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Life on two acres of arid dirt, on the edge of the Australian outback.

Monday, October 26, 2020

out back garden tour ~ long post

Hello friends,

It has been a busy time here at home. The best news is that we have had rain, and it has been a regular occurrence this Spring. We have had very little hot weather with only a sprinkling of warmish days.  Needless to say the plants, especially the fruit trees and vegetables are growing ever so well.

The soil took extra time this year to warm up, so I had to be patient, but now almost everything has sprung into life.

There are a lot of photos in this post, so I hope you can make it right to the end. 

First up is a self sown Zucchini which came up in the soil of a wicking foam box and it is the small round variety. This is the first female flower and I hand pollinated it this morning.

The garlic is looking sad after all the rain. It has fallen over and I need to make a decision as to whether to pull it out before it rots in the damp soil, or leave it to see if it will be okay.

This is climbing spinach.  It died over winter so I buried the remains under some fresh top soil and this is what happened. Tomorrow I hope to pot some of these up and find homes for them.

Sweet striped cucumber vines taking off up the weld mesh.

Lebanese cucumber.

Lots of self sown tomatoes have come up, this is how I know the soil has warmed enough. I think these are tiny black cherry tomatoes.

I transplanted the comfrey from pots to a wicking box and it is loving its new home. 

Rhubarb looking healthy.

New shoots on the bay leaf tree.

My first pomegranate flower, so pretty.

Dainty flower of the lemon verbena.

Seven year beans.

Mixed lettuce seedlings.

More zucchinis, these are the black jack variety. 

In this bed are self sown capsicum plant and spring onions. The blackbirds have been playing havoc in the garden beds, scratching around looking for treats and destroying some of my plants in the process.

The blueberry bush.

Stupice tomato plant.

Black Russian tomato.

Silver beet seeds I planted and self sown green zebra tomatoes.



Today's harvest.

Tommy toe tomato.

Spring onions and beetroot plant.

Capsicum and silver-beet.

Self sown peas from pea-straw in the spring onion bed.

Garlic chives.

The chives are flowering at the moment.

A rocket plant appeared in the ground after rain.

White yarrow and is about to flower.

More self sown capsicum that I have moved to a bed with spring onions.

Baby spinach.


The Jerusalem artichokes have re-emerged this spring. There are also tiny silver beet seedlings in this bed, I will be moving these to another spot tomorrow.

I do believe this is a potato plant that has grown from potato skins I dug into the soil with other scraps.

Mustard greens flowers left for the native bees.

In this bath I planted melon seeds. From left to right are; candy melon, rock melon and honey dew melon. Yet to come up are small round watermelons.

My overgrown carrot bed!

Strawberry plant. I have this one growing in an old bucket in potting soil meant for acid loving plants. My soil is too alkaline to grow these well. It seems happy and I have been picking strawberries.

Fig tree in a pot. You may remember that this was a tree stump when we put it in here. 

Mixed lettuce and eggplant growing in these wicking pots.

This is what happens when chopping the top off a cabbage. It grows multiple little ones! Now it will become chook food.

Another bed of capsicum and spring onions.



Sage in flower. Herbs produce such pretty flowers.

Oregano growing crazy!

Here come the sweet potatoes.

Globe artichokes.

Lemon balm.


Silver beet seedlings and weeds, also one beetroot.



Volunteer capsicums.

Silver beet seedlings.

Potatoes growing from peelings and reusing a grain bag. This is how I grow spuds.

I went to a permaculture fair in Port Lincoln on the weekend and came home with these. Warrigal greens {I have been after some of this for a while to use as a cover crop}, borage and chamomile. The brown pot has a plant that came up in another bed and I am trying to figure out what it is.

I was tidying up the Jasmine in the front yard and discovered one of the branches had taken root, so I potted it up.

I have bought a raspberry and grape vine, and hopefully I will get to plant these this week.

Mish mash of plants, apricot and nectarine trees that germinated from seeds, a white fig tree taken from my bigger tree, climbing ficus {fig}, rosemary, celery and spring onions.

I planted Ironbark pumpkin seeds in this old apple box, and I hope to train them to grow up the fence.

