"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Time out (side)

It's been a difficult couple of weeks recently - my camera decided to go on the fritz, even my cell phone felt lonely and did likewise, so with both out of commission I have been unable to take any photo's - talk about feeling marooned...  Add to that the fact that just I've developed another bout of bronchitis (it's only three months since my last bout - and twice in one winter - what is gong on - too much international air travel spreading new infections to all in sundry?)

I think you get the picture...

However, I remedied the photo problem this last weekend, buying myself a cheapish Kodak - it'll do until I can get my Canon fixed, and that entails a trip across to the other side of town.
We are currently experiencing a "berg wind" (a hot, off-land wind) in our area - a welcome break from the cold, wet and miserable weather we've been having recently, and I figured it was the perfect time to wash all those towels and jerseys LOL  And the perfect opportunity to get out into the garden...

The garden has patches of colour - the lemon tree is full of fruit, the hibiscus trees are displaying their exotic flowers, the Camellia bush is about to burst into bloom, and the lavender bushes are in full swing.
Broad beans in flower
Even my broad beans are full of flowers... but I've only found 6 pods! Very disappointing.  But I think I have discovered the reason why:
The bees are all on the lavender bushes...

Wrong, wrong, wrong side of the garden, guys!  I need you to do your thing on the broad beans!

I have managed to harvest a few things from the garden though:
Lavender flowers, lemons and clivia pods
The lavender flowers are in the spare room - acting as a room freshener...
The red Clivia pods are free plants waiting to happen.  And all it takes is a bit of preparation.
Firstly, remove the hard outer shell of the pod.  Inside that you'll find another, softer sheath around the seed - remove that as well:
Place the seeds between a couple of pieces of damp kitchen paper towel:
...and tie them up in a plastic bag...
 ... leave the bag in a dark-ish spot for about a month, until you see the seeds starting to produce shoots - and then plant the seeds in a seed tray, until they are big enough to transplant into the garden.
Then all it takes is patience - about three years worth LOL  The reward?

A magnificent show once a year!
Clivias love to be positioned in dappled shade, so providing you can provide that, they will reward you with colour in a darker part of your garden.  They are not terribly fussy about requiring lots of water - a sprinkling once a week is all that they need.

If anyone has any seed pods from pale apricot, or yellow clivia plants they don't want, I'd love them - please :)

What did I do with the lemons?

You'll have to wait until next time to find out...! :)


Jane said...

I love your 'winter' ;) Lemons in winter, oh my how wonderful.

Dani said...

Jane - don;t know if it's the type of lemon (Eureka), but I get lemons from it year round... :) And very welcome for a hot toddy (lemon juice, honey and brandy, with a dash of hot water) too!

Stitchin' time said...

Dani, 'Eureka' lemons fruit all year round in Australia too. They are not for a smallish backyard though as they grow into quite big trees in the right spot.
Strange thought, but as you have so much lavender could you pick a couple of bunches and tie them to the broad bean supports to entice some bees over there? In the future maybe you could have nasturtiums or lavender in pots to move around near flowering vegetables.

nellymary said...

I love free plants...they are so worth it....I hope you saved some of those lemon peels...hint hint..

Dani said...

Stitchin' time - Our tree here isn't that big, though I have yet to see how big they get on the farm :)

Lavendar - that'll be planted everywhere on the farm - and natrutiums grow like weeds here - up and down all the plants LOL

nellymary - Oh yes - I did save the peels - that's my next posting LOL