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Wednesday 4 October 2023

All of a sudden.....life takes a turn!

 Hello my dear Spring Blossoms,

I hope you are all keeping well and enjoying the weather where you are (whether it be Autumn or in our case, Spring).

Spring seemed to be upon us in no time and to be honest, I thought I was prepared, but clearly I was not!!

Three weeks into spring and I still hadn't prepared the beds for planting, I had sowed the seeds of many flowers and food, kept them alive in the greenhouse, but just had nowhere to put them.  Which is OK I guess as the weather has been fluctuating quite a bit - we have had cold days/nights and we have had temperatures into the 30's (Celsius) - like yesterday (today it's back down to 16 degrees!!

BUT - All of a sudden - life took a horrible turn...

My beautiful husband Paul became very ill and ended up in hospital in the Cardiac Care Unit - he didn't have a heart attack, but he had an onset of Edema, which blew him up like a balloon with fluid.  His liver couldn't cope with the toxins in his body and was pushing the fluids out to anywhere it could (legs, stomach, chest, back) his body became toxic, so because of all that happening (in just a few days), his blood pressure skyrocketed and heart was weakened.

He spent 9 days in hospital and lost just over 22 kg in weight - in fluid!!  (I just thought it was all the homely cooking I was doing that was putting the weight on him) So you could imagine the strain it put on his heart. 

Now he is home and is very exhausted from both the experience and the drugs they have him one to get rid of the fluid, reduce his blood pressure and strengthen his heart.

He still feels awful (not in pain though) and is sleeping a lot of the time - the doctors were quick to put him on the drugs - and I guess they saved his life, (they told me that if he hadn't gone to hospital he would have been dead two days later) so I am thankful for that - but nobody prepares you for the mental anguish that comes with it.  He feels useless, old, (he is only 58) like his life has no meaning anymore.  He can't get interested in anything - even music, his number one love, is on the back-burner.  He has picked up his guitar a couple of times, only to lose interest again.  We feel that it is the drugs and the restrictions that are making him this way and we know that once he has got to a certain place in his health matrix, that a lot of those drugs will be eventually gone - but he still feels like he was put on the "medical merry go round" that he was not prepared for.

You see, we are a family that never goes to the doctor, we pride ourselves that we are not on any of the medications people our age (mid forties to early sixties - yes, I am the oldest!!) are on.

You might think that is silly - but we have always relied on Mother Nature, using food and herbs as our medicine when we needed it - that is why I garden mostly - to stay healthy.

Now we have to watch how much sodium we ingest as that creates a fluid build up AND you would be surprised at how much sodium is in the products that we buy daily - and we just don't think about it.  It has truly been an eye opener - even home grow fruits and vegetables have a certain amount of natural sodium in them - like celery!!

One thing that did make him feel less useless was fixing our back fence - we have wooden fence extensions and in the storm on Monday night - they broke!  So Paul fixed the fence up and it gave him some purpose - an achievement, and maybe he can discover he can do other things too - which will make his self worth better.

Forever the clown!!!

Mental health is such a fine balance - and as I said, it was OK for them to stick him on all these drugs and give him restrictions, but there was NO mental health support whatsoever... it's just something you have to deal with....

People are not machines, you can't program them to do things if it is not in their nature and them having to go against their nature is very hard on them and those around them.  This maybe something that the medical field need to look into - whilst we are grateful for them saving lives, correct (non-biased) mental support is needed for the patients as well.

Low Sodium Food For Thought maybe???  hahaha!

Anyway, this is his second week out of hospital and we are making progress here and there.  I am lucky that when all this happened that my work supported me and gave me a month off to cope with it all.

So onwards and upwards we go on this merry-go-round called life - just to see where it takes us!!

