apartment block’s sunny rear wall and having got to about 7 inches tall were itching to stretch their roots and upsize their accommodation.

A leek planting demo my the marvelous Margie

A leek planting demo by the marvelous Margie

We like to train them up young...

We like to train them up young…

Sophia and Felicity give the leeks a lovely long drink

Sophia and Felicity give the leeks a lovely long drink

Then it was time to inspect the emerging broccoli (and find space for more leeks). There is just a tiny head poking through at present, but it’s super exciting to watch it grow.

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Oh ho, how does the broccoli grow!

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More leeks…

The kids were keen to do the watering!

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The pink watering can is a favourite of all

Then it was mulch time. It’s so good to keep a layer of mulch over the soil to stop unnecessary water evaporation.

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Mulch me up

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Sarah also sprinkled over some blood and bone

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Mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch

And finally it was time for a lovely cuppa. Thanks for your help everyone!

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OooOOoo a lovely cuppa after a hard morning’s yakka

A cautionary tale:

I don’t want to dwell too much on rules and regulations, but I am driven to bring to our readers’ attention the importance of respectful plantings. We love a keen spirit and a helping hand but please make sure if you want to plant in the garden beds you only plant where there is space, or better still let us know (via our Facebook page) what you plan to do so we can give you some pointers. There is nothing more disappointing than nurturing seeds to seedling, planting them out only for them to disappear from the beds as was the experience we had last month. It wasn’t malicious, but it was thoughtless, so please help, we love it more than anything, but please respect the plantings already in the ground. Thanks!

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