pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I had a good Christmas, how about everyone else?

On Christmas Eve I played Castle Risk with the family. Much hilarity. I had Germany and made the first move of the game by invading Poland. "Get some new material," they says, "that's been done before." My sister was pleased to draw Great Britain (everyone wants that territory the same way we all want to be "the goodies"), but she had her opportunity to find out that the isles are vulnerable to invasion by sea as well as -- like Greece -- too fiddly to fit all your armies onto in the endgame. My small brother had Russia and won the game; we are discovering that Russia and France are the most easily defended territories and seem to have a definite advantage. A well-defended Moscow is tough to crack.

Christmas Day: we had a big water pistol battle. What a war-crazed violent family we are. Several presents from the boy and me gave joy to other people, and I was delighted with a funny-looking toy creature whom I will upload a photo of later on, and also with my brand-new laser mouse. Forward and back buttons, YES. So far I have not come across a single web page that requires the use of my tilt wheel.

Boxing Day: went for a bike ride, six of us pedalling along together. As most currently-experienced cyclist in the group I ended up at the back looking after the less confident and making sure nobody got lost, which meant that I missed out on seeing the spectacular crash when the leaders decided to fill in time waiting for us by playing silly buggers on the skateboard ramp.

Since then I have been engaged in extensive testing of the new mouse's gaming performance, drumming my arms off in Rock Band, and looking after tomatoes. I read recently that you can break off the tops of tomato plants so they don't get ridiculously huge and top-heavy. This may be the first year when my tomatoes don't end the season lying down.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I don't like gardening much any more. Everything always dies.

Working from a sort of confused theory that ANYTHING I do to plants will kill them, I tried to give some oregano seedlings the best possible chance of survival by not watering them or touching them or even looking at them too closely. Success of this plan was about as good as you'd expect, but on the other hand the results were no worse than with trying very hard to keep them alive, and much less effort.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
A list of things that grow in my lawn - those that I could identify.

Yarrow
Red clover
White clover
Buttercups
Daisies
Kikuyu
Dandelions
Hawkbit, hawksbeard and/or catsear*
Plantain
Cleavers
Paspalum
Ryegrass
Browntop or Yorkshire fog**
Fescue
Sweet vernal
Onehunga weed
Blue speedwell
Mint
Oxalis
Dock
Thistle of some sort

*It's hard to tell the difference between all the yellow not-dandelion flowers, though I know I don't have oxtongue - it's pricklier.
**They look the same to me even when flowering.

And I had to look it up, but that purple flower I was wondering about is selfheal.

There is also silverbeet growing in my lawn, from where I uprooted some plants that had bolted and then left them lying on the ground for a while before bashing them up smaller for the compost bin, but they won't survive mowing. I should move a few seedlings so they can grow - but my crop rotation is a bit of a mess and the only spot I have for them grew silverbeet and then beetroot and then silverbeet again and really needs a break.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I mourn the loss of biodiversity in my lawn. The front lawn used to be mainly red and white clover and a few daisies, but the kikuyu grass has moved in and taken over right up to the house and has smothered everything else. Organic gardening advice seems to be, often, just to learn to live with it and avoid worrying yourself into an early grave. Kikuyu does make a lawn that won't brown off in summer and it doesn't mind being walked or driven on, but it's not pleasant to sit or play on because it makes me itch. And gardening near kikuyu is difficult. Unless I can commit myself to cutting it back regularly without fail, any flower bushes, small shrubs or young trees I put in are just going to vanish.

There's kikuyu all up the driveway side of the house, and it's coming around the corner of the garage and trying to get into the compost bin. I've been outside ripping it up and my forearms are all red and itchy. It's extending tentacles into the back lawn and I'm trying to slow its progress because that part of the section is mainly yarrow. I love my sort ferny yarrow lawn and I don't want it to disappear.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I went out to water the tomatoes in the twilight (just before all this rain came along and made my efforts irrelevant) and I saw a cloud going over that looked just like an enormous plesiosaur swimming across the sky. I would have taken a photo to show everyone only it probably wouldn't have looked much like a plesiosaur to anyone but me.

The idea of gigantic plesiosaurs swimming slowly above us is incredibly appealing to me. The plesiosaurs are watching over you.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
A boomerang.



Also a piece of fibrolite. There's always a piece of fibrolite.

I dug it up in a hole I was making for a pineapple sage bush. What interesting relics have you found in your garden?
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I had the first tomatoes from my garden today. I'd forgotten how much better they are than bought ones. They were cherry tomatoes, perfect for eating straight off the bush; my other tomatoes are transplanted and provided with stakes - better stakes than last year's, which snapped off in the hurricanes - and looking pretty happy. And I have a pumpkin the size of a cricket ball, as well as a lot of pumpkin flowers attracting the bumblebees. And my gardening book says to carry on planting more beetroot seeds. Time for another garden expansion!

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