Hallett is a place where winter really is wintery, with freezing winds, frost, rain and snow interspersed with sunny winter days that make life special. Here at the Bloke's Garden snow fell one freezing windy weekend, most people would be saying, why bother not much will grow. How wrong you would be.
Beds are filled with different types of brassicas madly producing fresh vegies for our table, along with chard, even some chillies are still fruiting. Waiting in the wings for spring, are peas, snow peas, beetroot, sprouts, carrots, broad beans and asparagus.
Strawberries and raspberries have gone in, along with heirloom apple trees, figs and olives. It may be cold, but we're so fortunate here with good soil and lots of fertilizer provided by the horses. Soon we'll be picking snow peas by the bucket full and trying out loads of different zucchini recipes when the garden goes mad. Nothing tastes as good as vegies from the garden, our asparagus is so sweet and crisp. Can't believe how lucky we are.
Come on spring, we're ready for you.
Everybody knows Joyce Lloyd, she is involved in so many activities in Burra. But Joyce’s real passion is gardening and flower arranging. Joyce has built up a reputation as a star flower arranger in the Mid North.
Her passion she says has saved her sanity when as a young mother she was bed ridden with a debilitating back problem, her husband would bring her in the flowers she had planted up in a wash trough out in her garden and she would make posies from her bed.
From there she shared flower arranging in her local church, and In time her arrangements were in great demand for weddings. Joyce travelled to Adelaide to the Floral Society for some tuition, and The Floral society featured her arrangements in their journals on several occasions.
Joyce entered arrangements in The Burra show on numerous occasions and travelled all over the Mid North when invited to come and talk about flower arranging. She remembers driving to Willalo on a very windy day and getting a flat tyre, she had dried flowers for her demonstration in the boot and had to take them out to get her spare tyre. Well you can imagine the wind took her flowers leaving her with very little to demonstrate with at her destination.
Any major event in Burra has had flowers done by Joyce, and may I say she has donated her time, flowers, unless she has had to buy flowers and petrol to do these arrangements. Her flowers mostly came from her own garden. Joyce just has a natural ability for flower arranging and the other crafts that she does. She has generously showed the women in Garden Group her craft and taught them how to do a nice posy or arrangement.
We thank you Joyce for the pleasure that your flowers have given us, and your generosity sharing your knowledge.
Arriving in Hallett 15 years ago from semi-tropical Broome to a house and garden I had never seen, was as you can imagine a bit of a culture shock. All I knew of South Australia was it was 'dry 'and had no idea we were not on mains water and only had rain water tanks and a bore.
It had been a wonderful garden in the past but sadly left empty, overgrown and unloved for quite some time, pots and containers left lying in the garden, and there was plenty, were full of earwigs.
The previous autumn had been very good rain-fall apparently, we had to 'scythe' down the grass before it could be mown, we had no Mower! In Broome you have 'the wet' and 'the dry' seasons and ample water -you never swept but hosed down paths etc. I had to re-learn the planting seasons from my earlier life in England. So began my journey with The Manse garden.
One of the reasons I bought my Burra cottage was the smallness of its garden - a strip down the side, a couple of flowering trees and 2 square metres of good brown dirt. I also have a rectangle of gravel, a slate verandah, and a shed. That 2 square metres of dirt gives me a lot of pleasure: one, because once planted out I do nothing but cut back now and again, and two, the most beautiful crab apple tree in the whole world. It is gorgeous at any time of the year, but especially round about the Open Gardens weekend. I have my fingers crossed.