A garden update

These last few weeks, I’ve been playing in the garden as much as I’ve been able to between foul weather and kidlets with ear infections (Yes, again. Apparently dodgy ears run in Alex’s family. Now they tell me!).

It’s lovely watching the garden wake up to Spring. We’ve had some small success with the veggie patch (and the snails have had some great meals too, boo). Two out of three of our cucumber plants are all gone and the basil’s taken a hit too.

sad basilOur rocket is going great guns and we’ve been eating it at dinner time. Oh so satisfying, even though Elena’s not a fan. I’ve planted some baby spinach in the hope that it will be equally happy. I’ve also got some lettuce seeds to propagate.

rocketI’ll have to wait my turn to use the seed raising mix, though. Elena’s busy planting pegs!

planting pegsWe have fruit setting on the trees wherever you look. I’ve never seen cherries growing on the tree before.

cherriesThey’re rather cute. I wonder how many we’ll get to eat and how many will end up with the birds? The tree is far too big to net. We’ll have to give it a good prune next winter.

We have strawberries on the way too.

strawberries strawberries 2Our grape vine, which got a very, very severe haircut when my father and I demolished our derelict second shed, has fruit as well.

grapesI wasn’t sure whether it was a fruiting variety or whether it was simply ornamental, but it does look like we might be lucky enough to get some fruit from it. My plan is for the grape vine to re-grow over a chicken run – which I hope might eventuate after Christmas this year. I don’t generally do lists for birthdays and Christmases, but if I do one this year it will probably include a hen house and some hens. I think the kids will love tending chickens. I know I will. I’m really looking forward to a plentiful supply of eggs.

nectarineMy little dwarf nectarine tree has finally decided to give me some fruit. It really didn’t enjoy its time on our balcony when we lived in the apartment. It does have leaf curl though. I’m madly pinching off the affected leaves and will have to remember to treat it next autumn/winter.

leaf curlLikewise, my Meyer lemon and cumquat trees are loving their new home in the sun, away from the cockatoos.

cumquatsThere was a rhubarb plant growing down near our clothes line when we bought the house and it has survived all the neglect of our tenant. I’ve taken its survival as a sign that it’s a good spot for rhubarb and have planted two more crowns. I hope they survive – I love rhubarb!

rhubarb 1 rhubarb 2I’m really enjoying watching all the flowering plants bloom and discovering what colour the flowers are. So far, we have pink roses, red and pink camellias, and a white banksia rose.

rose 1rose 2pinkWe’ve had some luck with our tulips.

tulipstulipI’ve cleared the Vinca from a few garden beds and have started on a great forest of the stuff which runs along our perimeter fence. I get the feeling this project of mine is going to take years. Years, I tell you.

weededI’ve decided to start on a section by the fence because I plan to plant some blueberry and raspberry plants there. This is a good time of year to get them into the ground, even though I’ll have to show a heck of a lot of self control and pinch off any fruit that grows this year to ensure the plants put all of their energy into growing into strong happy plants.

Every now and again, when I’m elbow deep in Vinca, or trying to decide how to solve a problem caused by someone else’s poor decisions years ago, I curse our decision to buy a house with a run down established garden. It would be so much easier to start with a blank slate. But then I look around at all the promise of the garden and the fruiting trees and realise that we’re actually very lucky. A bit of work for the next few years will bring it all good and we’re lucky enough to get fruit right from the very start!

I hope you all have a pleasant weekend planned. We’re taking it easy, and I’m off to my first Knitters’ Guild meeting. I’m so excited I can hardly wait (remember – it takes all types!).

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7 Responses to A garden update

  1. Emgy says:

    Wow! Your garden looks amazing. I am so jealous! Not only that, but you did a great job on the doll dress too =)

  2. Sutika says:

    Great post Ruth, beautiful photos xoxo

  3. Bron says:

    No I would argue – it’s not easier starting from scratch. I’d take a well-established garden with all your fruit trees. We had an established plum and that was it. I’ve lost a lime tree and my lemon, cumquat, orange, mandarine and lemonade (dwarf) trees are yet to fruit. As for my lawn (which we had to turf) it is now more weed and is nowhere near as healthy as the front “waste of space” lawn. You’ve saved money and gained a different sort of work. BTW am jealous that your strawberries are fruiting. Mine are just decorative greenery. My basil seems intent on remaining the size I bought it and my corn has either withered whilst I was away or was victim to some sort of bug/insect. However, my leeks, after 1 whole year in the ground, look like they are going to be big enough to make some soup. Perhaps I’ll bring some round.

    Gorgeous pictures though – am so envious of your fruit trees and your future chicken run. Let me know if you need a hand. And have you thought of planting marigolds and nasturtiums to help out with the snail problem?

    • Ruth says:

      Companion planting should definitely be my next course of action. I’ve been putting out saucers of beer for the snails but it seems our local mob are tee-totallers.

      I’m sorry to hear about your lime tree 😦 I’ve never heard of lemonade trees, I’ll have to look them up – sounds fascinating (and yummy!). We have three really sad citrus trees down the back – I hope they perk up over the next year or so.

      I *am* grateful we don’t have any lawn. Mowing is my least favourite outside job ever.

      I don’t know what the secret is with the strawberries. It’s most likely luck not good management. I am rather liberal with the SeaSol though. Maybe that helped? My basil’s been talking to your basil…

      We should catch up soon and talk gardens 🙂

  4. Bron says:

    I think my strawberries have taken inspiration from yours. I went away for a fortnight and they grew. Yippee – thanks Ruth. Lemonade trees (when they grow properly) are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin – you can eat the fruit straight of the tree and they taste like lemonade (traditional). Very yummy. We should definitely catch up. And talk. Lots and lots.

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