In my imagination I have a victorian walled kitchen garden that swaddles my crops and keeps them safe. In reality I have a patch that is exposed to the Wellington winds which on a bad day wreaks havoc and causes ruin. And if it’s not the wind that batters your precious berries it’s the birds that can swoop in when the gale winds blows away their protective cage. After nature served me several bitter lessons last year I didn’t want to take any chances so we’ve installed new sturdy frames as the basis of fruit caging. I suspect nature may seek its revenge in other ways but for now this is an investment that will pay dividends come soft fruit season. Soon I’ll be wrapping up the garden and not too soon as the gooseberries are first to appear and I want to avoid the bird ransack of last year.
Our new wooden arbor will provide a quiet shady sanctuary and provide a perfect barrier for the bench that grew wings last year when the wind blew and spent as much time outside the garden as it in. I know the basset will appreciate the cool spot and I can hardly wait to have a quiet place to contemplate or perhaps stretch out for a quick snooze in the shade.
All this new development is just in the nick of time as the kitchen garden is springing into life for another growing season. The beds have been topped up and most of the crops that were started from seed and grown through adolescence in the cold frames are now planted out in the garden. It’s been a marathon effort but worth it to see the possibilities for what we’ll be eating in the not to distant future.
While we’ve been wrapping up the kitchen garden the herb garden has been unwrapped. It’s time the box hedging earned its keep and be sprung from the cage that has encased it since shortly after it was planted three years ago. All it needs now is a really good haircut to smarten it up. I’m excited about the possibility of the spare box plants I had being turned into some topiary treats. For now they are growing up in pots and being used to take cuttings so we can perhaps in time add a suitably smart boundary to the kitchen garden.
The warm and wet weather we’ve been having this Spring has done wonders for the garden although it feels like a sprint every week to get ahead of the grass which seems to grow before your very eyes. I’m slowly unwrapping all the flower beds around the house and you can almost hear the plants sigh with relief as they can spread their branches and stems. It has softened the edges and transformed the look of the house.
A big shout out to my lovely friend from Wellington who I’ve known long before we moved to New Zealand. She’s been a perfect slave in the garden and made the whole arduous task of weeding, trimming and clearing so much more fun. Thanks N!