Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

God’s Garden

January 30, 2014

Fainjin and Babess often have very interesting conversations with each other, apparently completely forgetting I am there (or, more likely, dismissing my presence as irrelevant).

Today Babess was talking about plants.  She was in a silly mood at the end of a long day, and said something exuberant about “plants in heaven!”

Fainjin quickly nixed her idea.  “There are no plants in heaven.”

I was intrigued as to how he’d arrived at this idea, but I’ve learned to just keep listening.

“There are no plants in heaven at all.  Except for bean stalks.  Bean stalks grow all the way up, and like, God… or Jesus… has just baby ones growing out of their ground.”

Babess looked at him.  “Baby ones in heaven?”

“Noooo, ‘cos they grow big, up from the ground to the clouds, where heaven is, and just little bits stick up in heaven to be plants in heaven.”

Babess nodded.  This made perfect sense to her.

Now, what to say next time they baulk at eating their vegetables?

© UpsideBackwards 2014.

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Home again

October 6, 2012

We are home again, all thoroughly spoilt by our time in Australia.  We had (mostly) fantastic weather, caught up with several friends and some family, visited lots of fun places – including Questacon about 7 times! – and ate wonderfully well.

We got home after midnight last night, so it was a late wake-up this morning, especially because of the current 3-hour time difference between here and Melbourne.  Getting the children to bed on time this evening was an exercise in futility, too.  They went into their bedroom in their pyjamas at 7:30, but there was a lot of giggling, singing and playing until well after 10pm.  I expect tomorrow will be a late-ish wake-up too…

Today we have unpacked, done the laundry, and generally settled back in to being home.  The children have loved being back in their own bedrooms with all their books (Pearl) and toys (Fainjin and Babess), and had a good time riding their scooters in the sunshine and inspecting the garden with me.

The irises are opening up nicely, and there are even some ranunculus making a nice display.  The sunflowers the kids planted just before we left have sprouted – at least a few of them – and we have more seeds so will plant some more this coming week.  Of course, the weeds have appreciated our absence even more, but we’ll just keep working away at those.

I’ll miss the delightful creations at Brunetti‘s, but at least I have another week of school holidays to work them off by taking the kids for long walks!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Weeding out the brutes

September 9, 2012

Fainjin and Babess helped me – briefly – with the weeding this morning.  They enthusiastically pulled the tops off some oxalis and dandelions, waving them about and spreading seeds and bits of weed far and wide.  But they were helping.

“You should try to pull them up from the bottom, so you get the roots out too,” I suggested, demonstrating.

“OK!” they agreed quite readily, and went back to work, comparing their results with each other in amiable competition.  Fainjin couldn’t remember to say “root”, though, forever prepending a “b” to the word.

He did really well with one weed, and held up a medium-sized specimen with a long dangling rhizome.  “This is a big brute!” he proclaimed proudly.

I couldn’t help but agree.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

What’s going to work?

August 20, 2012

Our freshly-landscaped front garden is starting to look loved.  The bulbs we planted are coming up, and it’s a lovely surprise to find out what they are, because we planted a mixed bag.  There are little drifts of white crocus, some bright pink hyacinths, beautifully scented erlicheers, daffodils starting to open and I’m still hoping for a tulip or two in there somewhere.  Ranunculus are showing plenty of leaves but no flowers yet.

Poppies are starting to look like the buds might open soon.  The nemesia has bushed up nicely and has a sprinkling of purple flowers.  Elsewhere in the garden, the plum blossom is almost all gone and new dark-red leaves are bursting out all over the tree.  Peas are flowering, and the delphinium has sprung back into life with lots of new leaves.

The most exciting development is tiny little green/white baby strawberries starting to appear!  I hope we get to feast on those in a few weeks, not the birds.

Of course, lots of weeds are popping up too, even faster than the new lawn.  A little while ago I took the kids out with me to look at the new flowers, and showed them which ones were weeds.  They all set to with a will, and Babess led them in a sort of spiritual chorus, chanting, “What’s going to work?” and then they’d all sing, “Teeeam-work!”

I think it’s from a TV show they had been watching, but it did feel a little bit like having my very own child-sized chain gang.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Good clean dirt

June 2, 2012

We’ve had some landscaping done recently, and our front lawn is now a front dirt-patch.  Finally the builders and digger-drivers have finished, and we are able to start thinking about grass again.  Of course, it’s winter now, so we may or may not be very successful, but we’re going to try to plant the lawn.

Today we went and bought grass seed, and some plants for the border, and a new garden broom because ours miraculously broke a couple of weeks ago – apparently after the children had finished playing witches and sword-fights and who-knows-what with it and put it away.  It must have just broken in two pieces while no-one was looking, as there are NO witnesses.  Hmm.

