Monday, August 29, 2022

Snapshots of my almost-spring garden

Like many of you, I haven't spent much time in the garden over winter, because of the rain and general dreariness. 

However, the weather has actually been nice for the past couple of days, and that has motivated me to get back out there. 

Yesterday I picked up a few containers of mulch and spread them around in places that were getting bare. Today I mowed the lawns, weeded some gardens and spread compost from my big corner compost pile onto the two gardens that border my deck. The nice dark soil you see on the right of the photo above is homemade compost. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. 

Since I last shared a gardening post with you, there have been a few small changes around the place: 

A couple of months ago I decided to give away our chickens, Rosie Posie and Pearl. The main reason was because Pearl was very noisy in the morning, and I felt bad about how she must be waking up the neighbours. Our neighbours were too nice to complain about it, but I felt bad for them anyway. I gave the chickens to a lovely homeschool family we know, who have a large-enough property that Pearl won't disturb them or their neighbours. 

Apparently the chooks have settled in well to their new home. I'll need to figure out a new source of manure for the garden now. 

We also recently replaced a stretch of fence in our backyard, near the potager garden (which is in desperate need of new flowers to fill it out). 

Quite a few plants got trampled in the process of building the fence, and one of my dwarf nectarine trees was decapitated, but the new fence has given me an opportunity to grow passionfruit up it. The two passionfruit vines pictured above both self-seeded in one of my vegetable gardens, so today I moved them next to the new fence. 

I'll leave them both in until it's really obvious which one is doing better, and then I'll pull out the other one. I haven't had much success growing passionfruit on this property to date, but I haven't tried this spot before, so I'm hoping these two will take off. 

At the start of winter, I planted a rhubarb plant between one of my blueberry bushes and our house. I did have a rhubarb in this same spot in the past, but it died. I think it got too much sun and not enough water. Since then, we've installed a tap directly above the spot and the blueberry bushes have grown bigger, so I'm hoping this plant will make it. 

Only time will tell, as is often the way with gardening. 

In the garden pictured above, I'm attempting to grow Brussels sprouts for the first time. I don't actually like Brussels sprouts, but I hoped they would provide us with some cruciferous vegetables over winter. Alas, that did not happen. The coriander dotted around it is doing well, however. 

I did also get quite a few self-seeded broccoli over winter, which was a pleasant surprise. I left the broccoli plants in after harvesting the tops, so that I could keep picking the side shoots that sprouted. 

At the front of the Brussels sprouts/coriander garden, I'm growing two different varieties of lettuce, as well as spinach. The lettuce has been a good provider for us. Any time I want to make a salad, I just pick off a few leaves from each plant. Cos lettuce is my favourite to grow for this purpose. 

I've also planted calendula for the first time since we lived in Wellington. It's providing a bright spot of colour amongst all the green. If I get enough flowers, I'll collect them and attempt to make calendula balm. 

Last year I planted lots of tulips in the potager garden, as well as a few in the wooden container pictured above. So far, the tulips in the container are the only ones that have re-flowered. I wonder if the bulbs in the container got more chilled over winter, and so are doing better than the ones buried directly in the ground. I did pull some bulbs out of the potager garden with the intention of chilling them before replanting, but they've disappeared. I can't figure out what I did with them. 

And that is all my garden news. How is your garden doing? Has this nicer weather tempted you outside too?


  1. Lovely to see your garden. It has done well despite all the rain.

    1. Thanks. I think having the raised beds and mulch around them has helped absorb a lot of the water.


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