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text 2017-05-25 08:38
First time visitors to the garden...

We looked out back yesterday to find this guy and his buddy in our apricot tree.  They're always out and about in the really big canopy trees our neighbours have but they've never graced us with a visit before now.  This morning we had 6 of them sitting just outside our back doors, and I spent a good half hour taking hundreds of photos, while Easter-cat and Carlito stared agog at the Skittles-with-wings (Carlito from inside, because frankly, he's a wuss).

 

It took forever to choose the picture I wanted to share here, but ultimately I decided on this one, where the Lorikeet is giving Easter-cat the side-eye (she's directly beneath, flattened out, and trying her hardest to watch the bird through the tops of her ears).

 

Rainbow Lorikeet, giving the evil-eye to the rainbow colored cat beneath him.

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review 2017-05-10 18:36
The Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Janit Calvo
The Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Handmade Accessories for Your Tiny Living World - Janit Calvo

A few years ago I was given a box of miniatures and packed them away not really knowing what to do with them. After getting my hands on this book I cannot wait to get started making beautiful miniature gardens out of the things in the box. 

 

This book is filled with wonderful ideas, tips, and more. The awesome color pictures are amazing.  each piece can be personalized to your tastes as well. This book has really opened my creativity. No every miniature I see can be turned into a wonderful part of a garden. 

 

I also loved the section on tools needed. I  ever thought about using my nail polish to paint small items. I know the craft shop is going to love seeing me come and my porches and several places in my house are going to be wonderful with all the miniature gardens I am envisioning in my minds eye thanks to this book. 

 

I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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review 2017-05-02 07:19
How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do (Science for Gardeners) - Linda Chalker-Scott

This is a good beginner book for any gardener (no matter how inexperienced or experienced) to read.  The author discusses the science behind plant growth and gardening techniques in an accessible manner that does not require a biology degree.  She also explains the workings (or lack thereof) behind some gardening myths.  This book explains how plants work - it is NOT a plant identification guide.

 

A more detailed book that explains how plants work is: Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon (third edition).

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review 2017-03-13 08:35
Terra Preta: How the World’s Most Fertile Soil Can Help Reverse Climate Change and Reduce World Hunger by Ute Scheub, Haiko Pieplow, Hans-Peter Schmidt, Kathleen Draper
Terra Preta: How the World's Most Fertile Soil Can Help Reverse Climate Change and Reduce World Hunger - Ute Scheub,Haiko Pieplow,Hans-Peter Schmidt,Kathleen Draper,Tim Flannery

Terra preta is the Portuguese name of a type of man-made soil which is thought to have almost miraculous properties.  This soil is made from a variety  of  kitchen or garden wastes, charcoal and earthworms, so it can be produced on every balcony or on the smallest of garden plots.  This soil is able to absorb soil contaminants, retain moisture and provide nutrients for the plants, as well as replace top soil lost through erosion.  This is an interesting, but somewhat long-winded and simplistic book that discusses the importance of soil and how to produce your own humus/compost/black soil or terra preta.  




 

 

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review 2017-02-17 07:15
The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms
The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms - Amy Stewart

Yep.  Earthworms.  Unsung heroes.

 

Amy Stewart has become one of the few authors I'd wait in line for a signature for - have I mentioned that before?  She makes a great spokesperson for these unfairly maligned little earth movers.  In a chatty but informative style she covers the earthworms' role in history, agriculture, backyard gardening, forestry and even sewage treatment and soil reclamation.

 

Did you know that Australia has an earthworm that grows over 3 feet long, and when it moves around under the earth, farmers can hear a gurgling sound?  They're native to a farming area called Gippsland, here in Victoria, so of course I want to go and stand in the middle of a pasture like an idiot in hopes of hearing them gurgle along beneath me, while trying not to think of the movie Tremors.

 

There's no denying this is not a book for everyone.  But gardeners, environmentalists, and armchair scientists will all find something interesting and fascinating here.

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