The clean up starts

Over the last week I have been looking at the state of the garden and starting to plan the big clean up. There are weed filled potted succulents, weed filled garden beds and hundreds of big, orange liquid amber tree leaves. This afternoon I managed to get outside during my son’s nap and weed the pots by the front door, and sweep the leaves. I also disposed of our rotting door mat and replaced it with a sturdier rubber one. Not very pretty but will do for the short term.

Container-Gardening-NZ

I also hacked away at some very overgrown tropical impatiens growing out of the broken retaining wall.

Drainage is an issue here, and a drain layer will be coming over the next couple of weeks or so to assess exactly what we need to do to fix it so we can renovate the downstairs area of our house. Drainage will also be an issue for my cut flower garden, so at the end of July I am going to start the process of getting the clay into a better state. Will need to do some research on clay soil.

Yellow-Flower

I also stumbled across this pretty yellow flower. It’s probably a weed, but still, very pretty 🙂

 

 

 

Autumn Recap

Autumn is my favourite season as after being so hot and humid for so long, it’s a relief to have some cooler weather. It’s been a pretty rainy autumn for us this year, and some freak heavy rain has caused more than a few issues.

Spinach-Lettuce-seedlings-antipodean-garden

Gardening I got done this season:

  • Harvested over 100 Feijoas from our tree.
  • Planted some pittosporums along the back fence.
  • Fed and mulched the lemon tree.
  • Planted a herb garden.
  • Planted Spinach and Lettuce seedlings.
  • Tidied up the garden shelves in the garage.

I know it doesn’t look like much but it has been the most I have done since before I had my now 20 month old son. I’m feeling pretty good about it and am about to plan out what I’m going to do in spring.

Garden-Shelves-Shed-planting-antipodean-garden

The garage now has a tidy garden shelf.

Things I didn’t do but wanted to:

  • Planted Rannunculus bulbs – Not sure if too late now, still not sure where I can plant these as need to get the soil sorted.
  • Weeded more.
  • Get rid of the broken plant pot graveyard out the back.
  • Plant Clivias in the border garden where I removed those ferns.

I have been very inspired by reading Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein. Erin has been a flower farmer for 10 years and has written this amazing book all about how to grow, harvest and arrange seasonal flowers. I love it so much! I’m going to have a good look around outside and decide where I am going to grow some flowers this year. I’d really like to plant 3 kinds of flowers and some misc foliage plants so I can do a pop up flower stall in summer maybe.

succulents-deck-garden-antipodean

The succulents on my deck are still in pretty good shape (mostly).

Winter will be a lot of cleaning up, and planning and getting soil and compost ready for flowers and vegetables later in the year.

 

 

 

 

Wasp Nest Collection

Where we live, we get a lot of wasps in the warmer months. Around October I start seeing the paper wasps flying around in search of a nice place to build their nests. So far this Spring I have killed 4 wasps making nests on our deck and under the eaves of the roof.

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Paper Wasp Nests

An artist friend of mine collects things like this so I often save them up and send them to her  to add to her collection.

Tonight there was also a German wasp in our bathroom! Usually I don’t see those until later on when it gets warmer but because of the mild winter we had last year, I have a feeling that we will be seeing more of them.

Growing Plants From Seed

A couple of months ago, the supermarket that I shop at weekly started a promotion called Little Garden where they gave away vegetable seedling kits for every $40 you spent on groceries. As I do my weekly family shop there, I accumulated a few over a few weeks.

Last month, I finally decided to plant them. I have never grown anything from seed before so I thought I should. Now I have a whole lot of seedlings sprouting!

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Little Garden Seedlings sprouting on the deck

The first ones I have repotted are Cherry Tomatoes. I asked my dad for some tips on how to repot them. He told me to water the pot then to drop it on the ground to loosen the roots. Then once the roots are loosened, slowly ease the plants out of the soil, handling them by the stems and not the leaves. Once they are in the pots, water them and add some wet paper towels as mulch so they don’t dry out. I managed to plant 7 of them so when they get a bit bigger I will be planting some of them in the garden.

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Cherry Tomato Seedlings

The next ones to be planted in the garden will be the spinach, lettuce and rocket, followed by all the herbs. I have also planted some capsicum seeds and zucchini seeds too so will see how they go. Apparently zucchini plants are pretty massive so will have to find somewhere to plant them.

 

My Garden is kind of a Mess

It’s Labour weekend, which is the traditional start of the summer gardening season so I thought I would start a blog about getting my shit together with the garden finally. When it comes down to it, I’m not what you would call an expert gardener in the slightest. Over the past few years I have had a few successes and many failures in terms of growing vegetables and flowers, and maintaining the beast that is our garden.

Back in 2012 when we bought this house, the garden seemed like a rustic but tidy space. I had romantic notions of having roses and growing vegetables etc. However, neither Mark or I had what you would call gardening skills. A few years before this we had been living in a flat in Christchurch and Mark had used the lawnmower to mow over a massively overgrown flower bed.

We started off reasonably enough – I started growing strawberries in buckets and created a vege garden out the front next to our sad lemon tree. We spent a very sweaty saturday trying to pull all the agapanthus out of the garden next to the front door. The garden just grew and grew and slowly became more of a jungle. We accumulated a large pile of clippings / branches etc round the back of the house which was kind of like something you might see on that TV show Hoarders.

Fast forward to 2016. The garden has been pretty much neglected full stop since about January 2015. 3 months of morning sickness, 9 months of pregnancy and the first few months of having a baby culminated in a messy, overgrown jungle of weeds.

In May this year, we finally thought fuck it, lets clean it all up. With the help of my dad and Mark’s mum we cleared away the garden waste pile of doom and cleared out the garden in general.

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Auckland rainforest

And now we’re here. Since May we have let it go a bit as it has rained A LOT in the last few months. Over the winter, we pretty much left it alone. Only our cat really ventured out there on a regular basis.

I hope over the coming months I can slowly transform our garden in some way that is better than it looks now! It might end up being one of those pinterest fail situations but it also might be great. I guess we will find out 🙂