Sunday, September 30, 2007

Enjoying the splendor of all things green and healthy

"For every illness on earth, there is a herb. Many people died, while the herbs that could have saved them, grew on their graves."

Father Sebastian Kneip (1821 - 1897)

It is spring in Australia and even though we are in a drought and are on the tightest restrictions ever experienced, we are using our 'grey water' (laundry water, where we only use natural washing powder) and bucket the grey water onto our precious plants, mainly fruit trees and herbs at present.

I hope you enjoy my wander through the garden on the feast of Sts Michael, Gabriael & Raphael.

We have just bought some new fruit trees and roses in absolutely beautiful pots at a garage sale for a SONG! And look what I got ~ something I have always wanted - a mulberry tree! See the little mulberries on the tree at present? I seriously look forward to the day to making my own batch of mulberry jam from this delightful berry.

It is in a enormous pot and so I can place it anywhere in the yard. Dh is making a chicken yard at present and I have read it is an ideal tree to have in a poultry run, with chickens cleaning up the mess they drop.

Here is my box of comfrey. A most special herb which we eat. I hope to transplant these out into the old vege garden, once dh has spruced it up again. It is very accessible at present on the front patio, I can go out and pick leaves for meals or just to nibble on when heading off in the car. Here is a great link on comfrey and its uses.

The links on this post have come from Isabell Shiphard's site, Herbs Are Special and she has written a book on herbs that is simply the best herb book around. I have SO many herb books, but none compare to this one. If you are looking for just ONE herb book in your home, this is it. Otherwise this page on her site gives you excerpts from her book on a certain range of herbs and it is worth browsing through.

A few years ago we bought many 5year matured fruit trees from an elderly man who could no longer keep up the care for them. They had come in 44litre drums cut in half and so we have planted most into the garden.

This Eureka lemon tree fruits prolificly and is my pride and joy. We are big lemon eaters (or should I say drinkers) and I am especially appreciating lemons in this pregnancy, drinking cool, refreshing lemon water throughout the day.

Here is a close up of the fruit and flowers on my favourite lemon trees. I just love walking out our front gate and breathing in the fragrance of those flowers that wafts over.

This lemon tree is a Variegated Pink Lemonade tree, it is not a enormous fruiter as yet but when it has lemons, they are stripped and the inside is a slight reddish/pink, thus earning it's name.

Now when we bought this one, the man said it was a red grapefruit tree but when we planted it out, there was an old tag near the roots saying it was an orange tree - I am HOPING it is an orange tree! It is yet to get any fruit that makes it to maturity (thanks to some chubby fingered children) for me to get to the bottom of this mystery.

SHHHH! Don't tell the children, it has one little gem at present, deep in the middle of the foliage, I am hoping it will go unnoticed....

Here is our smaller lemon tree, a Villa Franca and it has been knocked about more vigously by the drought and has only a few fruit and flowers at present.

This is one of the new trees bought recently, it is a grafted.....something....the lady said an orange or mandarine, I think it looks like an orange tree to me. This tree had been badly knocked about by the drought but in the last month's heavy rains it had re-shot and I have carefully cut away all the dead branches and twigs, it has fruit coming on already.

The smaller citrus in front is a lemon, we believe, and it is very thorny - I need to look up which lemon is the thorny variety.. I think Lisbon.

You can't take photo's in the garden without catching one of the children in the photo, fossicking around and enjoying the day outdoors as only children can.

I had to add one of my little angels that grace our house on the feast of the archangels! In better years, they have had little flowers tumbling over, creating a beautiful sight.

Here is my fairly new herb wheelbarrow. I bought this at a garage sale complete with herbs in it and have been adding my own favourite herbs to it since. It came with a rosemary, curry plant, mint (it is now growing out of the cracks in the wheelbarrow on the side too) sorrel & parsley. I've added gotu kola, herb robert, nastursiums & thyme to date.

Never did I realise just how practical and handy this wheelbarrow would prove. Firstly, I can move it more to the shade or sun at will. I can push it over to the part of the patio that is not covered by roof to catch any rain that comes.

When I make dh's lunch to take to work I always make a salad concoction and it starts with a bed of lettuce. Mixed in the lettuce I add chopped up, comfrey, sorrel, parsley, curry plant, rosemary, mint, herb robert and since gotu kola is my most recent edition, soon to add it as well in the mix. Comfrey, herb robert and gotu kola are excellent herbs for longevity and good health, their benefits are impressive if you get time to read the info on them all, via the links.

