the season for gardening

We had a great holiday away, especially in Nelson and Kaikoura, and now we are back on the West Coast, I'm spending much of my days gardening. 

Today I've been weeding, adding compost, planning and dreaming.  The tomatoes under the lean-to (in pots) have a disease and the ones in the garden are doing much better.  Neither are looking perfect leaf-wise, because I delayed planting them out from the windowsill pots far too long. 

In other years, I've not harvested my garlic until late January, which seems to work well here.  January is when it finally dries out here, so by allowing the entire month for final growth, the garlic keeps better.  But the downside is that I'm back at work before I can replant the garlic bed into a new crop for autumn/winter.  I harvested one garlic head this afternoon and it looked a good size.  I gave the remaining crop (and my tomatoes) a dose of liquid fish fertiliser and will harvest it at the end of next week. 

Meanwhile I bought pea, celery and basil plants at the garden shop this afternoon, plus some pizza thyme and variegated sage.  My herbs are doing so well that I need to do some pruning mid-season so that I have room for my new additions.  I'm not cooking enough to keep up with the hugely plentiful lovage, and after I pruned it tonight my children wanted to know why I stank.

I want to develop my herb collection into some native plants.  Once I have the space ready, I'm going back to the garden shop for a kawakawa plant and horopito bush.  The horopito is quite beautiful looking:

Kawakawa is easily found in the bush on the West Coast, so I'm assuming it isn't difficult to grow at home.

Inside, Favourite Handyman is beginning to paint Brighid's room and the hallway.  The first round of negotiations on colour, particularly for the hallway, have begun.  Meanwhile, the local Resene shop is selling us plenty of test pots.


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