Belladonna Bess

An edible garden in Wellington, NZ

Signs of green August 8, 2009

Filed under: Garden,Photos — belladonnabess @ 10:46 pm

Harvesting: the vast crop of parsley that had taken over my salad bed. I’ll try drying and freezing some of it, but I never seem to be out of parsley, so I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Transplanting: three strawberries that I discovered under the parsley.

Sowing: three types of mesclun salad mix – Italian, lettuce and traditional (left to right when standing on the path facing the house). Theoretically it may be a bit early for planting seeds, but the “feral” lettuce is germinating naturally, so comditions must be ok.

Planting: a prostrate rosemary, behind the cotoneaster stump, hoping it will sprawl over the stump.

Constructing: a small windbreak for my potatoes.broad bean

Discovering: I don’t think potatoes like being covered with a thick newspaper mulch. I noticed one working it’s way out the side of the pile of mulch and when I dug down under the newspaper I found a lot of blanched stems unable to get through. So I removed the newspaper and just put back a big pile of pea straw.

Flowering: broad beans, Dampiera purpurea (one of very few plants named after pirates, in a pot because it doesn’t like phosphorus in the soil) , Nemophila “Penny Black”, more daffodils.

Budding: a few plants are nearing, or just past, budbreak. Gooseberry (past already), raspberries (Marcy, but only the one I planted last week, Ivory, Ebony), blackcurrant, nectarine (showing pink buds now). It won’t be long before my garden is green, as opposed to a garden full of sticks. No sign from the apples, reducurrant or whitecurrant.

Bathing: I’ve had a couple of hot baths after I’ve got in, in the hope that means I ache less after my efforts in the garden. Not sure it’s working. I’ve even got sore fingernails – how does that happen?

Here’s the latest picture – quite a bit of progress at the back of the garden since I posted the last shot.

9 August 09


7 Responses to “Signs of green”

  1. riroriro Says:

    That is a great photo, and you really have made a lot of progress. I have a fair bit of parsley too and I was thinking of turning some into pesto….can always adapt recipes. I noticed our plum has buds and a touch of white is showing so I’m guessing it won’t be long before the first blossom comes. This time of year is always enthralling as there is always something coming and the anticipation is just wonderful….especially when I forget to label bulbs that have flowered the previous year and H shifts all the pots so I cannot remember what is where….I have the breathless wait all over again! šŸ˜‰

  2. belladonnabess Says:

    oo, there’s a thought. I have garlic, olive oil, parmesan and sunflower seeds. I use sunflower seeds in preference to pine nuts – something I discovered when I was a broke student with gourmet tastes and a herb garden.

  3. cybaraynbo Says:

    Ahoy Capn
    Penny Dreadful here.
    Question…Do you know a variety of small bluberry? or know of a knowledgable source where I could purchase same?

    I have had pine chippings/needles quietly decomposing in old concrete laundry tubs for 12 months or so. Its looking pretty good, all fluffy and needing to be forked out and mixed with dirtish sort of stuff. The intention was to plant small blueberries in the tubs. with maybe a groundcover crop of those orange straw/cranberry things.


  4. belladonnabess Says:

    Most blueberry varieties are supposed to grow a couple of metres tall, although I don’t think the ones I had in Christchurch got that big – they were smaller than me after about 5 years in the ground but producing reasonable amounts of fruit while receiving no care at all, as my house had been rented out to non-gardening tenants.

    I’ve only found one described as a very small variety, one called “muffin”. I don’t know what pollinates it though, I haven’t been able to find that out. They are supposed to fruit better if you grow more than one compatable variety (I’ve never tried growing them on their own, so I don;t know how they do).

    Since blueberries are generally supposed to be fine in pots I’d probably just go for a couple that you like the sound of and that will cross-pollinate eachother. Being in a tub will probably restrict their size,a nd you can alwyas prune them. I’ve gone for ones that have a lower chill requirement, as I get very little frost and my garden is relatively warm. You would probably get more frost though?

    Just make sure that you match them – if you get one southern highbush, then you need another southern highbush. I’ve got Misty, O’Neal and Petite Blue (southern highbush) and Blue Dawn and Blue Magic (northern highbush). I haven’t had fruit from them yet so don’t know what tastes best.

    Orangeberry is worth trying if you have space, but it isn’t a reliable fruiter. I grew one in a pot for a couple of years and got only a couple of flowers and one small fruit ever, and I’ve seldom seen either flowers or fruit on ones I’ve seen in gardens. If you want to underplant with something, have you considered white alpine strawberries? I can probably find one or two spare plants for you if you don’t have any. I’m pretty sure they will cope with the acid, they don’t mind a little less sun, and they taste great.

    I’ve never tried the true cranberry, but I’ve heard that they are difficult. I think that they like acid like blueberries, but much wetter soil.

    I’m not sure who to ask about blueberry varieties, there are growers who come to the market I shop at, but they are only at the market in blueberry season. I’ve asked at garden centres about varieties and they couldn’t even tell me what pollinates what, so I don’t know if they woudl be helpful either.

  5. riroriro Says:

    Yahoo!! All my Galanthus have arrived! Beautiful snowdrops beautifully packaged- thank you Hokonui Alpines!! I only ordered them Sunday night so very prompt….11 G. plicatus plicatus, 2 G. nivalis veridapicis and 1 G. plicatus double…. the first 11 are for under the new rhodies at the back, the next 2 are for under the magnolia at the front and the double will remain potted….I have that feeling I may never see the concrete of the terrace again….don’t seem to be getting rid of pots as I have (mumbled) promised. And I have a strong feeling I’ll be ordering a couple more shorter species of galanthus (nivalis)….(very mumbled) for pots……..

    • belladonnabess Says:

      You don’t have that many pots, really. A botanical/ plant collecting friend in Christchurch had so many pots on his deck that there were only really narrow paths to walk on and all the rest was plants.

      That probably doesn’t help. I won’t mention that example to H, it might scare him.

      What state do the Galanthus arrive in? They must be in growth, or even flowering, at the moment?

  6. riroriro Says:

    There are about 3 bulbs per pot, they are in leaf and flowering.
    I’m just perusing their seed catalogue right now !!!!

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