Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spring bulbs - Plant NOW!!

I have been madly planting spring bulbs in the last few weeks. LOVE LOVE LOVE watching the process of the first shoot appearing, right through until the flower fades. Gives months of antici......pation!! Great value for money, in my opinion. Biggest problem I come across is that when I dig the hole, oh dear, there is a bulb already in the spot. I try and mark them with short bamboo poles, but they are only any use if you keep them in the ground next to the bulb 12 months of the year.

Oriental Lily Black Beauty 
Last year I found a perfect solution was to plant tulips and lilies in large pots that fitted inside nice containers, so when they were ready to flower, I could bring them inside, or onto the front porch etc. And write on the side with a vivid pen, so you can remember which is which! Full of bright ideas for you today!!! Now go and buy some.
Crocus 'Pickwick'

Oriental Lily

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wild Fungus

I am endlessly fascinated by the wild fungus outcrops that autumn rains bring. I don't know whether it is because we have had such a bad drought that the fungus is more spectacular than ever - or maybe I am just noticing it with fresh eyes since it is a year since I last saw it! Whatever it is - just fascinating.....

These were tiny - about 1cm across - and so orange

Then these big babies growing in an old tree stump. Maybe 15 different clusters, all at different stages in their life cycle. See them poking out from under the wood?

Nearing the end  of their life cycle and looking a bit ugly!

 And who could go past these magical red spotted toadstools? Keep meaning to do a miniature scene around them with mini animals etc, but it never happens.....
Isn't Mother Nature just marvellous???

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How to extract a tree from an old stump...

Some weeks nothing exciting happens out our way. In fact, some weeks no cars even go past our gate. Other weeks, my husband gets a mad glint in his eye, and we all know we are up for some entertainment. Last week - first chance to make use of his newly acquired blasting certificate. That's right - a Blasting Certificate. Yes - he is special. So is his brother, who completed the course with him.

A typical day in the countryside.....
Okay - so a big old stump out the back of the farm 'needed' to be blown up. "But wait", cried the gardening wife - "There is a lancewood and a putaputaweta tree growing in the stump. Try and get them out so I can replant them". Er! "Let's just wait and see what happens", says husband to wife. (See the trees growing in the stump, below).
BEFORE! See the two trees growing in the stump?
The Blasting Brothers prepping the hole

That piece in the middle of the dust debris is larger than a
human, and flew about 100 metres away!!

After sending onlookers a long long way away up a hill, the blast duly happens. The stump is blown sky high, with some huge chunks (larger than human size) landing over 100 metres away. After lots of excitement and yahooing, we make our way back to the stump site. A huge hole is now where the stump was, and hallelujah - there are my trees, about 30m away, COMPLETELY INTACT!!! One tree sustained minor injuries, but they were both fine. Couldn;t believe it!!
AFTER! The hole where the stump once stood.
We had been up on the skyline behind to watch the blast. 

Sam holding the two salvaged trees - roots intact
They are now planted down at the pizza oven, and we even planted the lancewood in behind an old stump we had moved there previously, just so it felt at home. George, of course, thinks this is a marvellous new business opportunity - how to extract trees from tricky places!!! Me - well I'm just happy it all ended well, with no limbs (human or otherwise) blown off. Told you he was special... Rx