I hope you are all doing well my lovelies,

Until next time - blessings to you all and take care of yourselves and your loved ones xxxx

Gloomy xxx )O(




Sunday 16 July 2023

Mid-Winter

Hello my dear Wild-Ones,

Here in the Southern Hemisphere it is well in the middle of winter, but there is still a lot happening in the garden at this time - even though lately I have been too busy to really get out there to do much but the occasional 5 minute weed session here and there!!


The beautiful Osteospermums are blooming well and creating
a lovely bright colour in an other-wise winter garden.

The jonquils have popped up just a bit early this year,
and their scent is divine!!
(Even if Super-Hubby doesn't like the smell haha)

                                          The most vibrant Dimorphotheca ecklonis "Fire-starter".

Another Osteospermum - Black Widow - with friend!


The Greenhouse is looking full at the moment,
waiting for spring to come so they can be
planted out and spread their little roots in the soil.

My "mini" herb bed is doing well with lots of
scrummy herbs growing in there, as I try to
keep them alive over the winter.
The ones I have put in here are:
Rosemary
Parsley
Oregano
Thyme
Chives

The back garden is looking rather flooded and
leafy - even the fake critters are looking a 
wee bit forlorn!!


So what have I been up to whilst the weather has been wild and woolly? 

A few things actually - I have taken up crocheting again and made myself this lovely long jacket:

Yes - they are skulls!!

I also have made a phone case cover - my "shop bought" phone cover was starting to fall apart - so instead of buying a new one (because anyone who knows me, knows that I am a hermit and I don't like leaving the house - especially to go shopping at the best of times), I decided to crochet one instead - it turned out ok - except the next cover I try will have to have a different part around the camera because when I take photos - I get a black haze...LOL

In the theme of "Save the Bees"...

I have also been preserving a lot of our Autumn harvests making jams and pickling beets, making chilli sauce from our Habanero chillies, freezing lots of pomegranate pearls and pumpkins (and of course making pumpkin soup!!).


Pomegranate & Apple Jam                    
Beetroot from my garden!        
                                                                                                                    

                                                                                Habenero Chilli Sauce

                                            

It's also been the time for de-cluttering the house and getting rid of anything that we either haven't used in 6-12 months or things that no longer serve us or our current needs.  It had been awesome to do!! Even today Super-Hubby and I are going to clean out the pantry, so that I can organise it a wee bit better...and get rid of any old packaged food that is past it's use by date!!

And harvesting my dahlia seeds for the coming spring:



I did receive a lovely gift from an Instagram friend in New South Wales - she had chatted to me about an Elder tree in December last year, and she said that she would post a cutting to me.  Time went by and I thought nothing of it (you know, people promise things and then life happens and it goes out of their minds), but early July a parcel was delivered to me and inside was this gorgeous Elder cutting:

I have named this Elder cutting Courtney, after
my friend that sent it to me 😄
HOW BLESSED WAS I!!!

Even though it has been bitterly cold this Winter, we have still been doing quite a lot in the gardens and home - so it hasn't been a total hibernation period like most years!! (which I think, is a good thing!!).

I hope your Winter (or Summer - depending on which hemisphere you are in), is going well.

Until next time Wild-Ones, may you seek the beauty in nature everyday!!

Blessings to you all,
GLOOMY's Garden
And remember to save the Bees!!

Sunday 16 April 2023

Vast Harvest Permaculture - Our Government are destroying our bees (this needs to be seen)


I thought I would share this thought provoking video regarding the killing of innocent bees, that is happening in the Eastern States of Australia at the moment.

What gets me is that they didn't even test the bees to see if they had the Veroa mite to begin with, before destroying 18 hives.

The family of Vast Harvest Permaculture are understandably devastated - as I would be too!!

I thought we as guardians of the earth were supposed to protect the bees from extinction - not friggin go about willy nilly destroying them  - that's bureaucracy for you!!

WARNING - this video is heart wrenching.

Please plant flowers in your garden to attract the bees and have bee watering stations, make bee hotels so they can have a place to thrive and survive...

Take care of yourselves and the BEES
AJ xxx



Saturday 18 March 2023

An Autumnal update..

