Its windy all weekend, I wonder when will I get the chance to treat the lawn with some persistent weed spray. There’s also a few stuff that I need to spray off, but they will have to wait till the wind calms down. In the mean time, the other garden chores gets done.

My first batch of coffee bean germination ended up as a fermented failure. I did not realized the cause until I did the second batch. Second time around, instead of using the sprouting kit, I had all the beans in a bowl filled with water. As the water starts to cloud up, I refresh it with fresh water. Then, I realized, the beans are shedding off a thin outer film, which when I refresh the water, washed them away, but in the first trial, they remain, and start to ferment.

Anyway, I have hand picked all the sprouted beans and sow them in the 72 cells seed trays which I have trimmed down to 66 cells so that I can fit 3 trays into each level of the outdoor nursery shelves. I have got 3 trays going and they are sitting on the top level. And I still have plenty of beans remaining, and sprouting, so I might get another 3 trays going soon. I have also got a tray each of goji berry, rhubarb, and globe artichoke.

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The first pot of potatoes that I started is finally topped off this week. Hopefully, some Xmas new potatoes.

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Should I eat this broccoli now or wait till it size up further? I am tempted to harvest it now and have side shoots soon.

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And the Precoce Romanesco has started to form a head too! That was fast, and less foliage bulk compare to the standard green broccoli.

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I am holding out for this Purple Dragon carrot! It appears to be the only one that I will ever be able to eat from the greenhouse. The rest decided to go to seed, and I pulled them out and put them into the compost bin.

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A mature Walnut tree is majestic. But a young one like this has got quite elegant foliage too!

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And the Pecan is not missing out either.

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Emanuel (1985) – This is a very robust and free flowering rose, bearing large, rosette-shaped flowers that are cupped at first; the petals later reflexing. The colour is soft apricot, paling to cream on the outer petals. The flowers are produced very freely, in large clusters elegantly poised on the end of slightly arching stems. They have a delightful Tea Rose fragrance. Named for ‘The Crocus Trust’, which has been set up to help sufferers affected by colorectal cancer.

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Glamis Castle (1992) – Pure white, cup-shaped flowers of typical Old Rose character. Its growth is quite short and bushy with numerous twiggy branches, upon which it bears flowers with quite exceptional freedom and continuity – making it ideal both as a border rose and for bedding. It has an English Rose, myrrh fragrance. Glamis Castle is the childhood home of The Queen Mother and the legendary setting of Shakespeare¹s play ‘Macbeth’.

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Ispahan (1832) – Damask, its origins are unknown, but it probably came from the Middle East. Double blooms of pink. Highly fragrant. Vigorous, healthy habit.

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Blanc Double de Coubert (1892) – Rugosa, created in France by Charles Pierre Marie Cochet-Cochet. Semi-double blooms of the purest white. Very fragrant. Continuous flowering. Shade tolerant. Disease resistant.

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General Gallieni (1899) – Tea, bred by Nabonnand. Full cupped bloomss. Red blends. Very fragrant and repeat flowering.

What I find with roses, no matter how disease resistant the claims are. They still do get affected by black spot and aphids. But that’s alright, they still produce masses of beautiful flowers! Anyway, I am thinking of adding a few more hybrid teas to the Orchard Cottage somewhere. Some interesting bi-colors and more exotic colors. The spot I can think of is by the side of the privet hedge, or the old strawberry patch. I have been browsing on South Pacific Roses, and the following do catch my attention, Copper & Bronze, Cleopatra, Tequila Sunrise, Peace, Sheilas Perfume, The Lady. I would also like a red hybrid tea but I am unable to decide between, Precious Platinum, Cardiff Bay, and Red Velvet.

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Well, I went to South Pacific Roses today and had a good look and finally decided on some, took them home and planted them along the back of the old strawberry patch, in pairs. From left, Copper & Bronze, Red Picadilly, Black Beauty, Deep Secret, Sheila’s Perfume, The Lady, Cardiff Bay, Precious Platinum, Joyfulness, and Peace. These are all hybrid teas. It will be very interesting to see the more formal roses along the path transition into the wildflowers behind.

Apart from fruiting plants, veges and wildflowers, I seemed to be obsessed with roses. I think it is probably the only flowering plant that I will grow just for flowers.

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I finally, after much procrastination, got around to getting the fertigation kit going. This is a venturi injector, it works, and it is cheap. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get it from TradeMe, but on eBay, there’s plenty, some with free shipping. I got the 1/2″ kit because I thought my water pressure was a bit too low, I had a 10Lpm flow rate. I had, until something fishy happened recently.

I bought some fancy new liquid fertilizer, came home and wanted to try it out, but as I fill the watering can, I discovered the water pressure was significantly low. I thought the farmers must have blown a pipe somewhere, or the cow knocked the water pump that service our houses over. Anyway, I took a walk around the forest garden as usual to chillax, and hear what appears to be the sound of leaking water. Presto! The joiner of the supply pipe had come loose, just beside the house, so I connected it back up and the water pressure is back.

My watering hose, has got a leak in it, which I patched up with some tape, and water usually just seeps out. Now, water is pissing out, leading me to suspect something is different with my water pressure. So I measured it today, and it doubled up to 20Lpm! No wonder it blew the joiner loose in the first place. Looks like the owner has decided to give us a big upgrade, thanks lots!

That said, my 1/2″ venturi kit is now a tad too small, so I decided to order a new 1″ venturi kit on eBay, and its on its way ;). Step it down to 3/4″ fittings and it will work like magic without impacting water flow to the rest of the irrigation pipeline too badly. The puzzles are falling in place together. Worm farm feeding on used coffee grounds for worm juice. Comfrey leaves for liquid comfrey. Fertigation to deliver them all around the forest garden! That’s good, because I am getting lazy to go around to foliar spray the plants, Canterbury AP Show Day is the cut off for my blanket foliar spray that covers the entire forest garden.

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Looking at this photo, I still haven’t figure out what I am going to do with the roof water catchment tank now. One idea is, with some ingenuity, turn it into a duck pond for my future Muscovies. It is not that hard, just need to cut it down to 200L from 1000L. Put some gravel in to form a bank. It’s already got a tap, so its easy to drain, and the drain has already been dug, rain water will replenish and refresh the pond. Mound up soil hugelkultur style around the “pond” and viola!

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