Sore Muscles & A Sense of Satisfaction: Weekend Garden Journal

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Ah... I ache ALL OVER. Spring is damn hard on the body!! Digging, weeding, mulching, sowing, organising - a bath at the end of the day is a blessing, I tell you! I do love Spring though - it's such a time of abundance. I was very thrilled to see the artichokes forming. They're worth between $2 and $4 AUD so I feel I have a mini goldmine in a corner of my garden. I usually marinate them in olive oil and vinegar and herbs, and have them on toast - as much as I try to have enough for the year, they get eaten in a month! Their foliage is fabulous as well. I'm right into grey or silver foliage at the moment - lavender, white sage and a few natives provide good accents amongst the darker greens.

I also had a little garden experiment which failed, but there are no real failures, right? Everything is a learning experience. I was at my son's on the weekend for my birthday, and they've started a tiny little garden in their tiny weeny city back yard - it's like half a metre deep by four metres wide. However, there's brick paving down one side where the sun hits for a good part of the day, so I thought I'd make a wicking bed or two for them so they can grow lettuce, a capsicum, basil and a lebanese cucumber. Great idea - except gravel and soil will snap a thin plastic bucket.

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Never mind - I'm going to find a better, thicker bucket and just transfer it over. I also planted him a few tomatoes in big buckets that hubby brought home from the school garden - a cherry tomato called Ice, and a black krim. He's broke as anything at the moment so to grow a few vegies to supplement his meals is going to mean alot. I brought him up eggs, purple sprouting broccoli, silverbeet, chives, spring onion and some lettuce which he was rapt about, plus a big tub of limes that are falling off my tree. The lemons are also doing very well. I've been diligently squeezing them into ice cube trays for summer drinks, with little springs of mint. Mojitos and margheuritas, here we come!

This year I'm growing MORE flowers too. The calendula is almost taking over - I pick at least ten blossoms every day to dry and it doesn't make a difference. I grab the seeds and throw them around the garden and they pop up everywhere. The beautiful irises are about to flower - @quochuy, how are yours going that I sent you? - and I've also planted strawflowers, cosmos and nigella. I've never been that huge on flowers, but I'm starting to see the appeal. I am dying for my echinacea to grow!

We also decided to extent the garden. Inspired by @wildhomesteading and other gardeners here, I'm going to do a lasagne method and let it sit until we come back from our travels, probably end of next Spring. By then the soil should be good to go. The new bed will wrap around the existing Japanese plum, a quince, and the mulberry tree I bought myself for my birthday. It was a bit expensive but I figure in a few years I can take cuttings and sell them - I'd only have to sell 7 to get my money back. People love mulberrys and elderberries!

I've also spent a good part of the weekend potting up seedlings to sell and barter at the upcoming community swap. I don't know how many will turn up and I've done my best to spread the word, including putting these posters up around town. Someone's got to start it, so I figure I need to make it worth people's while. So far I have about fifty small artichoke seedlings from a pack of expired seeds, vietnamese mint (both bunches and pots), eggs, bunches of mint and silverbeet, punnets of beetroot, silverbeet, and quite a few tomatoes of various varieties, and a few herbs. I'm nervous, but also looking forward to it at the same time.


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What projects - failed or otherwise - do you have going on in your gardens?

@naturalmedicine II Discord Invite II #naturalmedicine

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Nice! Looks like your garden is doing really well. I'm hoping my artichokes do better next year and give me a harvest. Still learning how to grow them. Lemons are on my list of fruit trees to try growing here--really pushing it but I think I can create a warm enough micro-climate ;) Sometimes I wish my area was a bit warmer but then I don't really like the heat... lol, thanks for sharing how things are going for you! Spring for your and fall here! Good luck with the lasagna method for for your soil!

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Definitely micro climates for lemons - against a warm protected wall is best! If you have snow or heavy frosts that could be a real issue, unless you want to do what they did in the old days and light fires amongst the orchards! But I'm sure certain varieties and microclimates woudl do better than others.

