Kitchen Garden Guides

Friday, May 17, 2013

May in my garden

The autumn light is a delight for photography and I have been spending a bit more time in the garden again, since the weather has been so wonderfully cool and sunny. What happens is that, by the end of an afternoon in the garden, I have made all sorts of plans for what I will do the next day.

Then, the next day comes. I saunter out into the garden, grab my tools bag on the way and before I know it I have ditched yesterday’s wonderful plans and am launching into another, never-before-even-considered project. With gusto and enthusiasm I work away, searching out the bits and pieces needed, from every nook and cranny of my fabulous acre.

Today I took to the area under the oak tree. For 3 years I have tried to improve the soil and tried to grow various tough vegetables such as broad beans and then sunchokes. All have more or less failed to thrive. The soil remains dry, hard and barren, even after applications of compost and straw as well as constant summer watering. I wish I had a ‘before’ photo but it was never worthy of any photos and I did not expect today to bring such satisfaction that I would look back and wish for such a photo.

But one thing leads to another and it happened that the beautiful terracotta pots I brought from Adelaide a couple of years ago, which had been stacked in a corner until I had decided how to use them or sell them, were shifted yesterday, to make way for something else. As I came outside this morning they immediately caught my eye and thoughts swirled around until one took root. So obvious, in retrospect. Where the soil is hopeless, put pots.

In the back of my mind I have wanted to have somewhere in my vegetable garden to sit and look out over it…… a sunny, winter coffee corner….. out of the wind…. and it all gelled today, under the oak tree.


I removed everything that was there…. which wasn’t much…. wheelbarrowed in some poplar mulch and a few stepping stones (both from the tree I had removed last week)…. dotted the pots about…. installed a bench from elsewhere in the garden…. made a little table (also from the poplar) and I thought it looked quite nice…..

I went back to my proper Tuesday plan which was to dig up and transplant dozens of self-sown leeks…

Then, part way through that job, I had an urge to go back to the oak tree and use the seat for my coffee break….

Looking at those pretty pots was nice but they needed filling with plants….. hmmmm…. two parts of my brain collided as I remembered I had some seedlings ready to go, in my hot house.



So, I planted them all into the pots…. lovely winter things like coriander, chervil, garlic chives, bok choy, frilly mustard and shungiku.

Liz came around to collect her milk and I showed her, as I knew she’d love it too, but she was way more ecstatic than I even imagined. Isn’t it lovely when someone else sees things the way you do!



Leeks, from tiny bulbils in the soil
imageI dug up the clumps and washed all the soil off, trimmed the leaves and roots and separated them out…
image… then wrapped the bundles in damp newspaper, ready to give away. imageTray of winter seedlings needing a home!

1 comment:

Penelope Reedy said...

loved your blog today. your photo of leeks...maybe what i think is garlic coming back is looks as well. i have only grown these two members of the onions family these past couple of years, so didn't know they reproduced like that. they're coming up everywhere in two of my raised beds. last year, i merely dug a clump, cleaned and trimmed and put the whole thing in the soup/stew, etc. everything is growing well this spring, but i'm already starting to feel like it's all going to get away from me, get too lush and overwhelming. limited space and i tend to overplant. happy season change, we are opposites. --penelope in Idaho