Monthly Archives: February 2015

High Risers

Help – my garden is taller than me!

As summer sprints toward autumn, something amazing happens in the flower garden.

Shasta daisies …

… astilbie …

… galdioli in reds …

…  and greens …

… and fragrant bergamot dominate the ornamental garden, and the result is a riot of colour.

It’s as if each individual flower is vying with its neighbour for more sunlight as it shoots skywards.

Sweet peas form a colourful backdrop to  red cabbages and Brussels sprouts, and the result of my growing them from my own saved seed has meant a profusion of pinks and whites.

I couldn’t be happier that they’ve reverted to these common colours – they all match each other so perfectly!

But my true love this summer is Urospermum Dalechampii or, to give it its less illustrious common name: Smooth Golden Fleece.

I first saw this lemon-lime lovely in the Dunedin Botanic Gardens and when I wrote asking for a pinch of seed so I could grow it myself, the head gardener obliged. Seldom seen in domestic gardens, Dalechampii comes from the  Mediterranean. It flowers throughout the summer on longs stems with a rosette of dandelion-like leaves about its base.

I like to collect its seeds and distribute them among my friends.

And as autumn begins to show its face, I almost weep to say goodbye to this treasure for another year.

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Bounty Beautiful

When is a garden blogger not a garden blogger? When she’s gardening! And there’s been a lot of that going on lately. A frightful spring finally gave way in December to weeks of blue skies and sunshine such as the Catlins has never known! The garden suddenly exploded into life and almost without warning the raised beds were producing more than we could eat and process: fat sugar snaps, crunchy snow peas, tight green and purple pods of shelling peas, and baskets of broad beans.

And let’s not even go there with the courgette crop!

The family beehive hummed with happiness, the rhubarb re-emerged from its protracted hibernation and the gooseberries ripened to perfection. The indoor cucumbers (we named them Charles and Camilla) produced long slender fruit and outdoors, the shallots grew fat bulbs.

Best of all, the rare red-flowering broad beans for which I am acting as seed guardian for the Southern Seed Bank, have flowered in all their burgundy glory, and the bumble bees are having a ball!

I hope your season in the garden is as productive and enjoyable as ours!

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