A GreenFoodie’s Garden Journal – New Life

William Robert Hopkins

It has been a while since I have had the time to write about our gardening journey. Much has changed. I am now the proud mother of a gorgeous baby boy, William Robert Hopkins, born on 14 October 2011. What a special present is my little spring lamb! David has gone away for four months and my mother is staying with me to help me while he is gone.

As you can imagine, I haven’t had a lot of time spare to garden or write but things have started to settle down and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in writing and gardening between my most important job of mothering.

Just as my life has changed and flourished with the spring, so has our garden changed and flourished.

The sad looking lemon and lime have recovered from their frost bite after some heavy pruning and they are looking happy with new growth, surrounded by flowering chives and heart-ease. Tomato plants have started turning up amongst our planted pots but I can’t bear to pull them out without giving them a chance and re-potting them. So far I have three new bushes growing away merrily in the back of the garden.

Is this cedar apple rust?

The other fruit trees are doing well after being replanted in bigger pots. One apple tree and the dwarf nectarine have healthy green leaves. The other apple tree has rust spots all over it. I’m not sure what it is but I suspect its cedar apple rust or gymnosprangium although I can’t figure out where the cedar is that would be hosting the fungus.

We chopped and dropped the broad beans, beetroot and broccoli to make way for the summer crops. The broad beans hadn’t managed to produce anything, and the beetroot had tiny beets when we pulled them out. They tasted ok as beetroot goes I guess. I’m not too keen on them so I don’t think we’ll bother next season. The broccoli produced some fabulous heads and I’ll definitely plant more next season.

As September skipped on we waited in great anticipation for the summer crop seeds to sprout. They were only just popping their heads up when the September winds toppled the hothouse, scattering our seeds and seedlings. We tried to rescue as many as we could but in the mess of seed and soil, we lost track of which was which. It became a fun game of ‘guess the seedling’ every time we excitedly checked the hothouse for progress (every day).

Happily, the lettuce, rocket, chili, cucumber and zucchini all made it out alive. Only one basil, one mini basil plant and a couple of nasturtiums sprouted. They are all bedded down in their pots and doing well. The mint, rosemary, thyme and strawberry from last year also made it through winter.

Potatoes sprouting beside the tomatoes and snow peas

Unfortunately, the snow peas, camomile and tomato seeds never made a show so we cheated and bought a punnet of snow peas, a punnet of nasturtiums, a roma tomato seedling, cherry tomato seedling and two heritage tomato seedlings. A couple of warm days saw them shoot up with vigour.

David constructed a potato tower with some chicken wire and a couple of wooden stakes. We had some leftovers so he unceremoniously shoved them in beside the tomato and snow peas. They are all sprouting merrily and I’m looking forward to some delicious jacket potatoes from our garden come Autumn.

Now the summer crops are all in I’m looking forward to harvesting the fruits of our labour. Delicious salads and fruit fresh from our own garden, what could be better?

Flourishing Garden - Spring 2011

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