The popular opinion in New Zealand is that this summer has been a washout. Since New Year we’ve been blighted by bouts of furious wind and driving rain making it the worst summer weather since we arrived in New Zealand six years ago. The only upside I can see from such disappointment is that it’s been wonderful for the garden which has loved the wet and warm weather. A most definite downside has been the vicious wind which has given our trees whiplash and shaken them to their very roots.
The kitchen garden has been in full bloom. Generating heaps of wonderful produce for our table and a mass of flowers that have brought all manner of birds and bees to feast on their nectar. I admit that I went slightly over board with the companion planting but I like the psychedelic vibe, i like to think of it as our garden bling . Like elsewhere in the garden everything has taken a beating with brassicas contorted and twisted as they fight the wind and peas and beans leaning precariously.
Although this is my third growing season I’m still experimenting and learning as I go. Each year I learn more about what works, what doesn’t and which of my ideas can be too labour intensive for them to be viable. It is such a pleasure to steal a few moments in the garden taking in the view from a bench. It’s the perfect spot for plotting ways I can protect my precious crops and plan what I’ll grow where next.
My stash of seeds for winter crops have just arrived and I’m looking forward to all manor of heritage varieties. I’m also going to intensify planting a little so I can provide a regular supply of goodies to our neighbours who give so much to us in terms of support and stock our wood shed every year. Having the greenhouse makes such a difference and increased our potential success growing tomatoes, aubergines and chilli peppers and when summer is over will be overhauled before restocking all manner of winter salads.
For now though there is plenty to enjoy and the bassets continue to help themselves to their favourite things – courgettes, strawberries and low hanging broccoli. Who’d have thought the hounds would have such gourmet tastes.