This morning as I walked around the garden, I looked at my flowers and crops and realised it hasn't been the best season for a lot of things. It's been a cool and windy summer which, coupled with water restrictions, has been stressful for a lot of plants.
My biggest flops so far have been:
:: Tomatoes. Blossom end rot has struck in both the glasshouse and outside. I was expecting this to happen since I just haven't been able to water well and consistently, but it's still frustrating! The cool temperatures have meant they are also slow to ripen.
:: Rainbow carrots. I've had a low strike rate on all the ones I sowed. The few I've harvested were lovely though!
:: Outdoor chillis and peppers. Slow to grow and set fruit.
:: Leeks. I transplanted a punnet out a couple of weeks ago so they will have time to fatten up for winter. Some are ok but most of the smallest ones shrivelled in the hot sun. Guess I'll be buying a punnet after all to bulk up the stores!
:: Apple trees. Most of the trees (I have 4) decided to give themselves the year off by not setting fruit. The 2 that did then dropped most of it.
:: Blueberries. Again, not much fruit set, then the little that was set got eaten by birds.
:: Hollyhocks. I had 3 different kinds of seed to sow, and not one came up in spring! I'm trying again for autumn.
So, boo to the weather and the birds and the capriciousness of nature. Fortunately some things have been doing really well, including:
:: Brown Berry and Green Grape cherry tomatoes. These are in the glasshouse where it's warm, and haven't sustained any blossom end rot. They are also ripening quickly. Yay cherry tomatoes!
:: Spring onions. They are growing reliably well, what else can you ask for?
:: Strawberries. Also reliable. Also sweet and delicious.
:: Boysenberries. Doing good for their first year in production.
:: Dwarf lavender. The tray of seeds I sowed is loving life in the glasshouse. (I'm going to use these to edge the potager.)
:: The beans are all growing well and looking lush. I'm enjoying the green wall made by the runner beans.
One benefit of this cool season is that I haven't seen any caterpillars around, so that's definitely a plus!
The flower gardens are filling out, and I'm making the most of it, spending a lot of time just walking round looking at things. It's nice to just be in the garden.
These are my water storage bins, tucked in beside my homemade rustic bench. (Please ignore the crack in the wall... it's only from where our house has sunk a bit! EQC should have it fixed within the next decade!)
Due to damage sustained in the earthquakes to pipes and drains, and the water reservoirs, we have been on water restrictions since October. Sprinklers and unattended hoses are banned, and you are only allowed to hand water your garden from the tap on certain days. So for those days when I can't use the tap, I have these bins. We keep a bucket in the shower to fill up while the water warms, and I also use that cut down milk bottle you see there to hold under the pipes in the drain and scoop up washing machine rinse water. Yep, you bet that's a tedious job, and there really are a milllion other things I'd rather be doing. But one rinse cycle fills a bin about three quarters, so it's worth doing it. Then it's easy just to dunk my watering can in to fill it. Quicker than filling it from the tap actually! Still. I'm looking forward to the day that sprinkler comes back out.