What a week!

Paper wasp enjoying the sun on the leptospermum blossom
At last, our weather is starting to behave itself. No more fires, heat pump is off (brilliant) and finally the bees are appearing in the garden. Yay! Very happy about that. And to top the week off, Dallas our good Aussie mate who just happens to be a ‘whizz’ behind the camera … arrived on Sunday.

So, what is happening at the Bonners? Well, we have 3 clucky chooks now, which believe it or not, is a nuisance. Why? Because at meal times the girls have to be lifted from their respective nests and put outdoors or else they will literally, miss out on their tucker. Doesn’t sound like much of a task, except that they don’t particularly want to be moved so they snuggle into their nests and make it as difficult as possible to get them out.  And then there is Gladys who screams blue murder when you pick her up .. Classic!
Let’s talk Chook behaviour for a minute …  ‘clucky’ or ‘broody’ is what has happened to my girls and this will usually happen mid spring onwards.  Talk about diligent … the chooks when they become ‘clucky’ will sit quite happily 24/7 on a nest – with eggs or not, ever hopeful that something will hatch. They can sit for ages forsaking food and water and even their daily dust bath … hence my removal outdoors for some fresh air, tucker and toilet.
Sadly I don’t need any more chooks so I remove the eggs that they lay or that they steal from their buddies. Sounds mean I know, but trust me it isn’t. I adore my chooks! They are without doubt one of the best additions to our lifestyle block … and eventually they will go off the ‘cluck’! Good …
So back to my vege garden enough ‘chook banter’, time to plant some seedlings and into the ground on Saturday went …
RB3 – raised bed 3 for all those that don’t know which is a bed about 4.2 m x 1.5 full of lovely organic stuff, so into this went …
Dwarf beans, lemon bergamot, beetroot and lettuce great companions, zinnia, NZ spinach, Shasta daisies, painted sage and cucumber the variety is called ‘Market more’ a gorgeous heirloom vege.
RB4 – yep you guessed it raised bed 4 … well that has some very interesting plants …
Tomatoes … Cherokee and Tommy toe which are both heirloom. Perpetual spinach, zinnias, blue salvia, painted sage (same family), zucchinis, chickpeas (woohoo I have never grown these nitrogen fixers before) and cleome which is a great trap crop for tomatoes.
This bed pre planting received a good layer of planting mix. Plus both beds got liberal handfuls of woodash (I use this sometimes in place of lime) rok solid, coffee grounds and a particularly good hosing of water. I just love this time of year. The funny thing is standing back from the bed and appraising the planting and knowing honestly that yet again I have OVER PLANTED! Why do I do this!

Coriander in one of the pots … beneficial insects love this!
But we can’t forget … into the herb section of the bed nearest the house went some tarragon, zinnia, sage and spring onions– the herbs will share this bed with the kumara (I hope!)
Pots … well I poked some more spring onions into a wine barrel with some horse radish and into our apple crate (don’t you just love all these planting vessels) went rocket, saliva and daisies … I always plant flowers with vege!

How good is this? Packhams triumph pear … Love it!
Damson plum and lots of them!

There is one more pot and this is one sitting happily on the deck, I’m watching it as I type this. Into this very well positioned pot went rocket, daisies, coriander (because it needs special treatment … lots of water) and in the middle a gorgeous blue saliva. Did I overplant? You bet.

It has been a glorious week. We have been outside spraying fruit trees with seaweed and fish fertiliser and I have been gloating over the blossom and fruit and believe me, I have every right too … all these trees get lots of TLC!

Happy hover fly .. one of our apple trees, loads of blossom!
But one more before I sign off for the week and this is something that rose enthusiasts might be able to help me with. I have a gorgeous rose that seems to get everything possible blackspot, downey mildew and rust and it is the latter that I am particularly worried about. The last few days I have been removing as many leaves as possible … and watch in horror as the rust spores flutter and fall to the ground. This last week I tried something new. I crushed 3 gloves of garlic and put them in about 600mls of water with a drop or 2 of dish washing liquid. I then sprayed this over the rose and its buddy next door liberally .. will it work? Watch this space!
Happy gardening …

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