As for my artichokes, goodness, they are thistles, and I would say neglect worked for me! Actually, because of their location, I often spread the straw from the chook coop around there when I cut them down after the season, acting as a mulch against weeds of course but clearly chicken waste helps them along a little - also I chuck a handful or two of blood and bone on them once in a while.

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One of my artichokes seems to not like the spot I put it but the other one is doing good. I'm going to add some more later. The main issue was their flower buds were too small to really use this year. I'm hoping they get bigger next year now that my one artichoke is more established.

I found some semi-cold hardy lemon varieties but they are borderline here. I need to make some nice micro-climates first. But I'm excited to try out kumquats--they seem to be a citrus that would handle the winters here fine without even needing a micro-climate :)

The irises are still growing but no flowers yet.

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One of mine is budding with a flower, it'll be out soon!

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Do you feed them anything special? Do they prefer more acidic soil?

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When we had them out the front where it was super dry and nutrient poor, they never did well at all. Now they're in a place where they get more water, and the soil's a bit better, plus some sunlight. So from experimenting, I wouldn't say acidic (I guess I could do a soil test for you) but water and nutrients. I just read online for you - they say 6 - 8 hours of sun, neutral to slightly acidic, mulch but not waterlogged.

Lovely post - garden looks great - my artichokes are just starting to regrow for their season do you are well ahead.
Nice to hear you are helping start off other gardens too - From a single box or too can develop a whole other full time gardener inspired as you are. Good luck at the gardening swap / those are such a good idea💚

You are as busy with your spring stuff as I am with my October stuff!

Beautiful artichoke. We eat ours steamed whole with lemon juice in the water, then dip the leaves in mayo or butter. Yum!

Watch out! That calendula will take over the whole garden! LOL

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I dont mind!!! They are easy to pull out and they are so sunny!! I do love steaming them with lemon!!

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Steaming the flowers with lemon???

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Ohhhhhh.... artichokes are flowers right? Steam those with lemon!

I was replying to two things at once there and see how little sense I made ha ha SORRY!!!

Calendula - grow like mad
Artichoke - steem with lemon like @goldenoakfarm.

Facepalm!!!! Lol xx

love your update! calendula seems like had a good smell, no idea of what an artichoke is, but things that works with vinegar, oil and herbs are for sure on my team of favorites foods!.

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Haha me too!! A good vinegar is a winner. Calendula doesn't smell much but it sure is pretty!!

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Do you know that joke about a student who ordered a pizza with artichoke hearts but then without the artichoke hearts?

When the pizza delivery guy arrives, ( with a pizza with exactly the ingredients he ordered, minus the artichoke hearts -a pizza with a different name ),he sees it's not the one with the artichoke hearts and throws the pizza, the delivery guy and his helmet out of the window.

Your garden looks awesome! If I were the jealous type I would be jealous

xx

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I dont understand the joke!!!! 😭

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The joke is that I believe there's a pizza called quatro stagione ( or something similar ) with artichoke hearts. There's also one with the exact same ingredients but then without the artichoke. It has, of course, a different name.

Your artichoke story reminded me of a 'pizza delivery' episode of this famous Dutch comedy show ( from the 1990s ) about students, the fraternity type / . It's hilarious.

Reading these posts makes me sorely miss my gardens of the past now that we live in an RV and don't have a permanent spot. Can only have so many potted plants inside but it keeps me in touch with nature. Beautiful work.

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Aw, shush. Funny, we are off travelling next year and my biggest worry is missing my garden!!

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It's kinda cool how when I am going into fall/winter garden you are in your spring garden time of year. For a bit there, you got to live vicariously through me, and now I'll get to do the same through your posts. :) I'm envious of your artichokes. They look great!! I imagine they are perennial by you?? Flowers are also on my 'must add more' list for next year. :)

Oh yes! the aches and pains of gardening but it is so worth it with the abundance of fresh produce!
Isn't it great to have such abundance that you can share and trade!
Glad you took it in hand to start the exchange they are wonderful things and I do hope yours goes well!

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I am a bit nervous about it and hope I am not the only one there!!

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