Sunday, 7 June 2015

Vampires, keep out

I have decided I am going to plant some garlic and clearing one of the rose beds to put them there. Garlic is a good companion plant to roses.
Unfortunately it seems the poppy seeds and wildflowers I scattered there are not coming up???
I can't tell if they weeds or not. I have pulled and dug in the green manure (somewhat). My way is just to pull them out, lay them on the top and then put more compost on top instead of digging. It's lasagna gardening. I can poke holes in the soil for breathing space but I'm not a fan of digging over unless I need to plant something deep.

I will need to buy another sack of compost, some fresh garlic bulbs, as I want to still eat the ones that I got from the community garden...they say just choose the fattest cloves..and mum didn't object, as of course she uses garlic in cooking all the time. Also I will need to buy some sheep pellets as don't have any sheep as garlic does need manure. We do have chicken manure but I also want to try sheep as I want big fat bulbs.

I'm thinking also I may visit Plantarama today just to check it out. It's up at Massey, so a bit further to go, but it seems they have a wide range of specialist plants there.

I also decided I won't put potatoes in the tyres I got as worried about the chemicals from the rubber tyres leaching into the potatoes. I did grow a cherry tomato in one but we didn't get that much fruit from it. Instead I'm going to put sunflowers as they are said to absorb any nasty chemicals. And the warmth from the tyres will help them during the winter. I have about five seedlings growing.

Yesterday I went to the library and borrowed the June issues of NZ Gardner and Weekend Gardener. Also picked up a book about layered gardens and also one by Beth Chatto, who I heard was an inspirational gardener. Her philosophy seems the right plants for the right places. I think in a volcanic, coastal, semi-rainforest type environment as Auckland is we can't really mimic those english country gardens or even cottage gardens - we don't have proper winters, and most of our sites aren't flat. I realise this goes against the grain even when my backyard is mostly a square of lawn with a border surrounding it. Boring. I can make it interesting though. But before I drastically change it I need to establish the framework. Its not just enough to have plots laid out but to have some kind of vertical structure, i.e. trees or other tall plants to provide micro-climates, climbers and shrubs.

I remember visiting Hamilton Gardens and being bowled over by the range of different style gardens there. One was a chinese style garden but in the English manner which was basically a square of lawn with flower borders all around. I don't know, having a lawn can be nice but I don't see what the point is having a field for your backyard if you not going to play rugby or cricket in it.

Those days are long gone! I did used to play cricket mind you but that stopped when I hit a six and smashed the garage window.