Friday, November 30, 2012

Why nature rules 4: Everything has its time

One of the important facts of life with a metaphor in the garden.

This morning Edan smashed a teapot that was given to me by my first ever research student when I met her in China. C'est la vie.

But in the garden that's simply how it is. Put in a passionfruit, don't expect more than about seven years. Petunias or tomatoes two or three at the very most.

But everything has its time. And you can sometimes cheat. This Polygala was a gift to us at our wedding. It's meant to be a 7 year deal but we have it out to 23 next year.

Note the dead lower limbs. That's the product of why nature rules 4. Ruthless was rewarded, although at the time my father in law told me I didn't know what I was doing.

And on reflection the "till death do us part" is the only expiry date I have planned on my marriage. But step 1 is to outlive the Polygala.

Why nature rules 3: There's always another chance

And then, when your belowed dog digs out a beautiful 4ft high chili bush, you can take it as a sign that you should plant a new one. No big deal. (sniff)

Why nature rules 2: Ruthless is rewarded, but its not personal

I can see the downy mildew starting to grow on the grapes today. I'll try to save them with some funcicide spray, but any bunches that continue to get furry - they're compost.

And the vine will reward me. Whatever grapes I get will be large and clean.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why nature rules 2: A complex dance but not a capricious mistress

As with point 1, nature doesn't lie. All problems have some underlying logic to them. The does not mean that nature's challenges are simple, just that they are not driven by the whims of human behaviour.

Working with nature is like a dance - certain things need to be done at certain times to get the best benefit.

I think of soursobs - oxalis. If you don't know the dance, they come back every year.

You get annoyed in winter and pull them out and they're clear for a week. Or if you know the dance, you spray - once - when they're in full flower and just receding. But then you never have soursobs again. It takes knowledge, nerve, patience and a willingness to act when required.

But if you dance right, you get the result. If you don't get the result, you read the signs wrong.

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Delightful Strelitzia

I got the plant for $10 at Bunnings last year, planted it and waited. I had an unfortunate cull a month or two ago, where I mistakenly lopped a flower head off, but it came good. And this is a miracle of nature.

Exquisitely beautiful, and functional. The pollen available only to whatever bird is clever enough to sit on the end of the blue flower.

For some reason. The reason can be someone else's mystery.

Why nature rules 1: She doesn't lie

Yellow leaves, iron deficiency. Green veins yellow leaves, magnesium. Some things might look like other things, but no. That is because we read it wrong.

Nature doesn't lie.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A simple four

Mum asked me to give her a photo of these. So there:

Introduction: "Why nature rules"

Pick any piece of green. It fucking blows away anything we humans can create.

I'll make this my series about why.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bud thinning: A perverse pleasure

This time of year, more green material on the ground than on the trellis. But they're unproductive and not central to my plan. So the buds and runners go. Easy decision.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Snake Bean: Perfect for that little row

My good buddy Marziah just gave me a packet of seeds. Last year she gave me.some of these beans. The old "give a man a fish"/"teach a man to fish" metaphor.

And I have just the spot for them.

Have a look at this page for some ideas of what to do with them.