How lucky we are to be living in such a beautiful, pristine part of the world with clean air, even if a little chilly still, surrounded by all the deciduous trees with their soft, new green shoots coming out and softening the landscape.
The seasons this year have been unpredictable with a relatively dry winter and lots of rain in August and early Spring. This has given us a new flush of calendulas with their bright orange colour due to their high carotenoid content. Carotenoids are ideal for preparing the skin for the summer months, which are just around the corner.
We had only a very small catchment of water in our main dam until late August, but now it is 90% full! So we are mulching all the beds with the hay we harvested at the end of January this year. It has been slowly decomposing, ready for its task, ever since. Added to all the beds has been the most amazing compost we have ever had. I cannot take any credit for this as, in the last 12 months, we have had a newcomer to the team. His name is Luciano, and I am sure you have guessed we are an Italian man who revers the soil. Composting is his joy, and he watches over it like an expectant father. We now have over 20 different additions to our six large heaps.
Being in the country, we have been able to employ many local people from this area in the lab and also the garden. Fortunately, they have horses, cows and chickens. They know our organic status, which they also follow, so we get really excited when they arrive with a bag of manure. Amazing what we get excited about! Only this week we had a visit from Derek, who is now retired. I was so pleased he called in to see Ian and myself, and he remarked on how lovely and green everything looked. He told me he had a gift for me in the car and when he came back with it, it was a large bag of chook manure. How exciting and how wonderful he remembers Ian and me.
At the start of summer last year, I recognised that we needed to get more shelter for the flower beds. So, we have planted a half-circle of pittosporum as a windbreak against the drying northerly winds. The garden is now well set up for a drying summer.
So now we are ready to set up a new pump in our dam which will happen next week. The old pump was given a thankful send-off after over 20 years of good service. It suffered the indignity of having to put up with the previous year of our very salty bore water which was all we could use. There was, unfortunately, no run-off from the farm at all.
And lastly, I thought you might like to know, I still do my late afternoon walk around the garden and give thanks to all the beauty it displays. I especially give love and encouragement to all this season’s new additions as they pop through looking for the sun to provide us with all of the healing that only Mother Nature can provide.