RTBG 12th May 2022

A blanket of greyed clouds formed the umbrella for the day, and the temperature failed to rise to anything remotely comfortable – Neil had started before us in 4 degrees. At lunch we sat in the hardly ‘balmy’ temperature of around 12-13 degrees – or were we balmy. As I closed my mind to the cold, it crossed my mind that I was bonkers. It was one of those gloomy autumn days when staying at home with a good book and a glass of wine could have been preferable. But a few of us were undeterred and turned up for work in the Food Garden of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG).

Our Coordinator Adam spent most of the day working elsewhere on a major Botanical Gardens project and so, with a few directive suggestions, we set to work and when unsure, we used trusty Google. Neil plucked off the lower leaves from the Brussels Sprouts with the intention to create some distance from aphids and to remove their hiding places. Visitors to the Food Garden always stopped to ask him what and why – they looked so strange when semi-nude.

Tony harvested what he could wherever he could find fresh produce suitable for charity. I watched him removing leaves from stalks of two types of basil.

 Meg kept warm by raking and sweeping flurries of spent leaves from the many paths.

Trixie tackled some weeds and Neil dug over some garden beds.

Pam and I separated cloves from two varieties of garlic bulbs and selected non-rotted shallots. 

Then we plunged our fingers and tools into the soil and planted the garlic.

With the raking and planting assistance of Lesley, collectively we finished two beds and planted a third with the shallots.

Later a second bed of shallots were planted.

The recent increased rainfall has encouraged the proliferation of fungi around our gardens and in the wilderness (see the Tasmanian Fungi group on Facebook).  A number of colour camouflaged fungi were pushing out of the soil in various parts of the Food Garden.

At the end of the day on my way to the exit, I admired the relationship of the coloured signs to the colouring leaves of the tree somewhat behind it.  I wondered if this was a happy accident or whether it had been a deliberate choice.

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