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