Cultivating the Soil and the Mind

This post is my monthly veggie patch update written as part of the Garden Share Collective. The GSC is hosted by Kyrstie from A Fresh Legacy and Kate from Rosehips and Rhubarb. The theme this month is philosophy.

‘The garden is not simply a retreat or source of physical exercise. It is intellectually stimulating in its own right, because it is a fusion of two fundamental philosophical principles: humanity and nature.’     –   Damon Young


Can you tell I’ve been reading  Philosophy in the Garden? ..worth reading. My gardening philosophy however is not so profound!

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Ups and Downs

Our cottage is on 5 acres of steeply sloping land.

Living on a steep block of land does have some advantages: great views, cool breeze flows through the house in the summer….and…um…it’s an advantage to be on high ground in a battle??



View from the back porch


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This post is my first of a monthly garden update written as part of The Garden Share Collective. (Feeling a little shy and nervous here!) The Garden Share Collective is a group of passionate gardeners who come together each month to share the happenings in their veggie garden. It is hosted by Kyrstie from A Fresh Legacy and Kate from Rosehip and Rhubarb. The theme this month is Seeds.

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Getting ready for next season

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Birds In The Garden

Spring must be close because the birds in the garden are very active…and loud!

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Brown honeyeater

Last weekend I swear we were the location for ‘Kookaburra Wars’. Lots of males vying for the attention of, what seemed, oh too few females. I was shocked by just how brutal the dominant male was  –  three times I saw a young male knocked to the ground, and he still kept trying to strut his stuff. Being very territorial birds I guess it’s understandable but gosh, it was hard to watch.

All this action made me stop and think how lucky we are to have such a wonderful array of birdlife around us. In response I thought I’d start an on-going blog page that showcases the birds in our garden. Continue reading

Wicking Beds

As I’m away 3 days a week, looking after a veggie patch could be a problem. How was I going to keep the patch watered during hot, dry spells while I’m in Brisbane? Our answer to this was to build wicking beds.

Wicking beds are raised beds that have a water reservoir below them. The reservoir is kept topped up and the soil and the plants access the water they need through capillary action. This method not only keeps the soil moist while I’m not there, it is also water efficient. As we are not on town water – relying on rain water tanks – saving water is very important.

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As Busy as

Australian native bees are great pollinators.

In the garden we have a hive of social (as against solitary) Australian native bees. Being allergic to bee stings, I’m grateful for having these stingless bees in the veggie patch, among the fruit trees, and in the general garden.

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Foraging among the tiny flowers of a grass tree

Our little fellas, numbering around 2000, belong to the tetragonula carbonaria species. They are probably the most common native bees found in South East Queensland. They only travel up to 500 metres from their home, are very small, and so are able to successfully negotiate delicate little flowers. Unlike honey bees, their prime focus is the collection of pollen (not nectar) so they are a great asset with cross-pollination. Continue reading

Winter Fruit and Veg

Winter is a fabulous season in the sub-tropical garden. Nights are cool and mornings are brisk – refreshing the body and the revitalizing soul. The days can be reasonably warm but not too hot to wilt you or the garden. Low humidity and a little rain… Ahhh, just perfect!

It’s a busy time of year. Ideal time for many crops that can’t be grown in colder parts of the country such as tomatoes, eggplants, chillies and capsicums (a lot of the Solanaceae family I just noticed) as well as carrots and zucchini; though the zucchini has recently given up the ghost. Perhaps I was a bit optimistic there. These veg ripen a little slower in the winter but hey, that’s ok. I must say the best thing of all is, unlike summer, we don’t have to battle with fruit fly. Hooray!! How good is that!

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I don’t mind sharing….much.

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