Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blueberries, rosemary and flowers

When we moved into this house, there was a little riverstone garden outside our kitchen door, filled with two ugly looking plants and a whole lot of weeds.

I had in my mind that this would be a handy location for a vegetable garden or some herbs, so the kids and I started shifting the river stones out by the hundreds. (We put them under our deck.) I had to dig out so many river stones that I actually gave myself tennis elbow in my right arm. All progress stopped at the point shown in the following photo.

After resting my elbow for a couple of months, I gave myself a morning to get the rest of the stones out. I used my left hand to do the digging, and tried to use my right arm as little as possible.

It worked.

I managed to get the rest of the stones out, plus all the weeds that had grown in the intervening months.

Planting time!

It felt so good to head down to Mitre 10 Mega with the kids last week and buy some big ol' bags of compost and plants for the garden.

Miss L pushed a trolley with baby J in it, while I pushed the trolley full of compost and plants. It was so great to have big sister home for the holidays to help me out.

The girls were very excited about planting. Miss S watered all the planting holes for me, and was determined to plant one of the flowers on her own. She did a great job. We mixed compost with the existing soil and planted rosemary, cineraria and pansies into that. I plan to add more herbs in here, especially ones that will attract bees, like sage, thyme and oregano. Possibly some borage.

On the other side of my back door, I planted two blueberry trees - Tasty Blue and Blue Dawn - to cross pollinate with each other. Aren't they pretty?

This week I got an exciting (for me) email from Auckland City Council. I had asked if I could help myself to wood chips from some big piles near my local park, and the answer came back, "Yes."

Yesterday I made three trips down to the wood chip piles and filled my car boot.

I put these wood chips went around my new blueberry trees, rosemary and flowers, plus around my feijoa trees.

Here's another angle of all the new plantings. I love how the wood chips tie it all together and make it look finished. They're also great for retaining water in the soil, suppressing weeds and increasing soil fertility.

Here are the wood chips around my feijoa trees. I also moved stones from another part of my garden to finish edging the feijoa garden.

It feels so good to have these gardens planted out and looking healthy. Bit by bit, we'll get there. My edible oasis is coming to life.


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