The Garden Share Collective

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited .. because I am. Really excited! Why? Well because this month I am part of The Garden Share Collective, a beaut initiative for bloggers by Lizzie from ‘Strayed from the Table‘. A monthly community of like minded garden enthusiasts who want to share their vege patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow  – the trials and tribulations of growing your own!

Hillside beds anyone?

Hillside beds anyone?

Our 7.5 acre property you might say is undulating – but to be honest its hilly. Which means (yes you have guessed it) our raised garden beds are positioned on a hillside. There are some which are true raised beds with macrocarpa pine surrounds (just think of an elevated box full of super rich soil). These have been cleverly built into the land, while others are just vege plots edged in pine. And then of course, there are a couple of beds in totally daft places which I’m not even going to mention! There are times I really dislike our garden hill positioning, but there are also advantages too – good drainage, shelter from the southwesterly wind, all day sun (that’s a bonus … got to love that!). Truth is, your garden position is of utmost importance for a host of reasons – ideally try and keep it as close to your house as possible. The further away it is, the less likelihood you are of visiting it – trust me!

Garden madness ... alliums and brassicas

Garden madness … alliums and brassicas

There is much growing in our gardens at present, even though it is winter and cold in Auckland. Being a huge fan of heirloom garlic I have planted several beds with this wonderful culinary herb. Plus and also in the allium family, there are red onion and Egyptian walking onion, which I have never grown before. The garlic and Egyptian onions are looking particularly good, which is something to do with the homemade seaweed brew which gets splashed about every few weeks – yes even in winter! The red onions are slow starters .. but to be honest I planted them later than usual.

Eygptian walking onions

Egyptian walking onions looking fab

I love bio diversity, so all my gardens feature an array of vege, companion plants and flowers. I even have a dedicated flower bed which I have named appropriately the ‘insectary’.

Growing in my gardens now are an array of herbs – parsley, tarragon, several varieties of thyme, Vietnamese mint, mint, sage, comfrey, sorrel, garlic chives, oregano, pineapple sage, lemon balm (bordering on being a weed), rosemary, dill, coriander and lemon grass.

Lemon grass

Lemon grass sharing its pot with tansy and alyssum … interesting

We have a fine mix of brassicas all heirloom varieties, peas, beetroot, lettuce (great lakes), celery, chilli (still doing its thing …!), self seeded garlic, potatoes, yacon and a couple of pots near the back door with a jumble of edibles.

And because I can I have geraniums, pansy, salvia, lavender, calendula, alyssum, nasturtium (a real crawler ..) all growing amongst my vege, including a tansy which I planted to ‘buddy up with my spuds’.

We have just started munching on our sprouting broccoli which is just wonderful steamed and served with a zingy vinaigrette. I’m still eating spring onions and our herbs are always used in Greek salads, pastas, soups and winter casseroles.

Of course winter is a good time to give some of those beds a break … so sowing with lupins or phacelia provides a great ground cover to protect the soil from the winter weather.

There is always loads to do in my garden … although it is difficult with the volumes of rain we have been having. And yes, it does dampen even the most avid gardeners spirit, including mine.

Lavender sussex chook

Flora … gorgeous Lavender Sussex chook!

My tasks …

I still haven’t finished mulching the garlic or onions, but thats a definite – garlic hate weeds. Speaking of the latter, there is always plenty of that to do to … and as those slimey molluscs are about,  it’s time to get out in the garden at night with a torch and bucket of warm soapy water. Works a treat!

Must locate those secatuers too, there is the odd fruit tree (pip) needs a mini trim. Late? Of course I am!

An interesting dozen!

An interesting dozen!

Happy gardening everyone … and thanks Lizzie for your super idea.

17 thoughts

  1. Pingback: Garden Share Collective: 1st July 2013

  2. What a beautiful garden. I have a similar hilly situation and keeping the south westerlies off my veggie patch is so important. I noticed you have a hedge at the top of the garden – is that to keep the wind off? If so what plants did you use?

    • Hey Liz .. .thanks. The hedge was there before we arrived … Norfolk Hibiscus. Perfect for hedging and certainly helps with the wind.So your garden is hilly too? Makes gardening interesting doesn’t it?

  3. Hi Julie, I’m visiting from the collective this morning 🙂 Your garden looks fantastic, its great to see such a range of veges and herbs, and you’ve really made the most of that slope! Cheers, Liz

    • Hey Liz … thanks for that! I do love my garden. And yes loads of vege and herbs. More varieties in summer. The slope has its moments, especially at this time of year.. cheers Julie

  4. Hi Jules,

    Well done sis and your gardens look a treat…………so looking forward to a visit.

    Love you.


  5. What a gorgeous garden! It is a very inspiring to hop around these Garden Share Collective blogs. Good luck on the garlic and onions – we had a great year a while ago but completely forgot them this go around – d’oh!!

  6. What a beautiful garden. Such a variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers – you are truly an inspiration. Are the Egyptian walking onions shallots or onions? Hillsides are great, especially with your wonderfully raised garden beds.

    • Hi … gosh thanks for you lovely comments. I have developed a green thumb over the past few years … very lucky to have this land indeed. I have never grown the Egyptian walking onions before …I think they may well be an onion, but when planting them their bulb looked much like a shallot. More on that when they are harvested!

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