So I suppose I could say that the wheelbarrow is our home pharmacy, particularly for dh!

Here is a close up of the herb robert, the slightly reddish looking plant, not all the leaves are that colour, in fact most are green and they have delicate pink flowers and little seed pods I pick with hard and push back into the dirt to germinate a new plant.

Herb robert was named after the 11th century French saint Robert, Abbot of Molerne, famous for his medical abilities. In this day and age it is a immune enhancer and used successfully in treating cancers. It's special element is germanium, which has the ability to make oxygen available to the cells, the more oxygen available, the greater the ability for the body to successfully fight off disease and illness.

See the rich looking soil? Well, it's actually worm castings and it is so rich and fine looking, the plants just can't get enough of it!

Our herb wheelbarrow sits next to our patio seat, I hope to keep an eye out for an old wheelbarrow at a garage sale that I can paint and make into another herb container for the other side of the seat, there are more herbs to have on hand!

This bust of Our Lord is right next to the front door and is such a beautiful rendition of His noble face.
Here is one of the roses we bought yesterday, we paid $25 and these pots we have priced at $70 new, such a bargin!

Above hangs my trusty watering can, into this we put the grey water and keep these plants happy! We have our french doors open at present, allowing the sea breezes to keep us pleasant during the early spring, as it hots up, I'm afraid they are closed and the air conditioner is turned on and that will become a necessity as I carry my baby through the summer till my due date in mid-late January.

Meet Violetta...(I feel my Anne with an 'e' coming out in me, introducing you to my imaginary friends) she is on our patio in a shaded spot and usually, (when it is not drought stricken) she has a most delicate little creeping violet cascading from her head, an utterly precious sight like something out of Midsummer's Night Dream.

We have had our chickens for 2 years now and enjoy collecting organic, free-ranging eggs. We also add everyday to their organic feed, a cup of dried Stinging Nettle which adds valuable nutrients to their yolks and keeps these chickens laying on average, an egg a day. We buy the Stinging Nettle from the bulk bins of the organic supermarket we shop at and so the nettle is very inexpensive this way.

The coop is fairly new and dh is fencing in this side of the yard so they can free-range a little more freely, coming to roost here at night.

"When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings."
- Unknown


Micki said...

I should be commenting on the beautiful photos used for this post. I've enjoyed them all. But what I really want to say that another new month is here...thank you so much for your monthly saint calendar. I print it out and enjoy knowing who is soon to be the saint of the day. Thanks.

florasita rox sticklady mum :-) said...

ok I know it is not good to have it but I do a bit of jealousy Ann
lemon trees & chickens ! ok I do wish to move south sometimes lol
do the flowers on a lemon smell ?
I've smelled orange bloosoms when we traveled to TX . they were so fragrant in the evning while we were walking I stopped to look where was the smell coming from and it was an orange tree !
I've been longing for a baby too but at my age well sara was how old ? miracles are babies too
Thanks for the great pics

Anne (aussieannie) said...

Hi Roxie! Yes, lemons have a beautiful fragrance like orange trees - such a refreshing, uplifting smell. I'd love a hedge of a mock orange plant - here in Aus they are commonly used for hedges and they smell just like an orange tree as the name suggests.

Miracles do happen, I have a dear friend who was told 10 years ago she could have no more children (some reproductive problem) and last year she gave birth to a beautiful boy at the age of 48 - her easiest pregnancy and the baby? well he cannot stop smiling and laughing, such a delightful little chap!

Micki, I am going to try to email Nov's saints sheets to you as we have changed internet providers and we are still trying to upload our website that takes these files, which I link from - hopefully we will have this sorted soon!

Mary Vitamin (Helen) said...

Thanks for the pictures Anne.
I also love lemons and would love to have a garden full of them!

Meredith said...

What an amazing garden oh do I wish it were Spring here again now and not going into winter...What a beautiful post for the Feast of the Archangels. One of ours is named after Gabriel :)

Mrs Pea said...

Your garden looks so beautiful and productive. I have to say I am always so jealous of folk who grow their own lemons :o)

Jacqlyn said...

Thankyou for sharing your beautiful garden! I am very inspired and will be asking DH if we can make a wheelbarrow herb garden for our garden! I LOVE the Mulberry tree.....let me know when you get fruit!
Jacqui x