Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Suddenly hit with a drop in the temperature, cool nights, squalls and thunder for good measure. All this in the last few days, but we have little to complain about. After the long summer which seemed to go on forever we are reminded that winter is not too far ahead. There is plenty of dry firewood and soon enough we will be putting a match to it as we ponder over the carefree days of summer. Daylight saving ended last weekend and since putting the clocks forward the days are drawing in.

There is plenty to be getting on with in the garden with weeds sprouting up out of nowhere, oxalis in particular continues to be the bane of my life and needs spraying with Roundup before it gets any worse. Once all this dies back we can prepare the gardens for spring planting. Brassicas need to be planted, but white butterflies are still about so they will need to be covered in the meantime.

There are quite a few of these Splendour apples ripening against the fence and the Ballarats have all been used up already. It will be interesting to see how well the new apple tree with 3 varieties produces next season.

The snails are still chomping their way through the dahlias and rhubarb. There are still a few stalks left and soon enough they will die down over winter.

The last of the grapes... not sure if they will continue to ripen. This is the black variety and is really sweet.

Friday, April 3, 2015


This is the first year that I have grown pumpkins because I thought they would take up too much room. Some climbed up over the hibiscus and others grew along the back fence. They will be stored in the cupboard under the stairs out of the way and will see us through winter.

Next year new plants will grow from the saved seeds and starting them early will the necessary to ensure they are running by Christmas. Some seeds have been scattered about already and it will be interesting to see when they come up.

We have just finished the last of the grapes and will prune the vines right back. It is amazing how quickly they grow in a short time and really benefit from starting again.

 Apple and rhubarb shortcake is quick and easy to make. I used a three Ballarat apples and a couple of stalks of rhubarb from the garden.


125g softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/12 tsp baking powder

Slice rhubarb in 2inch pieces and peel and core the apples before stewing until soft. Leave to cool.

Cream butter and sugar, add the egg and mix well. Sift flour and baking powder in to the mixture and knead into a ball, Press half the pastry into a greased baking dish. Spread the cooled fruit over the top before rolling out the other half and placing the pastry over the top. Bake at 180c for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes then sprinkle with icing sugar.

Recipe courtesy of Alison holst

Craig has made his sandwich using Burgen bread, lettuce and tomatoes from the garden and slices of chicken covered with grated Edam cheese and coleslaw dressing.