4 May 2015

The parsley that broke the camel's back

What a wild and wooly weekend we had here. It rained all day Friday with a total of over 300mm/12 inches of rain. In the afternoon, just after Hanno drove over to collect Jamie from kindy, the sky opened up and we got about 250mm/10 inches of that falling in less than three hours. I spent half an hour sweeping the water away from the back door. Luckily we had no damage but five people drowned just near here. There were all in cars trying to cross flooded roads. 

This is from the back door towards the elder tree.  These photos were taken at around 3.30pm, it was very dark.
 Again, looking into the back yard.
 This is out the front, looking towards our front driveway. The water was rushing by like a river.
 At the front of the house.

The high cost of buying herbs hit us when we did the shopping this week - $3 for a small bunch of parsley - so Hanno made the effort to go to the market yesterday to buy seedings for the new season's planting. The capsicums and chilli planted last year look a bit battered after the long hot summer but they're still thriving and I'll be picking those in the photos below to make chilli jam during the week. The high rainfall has been really good for the trees, especially the citrus. Below is our Washington Navel, it's producing a small but delicious crop of oranges this year. I know all you backyard fruit growers will know what I'm talking about when I tell you that nothing beats home grown fruit. No other fruit - even the very expensive organic beauties, match the taste of home grown. I look forward to this fleeting moment every year when the oranges are ready to be picked. Who is growing fruit and nuts? Has this year been good for you too?

We started our vegetable garden late this year. Usually we have seedlings in the ground by early March but this year I've been busy writing and Hanno hasn't been well so it's slipped down on the list of priorities for us. But that $3 parsley jolted us into action and now the first set of seedlings are in, with more to follow next week. Apprentice gardener Jamie was here to help Opa with the planting. You can see him above with one of the many worms he found that he then fed to the chooks.

I have so much to tell you and many photos to share. I'm hoping to get my workroom tidied and sorted soon so I can show you my new surroundings. It's nothing flash but I've upgraded from a 20 year old melamine desk that pinched by arms when I typed and it's feeling very nice indeed. :- ) See you again soon.



  1. Those peppers look gorgeous, as do the oranges! I only read your blog on occasion (I try to limit my online time as we're super busy these days), so pardon the question if you've answered it before: why don't you start your own seedlings from seed and save some money?

    1. We often do but we're late this year so need the seedlings in the ground now rather than in a few weeks.

  2. Hi Rhonda, the photos of that rainfall are quite amazing. But ... we seem to have had the same here in Switzerland/France. In fact it is 10.30 pm here in France and I am lying in bed listening to the rain pee down. I don't mind of course (I'm used to it being a Brit!!) and as my bedroom is under the eaves I hear the rain bouncing off the windows more than most but I actually love it. Feel so snug. It is frightening to be out in it, particularly driving of course. But my (hopefully) budding seeds/plants are all tucked away in my two little plastic greenhouses. Snug and secure (I hope) until I can get them outside and planted after the last frost (which here in the Alps they say is after the St. Glace, i.e. mid-May. Can't wait. Anna

  3. What a wild weekend alright, I was very saddened to hear about the tragedies, so sad. $3 for parsley - it's amazing how many people think herbs are hard to grow!! I know you don't and I'm sorry to hear Hanno hasn't been well, but you are a great example of how easy it is to do even when you have ill health. We have granny smith apples at the moment, not the best year due to coddling moth but I'm hoping that the chickens will help that next year as they have free rein around it. I'd love to trade you for some of those oranges!! Jan x

  4. I so hate paying for herbs! When they grow so easily it just bothers me so much when I have to buy them, but you seem to need to from time to time, so I try and focus on all the past money I haven't spent when they have been growing in abundance at home.

    I'm waiting for my oranges to be ripe. Unfortunately my Mandarines have been infected with fruit fly for the past couple of years, we can still eat the fruit, and yes they are lovely...but we have to pick around the grubs!

  5. Lovely to see young Jamie learning to garden with his grandfather. That's the best way to learn and create a love of gardening.

  6. Was certainly a rain event, your area seems to be one the worst, inland we recieved 77ml over 2 days. After this last rain I am finally planning my winter plantings.

  7. I am glad to hear that you are okay after all the rain you have had there. I have oregano that has been in my herb garden for 20 years now. I hope your does the same. There is nothing like cutting herbs from your own plants.

  8. Please, please send some rain our way. I live in California.

  9. We grow herbs for the same reason--much too expensive in the grocery store, and it's silly to have to buy a whole bunch when one only needs a few leaves. We are going through herbs at an alarming rate lately--my husband has to be on a low-sodium diet and we are finding that without salt a dish needs quite a bit more herbs and spices to elevate it above blandness. We have basil, rosemary, oregano, and thyme, which we use frequently, as well as garlic chives and Mexican tarragon.

  10. The photo of Hanno and Jamie is such a powerful one - information being passed down inter-generationally. A art nearly gone from the world.

  11. Hi Rhonda Jean,
    wow, that is a lot of rain !! I hope the plants and trees will not be affected.
    The herbs are very expensive where you live. Here in The Netherlands you can get them much cheaper. I do grow some myself and that is great and cheap too ; )
    I love to see your grandson working in the garden. You can't start early enough ; )
    Have a great day and I hope everything will dry up soon.

  12. Wow! what a wild rainfall. My thoughts go out to the families of the people who died in the floods; such a tragedy.
    I hope Hanno is feeling better soon; but how lovely to see your grandson learning about the importance of gardening - what a lovely heritage. :-)

  13. That's a lot of rain!
    I moved last month (to a house with some veggie patches) but because it was cold here in Toronto up until last week so I doubt I'm going to do much planting this year, I'm going to do what I can but it might just be a container garden year for me.


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