Thursday, 30 September 2021

The Picnic Table Dinner At Number 14

 Laughter, conversation and even just being in the presence of another person these days is at times hard to comprehend. Much of the interaction between people has been culturally altered.  Cyber age communication through the net is how people generally are bring reshaped to communitate.  

Cyber-age communication just needs a microchip the size of a #3 led pencil head, really simple to insert into human flesh.  People don't yet comprehend the depths that it takes for others to do this to them. 

Humans though were different.  Instead of a bleep. Process. Bleep Bleep.  What we had was something communal.

As children, it may have been a toy past around the circle.  Those who had the toy had the turn to speak their piece.  Plus the right to have been listened to. 

Here at 'number 14'  under all the passion fruit vines and giant blackberry growing wildly was a treasure waiting to uncover. 

The picnic table, and three chairs, was just sitting there.  Three days later the whole lot was finally released from the confines of meters thick over-zealous plant life.

Trailor loads of plant life were waded through until finally a walkway was created.  That walkway expanded right through the backyard. 

There is an amazing feeling when clothes and sheets are able to be hung on the clothesline through the overgrowth.  Months went by.  Different jobs were completed.  More progress forward every single day.

Out of sheer frustration, the chairs and table were moved. Wood, metal, and hoses were dumped between the table and the garage walls. More clearance of overgrowth occurred.

The world as you know it stops still

Then one day, to come out and see your mother sitting on the chair knitting a sock, that an impact.

You know those moments when the mind goes and takes a stocktake on progress. It was one of those moments. The time for a cuppa moment. Dinner was brought out as well.  As the sun went down the laughter, joy and happiness were dancing around the air.  So too were the suggestions of how to make this concrete space beautiful, peaceful, and really like an oasis in amongst the concrete.

Look around the area and take it all in

What started out as three chairs and a glass tabletop table... somewhere under all that overgrown passionfruit plant and blackberries now sits no more than three meters away.  This time on concrete as there is less than a clothesline worth of green grass to mow. 

Roughly in the middle of the old for parts 4x wheel drive,  The garage, The office.  Plant prep area, The bungalow, and whatever grass lies under the clothesline.

A whole new look started quietly

From the carport, you get to see the shrubs and some fruit trees that are in big planting pots. In what would be spaces between the fruit trees and shrubs are flowers in pots.  Basically herbs of all sorts. This admittedly does include the muti layered, lightly smelling, thirty-year-old white rose, and the elderberry plant.

New plants, more peat, and tanbark for the larger pots. Add the fruit trees [yet to be purchased]. grow the herbs in smaller plant pots.

Now that the odds and sods wood, metal, and the spare hose parts have homes this area has been rearranged into an open but soon to be a semi-secluded place of peace.

It's five months from move-in time. 

The hours of hard work, as well as the tingle of pride, accompanies something really beautiful.

You know that sense of achievement when you sit down and just relax. The evening sun s is not quite at the roofline yet.  There is time to finish the potato salad, Avacado, spring onion, and the touch of purple onion mixed together with mayonnaise. Plus the thinly cut lettuce.  

Add the cooler precooked chicken from the bowl and incomes laughter, smiles, plus chuckles as to the day's events being told.

Catch up here

It's the sense of achievement. The hard work and frustrations and the ability to share these stories in order to showcase a project from the frustrations and small decisions that wait for you to enjoy.

This link takes you through into the project of number 14.  Enjoy the story behind the dinner at the picnic table.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

The Last Remaining Blackberry Vines

Happily move into each 'last' phase ... job done!
Surprisingly the last remaining blackberry vines are to be cut down at the base starting today. The major factor in completing this work was access.

Every day there is an adventure waiting for you to discover its whereabouts. Don't just ignore that risk that comes with the experience. 

This post deals with a hazardous task.  One that will not be without peril. Yet there is a thrill in the small crusade even with some precarious situations.

The small area concerned this deed will be done!

There is a six-foot fence on the left with a wire fence on the right. The gap between these fences may be two-foot-wide. Put it this way if the dog got into that space he could not back out easily.  

The space is small but its significance is that the square vegetable garden is on the other side.  This is the last remaining 'wild area' to sort out.

At the end of the passageway is the last shed to be reorganized.

These tools are needed.

