Friday, 15 November 2013

Picture a Garden

On Sunday our lovely summer weather turned nasty. Winter nasty. We're talking multiple layers of clothing, hat, scarf, warm wrap, hot water bottle - and that was just to sit in front of the television knitting! Electric blanket on at night. And of course bugger-me-days (a great Aussie saying) if I hadn't just planted the corn seeds the day before. Corn requires quite warm soil temperatures to sprout. Poor corn! I was barely willing to sprout out of bed it was so cold!
This morning, after a few hours of a high altitude pushing and shoving match, the clouds finally retreated and we got some sunshine. Yay! So spent the late morning/early afternoon outside working in the garden and warming my bones, interspersed with sitting on the front step in the sun knitting.
For those who have been asking, here are photos of my little urban front-yard garden.

This one is the left side of the yard (when facing the street). Along the fence is the meadowfoam, two pepino plants, a gardenia, chrysanthemums, and chamomile, with assorted petunias, and marigolds in the front, and swan plant seedlings along the back. Only the meadowfoam and chamomile are in flower. The front plot has a variety of heirloom tomatoes, the middle plot has dwarf beans and eggplants (all very small plants at the moment), and the back plot has more heirloom tomatoes. At the very back along the (front) fence is an assortment of flowers and herbs, and two large artichokes. That splash of orange is the California Poppy plant I salvaged from a construction site in town the day before it was cleared.

California Poppy


This one is down the centre of the yard. Right in the front is my sad little tray of corn seed - trying to warm up in the sun. The plot directly behind it is where the corn will be planted. Down the left side of the plot is the salsify, on the right is garlic, soon to be harvested, and not a moment too soon. I used the last bulb from my garlic string on Monday, and am now digging into the preserved garlic I put up last year. Sitting forlornly on its own trying to head is the last cauliflower of the season. 
The middle plot is yet another plot of heirloom tomatoes. I do like my heirloom tomatoes! And I am hoping to get enough to bottle this year as well as eating. There is also a row of tamatillos, some purple potatoes, curly parsley, and onions. In the back plot (which you can't see) are my little sweet pepper seedlings. There are 6 different heirloom varieties. You can never have too many peppers! I am on my last jar of pickled peppers that I put up last season. In between the pepper rows are red onions and borettana onions. Also more purple potatoes, and a single enormous cabbage, trussed up to encourage it to head.

This is a panoramic of the three tyre gardens. They were my original gardens. I put them in pretty much right away after moving in, and they were all I had for a while. I dug up the ground plots in the first year, but the soil was so poor they produced nothing - literally! The back two plots were left unplanted that year, and a year later not even weeds had sprung up in them. It took three years of conditioning the soil before I started getting anything. This is the first year that things have done really well. Behind the tyre gardens, in their own separate tyres, are the pumpkin plants. They are doing insanely well this year. They already have little "pumpkin" flowers (the female flowers), not yet pollenated though. I didn't get my first female flowers until after the 2nd week of autumn last year. In fact, the plants weren't even up yet last year this time.

The back tyre garden, by the lemon tree, has zucchini (already producing), oregano, mint, salad burnet, radishes, cucumber plants, a thyme plant spilling out onto the path, a few coriander, and a couple of melon plants at the back behind the trellis. There is also a white snapdragon poking out the side merrily flowering away. Along the front fence, to the left of the lemon tree, are a small blackcurrant bush and a small redcurrant bush, being somewhat overrun by the penstemon in between them.

The middle tyre garden has lettuces, mustard spinach, chives, bunching onions (left over from winter), spring onions, purslane (I just planted the seeds for that this morning), arugula, more cucumbers (different variety), and more (different) melons at the back, along with another thyme, and some alyssum and dianthus, and a couple of petunias growing in pockets here and there.
The front tyre garden has Italian flat leaf parsley, mustard streaks (a salad mustard plant), cress, rocket, miner's lettuce, more Greek oregano, garlic chives, baby dill plants, and horseradish. At the back is a lone silverbeet (swiss chard) nestled under a hollyhock that came up, and on the sides are pansies, a cineraria, some baby California poppies, and a self sown pumpkin of unknown variety, which I will let ramble down the path.

Turning around to face the flat, we see my flower garden. My big old enamel bath tub with tadpoles, nestled up against the flat, behind the asters. The pomegranate tree is going great guns, and I might actually get pomegranates this year. The blueberry bushes and strawberries are under the netting on the right.

This is my front step, where I often sit and knit, crochet, or embroider in the morning sun. Yes, that is an old toilet you see next to the strawberry patch. It has a marjoram and nasturtiums growing in it. The shelves are where I grow the seeds in trays. The passionfruit growing on the trellis has loads of flowers this year. One of the pots has some black cherry tomato plants in it, but most of the rest are full of self-sown lobelia. I love the lobelia, and one of this year's plants came up a most gorgeous soft lavender colour. I am hoping I will get more of those come up next year.

Lavender lobelia
So that is a tour of my garden. I hope you enjoyed it.


  1. I would kill for a garden like that......or at least the room to have a garden and all the other things I need in my It looks wonderful Dana, you should be very proud of your accomplishments

  2. I loved your tour. This is my first visit here and I found your tour interesting. I enjoy seeing plants found in other parts of the world. If I could, I would visit NZ and AU.

    I came here from your comment on Flora's blog. Hope you continue to blog. (so much better than FB).

  3. love the photos. Looks very different from when I was there. It looks bigger and more beautiful. Every year gets better & better. So glad all your neighbours are positive now.