Monday, 13 November 2017

Jembella Garden Update... Part One

Outside the kitchen door is where we spend most of our down time when the weather permits. In summer most of our meals are cooked out here in either the gas Weber Q or on the barbeque.

Among the flowering plants and under the concrete steps lives a colony of small Skink lizards. We don't see them at all during the cold months, but they start moving about as soon as the Spring days warm up. In fact, we need to watch where we step as we go about our business as they move quite slowly some days, and one misplaced foot could be disastrous.
Just in case you're straining your eyes to find the elusive lizard, there isn't one in this photo, I'm showing the water container. I haven't been fast enough to capture a lizard drinking as yet.
"Flat out like a lizard drinking." Perhaps only the Australian readers will know this bit of Aussie lingo which we might say if we're describing how busy we are!  ;)

 This little one is growing a new tail. They are tiny, less than the size of an Ikea pencil,  and they love to eat flies which are half as big as the lizard's head. I swat flies and leave them laying on the step where the lizards gobble them up.

The pineapples are still taking up one side of the glasshouse, all grown from discarded tops, and now into their third or fourth year in this spot. Every few months one is ready to pick.

 They're deliciously sweet.
No, we don't live in the tropics where pineapples grow, but the conditions in our little glasshouse are perfect for them and as long as they continue to produce, we'll keep them there.
Zero food miles!

A few Mizuna lettuces in the glasshouse.

More lettuces are in this crazy overgrown area,  plus rocket, rhubarb, mustard, coriander, cabbages, potatoes and self sown calendulas and poppies. 
It's my self seeding garden, where plants are allowed freedom of expression, and Bearded Dragon lizards find sanctuary behind the dog proof fence.
I'm waiting for the seeds to dry, for saving, and am slowly clearing some of the greens for the chickens each day.

And now, a walk around Brian's vege patch.

Chard, young capsicum seedlings, turmeric, horse radish and parsnips in the planter pot.

He harvested the garlic yesterday.

Garlic tied in small bunches and hung up to dry before storing under cover in the shed.

Snow peas at this end of the trellis..

Broad beans at the other end of the same trellis.


We're eating cabbage in many ways; 
coleslaw; fried in home made butter; fermented as sauerkraut.

He has planted a row of Jostaberry plants.  Jostaberries are new to us, so I'll keep you posted on how they go. They are pronounced Yostaberry.

Three raspberry trellises, freshly mulched with straw.

 We were a bit late getting the tomato plants in, and have also cut back on the number of plants this year. Our cellar is still groaning with tomato produce from last couple of years.
Tomato chutneys,  Tomato sauces, Preserved tomatoes, Pasta Sauce and Tomato Paste. So instead of our usual fifty plants, we have been very restrained. However, I shall be taking cuttings from these when they are ready for their pruning, and will plant them in another location so we will have late tomatoes to extend our picking season.

The two Blueberry bushes are in pots because they like an acidic soil. Almost ripe!!
This garden is covered in 50% shade cloth during summer and is watered by drip irrigation pumped from our rainwater tanks.
That's enough of the garden for now, I'll show you the fruit trees and other food gardens next time.
How's your garden looking and what are you growing at this time of year in your location?
Cheers and thanks for dropping in.
Sally XX


  1. Oh, wow! Those cabbages are enormous! Your garden looks like it is powering along, Sally. So much food right outside your door. Meg:)

  2. Inspiring. Thank you. I enjoyed looking at all the photos.

  3. Your garden is amazing!! I just wish I had time for something like that.....and all that garlic, wow! You've inspired me with the pineapples, I keep the tops and then don't get around to planting them. I've had a few growing, but only just discovered recently that they are perennial. I thought they were a once only plant, so have pulled them out in the past. Not any more though! I look forward to seeing the rest of your food garden.

    1. The pineapples need regular watering during your dry season Lucy, but otherwise your climate should be fine. I can't take credit for the vegetable garden, that's Brian's "relaxation" time out from his workaholic daily work schedule. To me it's hard work and time consuming, so my little patch is more than enough for me.

  4. Oh my!! Pineapples and free ones at that. Those cabbages are gorgeous aren't they? What a wonderful garden you have and I am so envious of your deck right outside your kitchen. It looks so inviting. Is a BBQ a charcoal grill? Here in the U.S. most people use BBQ to mean any kind of outdoor cooking and to mean foods that have BBQ sauce and Very randomly.

