Category Archives: Nature Study

Putting Down Roots!

Today, we finally made some progress on the garden!
The raised bed now has soil and some plants (peas, odourless onions and pickling onions, beetroot, and cauliflower… Half are seeds, and the rest are seedlings).

We also began the Citrus Grove. Around the pool, the plan is to have a mass of citrus, and a few frangipani (that and roses are currently the only non-food plants we’re planning).
So today we put in Puggle’s Blood Orange (a sixth birthday present), a Eureka Lemon (because it’s not an Australian backyard without a lemon:-) ), and an Okasii Mandarin… Early fruiting, seedless, and easy to peel.

We also picked up some Marjoram and Thyme seedlings to stick in the herb garden across the back fence.

Cygnet planted out some watermelon seeds in what will be one of the rose gardens. Not sure that they’ll do much, as it’s currently unreticulated, and the seeds were kind of old… But it’s worth a try:-)

Previously, I used freecycle to get rid of a stack of non-food plants, and we’ve moved a bushy Rosemary (from what will be the asparagus bed) to beside the front gate.

At this point, the only part of the garden we haven’t begun is the orchard.

And the best bit is that everything we bought, we planted!


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Filed under Domestic Life, Garden, Home Education, Nature Study, Science


Many years ago, I planted a Pink Lady apple in the yard (my favourite apple). It’s never done much (about twelve months ago I found that apparently it does need a cross pollinator, after all).
We’re about to move, and given its small stature (it’s not quite as tall as me), and great sentimental value, we thought we’d try digging it out and moving it. We realise it may not survive, but given the block will be cleared within about 12 months anyway, we figured it was worth the attempt.
So, we dug it out. I did a bit of reading beforehand that suggested not pruning ahead of time—so the tree can ‘choose’ which leaves to drop. Things were looking pretty dubious for a bit. It was high summer and it was looking pretty dry with leaves dropping left right and centre. We had put the pot right near the tap so we could water it often and hoped for the best.
Finally, it seemed to stabilise. It still looked pretty iffy, but we didn’t think leaves were falling off so much. And then… We noticed flowers! Lots of them! Previously, it had produced an apple just after it went in the ground, but in the intervening years we’d had only occasional flowers, that never lasted long.
We realise that it still won’t be pollinated (at the new house we plan to get it a Granny Smith companion:-) ), but we think the flowers are a good sight that we haven’t actually killed it yet:-)


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Filed under Garden, Nature Study

National Geographic Angry Birds

Here’s an interesting looking book… One I plan to follow up.

HT: Macbeth’s Opinion

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Filed under Home Education, Nature Study


We’ve had a lovely time the last few weeks at the Gould League Centre at Herdsmans Lake. We’ve done a series of workshops on a variety of topics around wetlands. It’s reinforced a lot about birds for the older two, and begun number three on bird names…

So now, Cygnet is running around with a peg on his nose—being an Ibis:-) It’s very cute:-)

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