Sunday, 22 April 2012



My dad decided he didn't want his aviary anymore and offered it to us for our chook/duck coop, which was awesome as it saves us a lot of work.   We were delighted with it, it is a perfect size for us. The only residents left in the aviary were three male quail, so we were excited to pick those up as well.

We had spent the week brainstorming plans so when Saturday finally arrived, we got out of bed early, drove into town to pick up a ute.  The ute was slow and quite bouncy, slowly we drove to my dads house. Dad had already caught the quick little guys, then with a little help from all hands on deck we made short work of moving it up hill and getting it onto the back of the ute.  We stayed for a wonderful morning tea of home made banana cake, then loaded up the little quail and carefully drove home.

We drove straight home, fed our new pets, decided it was time to look for a suitable site for the aviary .  We picked a spot along the fence, which is the highest point on the block (good for water drainage) decided which was the shady bit and went about working out how only two of us would get it off the ute, when it had taken four of us to get it on......!

Eventually we managed to shuffle it off the ute, close to the place we wanted it to be.  A quick trip to the hardware for some wood, and we got to the hard work building a base for it to sit on.
B did a brilliant quick job knocking a frame together which we then filled up with sand leftover from the building of the firepit.  A quick paving job, using up some excess pavers we had laying around, finished off the floor.  A pit of sweating, shuffling, and ingenuity later we managed to manoeuvre it onto the base.  It is far too heavy for me to lift, so we put some wood under it and slid it on the grass until it lined up, lifted one corner pushed it onto the base, then the next corner and so on, shuffling it around until it lined up perfectly.  Few quick screws drilled down into the base along then edges and it was finished.

 The are so very small and make the cutest little sounds, although they are male we are happy to have them.  We will get some girls in the future but for now these guys can enjoy their mansion on their own.  We tried to name them, however it is quite difficult to tell them apart, so they share a name, hehe, we decided to call them all Mack.  I love them it is difficult to tear away from them to attend to the other chores for the weekend!  I am glad we have managed to build the hardest part of our coop, although we did sweat a bit it was easier than what we were planning to build.  Thank you dad.  Now all that we have left to build is the caged in run, and I can get some ducks! I am very excited, although it will take us a few weeks to save some more money and get some people around to help us out.
Thank god for friends and family........

              After the quail were comfy we turned to other gardening chores, and I
 knew I had to get a picture of this beautiful flower which just opened.  Last year year mum and I went to a gardening expo and I bought a plant I thought was most unusual! It is call a Bat Plant, they had a white and purple variety, we were told they were difficult to look after and that  they wouldn't grow where I live, but mum bought me one anyway, because she could tell from the look on my face I really wanted one!  Finally, after a year of taking care of it, it has not only tripled in size but if flowered for the first time!  It has two flowers on the plant, only one is open so far, and it is quite usual.  I love its whiskers.  It is quite satisfying after all taking care of it all year, B has been good and watering it at night when he waters the bonsai, and helped me to repot it as it grew far to big for its old pot.  I think it is stunning and quite different.

Around midday I had enough of sun, dirt, sweating and general outdoor activities, so I turned my mind to dinner.  Tonight we are having pumpkin and Bacon soup, I haven't tried this recipe before but it looked interesting.  I have it on the stove nearly ready as I type this, and it is smelling delish.  Last night we had cream of mushroom soup, I love this time of year, it is getting cooler plus I can make all the soups I want! YUM.  I had some spare time while waiting for the Bacon bones to boil into a stock, so I quickly baked some chocolate biscuits, which are cooling on the dining table, minus a handful! I couldn't resist a little quality control.  Well I am exhausted and back to work tomorrow, so have a good week. Enjoy.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Plant Shuffle

The last few weeks have blown by at a furious pace, there was plenty of cooking, people, and fire as we have finished the fire pit perfectly.  The freezer is full to the brim, there is no need for me to cook this weekend, instead we spent all day Saturday in the garden, tidying up some loose ends.

There was a few very pretty, yellow, climbing roses  just outside our front door that have been disappointing me for the last few years, no matter what I did it always looked straggly and worn out.  I finally decided to give up and try something new.  It was rather sad to remove the old roses, they were there when we bought the house, B and I have always loved the idea of a thick rose walk, however it never really became reality.  We painstakingly dug the four of them out to transplant them.  The front of our house transformed immediately with new light, and less of a tired feel.  It did also make it glaring obvious we need to repaint the front though! (another project to add to the list for the future).    We moved the roses to a fence that is in front of our water tank, where I hope they will take off.  

At least this way I will no longer catch a stray thorn as I walk from the car to the house in the dark.  B did the heavy lifting and digging, quickly we made short work of it.  There were some grapes growing here, but they too just weren't at their optimum,  had a bit of a plant shuffle.  We put the grapes in some large pots while we find a new and improved location for them during the winter, I'm thinking this might work out best for everybody.

In place of the rose by the entry pathway we have chosen some more camellia's, a pretty scented red.  They should be hardy enough to withstand lack of attention, and provide us with the privacy we would like at the front of the house. Already the white ones I planted nearby are growing happily along the path,

In the dwindling light we took care of some bonsai that were looking a little sad, all this rain and good weather has made them grow unbelievably quick, they are all needing a trim and some TLC.

 We potted up some cuttings in preparation for them going into the ground at the end of winter when the weather just starts warming up.  We are both forever taking cuttings and always looking for new plants for the gardens to fill up some space.
We finally have reached our limit I think for large trees and possible even for fruiting trees, and these guys in the pots now will be the last major plants to go into the ground.  From here on we will concentrate on our perimeter hedges and flowering shrubs.
Our Poinciana has really taken off this Summer, at the beginning of the season it was barely taller than me(5 ft). Now we are waiting in anticipation of the first flush of flowers and some long wanted shade.

This afternoon we shall be resurrecting our veg patch which has suffered neglect the last few weeks while we were concentrating on the fire pit.  The basil has grown like crazy and is slowly taking over. Today we will plant some peas, carrots, parsnip, and beetroot, in the 2 vacant squares.  Next week I will learn to make Basil pesto so we can clear the 2 squares on the left that have been over run.  B and I are thinking more potatoes are in order for that spot.

 Manny has been very helpful all weekend and is plum tuckered out, he found the only peice of shade and curled up with no intention of moving for the next few hours it seems.