 Greeting Earthly Folks,

I hope I find you all well on this lovely Autumnal day.

Yes - it's Autumn here in the suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia - Winter is looming and I have SO many things I need to do in the garden before the cooler weather hits.  So much so that I have made a list of things to do, which stems over 3 pages long - just so I can keep track and get things moving.

It's a busy time of the year sowing seeds for Winter veggies, making sure all the fruit trees are pruned and composted around the trunks, overwintering chillies and other cold affected plants.  Making sure everything has good drainage etc.

BUSY - BUSY - BUSY!!!

Our achievements so far in this Summer/Autumn transition have been wonderful - Super-Hubby bought me a portable greenhouse (in other words not a glass house, but one that can be moved).. Mind you - Super-Hubby made sure that it was secured to the concrete by drilling little brackets to hold it down - this baby ain't going anywhere until we want it to!!

GLOOMY'S GREENHOUSE
In this greenhouse I have all my seeds that I have sown - Celery, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Snow Peas, Carrots & Onions (so far) - I have a few more items to get started in the next couple of weeks - I would love to grow some Cavolo nero kale (it's the straight kind not the curly one - which I find easier to clean), I would also like to grow brussel sprouts, and I have to plant more perpetual spinach (we go through a lot of that).

BABY CABBAGES
    Things are starting to pop up quite nicely now I have a greenhouse and I am                           looking forward to seeing how much food I can grow this year in my tiny back garden.

    I am hoping to get a couple more raised beds as well, so that I can use them specifically for food growth.

    We have also purchased a gazebo to go in the corner of our yard where we have our table and chair setting - so that we can utilise that area in winter too.

    This will arrive later next week (as it was a special order), then Super-Hubby and the team (Caetlyn & myself) will be building it - so that should be interesting!!
    Luckily, the pieces are all cut and prepared - we just have to put the jig-saw puzzle together (we are not builders, but we figured - we managed a greenhouse with dodgy instructions, we can handle this!!). 

In the garden - we have harvested all the Peaches off of our O'Henry Peach tree - what an abundance we got this year, which was really a blessing as we didn't think that the fruit would survive after the wild and woolly weather we have had the last few months of Spring/Summer.  But none the less, we managed to harvest around 60 beautiful peaches.  I froze a lot of them, made peach jam and we ate a lot of them too - I still have some left in the little fridge outside, which I have to either freeze or make something with (probably more jam!!).

Our apple trees were a bit of a disaster this year - they got coddling moth again and even though I took precautions, most of the apples had to be thrown away or left to the birds.  I did manage to get one basket full of really small apples off the red delicious tree - none of them were red - or delicious.  I still have to do something with those too - though I am not sure what at this stage - probably either dehydrate apple slices or blanch and freeze them.

We have pumpkins growing still - it was a bit weird this year as everyone was thinking they wouldn't get any due to the weird weather we have had - then all of a sudden they had flowers everywhere - and now pumpkins are growing when they should be dying back.  Same with the Zucchinis.

Tomatoes this year were a bit of a flop too - the only ones that really took off were the small bite-sized volunteer ones - I only got a few of the bigger ones (Red & Black variety) which were delicious, but not enough of them.  I didn't get enough to make any sauce this year.  

Capsicums have been the same - only have around 6 fruit this year - last year they kept going all through winter - but I don't like my chances this year.

Chillies are the same - even though I still have to harvest some of the yellow habanero.  There are about 20 of them still on the plant - but not enough to make any chilli sauce with.  So I am going to dehydrate them and make some killer chilli powder and flakes to use in the next 9 months.

I have yellow dwarf beans flowering at the moment - so hoping for some beans there...plus beetroot, turnips and lots of flowers - dahlias, petunias, zinnias, poppies, kalanchoe, portulaca, calendula, marigolds, osteospermums, hibiscus, dietes grandiflora (African Lily) - they are all looking most spectacular and attracting the bees and other pollinating insects.

