But I'll leave the blog-ranting to Hazel who does very thought-provoking Sunday rants on her blog. And I don't think she makes up any facts.
No, I'm not complaining that yesterday in Melbourne was a public holiday so the nation could stop and watch some horsies running about. Because I do love a holiday and because Cup Day is the day that marks for Melbourne gardeners tomato planting time. Unless they are me. I had planned to plant the tomatoes but I got stuck unearthing surprises in the ground.
On the weekend, I started to dig up some grass to plant flowers beside the shed when I discovered a brick. I kept digging and discovered more bricks. I soon realised that I was unearthing a path that hadn't seen the light of day for quite a few decades. And the fantastic thing is, this path is right where I was planning on making a path. Remember I consulted you and had decided to get rid of the grass and make mulch paths? Well someone (who has now likely gone to their grave) has done some of the work already for me. But in brick form which is much nicer and more practical.
The funny thing about unearthing a nice surprise like this is that I started to get a bit greedy. I found myself crossing my fingers in hope that the path would continue and pave under the plum tree for me. And I was a little disappointed when of course I found that it didn't.
I started fiddling about in the garden around noonish and just couldn't stop. I was interrupted at 5.45pm by my family. Still digging.
Unearthed Garden Secret No. 1 - The Path
We live near a railway track and in the very early hours of the morning last weekend I was woken by the crashing and banging of men replacing the railway sleepers. Monkey Man offered the workers half a dozen beers for half a dozen railway sleepers and they were happy to oblige. So we scored some garden edging. I dragged these to my backyard (with much huffing and puffing) and as I was unearthing the path I also managed to make some raised beds.
Oh, and I also dug up this old key. Which was rather exciting again as I imagined when it was last held and by whom and where was the door standing that the key unlocked. I fancied I could have been an archaeologist if I had my career to start over. But then I remembered those documentaries I've seen with archaeologists sitting about in the blazing sun for hours on end working with a teeny brush and I know that would be no life for me.
Unearthed Garden Secret No. 2 - The Key
So anyway, yesterday, on the day that was supposed to be dedicated to tomato planting, I didn't have time. Instead I chopped out the broad beans and made a smashed broad bean dip for lunch with friends. Delicious served with sourdough bread, slices of tomato and marinated feta cheese.
I've read that green manure crops and broad beans are good for the garden because they take nitrogen from the air and fix it to the roots to later be released into the soil. Yesterday, while I was chopping up the broad bean plants I accidentally unearthed the roots of one. And I saw with my own eyes what these little nitrogen nodules look like. Now that was exciting too. So I quickly took a photo for you and then dug it back into the soil.
Unearthed Garden Secret No. 2 - Nitrogen Nodules
I did plant my tomatoes in this same bed last year and would have liked to do a bit of crop rotation but for reasons which I will not bore you with, they will be going here again. But on another day. Because after all that path excavating and sleeper hauling and broad bean double peeling I am pooped.
Smashed Broad Bean Dip
• double peeled broad beans (as many as you can be bothered doing)
• 1 small onion finely chopped
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• olive oil
• salt & pepper
Double peel the broad beans. Slowly cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Smash the broad beans with a mortar and pestle. In a bowl, mix the beans, garlic, onion and oil together. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with sourdough bread, slices of tomato and feta cheese marinated in olive oil.