Garden 'date' January '14

(Thankyou all so much for your positive comments and support on my last post. It was encouraging to hear  feedback from those of you in similar situations regarding gluten and dairy sensitivities. I really appreciate the time you took to stop and talk about this topic).

It's been absolutely yonks since I've found myself doing a garden update..and what I have to disclose to you is that it's actually been soooo long that I fear that there is zilcho to update! So, maybe we could make it a 'date' then..? Are you with me as I take a stroll around the garden to check out what's happening in my own little corner of the world?



The month started with looking after my neighbour's chooks and plants while they were away. I was as excited as a small child when I stumbled around a hedge with the hose in hand and found this scarecrow looking back at me! How adorable is it?


 Back at home things in the garden are progressing slowly. It hardly feels like we've had any warm weather yet, with just a handful of hot (swimworthy?) days. I am bracing myself however, for next week when the weather is forecast to soar into the high 30's for several days in a row. Not particularly comforting from a bushfire danger perspective.


Strawberries are painfully slow to ripen. Especially when other home gardeners appear to have been munching on them for the past month. I have decided to take steps to increase my vertical growing space for this delicious crop in the coming summers. I think it's crazy that I could easily fit double or more the amount of hanging baskets on our courtyard wall and I am not currently utilising this space. And did you ever meet a person who didn't like strawberries? I mean reaallly didn't like them? They are pretty few and far between..

 Looking north. I still have a soft spot for ladders in the garden. They are just so practical and mobile!

 We have some brussels sprouts plants that are looking promising. Confession: I have never ever grown a brussel sprout despite my many attempts! I am finding their progress quite thrilling! Really.

 Mental note: next year plant masses of poppies. A whole field even! Well, almost..

 Potatoes are ever present..

 Another perennial leek gone to flower. I am not minding at all because their flowers are just so very interesting!

 Climbing beans growing from last summers saved seed.

 The first blush! Oh my :) This apricot tree is a Moorpark. We also have a Trevatt growing and it's fruit is slightly delayed in ripeness compared to the Moorpark. I absolutely adore homegrown apricots.

Corn is in. This year in the hugelkultur bed. I am loving the sunny aspect and the decreased demand for watering from this bed using this style of gardening. (Hugelkultur is basically a method of building beds that involves piling rotting timber and then layers of organic material and soil to plant into. It has many benefits including increased water holding capabilities and available nutrients for plants). So far the corn (and cucumbers) look pretty content. I'm also hoping the cucumbers grow well in among the corn stalks. Have you paired these two together before? How did they go?

Lemon verbena. Have you tried it in a tea? It's so easy, just allow a few leaves to infuse in boiled water for a few minutes and then...drink! It really is that simple. And it's also so very refreshing. The leaves also dry really well for use when the plant is dormant over winter.

What's happening in your patch/garden/balcony/windowsill at the moment? 

Comments

  1. Beautiful photographs Christine! You have so many lovely things growing in your garden.

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    1. Thankyou for stopping by, Kim! Lovely to have you 'visit' my garden. :)

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  2. Well that all looks pretty good for your "not much to update on". I don't like Brussels sprouts however the plant does look really interesting and I can see why you would be getting excited about it. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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    1. I haven't been a solid fan of brussels sprouts either, Kathy. I have terrible memories of them from childhood....but I am really keen to try them lightly steamed then sauteed in a pan with a sprinkling of sliced leek and bacon..yum!! Plus they always taste great in a veggie soup, can't go wrong there..

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  3. Great looking garden. We have had some scortching hot days up here, and keeping the water up to everything is a constant battle. But so far we have enough water. We've grown zucchini with corn but not cucumbers. They would make a great living mulch. I love lemon verbena tea. So refreshing.

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    1. Hi Kate, great to hear from you! Fingers crossed for some rain to add to your water supplies. x

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  4. Beautiful photo's Christine, and a beautiful garden too by the looks! Mine is looking very sad with many weeds and the weather has only just warmed up enough to really get things happening. We have eaten all our strawberries though, which is interesting that yours are not fully ripe yet. I'm only just putting potatoes in and not even bothering with corn this year. Oh well, at least I'll have plenty of space to get an early winter crop of carrots and beets in!

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    1. That is very interesting to hear your strawberries are at the end, Evi. Maybe the variety? The best crop we ever had of carrots (rainbow) were sown in January. They formed lovely roots and then were able to stay in the ground over winter and be pulled as we needed them. Happy gardening :)

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  5. It is looking so lovely! My back garden is looking woeful , all completely dried up in the heat . Our mulched area though, which I guess is similar to your hugelkultur bed is holding out much better though and only have to water it every couple of days.
    I love our brussel sprout plants ,not only for the food they provide but because little baby frogs love to sit in the little crevice where the sprout is forming.
    Poppies will look lovely - though be careful, once you plant them in an area you will have them forever and ever and ever because they self seed so easily!

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    1. I fear our dry crunchy garden will be coming soon, Kim. Blasting heat forecast for this week..ugh. Amazing to hear about the frogs, and how cute they must be sitting on their 'sprout perch'!

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  6. Have you tried lime verbena? I saw one at Diggers and bought it to try.
    Oh my.
    I love lemon verbena but the lime variety takes it to a whole new level.

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    1. Ahh, no, I haven't tried lime verbena, Frogdancer! Thanks for the heads up, anything that takes lemon verbena to the next level...I'm there! :)

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  7. Looking lovely, Chris! Lemon verbena tea is supposed to be great for sleep!

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    1. That's good to know Celia. I love to have a selection of herbs to remedy things with. :-)

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  8. Vertical strawberry growing sounds like a great idea! What do you do in the winter? Do you have to protect the plants somehow?

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    1. Hi Quinn, the strawberries go dormant in winter, all the that's needed is a good cutting back. We don't get snow (aside from the odd sprinkling), so nothing to worry about there. 🍓🍓:-)

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  9. Goodness, it all looks absolutely fantastic. I've been on the lookout for old wooden ladders for ages but can't seem to find any. They make spectacular melon and squash supports! I must go garage sailing this year once the snow melts. Seems the best place to find them.

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    1. Hi Sherri, nice to see you. I picked up these ladders from our local tip shop/recycling centre for a few $ each. I totally agree with you re. using them as squash supports, aren't they just perfect for the job?!

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  10. Everything looks so green and healthy. We have just hit our hottest days here with the pests abounding particularly the mildew on the squashes.

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    1. Oh yes, the mildew on the squashes..such a sign of summer! Hoping they hold out a bit longer for you Wendy.

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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