  5. Candace a BBQ is really outdoor cooking on either of many types of devices; it could be a hot plate or grill that is heated from underneath by some form of heat. Some use charcoal or heat beads while others just use the flame from gas or wood burning. There are so many types of barbequing devices on the market now, but ours are quite old and very simple. The gas "barbie" is a flat piece of heavy cast iron sheet heated by gas burners underneath. It was a throwaway that we rescued!! The Kettle Weber is a brand name of a kettle cooker that is heated by gas but has heat beads to hold the heat. I can cook casseroles and roasts in there which is perfect in the hot weather so I don't need to cook inside the kitchen & make the house hot. Today a chicken is roasting in a heavy cast iron pot inside the gas Weber kettle. It's really old too, but I love cooking with it.

  6. Your garden looks amazing! I have hardly anything growing, so tjis is good inspiration!

    1. But Liz, you've been putting all of your energy into moving house and renovating. Be fair to yourself and when there is more time in your days you'll have a productive garden once more. Glad to hear you're inspired though. X

  7. Queensland fruit fly have started showing themselves around the garden. The cherry tomatoes are the only ones that seem to survive the fruit fly onslaught. We have two pineapples that should be lovely and ripe in the next couple of weeks. There are more starting to fruit up around the garden. We just plant the heads and pups as we get them.
    My blueberries are at about the same level of ripeness as yours. I have lettuce in abundance, the silverbeet are starting to leaf up and my second planting of green beans are coming on. My red kidney beans are ready but I want to leave them to dry right off. Passionfruit has formed on the vines, pomegranates are ripening and the lime tree and the kaffir lime are loaded with fruit.
    I was given a roller barrel compost bin for my Birthday. Happy dance. My first lot of compost in this barrel is just about ready to go on the garden. I have comfrey/weed tea that is just about ready. I use this as a foliate spray.
    I love your garden and the wonderful abundance.

    1. We also make and use herb teas Jane, foliar spraying and into the soil too. Your garden sounds very productive.

  8. Thank you for the lovely tour of your garden Sally. It all looks so healthy, you have both done a wonderful job.

    I cant believe you grow pineapples in South Australia. One day when I get a hot house (on my list), I am going to try to grow them :)


    1. It's important that we all inspire each other and work towards a garden that suits our conditions and climate. Hot house is the word I should have used, as ours is made from poly carbonate sheeting, not glass, but it we're glad we bought it for each other's Christmas present quite a few years ago now.

  9. I have been growing pineapples as well this year, Sally. I usually buy one every fortnight at the Farmers Market and save the tops for planting. What a great veggie patch Brian has. So neat and tidy! Like Jane we have fruit fly so only grow cherry tomatoes.

    1. Brian's patch is indeed quite tidy, whereas mine is a shambles. Funnily enough, I'm the tidy one usually. ;)
      Am so grateful that we still have no fruit fly in South Aust. The border protection must be working.

  10. I’m in the north, no garden for us. We do have apple trees, two current bushes and one plum on our tiny lot. (Along with slush, cold and dark.)
    Your is beautiful, though! I love seeing how others garden.

    1. Debbie thanks for your comment and welcome to Jembella. It sounds like you're in the North of the world, not the north of our country. I'd love to know where you are, in the slush, cold and dark. :)

  11. It's all looking amazing and very well laid out and productive.

    Here in North Wales, UK I have leeks growing in the veggie patch, with a trellis of runner beans left to dry off to give me seeds for next years planting. In the poly tunnel I have Kale, spinach, beetroot, mizuna, carrots and the last of the spring onions and in the net tunnel there is more beetroot, turnips and cabbage and lots of overwintering plants enjoying a bit of protection from the elements here on our chilly hillside.

    It's nice to be in the lull after all the processing and preserving 😊

    1. That poly tunnel of yours is really a very productive little area and I love reading and seeing what you've got going on in there. No matter how hard we try, we still always end up with too much of a glut, so I feel like I'm always processing something to avoid the waste.

  12. your gardens looks amazing & lush! so much productiveness. must try & get some teas going, never seem to have enough leaves.
    mine are still struggling to grow here, what with very little rain & water restrictions, do have a tank but it is only a little one. i am currently revamping my gardens, they are just too sad to leave, adding edibles & flowers. finally got a bit of silverbeet to grow, though slow, it's just become harvestable. i also threw a few yellow & black mustard seeds around, supposed to be quick growing too.
    loved the tour
    thanx for sharing

    1. Selina, our garden is looking quite green for this time of year, but with summer fast approaching, the place will begin to look a bit sad and droopy. We give the garden only just enough water to keep the plants alive, prioritizing the water usage on the veges and edibles. I also love to grow mustard, so easy, tough, and there's always a green for the dinner plate.

  13. Thanka for the raspberry visual :-) do you plant them in any particular direction? That was some of the advice I found during my Google searches.

    1. Kelly our raspberry trellises are running east - west. I believe this gives them even exposure to the north during the entire day. The 50% shade cloth is necessary to prevent sun burn and conserves water use.

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