Autumn in the garden - and the most asked question

8 April 2010
There are certain times during the year when the air temperature is so mild and gentle we seem to blend into the natural environment and become part of it.  It was like that yesterday.  Late in the afternoon, as I was making dinner, I noticed Hanno was outside planting and watering.  I grabbed my camera and went out to join him.  There was no breeze, the air was neither cool nor warm, the conditions were perfect.  

Just a few short weeks ago, our garden was almost bare.  We stopped planting in November and have scratched a few harvests since then, but the main activity in the garden has been when we let the chook loose in there to scratch around for insect eggs and eat all the grubs and caterpillars.  After that, Hanno built the soil up again with cow manure, compost, old chook manure and worm castings.  When he planted the first lettuces and cucumbers in the garden a  few weeks ago, they burst into life and have been feeding us for the last week or so.  There is nothing better than the taste of fresh vegetables and nothing gives me a greater feeling of self reliance and confidence than walking outside in  the afternoon to collect food for our dinner.  It's sublime on every level.

While I was outside yesterday afternoon, I took these photos.  They speak for themselves, so I'll let them tell their own story.  My thanks to Hanno for providing us with such healthy, sustainable, organic food.

Welsh onions and lettuceClick on photos to enlarge them.
Just on the other side of the fence, Heather, our salmon Faverolles chook, waits, hoping for a lettuce leaf.

From the bottom end, unseen potatoes, beetroot, lettuce rocket/arugula and cucumbers.

Lots of capsicums/peppers, dill, parsley and green onions.

Sweet potato madly growing everywhere and some ginger nextto the girl Buddha.

Whenever something is harvested, a new plant takes its place.  Keeping up with succession planting is the most difficult part of this kind of vegetable production.
Tomatoes have been planted at the base of each post in this A frame.  Next to them are leeks and radishes.

There is an abundance of cucumbers.

Tools of the trade always at hand, a trowel for digging planting holes, an old grapefruit knife for removing seedlings from their punnets and a bucket of seaweed tea to help with transplant shock.

From this end, radishes, parsnips, sugarloaf cabbages, leeks and tomatoes.

Welsh onion, green beans, coriander, tomatoes, parsley, dill, capsicums/peppers and zinnias.

Capsicums/peppers, parsley, dill, green beans and Welsh onions.

Lettuce and, unseen, potatoes.

Cucumbers (left), yarrow (for herb tea), bok choi, sweet potato.

Yellow passionfruit.  There are black passionfruit at the other end of the trellis.

And to answer the most asked question on the blog, the upturned pots are to stop us taking an eye out on the stakes and bamboo canes, and they're also decorative - I like the look of them.


  1. I had to laugh aloud when I got to the end of this picturesque post, and saw that the most frequent question pertains to the pots on sticks! I have seen an earlier reference to that topic in your Blog, Rhonda, and have to concur that yes, they do look rather decorative!
    Your gardens are looking splendid.
    Have a wonderful day,
    Tracy (Brisbane)

  2. The only word I can think of is ... yum...

    (and wow, what a stunning garden, so glad it gives you food for body and soul!)

  3. Hello Rhonda, It is looking great over there. Girl that soil is just the most beautiful black gold.
    I trust your both well. Hanno has recovered looks like. I am so happy all is well for you. My garden is thriving and getting ready for the changing season. It will be blazing hot here shortly. My health off a bit the planting is behind and the window gone on a few things. Enjoy having the time of your lives in these sweet days of calm.

  4. hello miss Rhonda,love that garden of yours , my hope is that when my garden grows it well grow up to be just like yours. :~)

  5. Hi Rhonda,I concure its a lovely time of year perfect infact.Hanno you are a magician look at all your magic well done.No employer can give you the satisfaction of seeing your own garden grow after the hard work!love it.

  6. Fantastic looking garden Rhonda. Thanks for the inspirational photos!

  7. Good morning Rhonda, the garden is looking a treat after that fallow period. Hanno's looking pretty terrific too!

  8. Good work Hanno and thanks for sharing Rhonda!


  9. We are leaving for Mozambique this summer, so our beloved garden here in the states is not to be this year. The good news is that when we get settled in Africa, we hope to have another garden along with the chicken and goats we were not allowed to have in the city. We will definitely be living a simpler life with less "stuff" but much more family time. I will keep you posted as we go!

  10. Hi Rhonda Jean,
    your garden larder looks wonderful. I started mine on Easter monday, a bit late, so I cheated and bought a few tom plants, and sowed 3 different varieties, the potatoes went in, herbs, chillies, squashes, where planted, more going in next weekend. This will be my first harvest, so I'm eager to see what will grow and what won't, I live in Denmark, so our growing season is not so long.
    I like reading your blog first thing in the morning.

  11. What I would do to have a veg garden... it looks beautiful... and great for the health~(:

  12. Looks like the garden is doing beautifully and you have a whole chunk of tasty things left to harvest.

    You mentioned in your post seaweed tea. Do you brew your own or buy it in? What other types of brews do you use in the garden to fertilise and feed?

  13. I understand now what the upturned pots are for, but what are the posts for? The sticks that are sticking out of the garden beds?

    Beautiful gardens!

  14. Gorgeous gardens that I am sure will provide an abundance of good food.

  15. What a beautiful garden. I too, wondered why the post were overturned on stakes and thought it must be some interesting new gardening technique or something! Thanks for satisfying everyone's curiosity.

  16. what a lovley sight to see! Beautiful vegs growing.Beautiful dirt. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  17. When I grow up I want to have a garden like that. That's an amazing supply of veggies.

    My yard isn't that large, nor my season as long, but I've got a bunch of seedlings started indoors now and access to a second yard this year. Yay! It's my hope to have enough in the freezer for my own family and some to give away. I can't wait to see green outside again.

  18. Beautiful! I love to see pictures of other people's gardens. When I was younger I liked to see pictures of flowers, but these days, I find vegetables much more interesting. :)

  19. rhonda, I love autumn.. I have welsh onions too.. but I don't replant mine, they just stay where they are each year.. is it better to dig them up and separate them?
    and what do you use them for mostly!
    yours and Hannos garden is so inspiring!!

  20. Beautiful garden and what a wonderful idea about the pots! I certainly need them! I've never seen passion fruit before, is that the same as from the vine? Your garden certainly gives lots of inspiration!

  21. I can't wait to wake up in the morning and get into my own garden. Thankyou for giving me and I'm sure many others the inspirational urge to feast from our own toiling. I drive on the M1 every day and lately there has been a large sign which reads 'TIMES ARE DIFFICULT SO KEEP IT SIMPLE' Lorraine

  22. Hi Rhonda,

    With your passionfruits is there any special technique you use to get so many fruits in such a confined cluster. Our vine produces a fruit for approximately every 5th flower, even though I go out every morning and try to cross pollinate between flowers to increase the fruit count.



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