Friday, December 30, 2011

Gardening early Summer November - December 2011

So far the garden has had a good start to Summer. Plenty of Rain (for Melbourne) and plenty of sunshine.

Unfortunately plenty of weeds - but 100 hours of weeding and spraying work + 2 cubic metres of mulch will help cure that. Did I tell you I generally loathe weeding? But its a bit like doing your tax. You hate it but you still have to do it, unless you're like me - which reminds me to send a card to my accountant who has practically given up hope on me.

Anyway, screw all the bad vibes. I'll show you some of the gardening photos I've taken this month-  the roses, agapanthus are doing very well this season. The rose flowers are getting mildew, blackspot, and a possible botyeris infection. I blame the hot humid wet conditions.

I've only got one rosemary bush in my garden. I decided to propagate it. Stick the cuttings in a glass bottle with water and wait til the roots appear before transplanting it. Its that easy! I did the same for my Lavender except they all went into the potting mix pot instead of the glass bottle and now I have about 20+ plants. I did not use any root chemicals. Although they say that dipping the end bits into honey is suppose to help produce roots faster.

I make no apologies for liking beautiful things. Even the humble box art cover of a box of sea salt. I like it!
We're surrounded by so many vile things - so to compensate, you should have beautiful objects and things.

 I collect Noritake porcelain. Its beautiful, inexpensive and very good quality.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spare time reading

For kicks I like to read academic articles. Now, I don't claim to have read them fully, sometimes skimming through them or cherry-picking parts I like. One of the subjects that interests me is the interpretations and re-interpretations of the absolutely appalling history of Kampuchea (Cambodia) and how other readers see the whole affair too.

I was very bemused when Noam Chomsky, who was a great defender of Pol Pot's regime, was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize of 2011. I mean, what has he done to deserve it? And can someone who is living in a free liberal democratic nation be called "courageous" for criticizing the government? Its ridiculous. They should have given the prize to someone whose very life was endangered by speaking out against corruption and crimes against humanity.

When I look at lefties, they seem stuck in a protest mindset at the height of the Vietnam War. ie. US Govt evil. Lefty Govt good. But that's just me, because I'm a liberal conservative.

And so Noam comes up with this line- written in 1977 when the world, even the Reader's Digest, was well aware of the atrocities going on in Cambodia.

The "slaughter" by the Khmer Rouge is a Moss-New York Times creation. Noam Chomsky

He says this because - the evidence is coming from Western Media and the US Govt - so by default, such claims are "a completely worthless source".

The whole thing becomes rather infantile. Instead of meaningful dialogue - it becomes a case of us and them. A sort of "(insert Country name) bomb" game.

"India bomb, India bomb, India bomb to Pakistan bomb"
"Pakistan bomb, Pakistan bomb, Pakistan bomb to England bomb"
"England bomb, England bomb, England bomb to..."

What I find perplexing... and paradoxically enlightening in my understanding of how humans behave, is the way Noam Chomsky chooses to deny he ever supported Pol Pot's evil regime and instead chooses to do some serious mental yoga moves to rewrite history. It would have gained him the respect of many people if he had simply come out, admitted he made an error in judgement instead of trying to rewrite or re-interpret his earlier stance on Pol Pot's regime.

I guess the moral of the whole story is that very smart people can be incredibly petty, proud, and incapable of seeing their own flaw even if it bit them in their ass. And sometimes, when you hate something long enough, you end up becoming like it. You become what you hate.

Anyway, here are some articles which I've been reading on the whole subject.

I see it as an education in rhectoric - ways of arguing etc.. and you get gems like this by Bruce Sharp:

Bruce Sharp, "Curiously, he never gets around to explaining precisely what he thinks is "dishonest." (Generally, I believe it is customary to cite something that is actually false when you accuse someone of lying.)"

Bruce Sharp: "I find myself rather underwhelmed by the accuracy of Professor Chomsky, a man who is surely one of the world's most renowned scholars. There is something vaguely amusing about being called "dishonest" by a man of the Professor's stature... particularly when he admits that he didn't actually read what I wrote, and neglects to explain exactly what I said that he finds dishonest."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Just spent a good  hours weeding away in my garden - I'm totally buggered. I got have 2 cubic metres of mulch I need to pour onto the flower beds to prevent the weeds from coming up.

Of course it won't prevent ALL of them from coming up. Some will still manage to break through. But the impact of the mulch will kill a lot of the weeds and also make it easier for me to pull the shoots when they poke their heads out of the ground.

To do it right you also need to place wet soggy newspaper underneath the mulch - on top of the weeds, top soil. But I don't buy newspapers and the local library is being run by an old bitch who refuses to pass me any of the old newspapers - which is all placed into their secured paper waste bin. Argh, I'm not going to sell the  papers you stupid woman. I'd make more money pulling the tyres off your car and flogging them off. Geez.

Anyway, I buy my mulch from Col Smith. 1 cubic metre cost about $65. I buy a mix of two types. Eucy and something called Finebark - so 2 cubic metres, roughly one truck load. Its a good combo. The birds have a problem trying to dig at it. Total cost is $140 including delivery. Its a do-able amount for me.

What's a cubic metre? Well, pile it up and its roughly the size or volume of an office desk.

Placing it on the garden bed gives me a bit of respite. The weeds will eventually poke through in 3 weeks time or so and generally they are easier to remove due to their need to push through the mulch to get to the sun.

Reading about gardening is much more easier. I find a few good links on gardening I'd thought I'd share you you.

A good way to turn your compost pile without resorting to back breaking shovelling. As you know, we're suppose to turn over the compost pile to help it disintegrate. But its tough trying to turn the bloody pile over. This guy has come up with an easier way to do that.

Compost tea

In my next post, I'll share more thoughts on making compost tea.