Belladonna Bess

An edible garden in Wellington, NZ

Slow progress February 27, 2010

Filed under: Garden — belladonnabess @ 8:13 pm

Today was horribly windy, and not the sort of day I really wanted to spend in the garden, so I spend a bit more time doing things inside.

Painting: yesterday I spent a couple of hours painting the fence. There is another hour or so still to do, I hoped to do it today, but the weather wasn’t appealing. Once I’ve done the painting, I can line the retaining wall, remove all the bits of treated timber lying around in there and start fixing up the soil.

Cooking: I made the zucchini-based lemon honey from NZ Gardener. It’s definitely not indistinguishable from lemon honey, but it’s not a bad thing to do with a kilo of yellow zucchini.

Baking: yesterday I went to a breadmaking workshop at the Mt Victoria festival. Today I made my third attempt at breadmaking (my previous efforts being pizza bases and spicy fruit buns last week). I abandoned recipes and made a wholemeal loaf with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. I’ve very pleased with how it turned out. The flavour is amazing – I suspect that may be due to the high quality flour.

Eating: a few raspberries. I was mistaken, the ripening rasperries were not Qualicum but Ebony. There look to be at least 40 berries ripening up. Also, Autumn Bliss and Waiau are in flower.

Also eating: zucchini obviously, cabbage (a mini one, sprouting from one of the plants I cut off a couple of months ago), carrots, radishes, beetroot, beans, lettuce, strawberries.

Sharing: zucchini. Plenty to share right now.


Overgrown February 20, 2010

Filed under: Garden — belladonnabess @ 9:16 pm

Gusty northerly today, not pleasant in the garden, but I was desperate to get something done.

Weeding: I spent about 2 hours weeding, and produced a huge pile of buttercup, velt grass, couch grass, Teucrium, chickweed, dandelion, dock, clover and other stuff. I also removed a feral pumpkin that had been wandering through the asparagus patch and was making a run towards the strawberries. My garden already has enough rampant pumpkin.

Transplanting: feral broccoli as well as space saver cabbage and romanesco. I noticed that a couple of very big and healthy feral broccoli plants were growing in the bed where I had dug out the potatoes. There was a thick layer of coffee grounds, and they seemed to like it. So I planted the potted seedlings and transplanted a number of the plants that were growing under last year’s broccoli.

Eating: zucchini pizza (zucchini, tomatoes, herbs, a bit of tomato paste and a bit of cheese). I made the base from scratch myself and I’m very pleased with it. I’ve now got a few tomatoes, but not many and it isn’t going to be a good season as there is a lot more disease. Blueberries (blue magic) – so far this one is a little disappointing in flavour compared to the southern highbush that fruited earlier. Purslane – one of my favourite weeds. Rhubarb, which I made into crumble, silverbeet, cabbage, strawberries, zucchini, beans, zucchini, and did I mention zucchini?

Anticipating: the next lot of raspberries – I can see a few fruits on Qualicum (I think) colouring up. Also, my first space saver cabbage, but I admit I’m more excited about the raspberries.


Out of control February 12, 2010

Filed under: Garden,Photos — belladonnabess @ 9:45 pm

For the last month I’ve been either busy on the weekend or away, and also it has rained, heavily enough to soak the garden, at least once a week all summer. As a consequence, the weeds are out of control.

Admiring: my deck, kindly finished by some friends while I was away. It looks amazing. I don’t even have a decent “before” shot to show because in 3 years I don’t think I ever photographed it, it was so ugly.

Germinating: dozens of feral pumpkins, hundreds of feral tomatoes and a small crop of feral broccoli (the only one of the three that I’m likely to get a good crop from, as it is too late to be starting tomatoes and pumpkin here).

Harvesting: overlarge zucchini, not quite at the marrow stage but not far away. That is what happens when you leave the garden for a week.

Weeding: I’ve made a rather timid start, but there are many hours to go. That’s the problem with filling the soil with compost and manure and then getting a wet summer. Everthing grows.

Eating: beans – finally enough to cook up a plateful, rather than a small snack. Zucchini – of course. Nectarine – this was a week or so ago but I’m behind on the diary. It had been nibbled a bit by slugs or earwigs (I have both in abundance) but the flavour was lovely. If I can ripen a nectarine properly in this awful summer, then they should do well most years, so I’m going to put in a couple more. Tomatoes – a couple of the little currant tomatoes, from my greenhouse. Strawberries – doing pretty well right now, both the usual ones and the white alpines. Carrots – I haven’t eaten them all yet. Lots of other stuff in small amounts.

Sharing: various vegetables, but especially zucchini.

Forgetting: I’m sure there was other stuff I needed to mention, but I have no idea what it was. So here are some pictures – click on the small photos to see a larger version.