I saw a post on Facebook today from the awesome folk at The Diggers Club, reminding us that it was about time to start thinking about which varieties of tomato we would be planting this season. It occurred to me at this point that it had been far too long since I updated you all on what I had going on in my own garden at the moment. The garden has been a bit of a work in progress this season as we work away at improving the space with limited time, funds and sunlight; we have a wall and some good-looking soil but it’s not exactly the oasis I was expecting to have arrived in by this time of the year. I have grand visions in mind of a mixed use space that brings us sanctuary from the world while also being productive. Realising this vision, as I’m sure many of you can relate, always takes longer than you’d hoped. Far too long in fact. But I have plenty of time and while I wait, there are still great things happening in the garden where I can spend the time.
The raised bed is still going great guns and was subject to a bit of an experiment this season, where I threw handfuls of soon to expire seed on freshly tilled soil in the hopes that something, anything, would happen. In doing so I’ve got a burgeoning bed of peas, beans, brocc’s, herbs, a couple of varieties of kale and a head of a cauliflower that is slowly turning purple. The rings on the cauliflower are fascinating, they remind me a little of jellyfish. I’m keen to see how purple it will go before it starts looking straggly, the head is nice and tight at the moment which is a good sign.
I’ve also planted out another romanesco cauli this year as it was such a cool plant to have in the garden last year. As you can see there are very early signs of a head forming and I’m hopeful it will continue to grow in size and complexity over the next few weeks.
There have also been a couple of surprises for me this season, this bumper pile of potatoes is one of them. I buried some kipfler seed potatoes in February and nothing really happened. Because we had been doing so many other things about the place, I had moved this container ‘out of the way’ and just kind of let it grow over with a green manure crop. That went to seed, died back and I put it in the compost, leaving the bed empty and out of mind. About a month ago I noticed a flurry of new growth, the familiar sign of the potato plants, looking healthy and green and ready to roll. So I’ve just let it go and will see what happens, hopefully as the weather warms up I’ll start to see some flowers and will be able to dig down and pull up some of my absolute favourite variety of potato.
The other surprise has been this little eggplant bush. Planted, of all places, under the gum tree in an old wine crate with the bottom knocked out of it. I have let this go and as you can see by the leaves it is looking a little worse for wear. I was actually going to pull this up about 2 months ago when I noticed it was still flowering. I decided to let it go and continue to pick fruit from it. I’ve given it an occasional sprinkle with seasol and mulched the bed heavily with seaweed back in February, but that’s about it. I’m keen to see how much longer it will hang on for.
One experiment I’ve been keen to see the outcome of is this little patch of Corsican mint. We’ve planted about 8 little tufts of it in our area flagged as ‘the lawn’. I get incredibly itchy from regular grass and we wanted just a little patch of green that would bring the look of lawn without needing the upkeep. We decided to give this mint a try as it supposed to be quite hardy and gives off a gorgeous scent when you run your hands over it. I don’t expect we’ll be able to play cricket or walk on it all that much, but that’s not really what we wanted from it anyway. So far it seems to be spreading quite nicely and, like other mints, should really come into its own as the weather starts to warm up.
These gorgeous violets are one of my absolute favourite parts of the garden. For the last couple of weeks they’ve been competing with the soursobs, but after last weeks clean up they are starting to look much happier. I love these little flowers, they smell divine and when you candy them with a little powdered sugar and egg whites they make marvellous little cake toppers.
So that about covers it, hopefully next time I will be able to bring you some promising advances in the great project that is our backyard.
What are you guys growing at the moment?