Pearl helped me choose some seedlings.  I wanted some snapdragons, but they all looked sad and scungy, so we chose love-in-the-mist, lupin, larkspur, and pansies – hopefully lots of glorious colour in a few weeks!

So this afternoon’s job was to clear the mowing strips and dig some compost into the borders, which have had clay and mud and all sorts of “stuff” dumped in and on them during the works.  While The Dad attempted to dig out a long and recalcitrant sycamore root we found sticking up in the middle of the “lawn”, I worked my way along the border, clearing the mowing strip and turning over the soil in the border.  It was hard work!

Fainjin rode his scooter up and down the driveway like a demon, narrowly missing the seedlings in their box each time and gleefully skidding on the corners.

Babess kept bringing the pansy seedlings up to where I was working, and asking whether I was ready for them yet.  Then she wanted to dig.  She took her trowel out into the middle of the “lawn”, just where we don’t need a hole at the moment.  I called her back, and pointed to the border I had just dug over.  “How about you help me here?” I suggested.  “Dig in that bit, that will make the soil softer for our flowers.”

“OK!” and she went to it with a will.  I kept clearing the mowing strip and working along the border.  After a little while I looked over my shoulder.  She was right behind me, digging all the soil out of the border and onto the mowing strip.

She was quite disappointed when I (with muttered imprecations) shovelled it all back in again, but eventually we finished our task and the border was ready.  Babess went back inside to watch from the lounge-room window, nice and warm, but Fainjin was very keen to help.

He stood on the driveway and told me where to put each plant.  That’s his idea of gardening!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

A new game

May 12, 2012

We’ve been doing quite a bit of work in the garden lately.  Lots of planting, fertilising, mulching.  I have some seeds sprouting in a container on the kitchen windowsill, winter veges and salad in outside containers and beds, and even a few late raspberries ripening on the canes (tomorrow’s morning tea, perhaps: I should pick them before the next heavy rain).

As I was planting carrot seeds this afternoon, Fainjin and Babess were traipsing around the front garden, inspecting (and endangering) the poppies, stock and sweetpeas we planted last weekend.  They were happily exchanging complicated-sounding and somewhat contradictory instructions with each other, you go over there and I’ll do that and you can be the father and we’ll put that here and I’ll do the mulch and let’s be over here and I’ll get more… and so on.

Babess came over to watch me work for a minute.  “What are you two up to?” I asked her.

“We’re playing Garden Centre,” she replied.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

“Holping” in the garden

July 17, 2011

This morning the children were playing outside as The Dad was working in the garden.  While Pearl & Fainjin scootered around the place, Babess decided to “holp”.  She is always very serious and intense about making a contribution.

The Dad, busily weeding the bed next to the driveway, looked over his shoulder and saw Babess hard at work.  “What are you doing there, Babess?”

“I holping!  I’m making you a new road,” she replied, as she energetically shifted dirt out of the garden and onto the driveway.

Um, thanks, sweetie…

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

A lemon for the teacher

March 31, 2011

We have a large lemon tree in our front garden, which fruits most of the year.  In fact, I get quite miffed if I need a lemon and there are none on the tree – I object to having to pay for one!

Fainjin and Babess have recently become quite fascinated with the idea of picking lemons off the tree.  Quite often in the morning they will head out to it and choose a lemon each.  Babess usually needs help to reach hers.  They carry them lovingly all the way to town in the car, then all the way to daycare.

Once there, they select a teacher and bestow their goodies with great flourishes of generosity and lots of giggles.

One day I will get organised and we will pick a large bag of lemons to be shared among all the teachers.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Sunflowers

October 26, 2010

One of Pearl’s birthday presents, from her best friend at school, was a packet of “heirloom” sunflower seeds.  Apparently they have many flower heads on each stem, with colours like red, chocolate, yellow and orange, sometimes all on the same flower.

Quite often we just sow sunflower seeds directly into the ground in our ex-vege patch (now mostly devoted to flowers), but since they’re special seeds and we’re not home to look after them, I got a seed tray and some special mix so we could do things properly.  By the time they’re big enough, we should be home again to transplant them into the garden.

The packet says there are 20 seeds, and I got a seed tray with 20 little pottles.

I sowed 2 seeds per pottle, and I think there are about 35 seeds left in the packet.  I guess the seed company didn’t want anyone to feel shortchanged!  We should have a great crop of lovely sunset-coloured flowers in a couple of months, though.

© UpsideBackwards 2010.


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