Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Elderflower reprieve

Did I mention that my lovely neighbours decided not to cut down the elderflower tree? The reason, as officially discussed at the body corporate meeting I missed was that they knew I loved it! I'm very grateful.  Unfortunately, after years of growing up against three other trees it is very lopsided and a bit unstable.  We are going to aggressively trim the tree (after I've picked the berries for jam) and hopefully next year it will grow straight and full.

Last night I saw what looked like someone trying to jump over the back fence into our property.  It turned out that he and his partner were on a stealth mission to nab some elderflower!!!  I thought it was hilarious and invited the rather embarrassed couple to use the front gate next time!  I also suggested another local tree that is easier to access and bloomed later than mine.  I have a few last bunches of flowers left and green berries are now visible.  My neighbours and I have a working bee next weekend, and I hope to harvest the berries before the tree is trimmed.  Finger's crossed!

First strawberry of the season, nestled amongst the rhubarb

I've worked really hard on the garden this year, I even sketched out a plan (this level of gardening planning is almost unheard of in our household).  I was very, very restrained when ordering seeds from King's seeds and resolved to grow lots of a few things rather than a small amount of a lot.  My theory is that this should result in harvests that can actually contribute to meals, rather than counting out two snow peas each for dinner!  I'm mainly hoping to have a lot of fresh food for Christmas dinner - we will definitely have a lot of Jersey Bennie potatoes, various kinds of lettuce, a large handful of snow peas and a lot of strawberries.  We may have some baby carrots and raspberries.

I've become one of those rather obsessed garden types and while I haven't gone so far as to check the pH of the soil, I've become pretty obsessed with composting and soil composition.  After years of trying to encourage native birds to the garden I've started resenting their presence.  There are two blackbirds who feel quite strongly that my garden is their private dust bath.  They have destroyed three tomato plants that I grew FROM SEED.  We are now enemies.

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