Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A spot of gardening

One of the best things about moving back home is always having something to do. Back in Dorkland, Richard and I would have to leave home to create our fun, which usually meant spending money, or screaming at each other in traffic jams over which way we SHOULD have gone. But here in Tauranga, I have a list a mile on that keeps me happy at home. At the top are always gardening tasks, because I would rather have a tidy garden than a tidy home (I WIN OVER NATURE).

Anyhoo we have a lovely guy Ian Dickie do our lawns (our lawn mower being a fire hazard). He noticed that we had a lot of oxalis poking its head up through our flowerbeds. This oxalis only showed up after we mulched using pea straw. WEED FREE EXPENSIVE pea straw. Hum. Anyway, he gave us a tip that, at this time of year, oxalis creates a bulb way down deep, and all you have to do is dig it up. So today, I did.

Let me tell you, finding these pointy pink knobs deep in the dirt was like popping a huge pimple, or extracting a stubborn ingrown hair. Disgusting but oh so satisfying. The whole garden only took me 30 mins and so long as I'm onto it, we should be oxalis free.

This is my raised veggie patch. I've got, from bottom up, broccoli, brussel sprouts and beetroot. All Rich's favourites. At the top is some late-summer cos lettuce. We have a white moth infestation at the moment so I have to derris dust every day. Not so sure how good it is because I have seen the moths landing directly on top of the dust and there's still tiny eggs on the leaves. Will just have to be vigilant I guess. Looking forward to the brussel sprouts, I was watching Jamie Oliver grow them and they look fantastic, big knobbly stalks. Hopefully we get a couple of good frosts this winter to make them extra sweet. Otherwise they just taste like farts.

The grape vine was left to grow wild while we were away, which means it's a big mess of canes and weeds. Hasn't harmed the grapes any though, and I probably eat an entire bunch a day. They are the most delicious things in the world. Grapes from a supermarket don't taste anything like these. Why is that? Anyone?

This half-wine barrel was the subject of my previous post. Look closely on the ground and you'll see lots of annoying white balls. It looks great on the corner of our deck and the pansies are coming up nicely. Although the "red" pansy is coming up severely yellow/orange. If I wanted ginga, I would have asked for it.

Richard was given this drinks bath as a present in his younger years. When I laid eyes on it, I said "we're too old for parties anyway." Half a bag of potting mix and a few drill holes later, I have all my favourite herbs close by (basil, rosemary, sage, thyme and mint). Plus I can move it around to sit in the different sunny spots according to the seasons. How Martha is that?

This is my edible Thai area, with a lime and chili plant. The lime we took with us from Auckland. It's grown more in one month here than it ever did there - needed full sun, which we didn't get. Unfortunately we'll get no fruit this season but am sure that next year it'll be chockers. The chili has also taken off and is still flowering. Tonight I'm making Thai beef salad with rice noodles and one of these puppies will be chopped into a tangy lime and fish sauce dressing.

And there you go. Send me tips, advice or kudos!


Megan said...

looking good!

jenontheedge said...

Wowza, it all looks so good!

I planted a grape vine last year with the hope that I'll eventually have lush bunches of grapes to snack on.

The reason that store-bought grapes don't taste as good is that they've been bred to be sturdier so that they'll ship well.