Belladonna Bess

An edible garden in Wellington, NZ

The faultline says hello July 15, 2009

Filed under: Garden — belladonnabess @ 9:53 pm

Shaking: did anyone else in Wellington feel the earthquake last night? Weird thing, I felt the 6.6 aftershock at 9.40, but not the 7.8 main quake. Maybe I was moving around during the larger quake, or maybe it was because it was deeper. Just a reminder from the earth that it is in charge and not any of us.

Digging: lots and lots. I’ve been removing the top weedy later of the area that will be most of my vegetable garden next summer. I’d normally try and sheet mulch, but for two reasons that’s not going to work. Firstly, I want to grow root vegetables there, and they do best in a dug garden with seed sowed directly into the soil. Secondly, the area is full of buttercup. This is the weed that has caused me the most trouble of all the weeds in my garden. It’s not something that seems to be controlled well with heavy mulches. Still, now it is gone it will be easier to keep the area under control.

Disturbing: lots of earthworms and the occasional green vegetable bug.

Aching: I’ve done about 3/4 of the area that needed to be done. It’s a lot of digging. I’ve done about 5 hours I think.

Planting: a French tarragon that I thought had died, but was just dormant. A swan plant, which is a bit off topic since it’s poisonous, but it will be nice to have some more monarchs next summer.

Moving: the pizza thyme and sage that were buried under feral parsley in my salad garden, so that they are in the area I have now decided should be my herb garden.

Reminding: myself that feral parsley and feral tomatoes do need to be culled. The feral tomatoes seldom germinate early enough to make a decent crop here. And, unlike raspberries, there really is such a thing as too much parsely.

Remembering: a great quote about parsley from one of my neighbours “it’s so easy that you don’t really get a sense of achievement that you have grown it, instead you feel deprived if you haven’t”.

Eating: popcorn. I grew some mini black popcorn last summer. It was dried enough, so I tried popping it. Not brilliantly successful, and I’m not quite sure why. It popped, but the popped corns were still very small and chewy.

Burying: the shoots of an over-keen Jersey Benne potato that had worked its way through the mulch. I think it needs to stay buried for another month.

Potting: a few seedlings of miner’s lettuce to share. I’ve clearly got no shortage.

Planning: my vegetable garden. It’s a bit of a new approach for me. I do put a lot of time into planning the garden, but I’ve never gone so far as to plan what part of the garden will get which vegetables and when.Next I’ll be planting in rows… yeah right.

Discovering: that I can fit not just one but two grapes in the space between the cotoneaster and the matipo stumps. There is plenty of fence, so if I can fit two in the ground, it makes sense.

Flowering: my first jonquil. Spring bulbs may not be edible, but I consider them just as essential as food. To me, they embody hope.

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3 Responses to “The faultline says hello”

  1. riroriro Says:

    Wellington…we are 2 days conservative driving away from Fiordland (3 if you keep stopping to take photos) and we felt the ‘quake …I was sipping wine after dinner and blobbing out watching a movie…murmured to H…’mmm earthquake’…had hazy thoughts about aftershocks and swarms then the following morning the realisation of what 7.8 meant…heck!
    Ah…Saturday tomorrow and that means 8 rhodies have to be planted…one nuttallii (fragrance), two lindleyi X nuttallii (Tupare and Mi Amor-more fragrance), another is for sentiment and reminds me of big skies, rats in the ceiling and a particular kind of happiness (Christmas Cheer), another is yellow and I hope will live up to my expectations of it being rich and cheerful, and may justify painting the fence blue (Patti bee), one I hope to espalier (polandrum), one to sit besides Buddha (September snow) and one to pop in a large pot (Dora amateis)….my roses are so diseased I now pin my hopes on rhodies….

  2. belladonnabess Says:

    I always remember that roses were a challenge in Auckland because of the humidity, I couldn’t believe it when I grew them in Christchurch. They were so easy. But rhodies actually like humidity, don’t they?

    • riroriro Says:

      I hope they like it !!!! To be fair, H’s rhodies have done very well, my roses have struggled…a galant first display, only to stumble under the onslaught of rust, blackspot, thrips and aphids…. I suspect 2 more fungi are also having a go. The only rose so far holding its own is my concession to the ‘moderns’-the HT Paddy Stevens….the older species, and also the David Austins are not so lucky…and then of course the dipteran attack on the rugosa…. the garden requires a rethink.
      Will let you know how all the bulbs go….


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