Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Garden Share Collective ~ May

We're well into Autumn now, but it doesn't feel like it. We're still having lots of lovely weather with a little rain mixed in. Perfect.

And something rather odd is happening in the veggie garden! My asparagus, which has a season from around October to December has, all of a sudden, started popping up now! We're getting new spears by the day. it's ace, we're feasting on fresh asparagus dipped into poached eggs. Yum. It'll be interesting to see if the crop is as good again in September, or if this strange happening will affect it. But for now, we're just making the most of it.




There are also dwarf butterbeans coming up. I didn't plant them! They self seeded from the summer crop. They were actually a huge disappointment to me - I thought that they were, what we know as, butter beans in the Uk, just a dwarf version!  But no - they're what I think if as string beans. Meh. But Lloyd likes them.



Our bananas are ready - Lloyd took this hand off a few days ago, so that it could ripen on the outside table. I'll maybe make a banana cake this afternoon. As I've said before, I'm not a huge fan of bananas, but I can just about handle them in a cake.



I did!! Here's a Hummingbird Cake. It was absolutely gigantic - and lovely!



 I planted some sweetpeas, broad beans and parsnips.
The sweet peas and the beans have popped up and are doing great.



Sadly, Kopi, our wee ginger cat, loves the veggie garden. It's her domain. However when it's cleared 
(like it is now) she seems to think it's her Loo! And her favourite place to dig is where I planted the parsnips. They appear to 'be no more'. I think she may have flung them out! That's why there is a bamboo cane lengthways in the beans photo. They were going the same way, so I put canes down to stop her digging. Wish I'd thought of it sooner. 

Here she is coming to say 'hi' after some veggie garden trashing.

 I'm still babyminding all the monarch caterpillars. I have so many this year that they have almost completely denuded all my swan plants.  I've been decanting some over to my friend! But I've had huge success, lots and lots of butterflies have hatched.

Here's three stages ~ the caterpillar forms a J when it's ready to go into a chrysalis. Then the chrysalis forms, and over the course of days it turns from black to transparent and the butterfly hatches. In the final photo you can see the red of the wings showing through. When they hatch they pump up their wings and sit for a good while before they fly off. During this time if you put your hand down the butterfly will happily crawl onto it and stay there for ages, testing its wings. It's amazing.

In the Greenhouse, the tomatoes are still producing and so are the chillies. Lloyd picked a huge amount of chillies this morning.




These will be turned into chilli sauce ( with the other 8-10 kg that are in the freezer!) He's going to book time in a commercial kitchen in Kerikeri to do this as we've heard on the grapevine that a new market is starting in KK. So he can perhaps sell it there.



Elsewhere around the garden we have all sorts going on. The strawberry guavas are ready. We have these to attract native birds and my  chickens love them, but I know that some people make jam. 


The roses are still blooming.


And self seeded ~ rogue ~ tomatoes that popped up around the place are actually producing fruit! This plant is beside the spa near the palms! The birds were eating my tomatoes this year, which was a bit of a pain, but we're benefitting now because they must have pooed seeds out all over the place!



And hedge update - as you can see, it's coming along nicely. It's a bit of a faff as I need to prune it little and very often while it's getting to the size we want it - but it's looking ok.


And last but not least....autumn colours. 



The Garden Share Collective is the brain child of Lizzie from Strayed from the Table. There are a group of bloggers from all over the place who chat about what is going on in their gardens, with hints and tips. Pop over and check out all the others. 


14 comments:

  1. Naughty cat! My small dog does something quite similar in one of my box gardens the little blighter! You can grow sweat peas now?? Not sure if I can down here with the frosts etc that we get. Guess I could put a row in and see what happens. The hedge is doing really well, it will grow up into something magnificent before you know it.

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    1. I did a bit of research and bog standard sweet peas - its the time to sew them - but having never got it right before I dont know!! But they are growing really well.

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  2. Lots happening Laura! Your Lloyd and his chilli plants!! Such gorgeous asparagus and tomatoes this time of year - and such great autumn colours, we don't get that here in Qld. Enjoy. cheers Wendy

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    1. I know! what is he like - I spend hours tending those blooming things- I don't even like them! At least he picks them himself!

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  3. Oh gosh Laura, my update is still just a jumble of thoughts in my head.... those strawberry guava are looking awesome. I remember kerikeri from when we visited there on our boat way back in 1985 What a lovely place. those asparagus look mighty tasty!

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    1. I tasted one - finally ! They are actually really lovely. Well, if you ever get back this way....

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  4. Laura your photos are exquisite. There is so much happening in your garden. Think I will try to grow parsnips too .. But I believe they take time to mature. Beautiful cat .. !

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    1. thank you! My parsnips have gone! not one of them survived Kopis lack of gardening skills!

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  5. Your garden is lovely. What a massive chilli harvest!

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    1. I know! huge - and this is only a fraction of it - there are bags full on the freezer and more to come!

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  6. Your garden is beautiful! Monarchs are my favourites so you made me swoon with your description.

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    1. they're amazing aren't they. I spend such a long time just looking at them :)

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  7. Your garden is beautiful, I recently found your blog and I am now a follower, Your house is very beautiful too, it looks like a fabulous place to live :-)

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    1. Hi Kay! thank you :) it is a really lovely place to be. I've just been having a right good rummage around your blog - its gorgeous!

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I love it when you leave me comments, it lets me know there are folk out there reading my ramblings! Thank you, I appreciate them loads and loads
Laura x