This month I’ve decided to try something new and join the Garden Share Collective, hosted by Lizzie from Strayed Table. The collective is a group of food bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills each month to spread the joy of edible gardening and help inspire others to do the same.
My life has been suitably chaotic since starting my new job. You’ve no doubt noticed the posts have slowed down here and my friends are (I’m sure) quite tired of hearing me complain about it. Nevertheless, the hard work I put in on a free weekend back in May are paying dividend now as my garden continues chugging along with little to no intervention.
The front wicking bed is a bit of a mess of green. A good mess, a happy and healthy mess and kind of represents exactly how I like to garden. It includes chioggia beets, garlic, spring onions, leeks, baby spinach and cos lettuce. I’ve also thrown in a few winter herbs like chervil, coriander and dill. At the end of one row I’ve planted some dragons tongue beans (pictured at the top of the post) and roman chamomile and at the other I’ve got some mixed heirloom carrots. There are a few pesky caterpillars lurking underneath the beet leaves but they are manageable. When I’ve got the time I’ve been flicking them skyward, but I’m happy so long as they stay on the beets and stay away from the lettuce and baby spinach. There are still worms having a great old time in this bed which, I assume, is why things are chugging along so well. I think the bag of cow poo and wheelbarrow load of compost also helped, as has the occasional dose of Seasol.
Also in the front yard, I’ve started picking the mandarin’s from our glorious tree. I’ve been cooking with them a little but mostly just stuffing as many as I can carry into my handbag on the way out in the morning and enjoying the pure sweetness at my desk later in the day. I’m also amazed to find my eggplant is still producing, it is perhaps looking a little worse for wear at the moment and seems to be doing its best to ward off an impending aphid invasion but for now there are still a couple of beauties on there that I am rather impressed with. Also on the go is a gorgeous little Hungarian paprika plant I grew from seed at the start of the summer season. It got off to a slow start and struggled to cope with the heat and an aphid infestation (which is still lurking but now under control) but it now seems to have found its feet and I’m looking forward to enjoying the fruit when it finally ripens.
In the back garden things are going well. There are some broccolini heads now starting to set, the newly planted Kale seedlings are taking off (and so far remaining relatively bug free) and the crimson broad beans are now flowering.
I’ve also been amazed to find this wayward tomato plant spreading over the path. It is laden with fruit and flowers despite it being the middle of winter and it having sprouted underneath a gum tree in less than ideal soil. I can only laugh when I think about all the care and effort I put in to growing my tomatoes over the summer.
I thought I’d finish this post with some of my more ‘unusual’ inclusions in the garden, including the gorgeous variegated leaves of the Nasturtium ‘Alaska’ which is starting to take off in a couple of ‘unloved’ and weed-filled areas of the yard. My burgeoning crop of Purslane, an Omega3 powerhouse (vegans, take note!) which I grew from a cutting from a bag I got at the farmers market and my latest experiment, strawberries in a bag. More on all of these coming soon!
In the meantime, thanks for visiting my garden and be sure to check out the other gardens in this month’s Garden Share Collective.