This yarrow has been moved to the outside of the veggie patch. I have too much growing, and I need to decide what to do with the excess. I have tried planting it in the ground under the fruit trees but it died or was scratched out by the chooks. So I have planted some near where the drain water comes out under one of the wicking baths, and noticed a couple of random young plants growing in the ground around the patch.

In the process of setting up more wicking boxes.

Row by row...

In the orchard the bees have been extremely busy. 

Bunches of mandarins...

And oranges.

This is the healthiest I have ever seen this white fig tree, normally it is dry and straggly but with all this pleasant spring weather and rain, it is booming.

Baby figs forming.

Even the mango tree is doing well.

So is the mulberry tree.

The orchard. You can see how green it is. Usually this time of year we are having hot dry windy days.

I planted Jerusalem artichokes bulbs under the grapefruit tree. I was going to post these ones to my friend Jane, but the postage here in Australia has been way too slow during covid, so will wait until it improves. I didn't want to risk them going bad in the mail...

The grapevine is growing like crazy. Unfortunately more leaves than fruit, which seems to be happening a lot on other trees also.

Hopefully this little guava tree will bear fruit this year. Another rescued tree that was just a stump.

Flowering saltbush.

Here we have pigeon pea. I had purchased seeds a while ago, so popped them in the ground expecting them not to grow. But they did! So I am very happy.

The moringa tree is taking off after struggling with severe frosts over winter.

And I noticed this one also has shoots. Woohoo!

This is a controversial plant and I don't know if I will keep it or not. This prickly pear was given to us by a friend who grows it to eat. Apparently you can eat the fruit and the leaves. But because we know it can be a pest and spread out of control, so I am thinking of putting it into a pot to try and keep it contained and away from the birds somewhere where it can't be spread. Is that even possible?

So pleased to see pods on the Sturt's desert pea, this means I should have more come up next year.

This year I picked about fifty lemons from this Lisbon Lemon tree I grow in a pot, and now it has more fruit.

Using small buoys cut in half for the bees water. This idea came from a friend and he gave us some to try.

Planted more beetroot in the pots. I have harvested the first crop and preserved them.

Strawberries. These are growing in our alkaline soil and don't do as well. I am hoping the pine needles add some acidity to the soil.

I left this beetroot to go to seed but the strong wind has blown it over and out the soil.

Letting the lettuce flower for collecting seed.

The buddleia is about to flower.


And lastly a look inside of my worm farm to see the healthy fat compost worms. 

As you can see the garden keeps me busy. 

This week I will be trying to catch up with a few jobs.  My patch needs a tidy up, there are weeds to pull, wicking boxes to be finished, plants to pot up and plant out, and the chook house also needs a clean out. No time to sit still lol!

See you soon.

Take care everyone,


  1. Leaves are falling here. It's nice to see all the growing things on your side of the world.

    1. Hi Gorges, hope things are well with you. Stay warm x

  2. Wow that is a lot of photos...well done...we've had lots of rain here and tonight and tomorrow night there will be more storms. My son was out delivering pizza's on the bike the other night in the storm and got soaked...still teenagers cope with those sorts of things.

    1. Sorry for all the photos, and that wasn't the whole the garden lol! I did think about doing it over two posts, but it is done now.

      Storms are going to be around a lot this year.


  3. I love your carrot crop! We can't grow very long ones in our clay soil, but maybe next year I'll try it in half-barrels like you did. I also wish I could grow citrus like you have. Unfortunately here in the middle of the US, our growing season isn't long enough and it gets too cold in the winter.
    Enjoy your spring. We had snow last night.

    1. Carrots like sand to grow in, so if you can get some of that you will have more success.

      Stay warm and cosy Kay xx

  4. HI Tania, Great to see how wonderful your garden is looking and how much produce you have. You sure have been very very busy. The rain has made such a big difference this year. I have been working on improving our soil by using all the sheep manure I got as well as the pea straw and barley straw from last summer. Next job is to get the shade cloth up ready for the hot days. I have been collecting lots of those black clips you have on yours (saw them in a pic) as they work so well. Thank-you for sharing...love your pics - so many good ideas and such an interesting garden. Stay safe and well. Jo

    1. You sound busy too Jo. Must be the time of year.

      Those clips are fantastic, I use them all the time for different purposes.

