157) Winter Garden and Outdoor Update

by Gail on December 21, 2011

Mary and Tess collected moss for me, and Mary and Natalia dug up some lovely ferns, to add to our rockery. (I should call it a rock yard, there is so much of it!)

These generous gifts coincided with the arrival of the West Coast Seeds catalogue.

Among all the enticing seeds (and crazy cotton socks made from t-shirt manufacturing leftovers!) there are a couple of items in the catalogue (Moss Milkshake and 1 kg of three different mosses) that I have finally attempted myself.

Regular readers will remember the recipe I passed on (throw a handful of moss into a blender with 1 cup of yogurt or  buttermilk,

and paint it onto your shady rocks to generate lush moss growth.)

Yesterday, I made this recipe. Will update its success in a while, if the dog doesn’t lick it all off before the spores get busy and reproduce!

Meanwhile, in the garden, we’re still harvesting some herbs,  lettuce, carrots, beets, adorable Little Tokyo turnips (the latest seeds I planted), Swiss Chard and spinach (albeit very tiny quantities of the latter two.)

In my studio, I have resurrected my interest in natural dyeing, which began (and ended, actually) during university. Late in the fall, I harvested marigold flowers, artichoke leaves, and onion skins before the frost put most of the garden to sleep. I planted a sumac bush in the layer of the garden that will soon be devoted to dye plants.

The first plant, a Sumac, in the dye garden

I have begun the search for seeds, but many common flowers and leaves lend their dyes to cotton. This is what gardeners do on the shortest day of the year – plan their gardens.

And, the last outdoor note for now: the songbirds (if there are any hanging around still) have been offered a treat: little wreaths, stockings and stars made of birdseed mix especially-formulated for songbirds. I read about this kind of bird treat/decoration on a website/blog called Everyday Eden.

Christina and John are the creative team behind this blog and their excellent book of the same name, published earlier this year. Christina Symons has major talent in the area of styling, writing and photography, and does freelance work.  John Gillespie is a landscape designer, horticulturalist, arborist and green roof technician. They live and work here on the Sunshine Coast.

So, it may be the “dead” of winter here, but there’s lots of growing going on at “This Green House.” (And, it’s not just around the waistline.)


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