Easter Saturday Afternoon Tea (or What's That Smell?)
So it's afternoon tea time, and what could be better than cupcakes topped with the chocolate eggs the girls made? With sprinkles? I was whizzing about in the garden this morning, weeding, and tossing about bales of pea straw mulch, and up to my elbows in sheep poop, and Rosy wanders out in her pyjamas, asking, asking mind you, whether she could make cupcakes.. well, what kind of question is that? Of course you can make cupcakes. Always.
Today I have been continuing the task of putting the garden to bed for the winter. We do have reasonably mild winters here, frost, yes, but not too bad because we are in a built up suburb, lots of buildings and roads for heat to radiate from. So we can grow hardy veg through the winter - kale, broccoli, chard, lettuce, garlic, broad beans. You do have to plant most of these early though, and I ..... haven't. I'll plant them now anyway, cross my fingers and hope. Easter, season of hope, right? Or misplaced optimism, in this case.
I have fed and mulched everything in the back yard, and am eyeing off the children's (now unused) sandpit, with a view to turning that space into raised garden beds. I suggested this hesitantly to Posy, thinking there would be a giant tantrum, but she immediately ran off to make a garden plan. Her garden plan, of course, so there may be negotiations in the future, but I have the official go-ahead. Such excitement!
But now I am working on the front yard. I quite like my spring garden..
..it has pretty blossoms and neat rounded mounds of lavender, and happy roses, but in summer it all falls apart, and turns into a giant scary jungle. I put in quite narrow paths when I converted it from lawn, and in summer you can't walk on them because they are covered in plants, like so..
Somewhere under that swathe of vivid green is a brick path. So I am being ruthless and ripping everything out, including some quite nice shrubs and plants that I am quite attached to. It's sort of like decluttering the garden. But it is very good, because I will be experimenting with planting more food in the front yard, and still have it look pretty. Well, I should say, much prettier than it does right now.
As I rip out I am feeding and throwing lots of good organic stuff on the garden beds, and mulching away, so that next spring I can start with a clean slate. Hopefully the fruit trees will be happier without huge numbers of plants growing under and around them as well. It is rather smelly though, with all the chook poo pellets, the sheep poo etc.
What you can't tell from the serene photo of our afternoon tea is that the smell of chook poo wafting in through the open windows is battling with the smell of enamel paint wafting out of the open windows. The lovely, lovely Man is painting our stairs today, and they look just divine.
It all adds a certain piquancy to the cupcakes, though.