Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer days in the garden

Aaah... summer vacation. A time to reconnect with myself and my interests. A time to take it easy and follow my own rhythm. I am enjoying every minute of it!

So what exactly am I doing of this lovely sunny peaceful time? Here are a few samples of my recent activities.


First, my husband discovered a dove nest in the tree right in front of our balcony. There are 2 fuzzy chicks and a protective mommy! I discreetely take a look at them every so often. So cute! And interesting to see how long they will stay sitting in their nest. :) The mommy often leaves them but usually only sits on the rooftop of the neighbors house some 15 meters away.

Muddy business

When my husband and I were digging (and digging and digging and diggiiing) in preparation to installing the greenhouse, we reached a level that was composed of beautiful clay soil. I gathered some and put it aside for later use. This week, I finally took my sample up and decided to try and clean it.

Clay from my own backyard
In order to clean my clay, I first submerged it in water and broke it down with my fingers until I obtained a homogeneous texture.

I then poured the muddy liquid through a sieve to remove small stones and roots or other unwanted bodies that were mixed with the raw clay soil, and let the somewhat refined muddy soup rest and settle for a day. The clay and sand being heavier than water, it fell to the bottom, leaving a level of clear water on top. I gently removed as much of the clear water as possible without loosing any clay.

Settled clay-water mixture
I was left with a still-quite-liquid mud. I lined a big tray with a good thickness of newspaper, covered with an old piece of cloth. (an old pillowcase, to be precise). I then poured the mud on the cloth. The cloth and newspaper should take some of the water, while evaporation will also do its part.
The rest of this muddy adventure will follow in a future post, as I am still waiting on the result of the experiment!


I have a few lavander plants here and there and while I really like their look and fragrance, I decided to remove 2 of them, which I find are not very well placed. Before pulling them up, though, I decided to cut the flowers and hang them to dry.


Hanging lavander to dry.
(They are actually hanging in the house now in a dry, darkish corner)


A friend gave me some dried rods that came from a plant she grows in her garden. I don't know the name of it in English, but it makes thin bamboo-looking rods that can be used as support for plants. I've been using them especially for my tomatoes and beans. They're great because they're totally natural. I find they give more of an authentic look to the whole thing.

I don't have many flowers in my greenhouse or garden (hopefully more next year!), but I do have one which I started from seeds and is doing quite well. According to google and wiki, it is called a Rhodochiton, or purple bell vine. The young plants are growing and climbing beautifully, so I used some of the rods and made a bigger, more permanent trellis for the vines to climb up on. 


In previous years, I have tried growing basil and was never really successful. Basil is quite sensitive to cold and doesn't seem to like fresh nights and wind. So growing basil outside was always a bit of a challenge. I also only learned last year that basil likes to be cut and used! The move you cut it, the more beautiful and fulll it will grow.

Thi syear, with a bit more knowledge and with my brand new greenhouse, both red and green basil are thriving! So today, I decided to make some pesto.

Thriving basil

Beautiful, healthy basil leaves

- A good amount of fresh basil leaves
- a small amount of pine nuts
- some garlic
- olive oil
- (parmesan, unless your partner doesn't like cheese... sigh)

Finely chop the choppable stuff and add some olive oil. Tadaaah. Yummy!

Home made pesto

Aaand that's about it for now!

Happy summer!

No comments:

Post a Comment