The only herbs I have left are Peppermint, Mint, Sage, Rosemary, Yarrow and Basil - the Basil is flowering and attracting a load of bees - so I am leaving that for them... my herb garden was hit hard by the weather - so hopefully in Spring I will have a nice place to grow some more medicinal herbs.

The Pomegranates are nearly ready to be harvested - in my garden they are usually ready between late March and mid April - last year I harvested them on 25th April - so we will see this year.

I still have bulbs to plant in the front garden for a little bit of a colour POP in Spring plus lots of tidying up, pruning, weeding, mowing, and just general maintenance on garden beds to be done.

But all in good time (and hopefully by the time winter hits!!)

In the meantime - please enjoy these photos from my garden....

                                                                    PUMPKINS



      DAHLIA (POM-POM)

                                             
                                                  TOMATO HARVEST
APPLES
INSIDE MY GREENHOUSE


THE AREA BEING RENOVATED NEXT!!!




PEACHES

Until next time - have a wonderful week ahead!!
      Cheers,
      AJ xxx
 




Sunday 12 February 2023

When an invisible illness hits.......

 Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well....

The last time I wrote a blog it was December, and in that blog I was saying how time flies - one minute it's October - then December... and now it is February!!!!

Not a lot has gone on - I had my months annual leave in December - we didn't go away or anything, just stayed home and pottered around the house and garden.

I didn't have much energy to do anything after last year, you see I have an invisible illness - not that I am going to go into it here, but suffice it to say that it's to do with my immune system.  There are times that it hits really hard and I don't have enough energy to do anything, I feel bloody awful and can't seem to focus on even daily tasks that I have to do - it makes me cry that I feel so bad....all I want to do is stay in bed and sleep the day away.  Depression and anxiety rear their ugly heads as you go further and further into the pain quagmire.

I have been a lot like that lately - I have no energy, I feel ill ALL the time, my stomach hurts, my joints ache, my head pounds, my skin breaks out in itchy rashes and I can't sleep.  Sometimes I am up until 4:00am just trying to wear myself out enough to crash into an exhausted slumber - but then the alarm goes off at 6:00am for work and it starts all over again.

My husband is the same - he has a workplace injury that he has had for about 25 years now, sometimes it is impossible for him to get out of bed with the pain - and painkillers do not work (or if they do - not for very long). It can cripple him for days at a time - all because it wasn't treated well enough at the time of injury.  This wears him down mentally as well and he ends up in a very dark place of self destruction.

However, if you were to meet me or my husband - you would never know, as it isn't something that shows like a broken part of the body or stitches etc., we come across as normal functioning people - other people have an idea that you are faking it - that you don't have an illness and are just having sick days for attentions or something.... which is just not true!

So our lives revolve around pain and how much we can endure to function normally.

Now I am not telling you all this for sympathy - no, not at all..  I am just telling you this so that you come across people who can't seem to function, maybe they seem a bit confused or depressed - take a step back and ask why - do they have an illness that can't be seen  - something that makes them not function as you would think a normal, fully functioning person would do?  And maybe cut them some slack.

BE KIND!!

Everyone is battling something in their lives and I think we can expect too much of people sometimes... 

It's time to take a step back, to slow down, to take a deep breath and just go with the flow.  Not rush around like headless chooks... slow and easy... take care of yourselves - self care is very important because if you don't care for yourself, no one else will!!

SO Take care everyone and have a fantastic week ahead!!

Cheers,

AJ



Sunday 4 December 2022

WOW - and just like that, it's December!!

Greetings people of the Interwebs,

How are you all doing?

I tell you that life is moving so fast lately - last time I left you it was October, I blinked and suddenly it is December!!!

They say time flies when you're having fun...LOL..  But I find that as I am getting older, time is just speeding by and I don't have enough of the stuff to get all my jobs done that I need to get done.  I always say I can't wait to retire so that I can get on track with the things that need doing around here... Hahaha! (That won't be for a long time yet - so I had better sort myself out to start getting things in order now!)

