Friday 26 October 2012

The garden is filling out

I love October in the garden. Fresh growth is everywhere, everything is filling out and if it's not blooming now, I know it soon will be. I'm so pleased with the progress of the curved garden, it's getting ever closer to the show garden of my dreams... Just needs a bit more height in there to hide the fence a bit more.

I put some terracotta long tom pots at the front of the garden. They act as a focal point, since many of the flowers have a similar hazy, cloudlike appearance from a distance. I'd like some topiary balls in these pots, possibly the NZ Cranberry/Chilean Guava (myrtus ugni). While I don't like to eat those berries, they give off the most delicious candy floss scent in summer. And stay evergreen in winter.

In the potager the chives are lining the paths with their purple fuzzy heads. Remind me to dead-head this year, or I'll end up with millions of baby chivelings trying to grow through the bricks.

I'm counting down the days to the first rose opening... it may even be this weekend! I think Sexy Rexy would be blooming by now but a late frost has shrivelled her first flower. Queen Elizabeth has a perfectly shaped bud almost open. Maybe tomorrow? Let's hope for some sunshine to bring her out.

Sunday 21 October 2012

Sorting out the glasshouse

 It's Labour Weekend, which is the traditional time for planting out your summer crops like tomatoes, zucchinis and capsicums. However our weather has been all over the place - it was warm and summery today, but yesterday there was a frost, and a cold front is meant to blow in tonight - so I'm keeping my precious babies under glass for a few more weeks.

 I did pot up the tomatoes and capsicums who will be permanent glasshouse residents, and that required a bit of a reshuffle inside. Some of the tender plants who were overwintering under glass have had to make way.

 So far in pots I have seven tomatoes, five capsicums, two pots of mesclun lettuce and three gherkin vines. There are also all the punnets of seedlings I'm still raising. I grew all the tomatoes but one from seed, as well as the lettuce and gherkins, but I bought the capsicums as seedlings. I find them too fiddly to raise from seed without a heat mat or something, they take forever to come up so it's just easier to buy them as seedlings. Same for chillis, pumpkins and zucchini (although I have got a pot of zucchini seeds nestled in the compost bin, where it gets really warm, to see how they go).

My wooden chair still fits at this stage, and so does the Cat Mat and the Saucer. Mr Lui likes a selection of sleeping spots, and gave me the dirtiest of dirty looks when everything was out on the grass while I moved pots around. I managed to fit them both back in, luckily for me. Today he was sleeping in the glasshouse where it was around 30 degrees, and as he got too hot he would get up and move from the Saucer to the Cat Mat, stretch out, get too hot again, move back to the Saucer, stretch out, etc.

Little green strawberries are forming in the strawberry baskets. One has the faintest blush on it. Not long now...

Monday 15 October 2012

October flowers

The bright days of spring are here. Freesias, ranunculus, azaleas and blossom provide fragrance and colour. It's joyful to pick a small posy for a vase which will then scent the hallway or kitchen. These beauties are fleeting so I enjoy them as fully as I can.

How is your garden on Garden Blogger's Bloom Day?

Sunday 14 October 2012

Spring showers

 The unsettled weather of spring has continued, with wind, rain, sun and storms frequently throughout the course of a single day. Currently the lawn is sprinkled with discarded blossom petals which blew down in the storm that raged for most of the weekend. Now the clouds have cleared and hot sun is shining, all the better to germinate my newly sown lawn seed.

 The potager is still producing steadily. I'm harvesting carrots, leeks, 'Purplette' onions, lettuce, silver beet, spring onions and herbs. I've planted my seed potatoes and sown peas and snow peas. I've got bean seeds to sow and tomato and pepper seedlings to go out when the weather is settled.

In the glasshouse I've already potted up tomatoes and peppers, and I have gherkins ready to be potted. The strawberries are blooming and tiny green fruits are forming. I have two pots of peas slowly succumbing to mildew. The pods are now ready so I'll harvest those, then the gherkins can go in their place.

 The silver beet in the potager is getting ready to bolt to seed, as it always does in October. I need to thin these pansies and phacelia out but I just can't bring myself to - they are good for the bees so it's good companion gardening!

 The curved garden I extended last year is filling in. The mounds of geranium, catmint and lambs ears are a good ground cover, and as the summer progresses the taller plants will appear - verbascum, sweet peas, dahlias and chrysanthemums. 

There are still a few pops of colour from the ranunculus. In the back left corner is a new delphinium, Astolat, which has held its own against the wind.

I'm off to put on my sun hat and windproof coat to plant out the next batch of spring onions. Hope you're having fun in your garden this weekend.

Monday 1 October 2012


Blossom is everywhere right now. Petals flutter in the breeze and the air is sweetly scented. All the apple trees are covered, with extra-large petals on the Monty's Surprise. Pink flowers are blooming on the strawberries and I'm counting down the days till my first fruit. The last two pictures are from my mum's garden. It's a spring time delight. (Daylight savings kicked in this weekend... I feel like life is beginning again!)


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