Sunday, April 18, 2010

Looks like Autumn

'It seems to me that making places is what gardening is really about and the
means that you use, with plants, hard materials or open spaces should always be
directed toward this end of creating somewhere with its own definable identity
that was not there before. '
Monty and Sarah Don, Fork to Fork
Autumn is rather a nice time to stand back and look at the framework of the garden. Monty Don's aesthetics are something to aspire to but I haven't really got a clue about how to make these places or even what I'm trying to make. I normally just respond to needs and the current need is a place to put some raspberry canes and blackcurrant bushes that I want to get out of the vegetable garden. The obvious place is amongst the fruit trees at my place. First step remove the red hot poker that had sucked every skerrick of moisture out of its immediate environs. Here is the sad debris, dead leaf on the left to compost, live material on the right that is full of virulent looking stems and roots; dump that. And behind the piles the large gap to plant raspberries. They have to be far enough from the fence that the cows won't reach them. This is as far as I could be bothered going for the minute.

Of course, when you can't, or don't feel like gardening, there is always the great fall back of reading about it so that's how I spent the rest of Saturday afternoon, rereading John Jeavons', How to Grow More Vegetables.

Current gardening task until my new seeds arrive is putting in cover crops. Here's the black oats just up in the glasshouse. This year I'm forking in pony plops (secret flag swamp stash), then oats and the plan is to dig it all in in Spring before we start planting again.

Last day of the school holidays so today we took a day out to Falls Dam. This is the overflow plughole and the picture doesn't really show you just how low the water is behind it. Last time the boys were here the plug was submerged and all they could see was the swirling water tumbling down. Apparently this is the driest it's been for 80 years. We carried on to St Bathans for the drive. Thought we could come again when you're down Mama and carry on along the loop road which comes out near Becks.

Here's Bill heading up the road to have a look in the little art gallery. It's in the middle building, the old Bank and gold depository barely big enough to swing a cat in. You can see the leaves have changed colour but are still on the trees...for the most part.

So for the week ahead? I've had a week of starting things but not finishing them . Started double digging beds but they're either too wet, or too dry. Things like rhubarb, artichokes and the yams are starting to disappear in the garden as the frosts take their toll; but it's a process and too soon to do anything. The primary goal is to get the winter cover crops in, the seasons' debris out and tidy up for winter. Now all of that done really will make the vegetable gardens a great statement of purpose and identity and in my opinion, beauty. It will take more than a week though.
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  1. You've been very busy Miri - looks like lots of hard work to me! Lovely shots of autumn - it's such a half hearted affair up here - some trees go from green to a limp brown and don't even lose all their leaves. It's nice to see the seasons unfold in all their glory.

  2. Seems like you will get a breather from the gardening soon and then get pleny of time for reading!! Havent the holidays zoomed by? SO much better to take a day off than to paint the house. Today someone said they are predicting 21 snow days for DUnedin this year. Im thinking I should get more firewood just in case.....

  3. Now there's a word I haven't heard in a long time- skerrick, that is. Your garden is full of lovely spaces so you must be doing something right. You know, I've never been to St Bathans, and it looks so darn perty. Perhaps this October we could beetle over in the wee car?

  4. just a comment on your comment - that pile of kindling was just the rest stop. We actually stayed in fantastic farm houses or homesteads complete with pianos, hot showers, thermowave ovens. It was a real deluxe walk. We should do it some time,.