Before I started gardening in New Cairo, I had a dream… It had to do with a series of raised beds, filled with lovely, crumbly, richly organic soil, producing seasonal crops in healthy rotation. Rather like the many incredible kitchen and market gardens I see regularly on Instagram, where gardeners all over the world, and especially in Australia, seem to have perfected the art and science of growing anything they want.
It had rather less to do with the brutal reality of my four-and-a-half raised beds where the soil is lifeless, seeds won’t germinate – except for volunteer borage (above), the bugs and snails are having feast days, and … and … and Read more
I think we have reached the tipping-point. After a dismal year among the raised beds with poorer spinach and salad yields than previously, wretched tomatoes, inedible carrots and stunted beetroots – I could go on, but I will spare you the agony – something has to be done.
I guess that seen from above they look passable, netted against cats and larger insects (Ha! No chance!) and getting plentiful sun. But the surroundings indicate part of the problem – too many trees. Read more
I don’t think a gardener ever likes to lose a plant. Certainly not one that is well-established, and part of the scheme of things in the garden. But there are times when, absence chemical spraying, there is no alternative but to uproot.
Our powder puff tree, Calliandra haematocephala, is in a terrible mess. Covered in sticky white fluff, with honeydew all around and – as a result – also swarming with ants, it is an utterly depressing sight.
What to do? Read more