Luckily this month, starting on my birthday (9th December), I have a full month off of work, to get those niggly, pesky jobs done - like planting my Banana Trees and their pups because they have been cooped up in their pots for too long, also planting my Dietes grandiflora in the ground, repotting all my Aloe vera and Dragon Fruit Cactus into good soil, covering the fruit trees in netting so that the birds don't get all of my fruit like last year.  Plus we will be building an extension to our back fence using wood so that I can grow things like passionfruit, kiwi fruit, jasmine, and other "climbers" against the fence to make it a more greener area.


The garden is looking spectacular at the moment with a lot of things growing - like lots and lots of flowers of differing sorts, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicums, chillies, onions, perpetual spinach, peaches, apples, pomegranates, corn, herbs and mints - it's all very exciting as I have NEVER had this much growing in my garden - and we have been here since 2001.

There are also other jobs that I need to do on the holidays:

We are also looking at an area for me to put a 10' x 8' greenhouse as well, plus possibly ripping up some of the concrete so I can put a few raised beds in to grow more food.

And looking at beautifying our entertainment area in the back garden - making it look more appealing to the eye instead of all the tin from the shed and back fence. Maybe I will paint it, or hang trellis from it to make it look more natural, add some nice plants around the area and maybe a water feature!

I also want to get everything out of my office come sewing room come working altar for my Green Witch side of things - and do a spring clean, a bit of a fix up and possibly paint the whole dang room in a nice calming colour - I want to make it more peace inducing for when I am having a bad day at work - not that I should have many of them at the moment as I have changed jobs within the Department I am working for.  I started that on the 1st December, and even though we are having a few teething issues with systems, it is very much less stressful than my normal substantive job.

Another thing I want to achieve is giving the bathroom a makeover too (& possibly the toilet area as well) - I need to get in there and scrub like a scrubby thing, all the nooks and crannies that you normally gloss over on the weekly clean.  I wouldn't mind painting this too - but we will have to see how the finances hold out and time itself...

However, I will be making time for rest and recuperation too - I need it after the year I have had!!  I need to focus on becoming a bit more healthier and fitter so that I can take care of my garden (especially when the heat really hits - it's 35 degrees Celsius today, but it's destined to get hotter).  I don't cope well in the heat, especially outside - it makes me tired, weary and grumpy..LOL

I do have indoor projects to do on those days where it is unbearable outside - I have gnomes to repaint, sewing to do, mending to mend, crocheting to finish and even seeds to harvest and sow - so there is no excuse for being bored.


Even though we are not Christmassy people -we have put our light up Christmas Decorations up in the Garden and it looks really cheery at night - we didn't do it for the longest time - especially during the "C-Virus" years as we didn't think anybody would be able to see it - this year we felt like it's still been a tough year for everyone, so we would try and bring some cheer and put them up...I hope the neighbourhood likes it!! (I will put some pictures up in the next blog!!)



Anyhoo - I had better sign off for now, hopefully I will catch you just before Christmas starts!!

Until next time, many blessings to you all..

Cheers,                    

Gloomy xxx




Sunday 23 October 2022

Spring time in the 'burbs

Greetings everyone,

I hope you are having a lovely weekend this 23rd of October...

Today I had a couple of plans - recording vocals for Hubby in the studio and planting out my cucumbers and tomatoes - all of which have been dashed due to heavy rain.

So I have been walking around aimlessly in the house doing little jobs (changing sheets, washing, prepping dinner) and now I am at a loss of what to do.

What better time to do another post here in Gloomy's Garden and possibly show you what is going on in our little patch of paradise.

We live in a suburban home which is on approx 900m2 of land - we have a normal 3 bedroom home, which we have made into our sanctuary of peace away from the maddening world.

