Thursday, October 20, 2016

It's Definitely Spring

and I've had that urge to get into the garden that comes with it. The glorious poppies I posted about only three weeks ago are on their last legs after we had a hot day - it reached 31 C - and they and the nasturtiums did not like it one little bit. They'll all have to come out in the next little while but I'm waiting so I can collect seeds for next year. I'll have have a wander around the local garden centre and see what I can find to replace them. Such a chore - not.

In the meantime I've been repotting the hanging baskets so now there are some much happier looking strawberries and some baskets of brilliant blue lobelia. I'll try to get some white cascade petunias to add to these for a splash of contrast but they aren't easy to find these days. The sad thing is that several of my old wire baskets have rusted out - they're literally holding together with what's left of the coir liner - so I need some more. Another excuse - as if I needed one - to go to the garden centre.

The other area I've been focussed on is the vegie patch which is half planted up. I've started laying paving paths as well but that's a slow process due to my current aches and pains. Here are a couple of photos to show how industrious I've been. See.

The hot day wiped out the cucumber seedlings and a lot of the lettuces but the seedling tomatoes, capsicums, sweet corn, zucchini, eggplant, beetroot, parsley and basils are all looking good. The onion chives are in flower, too, and they are so pretty that I let them do their own thing instead of doing as I'm told you should and picking the buds off to extend the season. The border of them means they are plentiful enough for us anyway so why not enjoy the flowers.

And just because I could I've added calendulas - partly to encourage insects and partly because a certain small person loves to raid my garden for flowers. The borage is still in full bloom and delighting the bees while the self sown sunflowers are already in bud. You can see them in the top right corner of the bottom photo. I'm waiting for the rest of the beans to come up along with an assortment of other seeds I've put in newspaper seedling tubes to avoid the voracious skaters we breed here eating through the stems as soon as the seedlings get more than a couple centimetres above the surface. I hate using chemicals so I have to find other ways to raise my plants and this is one way that helps.

There's much more happening in the garden apart from the new plantings, of course, but that's enough for now - except maybe I should mention the grape vines are shooting (which means dolmades - yum) and the blueberries are smothered in fruit (and I can hardly wait for them to ripen)


Jo said...

I used to pick the flowers off my chives and use them to decorate salads and anything else I was eating. They taste good. Do you grow edible flowers, pansies for instance are quite edible. I have also made my own candied violets before now, bit difficult but fun.

Helen V. said...

I use chive flowers in salads, too, Jo, and I grow enough garlic chives to add the buds to stir fries. Very tasty. I have grown other edible flowers as well. I have tried heartsease and pansies and at the moment there are elder flowers, borage, calendulas and nasturtiums in bloom . Sadly my violets died recently but I've candied them, too, in the past. I like my garden to be tasty as well as decorative.