A Day in My Urban Orchard, November 2015

GoldfishIMG_2139My day starts with the goldfish.  They live in a converted planter (1200x450x450mm) under the jacaranda tree.  Now their tank is thickly covered with blooms every morning and my first task is to remove them.  Those blooms continues to rain onto their home and some settle and rot, polluting their water.

PossumThere is no powered filter or pump in the tank, so after scooping all the flowers off the surface, I put a hand pump in it to take out two buckets of the polluted water, replacing them with clean ones.  As birds and animals use it as their water hole, I often need to replace more water than I take out.  This water is nutrient rich so I use it as a booster/tonic.  Sometimes I mix it with worm wee or compost.

IMG_2137My next stop is the worm farms.  Often my neighbour Lee leaves half a bucket of her kitchen waste at the front and I take it with my own offerings to the hardest workers of my garden.  Not only do they make food for my garden they are also the food for my goldfish.  It’s a full cycle.


Fruiting Fig

Once the fish pond is tended to and the worms and fish are fed, their waste is distributed around the orchard as I water the garden.  Any excess is bottled and left for Lee to collect.  The trees in my orchard are mostly in containers so watering is imperative.  The timing is confined to water restriction rules:  before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. so those are my gardening hours.  It is too hot to work between 10 am and 4 pm anyway, though as the sun moves I can often find shade at different ends of the garden to extend my working hours.

IMG_2156I have been admiring the images of gardens around the world on WordPress and decided to add some colour to mine.  Ang, my friend and volunteer driver took me to a nursery that also carries a range of potted blooms at $2 each.  I indulged.  Now, of course, I have to find room for them in the garden or pot them up.  These $2 plants are made possible by an employment scheme that gives opportunities to the disadvantaged.



We’ve had a lot of rain lately and my black bamboo is trying to take over by sprouting everywhere.  They can grow metres per day so I am regularly breaking them off at first opportunity.  The green bamboo in the picture below is only a few days old.  The building behind it is three stories high.  When they are small I can twist them off but when they are this size I have to get out the loppers.  I must remove them before they turn black or they’ll be as hard as metal and I will need a saw.  That would be the job of the day.

Bamboo Shoots

About Mary Tang

An urban orchardist everyday, a volunteer regularly, a poet sometimes and a blogger since March 2015. I travel when I can. Food is a constant.
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15 Responses to A Day in My Urban Orchard, November 2015

  1. Verónica says:

    Beautiful garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laurie Graves says:

    I really enjoyed your description of your garden and your daily chores. So different from Maine and thus so fascinating. And, yay for getting the flowers at such a great price!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful, amazingly lush and productive, and I am happy to see flowers too :) hope you can find room for them. I look after our worm farms here and am just about to give them a big feed before I go away, they have just exploded with the warmer weather! :) worm wee is the best fertiliser of them all, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ‘Oh, good for her’, said Jackie when I told her about the colour and the potted dahlias.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jan Schaper says:

    Mary, your garden radiates tender caring and communion from half way around the world! Love that you use the “worm wee” . . . worms are such a garden ally. Happy planting.

    Liked by 1 person

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