Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a sneaky disorder. It sneaks up with the weather. It affected me when I lived in Melbourne. Now, I live in Ballarat which is colder and wetter.
My neighbour's beautiful fruit blossom
coming over my fence
We have had winter for four months - and I am well and truly over it. SAD has affected me severely in recent weeks. I am a girl from the tropics and I don't believe I have adapted to the climate after eight years in Victoria. Ballarat is very cold. I now refer to visits to Melbourne as visits to the sub-tropics. The cold and the rain keep me indoors. A few years ago I had a serious health event brought about by cold - cold in a heated room with me in a fleecy dressing gown. In addition, I also suffer from Raynaud's syndrome.
To cut a long story sort - I feel imprisoned in a gloomy, rainy winter. I feel liberated in warmth and sunshine. Adding to my frustration is a garden which needs attention but I can't get out there.
Bearing all this in mind, this morning was a pleasant surprise. I woke up at 6 a.m. My house is well-insulated - sufficiently to make a difference of a few degrees between inside and outside temperatures. So if, by a wintry chance, it is comfortable inside and there is no need of heating - externally there can still be a breeze straight from the Antarctic. This morning, however, I put my head out the door to find the morning warm, comfortable, the extreme winds of previous days were no more, and the lightening sky didn't seem to indicate any precipitate interference.
So I got stuck into the garden.
I have been in the house just short of seven months. A March arrival didn't allow one to do to much in the garden. Forays over winter have been hit and run. But I had plans.
The lavender planted in Autumn is beginning to take off.
Candytuft has just been planted between the lavender bushes
- and there's a rose behind.
- To-day, I pulled some remaining weeds from the lavender bed, planted some candytuft in between, and added a red rose recently purchased from the market at the Ballarat East Community Men's Shed. And there is room for another rose.
- I planted out salad onions (shallotts to a North Queenslander like me), which had come from the same source, in a wooden planter box that I had once picked up from footpath hard rubbish in Melbourne.
The French Currant -
it would me nice if mine grew up to look like this
- I repotted the French Currant purchased from the Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens just over the way from where I live. It is growing at a rate of knots. I have a few cuttings snitched from a French Currant in the grounds of the Ballarat School of Mines. I think they may be striking so I will be keeping an eye on them.
My eight-year-old Oregano
- I repotted a recently purchased Thyme. Me and Thyme don't travel well together and are prone to misadventures. I want herbs like my Oregano (see above). I have been growing it in the same galvanised metal tub for eight years. It dies back in Winter and rebounds beautifully in Spring.
- Between the Lavender bed and where I positioned the shallots in the wooden planter box, there was sufficient room for a new bed which I dug and into which I placed some mini-roma tomatoes from last season. Later, I will plant in other beds mini-roma seeds and black russian seeds I have brought from Melbourne. I loved the mini-romas last summer. They have a 'take over the world' mentality and proved quite hardy and a frequent cropper.
- I believe in feeding the soil before planting. We cannot grow good crops of nutritious food unless we first feed the soil and feed it as well as we would ourselves. I have had worm pots positioned in the garden beds. When I came here one could dig into the soil and not find a worm. That is no longer the case. This morning, I fed more sheep manure into the beds.
And guess what happened. While I had the precious time of one hour of warmth, clearness and a lightening sky, there came the sound of rolling thunder. A little later came spattering drops of rain. Now we have had rain since about 8 a.m. My manure is being rained into the soil. The new plantings have the encouragement of rain. And I think I can honestly say that I beat the cold front which is transiting across the weather-maps of south-east Australia!
Rocket & Rake
The rocket is going elegantly to seed -
over a lengthy period of time with
lovely yellow and brown flowers