  • A huge 'I Got You Now' smile.
  • The excitement of the winner attitude.
  • The phone in case of needing help.
  • Safety glasses, gloves, and boots.
  • A protective groundsheet on the garden bed next to the pruning area for the cut vines to land on.
  • A rubbish bin to rapidly place the cut into handling pieces vines in.
  • Oh, and poison as the vines are cut.
  • A stiff drink at the completion of the job.
    • In this case a cream bun and cuppa due to the celebrations factor
Replace where you are now with the finished look.
Entry was a wire fence thing that goes behind pot plants so that they may grow upwards a supported meter higher.  That was nailed to one side of the fence but tucked firmly behind the downward metal on the other side.  That wire support is now bowed.

Starting at the above head area then working downwards is the only way to make progress. 

Careful use of poison
 Two reasons to use the poison were
  • The berry roots are unable to be dug up as they are sprouting in the crevices of the concrete slabs.
  • There is an active eighty-five-year-old lady who resides here.  As she shuffles around a bit when walking as she is scared of falling over.  Even the smallest of blackberry growth is removed to make the backyard safe.  Mind you the grass in the crakes is pulled out and thus the compost grows.
Unfortunately, poison at the base is the only answer as progress forward is made.  There is just no safe room to use the pick in order to irradicate the base roots.

Why the do-it-yourself approach
Yes! life would have been easier if there was finance available sitting in the bank waiting to settle an account with some other avid adventurer.  However, why waste a good idea for the post that you are reading.

Off on adventure in your own backyard

One thing learned is that every day is an adventure. That when faced with what seems like an impossibility simply look at the possibilities.  Pick one of these positive outcomes. Dream it. Live the outcome. See the potential every working day. 

Very soon what seemed like a nightmare situation opens up to new potential situations that feed into new 'vision' aspects. This morning as the poisoning of blackberry shoots in deep crevices was happening once again the wireframe thing caught my eye.  That eye then went to the metal pole holding the frame upwards. There was no hook holding that in place.  But with a small amount of force....duly applied... the 'gate' opened.

Catch up to these adventures 
With House '14' sharing its journey to discover what Off On Adventure avenue opens, we know many people whose adventure dreams quickly turned into an alternative route pathway. 

To give courage, to step forward out of one venture into an altered future choice, both with the personal as well as the professional level. A level that helps you build a stronger connection with your audience.

Every adventure has a start somewhere

But most people miss out on both the fun and the horrors, mishaps. The quirky laughable things that happen as progress is planned altered, and reengineered. 

There is a kick added into this everyday backyard affairs waiting to be shared. Come and join in. We created the  Journey to discover on this adventure crusade where we include you as we tame the untamable into a viable pursuit of an alternative vision.







Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Beat the Ivy before the spring growth startles you

Laugh when no one else can share the irony of life you are experiencing.

The following post is about the simple cutting down of an ivy plant that grew nearly two meters taller than the fence line.


What started off with someone planting four ivy plants probably twenty-five years ago had become a strangely pretty nightmare.




The result is over a six-week period that ivy has rendered into ten recycle bins worth of green rubbish of collection bins.  Then every second week these very full bins are scattered between friends' and neighbors' places for collection. 

Even with this amount of Ivy chopped down into the recycle bins, there is still more to do. As a clue one of the trunks is over 25 cm in width. That ivy straddles both sides of the concrete sleeper. So far the other Ivy plants are smaller. 

The challenge will be the dogs on both sides of the fence. The simple reason is the poison that must be applied by the end of the job.  



Sometimes when a challenge presents itself you make a decision, then have to rechoose and change direction.  Friendships change staus.  Other friendships grow in strength..  People your age see you struggling to connect to a grown adult child of yours.  You may have helped them in their past.  All you have to do is ask for help.  Then let things be.

With a vision, things get tacky when others are dealing with their stuff. Timetables clash and crash. 

On this day the carport had to be cleaned out of 'stuff' that had ended up there left from the move in.  Especially as there was now a long strong bench to place the seedlings in pots. There was now an area to sit in the sun just enjoying the early spring sunshine while having a cuppa tea or coffee.


With the bigger shrubs growing in large pots surrounding this table soon there will be leaves on the deciduous ones.  Next will be the Mandarin trees in posts also around the table. 

After moving the cars behind the gate.

To do this you nedd


Sometimes when life throughs you a curveball it's time to open up to something else that's familiar. In this case for that small step to happen all it takes is a click of the finger.  


Come on in as there are ways to get through the 'now' times.  This way is through stepping into someone else's story

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Egg Plants Need A Good Home To Grow In

 EggPlants are like many other plants.  Big bold and beautiful. Depending on your garden conditions and temperature the Eggplant may last all year around. Just remember though that egg plants are a heat loving plants.

