2 September 2010

In the vegetable patch

You all know I love Winter but it's the second day of Spring today and we're in those transition days from cool to warm.  It's an absolute joy now to walk in the garden, looking, picking, tying back, clipping and even weeding.  My favourite times in the garden all through the year are very early in the morning at first light, and late in the afternoon when the trees on the neighbouring property shade our garden.  Hanno was out all day yesterday driving a group of ladies around the thrift shops.  I was in charge of the garden.  :- )  We're going out of our main growing season now and heading towards a time when we'll harvest a lot of tomatoes.  In november or December, Hanno will stop planting and although we'll continue harvesting over summer, no new plants will go in.  

This is what it looks like now.

These are the new tomatoes Hanno planted outside the garden.  Hettie, our cat, lays in the straw almost all day, sleeping.

There are a few types of Chinese greens here including bok choy, tatsoi and minuba.

Frilly lettuce is planted next to the Chinese greens and in between those crops we have a lush crop of chickweed.  I tend to think of that as a crop because we use it to feed the chooks.  They love it.

The elderberry is flowering.  I am going to take some cuttings and propagate this to give us enough berries to make champagne each Christmas.  We won't do it this year, but from next year we should be right.

Tomatoes and lettuce.

Garlic and zucchini.

New bok choi, tomatoes in the background, leeks in the top left corner and new cucumbers on the climbing frame.

In the next garden over, a big clump of parsley in the foreground, more lettuce, silverbeet (swiss chard) and the white flowering coriander/cilantro.

The same garden taken from the other end.  Here you can see Welsh onions and climbing green beans, just starting to attach themselves to their frame.

Same garden, looking back into the main garden.

Yarrow in the foreground, celeriac, silverbeet/swiss chard, kale and snow peas.  I will harvest all that silverbeet today and have it frozen by early afternoon.

Looking back onto the Chinese greens again, this time with the orange tree, bay tree (cut back) and passionfruit vines in the background.

And while I wandered around, watering and checking, eyes were upon me.  Notably those of Quentin, our Light Sussex chook.  She is upset that I am in there and she isn't.  Potatoes will soon be planted in that bare patch near the chook fence.

Our garden isn't big.  It's divided up into six beds, with herbs growing in pots near the bird baths.  Outside the fenced garden we have a lemon tree, which grows in the chook run, as well as passionfruit vines, bananas, mandarin, pink grapefruit, avocados and loquat trees.  This is more than enough food for us, and to share with family and friends.  I hope all of you who are starting gardens now or who are thinking about it, dive right in to the world of home grown vegetables and fruit.  The difference in freshness and the superb taste of backyard vegetables and fruit, is enough to keep you going year after year.  Happy gardening everyone!

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