Sunday, 3 November 2013
spring garden notes
The roses are threatening to swallow the house again now that the weather has warmed up. Everything is growing so fast. We tackled the back lawn last weekend and the grass was long enough to cut again less than a week later. I have jars full of roses, astromaerias, lavender and daisies all over the house - all cut from our garden or the unloved rose garden that belongs to the empty house next door (I like to think that I am helping prune them into shape).
I pulled the garlic this week and trussed it up on the clotheslines beneath the house to dry. The tiny asparagus seedlings growing amongst them are now exposed, but protected from the chooks' incessant scratching with some wire mesh. The boys had pulled all the nasturtiums from the herb beds around their slide (much to my dismay) so I finished off the job by removing the actual weeds. We have so much compost to make and turn - the next job on the list.
The vegetable beds are ready for summer, all tucked up in their straw blankets. The earth, which was sodden just weeks ago, has quickly baked dry, but is holding on to just a bit of moisture beneath the lucerne and barley straw. We have turned the reticulation back on, and are hoping for some more rainy days before we begin watering in earnest.
I am muddling my way as I figure out how to rotate our vegetable crops through their six beds, while still waiting for some of last years' vegetables to set their seed. One enormous carrot, which miraculously escaped the boys' clutches, is now flowering its heart out - its purple root thick as a sapling. The cavolo nero had snaked their way out onto the driveway, so I took to them last week with the garden shears, leaving two plants for seed.
We are getting ready to net the fruit trees - although too late to save any figs or almonds, which the parrots stripped from the branches almost as soon as they had formed. The quince tree is laden with fruit, and there is stone fruit galore. We even have some tiny baby pears forming for the first time.
We are picking broad beans and celery, lettuces, carrots and beetroot. Shelling beans on the verandah on a sunny afternoon, with four pairs of eager hands all helping, might be my favourite slow dinner preparation ever.