Wobbly soil 2

Hello! Welcome to Gardening for Real where I blog about growing almost everything we eat in one of the more … how can I put this diplomatically …  challenging areas of the country! In a region with more rain days than anywhere else in New Zealand (how else do we get our beautiful rain forest?), where the next stop is Antarctica, and where kereru, possums and rabbits like to share everything we grow, self sufficiency is an art! And just to makes things even trickier (or more enjoyable, depending on how you look at it) I also grow a free-to-harvest roadside garden where anyone passing by can help themselves to fresh food.

Join me as I dig for victory in  Let’s Get Gardening . To follow the garden that grows happiness, click on Roadside Garden. For kids’ gardening fun, skip to Kid’s Gardening pages, and for recipies from my home and travels, take a look at Recipes. If you want to know what I do in my spare time (joke!) go to the Books page or checkout my regular garden columns at www.lifestyleblock.co.nz  .

Yours from the bottom of the world,

Diana Noonan







18 responses to “WELCOME!

  1. Michelle

    Diana – I love your update on LSB. Each one is a great read and extremely useful. I’m looking forward to following this blog and continuing to learn from you. Cheers, Mich.

    • Hi, Michelle

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on the Garden-at-the-Bottom of the World blog site. You’ve really encouraged me to begin writing on it again. Spring arrived just after my husband had set up the site for me and I had to choose, amongst the busy-ness of spring, whether to blog or garden – and gardening won out, of course!. I’m so pleased you enjoy the LSB column. I really enjoy writing it. I think about it all week as I have my hands in the dirt, and inevitably, something comes along for me to jot down.

      All the very best, and warm regards

  2. Cori Sanders

    Dear Diana,

    I read your write-up about the Roadside Garden and it just warmed my heart. In a day when people are mostly fearful and grasping, your roadside garden gives me hope. The thoughts that created the garden, the heart that sustains it, and the spirit that enlivens it … all of these add a dimension to gardening that I never saw before. Gardening as an act of social activism; a tribute to the resourceful poor; a fist raised against living small and tight-fisted; a silent elegant experiment in giving and reciprocity.
    Thank you for giving my heart something of value to ponder today, and for your happy and vigorous generosity. 🙂

    Kind regards,
    Cori Sanders
    Christchurch, NZ

  3. Fran Brown

    Hello Diana, when you spoke to me over the phone in early spring I was telling you how lovely my spring garden was, well I spoke to soon or “pride cometh before a fall” or perhaps it should read nor-west winds! We have been battered in mid-Canterbury with gale force winds for it seems like months now. There have been days of winds which wreck the garden and then we get a spell where we have a major clean up then back they come. I think this year’s spring equinox is never ending -very disheartening! But hey we are gardeners and we can cope with anything be it winds or, like you ,possums. Nature is a beautiful thing and we must take the good with the bad and there is always more good.
    Keep up your blog and writings which are a pleasure to read
    Regards Fran Brown Methven

    • Hi, Fran

      You’re positive attitude is just what I (an a lot of other gardeners around the country this spring) need to hear. I’ve had emails this week from central North Island gardeners who have never seen so much snow on Ruapehu at this time of year (or such late frosts in their gardens) and from inland SI gardeners who are optimistically sowing dwarf beans indoors in pots just in case it ever warms up enough to shift them outside into the garden!We have had four days with sun in the last 6 weeks and even then, it rained at some stage in the day. But you’re right, nature rules and we must adapt!


  4. Andy Whitehead

    Hi Diana

    Loved your article “Poppies – take your pick” in the April ‘kiwigardener’ The yellow of Meconopsis Cambrica has been my favourite since our four year farming stint in Wales and would love to have this beautiful ‘weed’ in our garden again and were wondering how we could get some seeds or seedlings of this stunning reminder of family and friends back in Wales.

    Cheers Andy Whitehead – Taranaki

    • Hi, Andy,

      No doubt I will still have them popping up from time to time. When next I come across one, I will let it set seed (not a difficult thing for it to do, even here int he deep south!) and bag hem for you. Do let me have an address. Apologies for late reply. Have ben out of the country and off internet duty! Best

    • Hi, Andy,

      Send me your address and I’ll be happy to post seed if and when I spot that papery yellow in the garden!

  5. Hi Diana. I know you grow yacon really well. How do you store the crowns over winter?


  6. Hi Diana. I know you grow yacon really well. How do you store the crowns over winter?


    • Hi, Annik, I store them in two ways. First, I dig up the rhizomes, dust them in copper sulphate, plant them into large pots or bags filled with garden soil, at leave them in the glasshouse to protect them from the frost (I live in a frosty area). The second method is to dig the rhizomes and replant them directly into the soil of the greenhouse, to over winter before being planted out again after danger of frost has passed. Hope this helps you with your growing – yakon are SO delicious, aren’t they!

  7. Debbie Laing

    Hi Diana
    I’ve just made your recipe for kishk, have it rolled in balls and ready to go into oil – but am now unsure if it’s too wet? It did roll together and hold in a ball, so I didnt dehydrate it, but it is quite wet – is that ok?? Hopefully you get this before I have to make a decision myself :))))))) I could call you if you were happy to give me your number. Thanks so much!! Debbie 0274 550 223

    • Hi, Debbie, I’m so sorry that I didn’t see your comment until now. That’s the trouble with gardening – it takes over your life, leaving little time for anything else. I do hope you kishk balls worked out well. If the mixture held together it was probably ok but I do feel it’s better to dry out the mixture first, if possible. How were they, in the end? Did you enjoy the flavour, and how did you use the balls? We’ve just enjoyed a tomato, cucumber and olive salad with a few kishk balls added to give a little zing to the flavour Delicious! Warm regards

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