      Enjoy your week,
      Tania xx

  5. Tania, prickly pear is considered a weed here. Be careful as it can tak e over. My hubby had one variety years ago that was okay to grow but it got so heavy it broke off and wrecked the fence 😁

    1. I am a bit bothered about the prickly pear Nanna Chel. The best idea would be to pull them out now before they spread. I am not sure what sort they are, all I know is they came from a garden centre.

      Have a lovely week,

  6. Your inspirational. The weather here is still cold so the ground is still not quite right for planting
    The tomatoes I planted in pots up against the house facing north have been going really well. So they will hopefully start my season off well
    Just have to wait for the warmth to arrive. For the big garden beds

    1. Aww thank you Angela. I dont know where the hot weather is usually we are sweltering by now. Not that I'm complaining lol! I am sure it will come eventually.

      Take care and stay safe,

  7. I am so impressed with all that you grow! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Stephenie. Hope you are well, will visit your blog soon for a catch up xxx

  8. Wow Tania! Your place is so green! You can see how all your hard work is paying off with so much lovely produce. Every time I harvest the Madagascar beans I think of you and say a little thankyou for the seeds.

    1. It is really green Jane, very unusual for this time of year. We have not even had hot this spring though I think that will change next week.

      So glad you got those beans growing.


  9. How exciting!!! And I spied a little basil amongst the tomatoes too. What a jolly blessed harvest you will have! :-)

  10. Your garden is wonderful! I just love it when there are volunteers. Since I live in the USA we are going into winter now, but this last season I had volunteer spaghetti squash and was so surprised! I thought of you just now and came to your blog, because I have one of your fruitcakes in the oven. :) Take care. Stay safe.

    1. Hello there loves2spin, so good to hear from you again. I am having a break from blogging due to health issues but hope to be back in the new year.

      My garden is still going really well, the summer season has been mild so far, so the plants are loving it.

      Hope your fruitcake turned out delicious!


  11. Woah Tania, your garden is on fire! Not literally. ;) I really enjoyed seeing how your garden is growing. Such greenery. I know the joy you are experiencing, as that's exactly how I feel when the rain sticks around and everything starts bolting in growth. Rather than wilting, and waiting to see how much of the garden will die back. We've had some reliable rain around here too. Just not in the amounts that will help hydrate ground aquifers. My swales and ponds are still dry. The ground is just so thirsty. But there's enough reliable rain, to green everything up and I'm exceptionally happy about that.

    It was great to see your saltbush hedge again. It's growing well and filling out the space you wanted it to - shading the tin for the garden. I've got more to write about my experience with saltbush, because plants have always got something new to teach me. Anyway, wonderful as always, to see how your garden is growing. Such inspiration!

    1. Hi there Chris, so glad to hear from you.

      Its been a while since I last blogged, but the garden is still doing really well, mostly due to the mild summer weather we have had so far. We haven't had a lot of rain either but it has been enough to keep things refreshed and the weeds growing.

      Yes the saltbush hedge is doing well, just got to learn how to make it look like a hedge now like Sophie Thomson does. Its a little uneven with some of the plants growing better than others, but hopefully they will all end the same height for making a nice hedge feature.

      Wishing you a lovely Christmas and New Year!


    2. Merry Christmas to you and your family, also. Praying the New Year will bring blessings to you all.

  12. Hi Tania! I just found you. I was looking at my blog stats, (Harvest Lane Cottage) and found that a number of readers came from your blog. Thank you so much for sharing my blog. I am adding you to my blog list on mine. I hope we will become blog friends.

    I live in the middle of the USA and winter still has a cold hold on us. I look forward to seeing things come up in our garden. I enjoyed seeing your plants. May you have a bountiful harvest!

    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  13. Outstanding Tania. Just amazing. What you achieve in those harsh conditions is to be admired. I feel quite inadequate...lol! Mimi xxx


Your comments really make my day. Thank you for taking the time and for being so kind.