The gardens have only really come into fruition during the Covid times and now is a flourishing area of flowers, veggies, herbs and fruit trees - I love going into the garden when I am having a hard time at work (systems slow, things not going right) - it's lovely just to grab a coffee/tea and just go out into the garden to listen to the birds, bees, hover flies and other insects doing their thing.  It is very calming.

So it's still spring - October is usually the time that I plant out my summer veggies as that is when the frosty overnight temperatures are passed (we have our own eco-system in our garden - which is like no one elses), I have noticed over the years when our garden is the most productive and when is the wrong time to plant things in the ground, so I stick to that and not when all the gardening pages tell you to plant.
It's part of being in touch with nature, reading the seasons, listening to the plants themselves and noting the weather patterns.  There is a lot to learn in gardening and I don't think one will ever stop learning.

I do have a few things that we are currently harvesting in the garden:

Broad Beans
    Broad beans have been very prolific for the 4 plants that I put in.  I am generally using them to of course get the beans so I can make falafel for Super-Hubby, but also as a green manure crop.

Once they have finished I will just chop and drop them onto other beds so that they will leach their goodness into the soil...    
Turnips and Beetroot

Next up were some really small turnips, which didn't really grow very well indeed - but the greens were yummy!  And even the beets didn't come to a big size either - but what I did have I pickled for my own use as I am the only one that will eat these... I planted both of these in the wicking vegepods - and they just didn't do well - so next time I plant them, I am going to try them inground to see if they fare better.

Carrots

    And here is a pic of my carrots - I haven't got the knack of growing them straight yet - I adjusted the soil to include sand so they didn't find it so hard to grow through the soil, but I still got some with legs and curly bits - still, they tasted fabulous!!

 Snow peas have been wonderful this year too - we have had many handfuls of these beauties!!
                
Snow peas    
I need to plant some more of them so we have a continual supply (that was one of my other jobs to do today - but ah well, another day will do!!)
This is the first time that snow peas have grown in my garden - I tried in other years and they just turned up toes and died...
Maybe I have the timing right now - plus the soil composition as well..

Cabbages and Cos Lettuce

I also harvested all the cabbages and cos lettuce because something was getting into the bed and munching of them - even though I had a cover over them - I might have to come up with a better system next time I plant them (same with my brassicas which were eaten by rats last year).

    
Potatoes





I even managed to grow some potatoes - they are very little, but this was just one plant that voluntarily popped up in the garden (in a place where I didn't even put any potatoes - which is odd), but still - food is food and I am grateful for it.

Capsicum & Long Red Pepper











    Capsicums and long red peppers miraculously grew all winter long and I have been harvesting quite a bit from them.  Now they are dying off (when they should be coming to life), so I will have to plant some more.


Also in the garden we have loads and loads of flowers, which has encouraged loads and loads of insects!!
But that is a post for another day, as this post is probably getting a wee bit too long!!

Have a wonderful week ahead - it's getting close to Samhain for the Northern Hemisphere folks and Beltane for us Southern Hemisphere folks - also Halloween is in just over a week too!!

Time for a witchy soup...


    Season's blessings to you all....

    Cheers for now,

    Gloomy xxx

    
Gloomy :)













Please note: all photos in this blog are subject to copyright © by Gloomy's Garden 2022, and may not be used without prior permission.
                                                    

Friday 7 October 2022

Hello and Welcome!!

Hello and Welcome to Gloomy's Garden,

I hope you will enjoy your time here and maybe learn a little from what I am doing, be it gardening, cooking, sewing, trying to find better ways to live off our land, herbal remedies, green witchery or a number of other things that this household in the "Burbs" of Adelaide, South Australia are interested in. Discoveries in Nature, road trips, music (My Super-Hubby is a musician), and maybe even an appearance from our Doggo Rudy!!

So excuse me whilst I set up this page to get it to a more "user friendly" type of thing - I'm not good with this stuff, but I am willing to give it a crack!!

Until next time (when I will introduce myself a bit better),
Stay safe, healthy and happy!

Cheers,
Gloomy