Blooming

Apricot blossoms in the backyard; tree now covered in rows of green fruit.

A couple of weeks ago, I got snap-happy while wandering the garden and putting in a token weeding effort.

Let’s be honest, I’m not the green thumb in our partnership. Nor am I the one who obsesses about seed catalogues, bare-rooted fruit trees, and pond pumps.

As a dedicated armchair gardener, however, I have the ability (and gall) to appreciate the aesthetics of our garden and its increasing bounty. I’ve posted before about the aquaponics beds, fruits, and cactus gardens. The vegetable beds have already provided us with the loveliest sweet sugar-snaps and snowpeas. The sugarloaf cabbages are starting to fill out, and we’ve been harvesting choy sum consistently for a few weeks.

For the first time, coriander is growing well, and – despite some resistance – S. planted several types of silverbeet. Silverbeet. Hmmm. I’m sure someone’s going to try and convince me of the virtues of silverbeet (or chard, as it’s also known, said my know-it-all cheffy brother). I don’t hate it, but it’s not a vegetable I’ve ever gotten to know very well. Since my brother made cheese+chard boreks (and lamb ones, too) the other day, I’m happy to make room in my palate for it.

This year, our lemon tree fruited for the first time since we moved in over five years ago. The crop was fantastic; having aromatic, fresh-off-the-tree lemon wedges as a part of fish’n chip Friday (oh, yes, we did go down that trail…) was so good. Our 2-year-old was less interested in the fish and chips, more obsessed with licking the lemons. We obviously have some work to do on him…or not?

The fishpond is full of plate-size rainbow trout and silver perch. Some of them will be taking up residence in my brother’s fishpond (he and his wife moved into the house next door [behind us] in July) when it’s dug. The next family compound project is a joint chicken coop. Yes, you heard right. Joint chicken coop. The kids are already overly excited about collecting eggs and feeding the chickens with snails and slugs. I’ve never had chickens in the backyard before, though I do have visceral memories of my parents killing two chickens in the laundry of our our leafy suburban house in Brisbane. Plucking chickens makes a right mess.

Leucodendron bud (which is now a bloom shaped like a glorious yellow crown - I should take a pic).

The front yard has two large in-ground beds bristling with cactus and succulents. They’ve loved the free root-run and are becoming quite the desert landscape. There were heaps of aloe flower-stalks in bloom when I took this set of photos, but I didn’t do any of them justice.

We also have numerous fruit trees (including some raspberry canes) in the front, alongside proteas and leucodendrons (and a stray olive tree). They stand in stark contrast to some of our neighbouring gardens, which are extremely low on greenery and high in concrete. As a slightly related aside: I do wish people would stop torturing roses into those boofy topiary lollipops.

*resists rant about monster houses and sterile outdoor areas*

If I lived by myself, I wouldn’t have a large garden. I probably wouldn’t prioritise a garden at all; I may have a few pots of herbs. With S. and his uber-active green-thumb (which requires a fully-functioning man-shed, greenhouse, and fat rainwater-tank), 2 x kids, and 1 x dog, a yard is a welcome and lovely necessity.

Oh, and I can’t wait for the apricots and raspberries this year.

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4 thoughts on “Blooming

  1. oanh 06/10/2011 / 10:58 pm

    Ooh, I’ll book myself in to wax lyrical about silverbeet! Caveat though is that I’m a fan of brassicas and all things leafy dark green. In a previous life, I think I was Popeye.

    So jealous of your garden and chooks! Chooks! I want chooks!

    • tseen 07/10/2011 / 1:25 pm

      Typical. You had the look of a silverbeet champion… 😉 You’re going to tell me that Brussel sprouts are magnificent, too, right? Let me just say a pre-emptive “Nooooo!” to that one.

      The chooks are in the offing but not quite arrived. I have fears that they will attack each other and we’ll have a dysfunctional chook-shed full of unhappy hens (see how my mind works? see?).

      • Oanh 08/10/2011 / 6:01 pm

        Oh yes they are! Quartered, cooked slowly with diced bacon or pancetta and garlic, over low heat; topped with dry roasted pine nuts. You *will* convert.

        • Tseen Khoo 09/10/2011 / 3:58 pm

          *resists*

          Though, it must be said, I’d eat anything that was cooked with bacon. ANYTHING.

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