Eating: silverbeet, celery (with peanut butter, yum. When I first heard of that combination I was dubious, but it’s just so good, especially with my rather strongly-flavoured celery rather than the watery stuff you can buy)
Flowering: Muscari (grape hyacinth). A childhood favourite, my grandmother always had lots of them.
Finishing: the edge of the garden against my south fence.
Moving: my Miho mandarin. I planted it 7 months ago but it never looked happy. It’s now in the back corner of the garden, nice winter sun, no frost and also one of the most sheltered areas. Hopefully it won’t be too annoyed at being dug up and moved.
Planting: a Silverhill mandarin. I’ve planted it next to Miho in the warm corner. Both varieties are cold-tolerant satsuma types, but I think I need to give them every chance, as Wellington isn’t what you would call a natural citrus-growing area.
Also planting: the Passiflora antioquiensis that I’ve had in a pot for 2 1/2 years. I’m not entirely sure it is still alive, as it is really frost sensitive and has died back completely. But anyone who tries to grow citrus and passionfruit in Wellington must be an eternal optimist, so I’ve planted it between the mandarins and am hoping for the best. I also planted a couple of forget-me-nots that sprouted in a pot, and some swan plants that got completely munched but looked like they might be hanging in there.
Bagging: lots of weeds. I’m not quite sure what to do with the weeds like buttercup that I am digging up. I know that mulching for months won’t kill it. If I put it in the compost I’m sure it will just keep growing. So I’m experimenting with solarisation. I’m putting it in old compost bags and hoping that a few months in the sun will kill it. I know it is an effective technique, but most of those recommending it come from Australia. It might not work in Wellington.
I’ve got dark-coloured bags – I don’t like buying bagged compost much, but I have little choice due to not having enough homemade and not having the access to buy a trailerload easily. But there is one brand that comes in a dark green bag, and dark bags should heat up more. So the plastic bags will get a second life as weed control.
If it actually works.
Acquiring: I got given some more raspberries – another variety so I can continue my collection (and it is getting to be a collection now) – and a hazelnut, which looks to be in need of a prune. Not sure what to do with it as the spot isn’t ready and probably won’t be for another 6 months or more, but you know – free plants.
Flaming: the skies to the west.
I think that’s about it really. I pinned down the old cocoa sacks on the bank near where I planted the mandarins. Hopefully they will supress the weeds a bit. I did a little tidying. The weather was reasonably good, with a northerly not strong enough to cause any problems, and the occasional moment of sun. I was working in the garden until 5.45pm.