How we get the garden through
Holiday time is coming, and it looks like the sun will be shining for all the campers and trampers, the boaties, the bikers, the horse riders, and those of us who want to get outside, soak up the sun and enjoy this fabulous country.
Putting in a burst of energy in the first week or so of December will set your garden up for the next few weeks. It’s a weird time of year, with much more busyness than usual so we can go play with a clear conscience.
Our flower garden is looking colourful but is now past its first fulsome flush so a bit of replenishment work will pay dividends as the summer progresses. In the often zen quiet of an early summer morning we will be cutting off spent flower heads, spreading more compost, adding stakes to support new growth, applying liquid feeds or planting a few seedlings for a bit of extra colour in late January. An early start in the garden means we can watch the day coming in, enjoy the birdsong and steady ourselves for the coming day. A bit of steadying can be very handy at this sometimes crazy time of year. Like the flower patch and wider garden, the vegetable area needs to be prepped for the holiday season whether you are going away or having others coming to stay forthe holidays.
Food production is an ongoing, forward thinking mission, so an extra sowing of rapid-growing mesclun mix and more salad greens will help with feeding extra visitors. Do this three weeks ahead of time and it should be just right for Christmas.
Strawberries will hopefully be in their second flush in time for the festive season. My strawberry patch has grown in size for this season and I have high hopes for the plants which were given to me by my neighbour Jill. She has no idea of their name but for years now they have been producing abundantly and with a true old-fashioned strawberry taste, the kind that people remember from 40 years ago.
Summer fruit is plentiful here, with early plums ripening, strawberries, limes, the last of the oranges, and it won’t be long until main crop plums and peaches come on stream. The avocados have recently flowered, been pollinated and set fruit, and last years’ fruit set are now ready to pick, ripen and eat.
Although we don’t grow them here because of the wet weather, there will soon be the summer treats of raspberries,