Monday, 12 September 2016

Nearly Spring

The weeks are flying by but it's really not the official growing season until Labour Day, everyone reckons. That's the day everyone labours to put their tomatoes in. They have begun appearing in the garden centres, but it's still too cold for them to be planted out. I read that tomatoes are actually perennial vines so once they have fruited, just chop them down, don't pull them out and they will resprout in spring.
Unfortunately I never really have good luck with tomatoes in my backyard and they go all scraggly when I neglect them. They are better off at Woodside where they get the star treatment. Apparently one secret is dairy milk powder. Although I've heard cat food does the trick...

So what's been happening chez moi?
I bought two willow trellises for my choko vines to grow on as well as passionfruit. I don't hold much hope out for the passionfruits as they just didn't really seem to thrive where I've put them, but I've cut them back hard and who knows, maybe they will decide to grow again. Choko however is one of the most vigorous vines you can get and thrive on neglect, so maybe it will be less effort.

Fluffy's bed is now mulched with prunings and it seems the lemon tree will thrive there. Manuka is flowering. Kakabeak is flowering too, with showy red flowers albeit small. I don't know how long it will last though as I need to pay attention to it and water but not too much as snails and leaf miners will chomp it to a stick. I've read that Kakabeak likes really windy conditions as that blows the pests away. So Wellingtonians, take note.

My fruit salad plants I've rerarranged beside the house which I hope maybe they will clamber up the wall. My climbing fig seems to want to scramble on the ground and resists the brick wall which it is meant to decorate.

Flowers making an appearance include snowflakes, daffodils, bluebells, and forget-me-not.  I've put in more aloe and really fingers crossed my chinese toon will herald spring with dramatic pink foliage. The peach tree is budding and won't really blossom until next few weeks I suppose but I've seen some come up early in other gardens.

I'm planning another garden trip this time to lovely, romantic Mincher up near Coatesville, Albany in late October. It's time to be inspired.