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I’ve just spent a fragrant & productive half hour, taking cuttings of Lemon Verbena. We’ve tried striking them at different times of the year, & found that now is the best. The branches are semi-hardwood, whippy & a bit green, as long as we remember to water them every day or two we should have a good success rate.  We don’t have any fancy equipment, a tray of sandy potting mix, semi-shade & a water supply.  I cut the stems into short lengths, with 3 or 4 sets of leaves, strip off the bottom leaves & cut the top ones in half, so they don’t dry out too fast. I save all the leaves that get cut off to dry for teas.

Have sown a few lots of root vegetable seeds in the dug over patch, where the onions came out: Carrots, Bull’s Blood Beetroot, Parsnips, Turnips, Kohlrabi & Florence Fennel.Ironically it was too hot to sow seeds when the time was right by the moon calender, so that’s another plan dashed, perhaps next time round. The Turnips are already up.

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Also put in a couple of new plantings of Zucchini to fill the gap when the existing ones retire. We had a big tidy up in the soft fruits house, which was getting over run with rampant Raspberries, put in some sturdier & taller posts to tie the up to. Quite an improvement, we can get down the paths!!

The Fig we put in a large pot in there has 17 fruit on it, & the Raspberries are getting a good flush of late fruit. We managed to kill the Blueberry we planted in the garden, by not watering it enough, must be the 3rd or 4th one, think we’ll give up on that. The Rhubarb is flourishing, I’m planning to cut a whole lot, blanch & freeze it,  for the winter. Plums were pretty poor this year, but there are masses of pears coming on & a good lot of apples too, so hopefully we shall get to make cider again, missed out last year to the birds.

The vege garden is going well, lots of  tomatoes, eggplants, capsicums, cucumbers & zucchini. Have included a photo of a clump of Giant Puffballs I found last weekend, down by the creek, I picked one small one to eat & left the rest to do their thing. The red flowers are Tigridia pavonia, which kind of classify as a herb the bulbs can be roasted & eaten, tasting like sweet potatoes, & I think they have medicinal uses too, but in our garden we simply admire them.

Photos below L-R Tigridia pavonia, Eggplants, mixed Lettuce, Giant Puffballs

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Hot peppers are setting fruit now, so it will be exciting to see just what we’ve got. Lettuces are going well under shadecloth, it’s just too hot for them out in the sun. We’re harvesting early spuds, some of our plants look a bit ragged we think it’s just the heat, we’re going to trim some back & give them a good drink , see if that helps, they still have tiny potatoes forming on the stalks.

The frogs who live in the bath are looking quite portly & sometimes serenade us at night, I’m very happy to have them around. This morning there were 5 sitting on the edges & watching the Cabbage White Butterflies avidly, I must sit out there for a while & see if they ever catch any. The bath pond is very simple, we just dug an old bath into the ground a little to stabilise it. We planted a pot with Equisetum in it, some oxygen weed, & a couple of small waterlilies, added a few fish & let nature take it’s course. The water stays pretty clear & the frogs arrived by themselves. Sometimes we see small dragonflies, but the one in the photo is made of metal.

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