But note that the Egg plant will last one season.  Then it's time to move into the compost cycle.


The growing cycle to harvest the eggplant is roughly 65 to 80 days after you have transplanted them.  This depends though on the variety as some may be only 50 days length.  Or 100 to 120 days from seed.

Depending where you are the harvest season is tipped to be between January to May. Victoria Australia

In amongst the thriving tomatoes a very neglected Eggplant was repotted.  Brought very cheaply from Bunnings as it was in the throw out ... buy if you risk it bin.

One week in a bathtub with an refilled amount each day this little plant finally said "Hi ya, I've decided to live'.

Opps.  Now what does one do with an egg plant. Research it in the gardening books, online, and ask people of course and here's a synopsis of what has happened with that research.

  • Egg plants are like the tomatoes.
    • Okay, have a bunch of tomatoes so will plant it there.
      • Wrong move as they should not be planted together.
        • Oops the original egg plant must have been stunted. It's now thriving having no tomatoes' around it. 
    • Don't plant where tomatoes have been in the last two years.
      • Retrospectively= Oh Heck.

  •  Thrive in a fertile soil, rich in compost, and manured with a layer of straw.
    • Right, that neighbor's chock, guinea pig and rabbit manure has  a real great use.
      • note to self 1 chook pens top create.
  • They thrive were the soil drains freely.
    • Got that covered as if I overwater that area there is water running out into the gutters at the road side. 
    • Added advantage many years ago the soil heavy clay soil was replaced with 'dirt' from a coal mine.  In the last nine months all the garden beds have been pretty well filled up with 18 cm [ about 6 inches] of compost. Plus just got refilled a few weeks ago.
  • Between the compost and the egg plants stem is a space of an 1 thumb knuckle all round.
    • Should keep the collar rot and other nasties away from tender areas.
  • The height of the variety needs to be considered when transplanting occurs.
    • Burry tall eggplants stems vey deep.  Some may reach 1.8 meters (6 foot) tall. The egg plant stem will probably shoot new root growth from the nodes on the stem. 
    • A bush eggplant though will only grow to about 60 cm (24 inches)
  • Need to be staked.
    • Good solid wooden stakes driven into the ground 10 centimeters from the stem, roughly the palm width.
    • Luckily although on top of a hill there is a very tall wooden fence around this garden. On the other side of that are lillipilli trees.  Thus not in a wind tunnel.
  • The leaves have looked fine  with the original loan ranger Egg plant.
    • Due to drainage there is not much water that hangs around.
      • The flip side is during summer here it could get a bit dry.  Egg plants, being like tomatoes, need water for their fruit to grow properly.
  • The flowers need to stay on the plant long enough for the bees to do their pollination job.
    • Keep an eye on the watering levels. Eggplants need to receive at least 2.5 cm [1 inch] of water a week. as a gook soak other wise the growth promoted bring forward shallow rooting.
    • water the ground - not the plant.
      •  Invest in a long sprinkle hose. 
    • Be aware of the light.
      • Utilize reflectors when possible.
    • MMM fertilizing level. 
      • Keep an eye on the fertilizing by really compost breaking down. 
        • Check the mix and fix the mix again before use.
        • Eggplants grow best with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0.  The range is slightly acidic to normal .
        • to much nitrogen in the fertilizer bring forward large, leafy plants that fail to produce fruit.
    • The flowers need temperatures between 2 to 29.444 deg Celsius or 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 
      • Lower temperatures and the bees are hibernation.  That inhabits pollination and fruit-set
        • The flowers fall off once the temperature goes below 10 Deg Celsius [50 deg Fahrenheit]
  • Those extra suckers - snip or pinch these off when they are small as the plant then can focus it's energy on the actual fruit production.  That bring larger and pretty impressive eggplants.
  • Know what not to put in the compost bins.
    • Mildewed leaves [ ie ones with powdery mildew] These ones go out in the green waste bin.  Once at the council everything is sterilized well
  • A biggy here in Victoria where it's considered a Cool to cold area...
    • The Egg plant - like these plants Tomatoes, peppers, squash, potatoes or carrots] need at least six hours sunlight a day.
      • That said its  April and cool at night right now. The squash and pumpkins are still reproducing and growing.  There is hope.
      • Egg plants will slow down in winter as the temperature drops.  They may keep growing and flowering.  This uses energy though.  Consider the 'cut back and conserve' the plants energy method
      • There is an even bigger hop of Eggplant ... try the large potted garden method.  This way
        • Bag the pot and that allows water to be stored and used when the Eggplant needs a drink.
        • Companion plants such as Amaranth, beans, marigolds, peas, peppers, spinach and thyme are able to be either grown with or moved into position for all to benefit.
          • Keep fennel away from Eggplants.
  • Plant the seedling during October to December.
  • Companion plants are : Beans and Spinach.
All this said the brining of the plants inside is a possibility  but the plants like the wind and insect activity with which to pollinate

