Friday, August 31, 2012

Almost spring garden

One of the things on my spring cleaning list is actually to set up a little garden for L. She has fallen head over heals in love with flowers and is so excited about having her own garden to plant whatever she wants in.

I'm in the process of clearing out a messy hedge on the sunny side of our yard so we can put L's garden there. This is slow going as the roots seem to spread forever. 

The hedge used to go all the way along the concrete wall.
We cleared half of the hedge last spring to put in passionfruit vines and tomato plants, now I'm working on clearing the more established half.

The last stubborn patch of roots to clear.
L's garden will be a boxed-in square next to the steps.
Yesterday was such a stunning day, perfect for gardening. It was warm, sunny and wind-free so we got the paddling pool out and the girls happily played in that while I gardened.

In the afternoon S napped and L helped me prepare her garden by breaking up clumps of clay and moving roots to the corner of the yard. She was a very enthusiastic worker!

She then decided to wash all the rocks I pulled out of the dirt. I said it wasn't really necessary, but she was determined.

In other parts of my backyard...

These lettuce plants came up all by themselves. There must have been some seeds in the compost I bought last summer because a few plants popped up then and I left them to go to seed. Best decision ever!
Self-seeded lettuce plants from compost.
This patch of dirt used to hold tomatoes and would have been bare over winter if dozens of little lettuce plants hadn't popped up to fill the spot. I love coming down here most days to pick a handful of lettuce leaves for salads.

They are the nicest lettuce plants I've ever grown. Sweet to taste and sweet to look at.

On the other hand, these broccoli plants have not been the greatest success. I planted them last spring and they've only just sprouted small purple heads.

I actually gave up on some of the plants and ripped them out about a month ago because they were so huge they were starting to topple over. Regretting that decision now!

L and I like to eat the little sprouts raw.

It's been a few years since I've grown leeks because the payoff isn't great, but I decided to grow them again this year because I want a variety of vegetables in my garden and I love leek soup.
Leeks and carrots

The leeks pictured above aren't huge, but I've picked a couple of the bigger ones already and they made a nice addition to my vegetable soup concoctions. I've even used some of the leaves when making chicken stock, for added depth of flavour.

Carrots (AKA The best producing vegetable in my garden.)
I planted a rainbow of different carrots in two different gardens last spring and they have done so well.
Carrots and apples grown in my garden.

The white carrots grew huge really quickly so we ate a lot of them at first. Now they've almost finished and have made way for orange, yellow and purple carrots to grow big and juicy. We eat freshly picked carrots most days, in salads, as a side with dinner, in soups and casseroles, or in L's favourite meal Asian Mince on Rice.
Carrots and beetroot.
The beetroot you see pictured above haven't grown all that big even though they've been there since spring. I have picked a few medium-sized ones to roast for dinner.

Soon I need to sit down and plan what I'm going to plant this year and where. One of my favourite jobs to do!

What's your favourite / best-producing vegetable to grow?


  1. Thanks for the pics! Keep us posted on Lily's flower garden!
    What a luk cky scoop that was with your lettuces, and I'm inspired to get some different coloured carrots in the ground!

  2. Oh those lettuces look lovely - My kale this year has done well - I never really expected it to. It sounds as though Lilly enjoys gardening and giving her her own little bed is a great idea!

  3. you're lucky to have a good little helper! My broccoli did the same, only getting little sprouts of some plants now, but they are tasty. I planted leeks and not sure what to do with them all now, there's only so much leek soup I can eat.... and also found carrots were a success over winter, will be planting more and see if they survive the summer heat. Over winter the best producer has been the kale and asian greens, we have had green veges from the garden every night over winter. In summer is the button squash, silver beet, cheery tomatoes and lettuce :) Got to love the self-seeders too, we have a parsley patch with year, so much there from one that went to seed last year, I've been feeding it to Bella the cow.

    1. Oh yes, our parsley is out of control.

      You could try roasting chunks of leek along with red onion and potatoes etc when you roast one of your roosters. Place them all around the outside of the rooster in the roasting dish along with some fresh tarragon. Tuck more tarragon and butter under the breast skin. Roast and then mix creme fraiche in as you make your gravy at the end for an AMAZING roast meal.

    2. Chicken and leak pie is delicious! saute leeks in pan(however many you want) add left over roast chicken pulled off the bone and a bottle of honey mustard chicken tonight sauce (or similar) salt and pepper, then put mixture into dish lined with pastry and top it with some pastry and bake in oven. Yum

  4. Wow your carrots look amazing. I really don't have much success with them. Greta idea making a garden for Lily I so want to do that or John. Next year I think. M xx


Thank you for visiting Craving Fresh, and for taking the time to comment. Your feedback is so important to me.