Kitchen Garden Make Over

You may remember last spring I planted lots of veges and herbs in my vegetable patch. It thrived for quite a few weeks before the crows found it! I thought the Scarecrow we made and blogged about here might help…but it didn’t. In fact even when I was picking tomatoes from the garden last summer the birds would swoop at me.  In the end I gave up and the vegetable patch, thankfully hidden around the side of the house, become one great big disaster area.

With Spring in the air I had to give it another go…I missed my fresh herbs, even if I had to live without a tomato bush. 

After no time at all the weeds were out, the herbs and lettuce were in, and I even found a new set of eyes to watch over the garden to hopefully keep those pesky crows away.

 

A New Lawn for Spring

Late last summer half of our front lawn dried up and died.  We had had a rather unusually cool and wet summer so we put it down to the poor weather, but I think lawn grubs were to blame.  For the next six months we looked at a large patch of dirt everytime we arrived back home. 

This weekend we (well, let’s face it – my husband, John) finally addressed the problem, laying a gorgeous new lawn.  I did do a bit of research in the lead up to the weekend to identify the key steps to preparing, laying and establishing the lawn.

Step 1. Poison the existing grass and weeds a few weeks in advance.

Step 2. Dig the soil down to 75mm below the garden edge, a little lower if you intend to add an underlay which is really only necessary if your soil is in poor condition. Fortunately ours was fine to use.

Step 3. Prepare the soil, just ahead of laying the turf by levelling it carefully and applying a lawn preparation fertiliser. We used Sir Launcher – designed for the Sir Walter broad leaf grass.  Water the fertiliser in well.

Step 4. Start laying the turf from the straightest edge and laying in a brick-work pattern.

Step 5: Finally, trim pieces of turf using garden shears or a sharp spade to fit the edges.

Step 6: It is recommended that the turf is rolled with a water-filled lawn roller, but given our very small lawn the turf supplier suggested walking over the turf, particularly the joins wearing a pair of rubber thongs while hosing the lawn. Hopefully this will suffice.

Step 7: The final step for the day – water the lawn well, and do so daily for the first week.

Here is our new lawn. 

Next weekend the plants around the garden will be getting some attention, some food (fertiliser) and some new friends (more plants!).

 

Climbing Bean Obelisk

A few weeks back Hamish brought a very small bean plant home from school that he had grown in a plastic cup with a little kitchen paper towel. I’m sure you’re familiar with this little school experiment. Back in my day we used cotton wool. 

The bean sat in the little plastic cup on the bench for a few days…maybe even a week…before Hamish and I eventually popped it into an old pot to give it a little more chance of living.  I didn’t really pay too much attention to the bean after this until a few days ago when I noticed that the little bean shoot was now a plant cascading over the pot.

So Hamish and I gathered some sticks and built a garden obelisk to encourage this little plant to grow and hopefully produce some beautiful green beans.

A Scarecrow

‘Boo to you, crows!’

So – do you want to know how to make a scarecrow?

First I scouted around to find a suitable outfit: an old business shirt of John’s, some maternity pants of mine, a pair of kids gardening gloves that were too small and a Sunday Mail Australia Day hat. Then I got a pile of newspaper to stuff into the clothes, an old pillowcase for the head, some felt to make shapes for the face and some wool for the hair.

Then I got the boys to start scrunching up newspaper.

Next – the head.  I filled the top half of an old pillow case with newspaper and tied it closed with some twine.

I cut out some felt shapes and used spray adhesive to make eyes, eyebrows and a nose for the scarecrow. I used some embroidery thread to make a smile. The boys thought I should make the face look a little more mean to ensure it scared the crows.

I then made some hair with yellow wool. I wound the wool around my fingers seven or eight times. Then tied the top together with another piece of wool, then cut the bottom to make strands of hair. I did this eight times to create a little bit of hair on either side of his head. If you want hair all the way around you just need to keep repeating this process. 

  

I sewed the wool hair to the hat.

Then the hat to his head.

I put an old broomstick through one leg of his trousers and up his body then started stuffing the clothes with newspapers.  Once the legs were full I tied the bottom of the trousers with elastic. I put another stick through the arms of the shirt and tied the wrists of the shirt with elastic when the body and arms were fully stuffed with newspaper.

I then sewed the pants and top together.

And stuffed the gloves with newspaper and poked them on to the end of the stick. I attached them around the wrist with elastic. 

Then my scarecrow was complete.  From here you just need to stand him up in your garden. I tied him to the fence but you can just as easily hammer a big post into the ground and tie your scarecrow to that.

One Happy Vegetable Garden

My veges are happy and growing! With all of the rain and the odd day of sunshine in Brisbane over the last couple of weeks they are absolutely thriving.

Is your garden looking happy too?

Garden Inspiration

I love my front garden. We have a beautiful big poinciana tree and sitting under it in the summer is just gorgeous.  But, the garden is starting to look a little tired so we’d like to do freshen up what is there and add a few new plants.

Today when I was in the city I noticed a gorgeous new garden they have added in Queen Street (just near Edward Street).

I think these plants would work very well to fill the gaps. What do you think? I’d love your ideas if you know of any shade loving plants that are easy care.