Home again. Hopefully normal blog service will resume shortly, but in the meantime, here’s a little something from my travels…
It was a very intense trip, challenging on many levels. It’s given me a whole lot to think about, but for now I need to focus on unpacking and getting my life back in order here in Hobart.
Meanwhile, how have you been?
Tell the people who matter how you feel.
(I have some phone calls to make)
“Discipline is remembering what you want, and then acting on it.”
Don’t be afraid to let your soft side show.
Be vulnerable, believe in love.
Spring is ramping up into summer now. The days are long, the evenings warm and I’m thinking I’ll need to take a hat on my walk to work from now on. With the return of the sun the garden has roused itself and the food growing has begun in earnest.
I’m spending more and more time out there, planting out seedlings, picking things to put on my plate and aiming to keep the mulch in the garden beds and the grass in the lawn. My resident blackbird family disagree with my philosophy of mulching the veggies, preferring instead to spread the stuff over the pavers and lawn, uprooting the occasional seedling in the process. Still, they’ve developed a taste for snails and for that I am grateful: as much as I’d prefer a few native blue-tongue lizards to do the job I’m in the middle of suburbia and can’t provide good lizard habitat.
The garden here is the biggest one I’ve ever taken on, and I’ve surprised myself by already filling up all the existing garden beds and the new one I dug at the bottom of the yard. I’ve planted potatoes and oca, and they take up quite a bit of space! Also in are peas and beans (the peas self-sowed, as did one type of bean, so I’m not sure what I’ve got yet), beetroot (doing well), carrots (doing badly), lettuce (another self-sower) rocket, rainbow chard and the first lot of tomatoes.
Meanwhile, the late seedlings (mostly replacements for what the snails ate the first time) are sitting in an old fish tank on my dining table, waiting to be planted out this weekend. There’s a load more tomatoes, sprouting broccoli, dill, parsley, sunflowers and my coddled tiny eggplants that will go into pots in the greenhouse though I doubt I’ll manage to get fruit of them. Since I’m all out of garden space already I guess I’m going to be digging up more lawn. Luckily my landlord doesn’t seem to mind and lets me do my garden thing (at least so far).
Some things do incredibly well here. Red winter kale continues to come up everywhere, as do borage and calendula. The spuds are thriving and the beans are shooting up quickly. Other things aren’t doing so well, like the strawberries that put out lots of leaf growth but aren’t quite getting enough sun to flower well. The lack of sun has also set some plants back a little: my pea plants are tall and strong but are only now really getting going on flowering, while friends are already harvesting theirs.
Still, it’s beginning looking like a real garden out there. The neighbour’s house might shade it more than I’d like, the soil is still lacking in organic matter and the blackbirds may frustrate my efforts at keeping everything neat and tidy, but it feeds me, both literally and metaphorically. Time in the garden helps to ground me, and the physical work with obvious results is a powerful antidote to the day job, spent sitting behind a computer for far too many hours. Tending the earth has helped to keep me sane while a nasty knee injury has preventing me from hiking and motivated me to get outside and active through stressful times. It’s a very good thing I’m enjoying it, as there’s plenty more work to be done.
Spring has been beautiful in my garden, and now the summer has begun.
What’s growing in my garden this summer? Plants marked * are self-sown or were here when I got here:
- Beans (mix of fresh eating & drying varieties)
- Bok Choi
- Broccoli, sprouting* (also seedlings I’ve grown myself)
- Carrots (barely!)
- Chard, rainbow
- Eggplant, casper
- Kale, curly*
- Kale, red winter*
- Lettuce* (read & green oak & two other mystery non-heading varieties)
- Peas* (mystery varieties)
- Potatoes (blue sapphire, pink fir apple, cranberry red & banana that I put in, plus a white variety* that self-sowed)
- Raspberries* (one here, one I’ve planted)
- Salad burnett
- Wide assortment of herbs (mixed origins)
Tell me, what have you got growing?
Make yourself time to be wild and free.
Don’t just dream it, do it.
Take that first step today and keep on the journey.
Create your own footprints.
Reflect a while on who you are versus who you want to become, then find the path you must travel.
Acknowledging your faults will help you to master them.
I will be at the Hobart Sustainable Living Festival this weekend. If you spot me, come and say hi!
Sow a kernel of dreams, let them take root.
Never stop exploring, even in your own backyard. There is always something new to discover, both within and without.
Find out where that road leads.
No matter how dark it may get, the world remains a beautiful and amazing place
(it’s been a rough news kind of week)
Florentine contested forestry area, Tasmania
Don’t be afraid to let who you really are shine through.
Wherever you find yourself, make that place a home.
You may be leaving again, but in the interim see what you can grow.
Take pleasure in the small things, the every day beauties that surround us.
The ordinary, once noticed, becomes extraordinary.
Don’t be afraid to shoot for the sun. After all, it’s the closest star to aim for.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!
South Cape walk, Bruny Island, Tasmania
I’ve been making the most of my sabbatical, but now spring is here. Hello!
Starfish, Lady Bay, Tasmania.
Hang in there, you’ll make it through.
Lake Pedder in winter, Tasmania
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
― John Steinbeck
Calvert’s Beach, Tasmania
Take a moment to just breathe.
Fungi climb a tree, Powelltown State Forest, Victoria, Australia
If you can’t change the situation, try changing your perspective.
Snow gentian (Gentianella sp.), Mt. Wellington
Treasure the small joys and ephemeral beauties of daily life.