House and garden update

It’s the middle of winter and rain, wind, and rats invading the tiny house were on the menu this week, but it was nice to be back even after a wonderful weekend in Melbourne last week. Melbourne is one of my favourite cities, especially in winter – great galleries, food and drink to die for, interesting shops and nice gardens even in the middle of the city.
I’ve been spending a lot of time planning and planting the new septic tank drainage area. It’s large and covered with a deep layer of bark, with pressurised hoses underneath. Some areas are solid yellow clay under the bark, but most are are silty, so it requires a variety of different plants. It’s kind of slow to plant, but I am enjoying it and trying some new plants – (perennial borage, giant buttercups, new salvias, and more). It will be a bit of a lottery as to what survives – I’m not really clear on how wet it will be, and it sounds like it will be salty as well, which make sense if you think about what goes into the septic tank, the salt doesn’t get sieved out.
I thought I would include C’s update on the build as well:

Lots of progress this week on the shed.
Both ends are clad now. Just some trimming to do. Still waiting for the door sill then the deck. We will also wrap the posts in redwood. The fascia arrived so that will finish of the front roof nicely.
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The ceiling is just about finished now. This view is from the bedroom looking west to the sea. These posts will be wrapped as well and a beam will go along the top of the mezzanine on both ends. I still have the bolts to forge for these as well which should be fun. Lots of sanding to do and then oiling.
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Cath is still hard at it on the drainage field and we need more rocks…again.
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New turning circle out front is a huge improvement but still needs a little more metal to bring it up to the right height.
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The lining downstairs is just about done. Looking really good and makes the whole place a lot lighter. Electrical is mostly done and plumbing is done for the first fit. Taps, toilets, bath and shower next week hopefully.
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The wood shop side just needs the skylights cut out and framed. Stairs are next week as well as so that will make life a lot easier getting between floors. We went and saw the first of the Silver Beech timber being machined for all the window sills and surrounds and it looks amazing. Taking some down next week as well so it will be another big load.
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The Project Manager is Not completely happy with everything just yet…
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chrysanthemums salvia cut flowers

In a Vase on Monday, one month apart

It’s a month since I brought home flowers. Time is ripping past and there is so much to do on the house, in the garden, and at work that there just doesn’t seem to be time.
fruit and flowers with pumpkin
But yesterday I decided to pick some Mother’s day flowers for a close friend.
So here are last month’s flowers and yesterday’s flowers.
fall flowers and pumpkinsChrysanthemums are flowering now, the last of the pumpkins are inside, and the anemones are almost gone.
anemone roses and dahlias cut flowersWeirdly, I found the first of the Paper Whites flowering yesterday – although the weather is unseasonably warm.

vase of red and pink dahlias

Last Splash – In a Vase on Monday

The hot weather goes on and with it the dahlias. The bees are in the asters and the salvia, luckily there is a lot of it – this salvia leucantha grows willingly. I was going to say ‘like a weed’, but it doesn’t really, you have to plant it and then it grows where you put it.
dahlia akita
The dahlias are Akita, Profundo, the white and lemon grown from seed, and another pink one ‘Dark Horse’, which I thought I had lost.
dahlias akita and profundo
We are in the throes of harvesting, and have bottled another 19 pints of tomato puree tonight to add to the 3 or 4 dozen already put away, so it’s late and time to sleep. Congratulations to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for 6 years of blogging, and thank you for hosting IAVOM.

single pink miniature dahlia

In a Vase on Monday – Pink Posy with Roses and Dahlias

Right, these are more favourite Dahlias. Dahlia Profundo is the darker pink one. It’s not a big dahlia, but the little pink single is really tiny; it’s tubers are tiny too. It was a favourite of C’s mum, given to me by his aunt. Although it’s so small it has real presence, with the fully open flowers standing straight up and facing outward.
pink dahlias and roses in a vase

Continue reading “In a Vase on Monday – Pink Posy with Roses and Dahlias”

dahlia bud

In a Vase on Monday – Phormium and Dahlias, Orange and Yellows

Often I only notice flax flowers when the Tuis are drinking the nectar, but this one is from a pot by the door of the greenhouse, so the deep orange of the flowers and the dark brown-purple stem caught my eye. It’s unfortunately disappearing into the background in my photo.
flowers in a vase
The single Dahlias with dark leaves are a mix of Keith Hammett Dahlias and their children. The bees love them the best, so I rarely pick them.

Continue reading “In a Vase on Monday – Phormium and Dahlias, Orange and Yellows”

field of buckwheat flowers with bees

Buckwheat for Bees

I am pretty happy with my buckwheat. After the extra hot spring weather brought early flowering on many trees and shrubs, I wanted to make sure the bees didn’t go hungry later in the summer. I sowed the buckwheat seed in an area of soil which had been dug and flattened for the septic tank runoff, but won’t be completed with the drainage until the plumbing is finished later in the year. We had a couple good rains, and 4 weeks later the first flowers were out and filled with bees every morning. A rainy and hot month later the plants are almost as tall as me and full of flowers.
honey bees on buckwheat flowers
Buckwheat only releases nectar in the morning, so the bees seem to be very business like and efficient in harvesting. They carry a good amount of pale yellow-green pollen as well.

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Red Dahlia Macro

In a Vase on Monday – Dahlias Again

I know this is repetitive, but the Akita Dahlias are doing amazingly well, and I had to rescue them from the lawnmower chewing them up for flopping onto the path. Here are a few different ages of flower, mixed with the dark red dahlias rescued from the dump. You can see how they get more yellow as they age, losing the contrast between the creamy tips of the petals and the dark base.
Red Dahlias in a vase

Continue reading “In a Vase on Monday – Dahlias Again”