Garden Objects: junk and plants


It's not that I've celebrating junk -- although I am a junk mail gardener.

It's more that with the passing of the rigors of Summer, 'normal' gardening can resume. And now that  I have  even more grass clippings  to my name -- thanks to Mower Man  and the rain  -- the garden is now very much alive.

Suddenly all that pent up promise has kicked in and my sand pit has soil I can treat as,  I can refer to as, and work as...soil.

But first the junk: the story  so far...

Cane Toads

Cane Toads right? Don't you hate em? But being a pond aficionado -- I just gotta have pondlife about me -- I finally decided to attend to the Cane Toad occupation by denying the amphibians access to water.

So I've reduced my number of ponds from three to one and raised the rim of that one  a full half metre off the ground.

It looks like junk for the moment (above left) but I'm collecting a lot of driftwood from the beach and will clad the plastic pond with a wooden surround.

Striped Marsh and Green Tree Frogs can climb up for a dip and nookie but the toads won't be able to reach that far because Cane Toads don't climb well nor can they jump that high. The surround of branches hopefully will insulate the pond  from the heat.

When finished it will look much better than fencing the pond or covering it with  netting.

Bush House

My Bush House (above right) is a nice place to sit in the shade.I wanted it to look like a humpy cum kids cubby so I've turned it into a bower -- as in Bower Bird -- and decorated it with collected junk.

It looks like a beachcomber's shack (which it is, sort of) made out of recylced materials (which it has been).

But  da house has given me a novel perspective on the garden as I've spent more time there seated , reading and  just looking out at the garden  and taking in the ambience.

I've made some bamboo wind chimes to hang off the exterior; planted creepers and climbers at the base of the frame; and now look forward to installing a draining floor of gravel as I hope to use my Bush House as a shower 'out house' for a cooling rinse in the Summer heat.

Plants

Of  course I've been planting out many seedlings. The local markets -- Caboolture -- has cheap plants and the nursery folk offer a huge range and will chat about plants as much as you want...

'Changkok manis
I had been looking for a couple of Moringas  but I unfortunately don't like the taste of the leaves despite the plant's nutritional reputation. While I'll still hunt down a  sapling --after asking around my  regular  suppliers,  I came home today with something preferable: a couple of 'Sweet leaf bushes', ('Changkok manis' or 'sayor manis' in Malay, Sauropus androgynus L. Merr.).

At $2 each a plant  and a stunning culinary reputation I think I may be on a winner . Changkok manis --as it was called today at the point of sale -- not only gives you an excuse to chat about Malay cuisine but:
planted as a small cutting of the stem and quickly produces unlimited green, leafy, ultra nutritious salad or stir fry  that tastes like a cross between fresh peas and peanuts. Sweet Leaf bushes also make easy to grow and maintain hedges: you trim them as you harvest.
Since I don't like Ceylon Spinach and aren't much taken with KangKong (although I grow it in my pond). And since I wasn't too fused with Moringa leaves.... I think I'm on a winner with the sweet leaves of Changkok manis

Rain  gauge it

And here's a meteorological tip. Get yourself a rain gauge. If you do, get youself a quality gauge that you can continue to read despite the sunshine. Rain gauges by Fjord Manufacturing are UV stabilized so that you will indeed be able to read them after many months of being -- and not being -- rained on.

My old one drove me crazy as the gradations turned opaque. Monitoring precipitation was frustrating.









 

1 comments:

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