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

The Wooden Walk Way Is Now Not So Slippery

 It's a partial job done

As you check through this post remember one thing. That whatever you set out to do you'll learn from.

That said each experience along the way you have the ability to choose to change from. This post is the reflection of a choice that, although satisfying at the moment, literally flips around and could if you let it be blown all out of proportion to seem like a disaster had happened. 

The spirit of truth

Facing the sliding door entry of the built-in walkway is the hose connections. One leads to the outdoor shower. Switch it over and the garden hose works.

In this post, you will be lead through a day of gurney learning. Plus some probable maintenance of a gurney.

Each 'day' in the life of a garden is as full as you need it to be.  When you think it's only going to be an hour.... allow for a suggested minimum of three.  

Or as the case today five hours later...

Right now though certain actions have been taken. These actions resulted in some fairly funny moments. One is the realization you need to read instructions regarding the use of tools.

Fearless with the full story 

Often when you go to complete one job other things get in line to be dealt with.  By the end of the day
  • the hoses had been fixed.  
  • the outside shower is running.  
  • the apple tree wood restocked 
  • oops - overused the gurney 
  • more garden vegetables are planted
    • The garden zucchinis have bamboo tripods for climbing up.
    • More chervil has been planted.
  • more worms were found for the worm farm.
  •  corner garden now needs to be cleared one while pebble stone at a time - before digging out the remaining blackberry roots 
  • wooden pathway's moss was cleared away with the gurneys spray.
  • upper garden walkway area has been raked and swept. The pile was then added to the recycle bin. recycle bin and wheelbarrow moved outside the area and that area was swept.

The gurney had been overused

Guereys are terrific. The amount of slimy stuff that came off the walls, walkway, and pathway is incredible.

Pleasing is the fact that the time already spent making sure the draining works is a relief.  All the hours sorting out why the drains were sedentary have paid off.  

Even better is the ability to find a garden maintenance person for when away on a trip.

Tools: The use and replacement

Something for this poor little seldom used gurney to remember : 

  • The water hose was connected. 
  • The water was turned on. 
  • The switch was turned on.
  • Out came a small thread of water that hit the ground with normal hose power.
  • It's not a wheeled stretcher used for transporting people  Instead the Gurney was meant to keep on working after having a rest to cool the overheated motor off.

Everyone's so helpful today!

When your friend phones back the next and say that the local store has a sale on to replace the gurney at half price and that that sale finishes tomorrow your wanting to cry is useless. 

Then to rub you further up the just hop in the car and travel for an hour, use there's and bring the gurney back before tonight...

Truly this sure rubs you up the wrong way  

Although not as much as the person who has three gifted to them through moving people's household contents.... and the leftovers they get to clean up and out. Then there's the " will drop it off to you  ... for you only fifty dollars!"

Somehow that push forward that was successfully made becomes a real humdinger. Check the local area for a garden maintenance person. This way you are able to make your time have greater satisfaction.

Time to succeed at something else today

Know when to move onto something else. Now is not the time for downing chocolate bars, eating calorie-laden food. Nor jumping into a fast car. Nor is it energy release time for yelling at the top of the voice.

Your wooden walkway clearance itself has been an unfinished success. Add to this you're more aware of overheating challenges.

That piddly little stream of water reminds you of something

Yes, that little stream of water under pressure has annoyed you. As you contemplate that stream being like the interpreted income creation you've experienced today ask yourself where your priorities actually were today!

Tidy everything away. Leave everything to do with this exploration until the sun rises tomorrow.

Find something else to do for now.

Literally, tomorrow make a fresh start as you explore the options available to fix today's end result.

Leave in good cheer cause sometime soon this is a great story to share.  Better yet, you are just the right person to share the whole lot with friends, family, and other interested people who would love to come to the BarBee-Que come the first weekend in summer.

To Buy One Little Paint Brush

Today is the day that was set aside to buy one little paint brush. Over the last few days the front doors veranda has started to continue th...