Monday, September 29, 2008

Cats no longer Top Dog.

Last Saturday was Grand Final day and there was every confidence that Geelong would again win the Premiership. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be. We watched with ever increasing expectation of doom as the Hawks powered on the goals.

Later, I cooked a chicken curry made with fresh ginger, fresh garlic, fresh coriander and fresh turmeric an interesting pungent spice/root that left my hands stained yellow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Homegrown Tomatoes

I have joined the group of people who love growing their own tomatoes from their own collected seed.

Last Fri 19th Sept, I sowed the seed I had collected from a tomato I grew last year that was given to me by a friend known as Rainy's Maltese, the tomato not the friend.

Photo: Rainy's Maltese a delicious large non acid tomato

I have placed a few seeds into half a dozen pots with the hope of getting at least one seed to germinate per pot.

Due to my current crazy living arrangements, I have decided to let these pots live in my car until they's warm and I can keep an eye on them. After germination....well we'll see.

Heard of a fellow who carried seed around in a zip lock bag in his back pocket until it germinated, now that's dedication for you.

Photo: Platter of Rainy's Maltese Tomatoes, Grilled Aubergine and fresh Basil

Monday, September 22, 2008

Native Vs. Exotic

When reading various Gardening blogs or Gardening forums in Australia, I have noticed that there is a purist element of people who would if they could, eliminate all exotic species of plants from our gardens. I have even read whereby 'purists' would restrict our plantings to the indigenous species growing in a small area near our homes, say with a radius of 200kms. Crazily plants from Western Australia or even north of the dividing range if you are in Melbourne, would therefore be regarded in the same light as an exotic from Mexico.

Conversely there are others who would not have a sniff of a native plant in their garden.

As in most things perhaps the middle way is to be recommended.

At our place, we have tried to keep the area that is more removed from the house as pure as possibly, almost indigenous to this area. The majority of trees are the Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus Regnans) and Yellow Box Eucalyptus melliordora. There are rough tree ferns Cyathea australis, soft tree ferns Dicksonias and the local rasp fern down by the creek. Lots of the good old Crimson bottlebrush Callistemon citrinus and beds of Goodonia.

The area surrounding the house is a different story. Here, there are natives mixed with exotics or just exotics on their own like the rose bed .... or the veggie patch for that matter. Aussie Bush tucker may be OK but the old veggie patch is full of exotics like broccoli, turnips, parsnips, rocket, lettuces, rhubarb and of course tomatoes.

The photos show a Cherry plum blooming away in amongst the natives,seeded by the birds and there is a stand of the African daisy blooming on a very steep part of the hillside. Both look suitably comfortable in their surroundings.

A Rainy Day Dessert

I had been wanting to make a chocolate bowl as a container for fruit or mousse for sometime and on previous occasions something always happened to the bowl .... it melted or it broke or just got eaten.

This time .... success.

It was made by inverting a small bowl, covering it tightly with plastic wrap and then laboriously painting it with melted chocolate for 4 coats. I could dash outside to water the fernery in between the coats setting.

The filling was strawberries and orange pieces marinated in a little sugar and Frangelico.

Possum Damage

We have befriended one of the brush tail possums and she has become very tame, allowing us to pat her and to stroke her baby when it is out of the pouch and on her back.

We thought by feeding her it would stop her eating our roses....
however sometimes she doesn't show up at the glass doors scratching for a feed, and goes straight for the roses.
These roses will never thrive and flower because as fast as they put on new growth, poss eats it off them.
The following photos show how strong she is as well, because quite a large rose branch has been broken due to her manoeuvres.

Needless to say the roses are now covered by wire which doesn't look the best but hopefully will allow these roses to put on some growth.

1st Photo: Mum Poss herself, boss of the wash around here
2nd Photo:The rose Bonica.... eaten
3rd Photo: Broken branch of rose bush

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy to Meet You

Please allow me to introduce myself Maree and my partner Ian. We’re saying Hi and Welcome to our blog.
We hope you enjoy reading about this wonderful life we share with the countryside at Tree Change Callignee.

Our home is on 5 acres of mainly native tree and scrub full of native birds and creatures, on a hilly site in the foothills of the Strezlecki Mountain range in Gippsland.

I have a passionate love of gardening and although mainly interested in growing native plants, many exotic species are grown around the house area, including roses and there is a functioning vegetable patch.

I am also interested in Art & Design and Renovations and have over the years been fortunate enough to indulge in the renovation and building of many houses. This house has become an ongoing project with many ideas planned to enhance it’s function to suit our changing lifestyle.
(see 1st Photo: View from Backdoor and 2nd Photo: House from Driveway )

Finally, we both share a love of cooking and enjoy many hearty and healthy meals.
( see 3rd Photo: Lunch )

Where are we?

Callignee is situated in the foothills of the Strezlecki 's in Gippsland, Victoria.