She’s a bit chilly outside.

It’s been a crazy week weather-wise.  We have had more rain than you can shake a stick at – lots of heavy fat rain drops that have turned the place into a bit of a muddy quagmire.  We have had really scary electrical storms (I hate them) and strong winds and then all of that abruptly stopped and we had a heavy frost and a kind of sunny day.  Not really the blue sky kind that normally accompanies a frost, but a thin cloud cover that lets enough sun through to let you know it was there, but not enough to actually warm you up!  But as I could actually see the sun then I will happily label the day as “sunny”!

Amazing how a bit of ice can make a pretty flower prettier
Amazing how a bit of ice can make a pretty flower prettier

Despite the icy cold yesterday morning I couldn’t resist leaping out of bed and braving the elements to get a few photos as frost is really quite pretty.  I expected the grass to make a crunching noise underfoot as I walked across to the garden, but to hear the mud crackle when I stepped on it was most peculiar.

Frosted wheat
Frosted wheat

While I was out there I decided to have a good look around as I had only done a cursory glance since I’d planted the onion and the garlic the other day, as I was so busy inside working on the final touches to my project – which I’m please to say I finished 17 days early, so now I am free to garden – except its school holidays so I’m not really free at all!

No harm done - You can't even tell which one was "examined" by a nosey pukeko
No harm done – You can’t even tell which one was “examined” by a nosey pukeko

Anyway I can’t say my pukeko scaring devices have worked 100% as there was one onion lying on the surface – no damage done.  Pukekoes just get curious and go “ooh that’s new, I wonder what it is?” and the pull the plant out, have a good look and decide it’s not that interesting and leaving it lying on the surface of the soil, where under normal circumstances it would dry out and die before being found.  However this week it has been so wet and yucky the onion survived and so I just popped it back in and now you wouldn’t know which one had the run in with the pukeko!

An early surprise - that smells heavenly!
An early surprise – that smells heavenly!

My daffodil flowers have come out and now there are three flowers open.  One is a little nibbled because I forgot how much slugs and snails like to eat them.  But not anymore – I took care of that!  Another thing I forgot is how fantastic they smell!  If they weren’t planted in a dirty bucket – I’d bring the whole thing inside and inhale the scent all day!

I love my out of season tomatoes
I love my out of season tomatoes

The daffodils are really early.  They shouldn’t be out yet.  But then there are a whole load of plants in my garden with timing issues, some intentional and some just confused.  My greenhouse tomatoes are going great guns and there are heaps of little green fruit all over the place…  It won’t be long before we can eat some – can’t wait.

Such a strange yet beautiful flower
Such a strange yet beautiful flower

It is in the greenhouse that is found another curio:  Passion fruit.  I bought them early on in the autumn, under the assumption that they could be planted then, but on looking it up I discovered that they should be planted in the spring, so I popped them in the greenhouse to wait it out and they have flourished and even started to flower, which is unexpected!  As everything is so mixed up I have started to leave the greenhouse door open when the wind isn’t blowing in case a bee decides to brave the elements and come and give my flowers a wee tickle!

Iced artichoke
Iced artichoke

There are two artichoke globes in the garden which is rather bizarre as they aren’t due until spring, and the strawberries are breaking into flower.  This creates a dilemma.  Each year I say I’ll mulch the strawberries and keep the weeds down – even when they aren’t pumping out the goods.  Sadly this never happens… and the bed seems to have more dock than strawberry plants.   So now it is a race against the season – clear out the bed before the strawberries start fruiting.   Luckily the dock leaves have acted like a kind of mulch and suppressed most other weeds and the soggy soil is, in this instance, willingly giving up the stubborn roots that are ordinarily impossible to budge!

It won't be long now...  oh sweet strawberries!
It won’t be long now… oh sweet strawberries!

Come again soon – winter is marching on…

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

11 thoughts on “She’s a bit chilly outside.

  1. I enjoyed reading about this touch of winter you’re having. Here in North America, we’re having record-breaking heat over a wide swath. Although it hasn’t been unusually hot where I live, I’m sure many people across the country would enjoy just ten minutes of your weather right about now! I found it interesting that your daffodils are blooming so early. Spring came about a month early in the northern hemisphere this year, too. Interesting that the phenomenon is happening in New Zealand as well! A bit frightening, actually …

    1. Hi Skip, sorry it took so long to get back to you. The seasons don’t seem to be doing what is expected of them. Its all the more noticeable when you are a garden as you pay more attention to the weather and the seasons. I’m just hoping for a warm dry (not drought) summer this year as last year was dreadful. I hope things don’t get too hot for you this summer. Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi there. Thanks for your comments about our beautiful frost. Since my last blog I have had another passion flower, they are so unusual yet so pretty. I hope they bear fruit in my greenhouse. Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. Seeing your pictures was like opening the freezer door and enjoying a bit of arctic blast! I know I won’t necessarily welcome frost with open arms when it comes our way (we have another 4 months or so to go), but when our temps are breaking 60-year-old records every day, the cold looks like a nice change of pace.

    1. Hi there. I hope your heat wave breaks soon and you get cooler weather. I am trying my best to enjoy every day no matter how cold, as it is too easy to look forward to summer (where I’ll probably complain about the heat) and end up wishing the days away. Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. Oh, how’d I love just a few days of your chilly temps and wet weather! We’ve been in the triple digits for a couple of weeks and I haven’t seen nary an inch of rain for over three months. There are inch+ wide cracks in my lawn and the only way my garden has survived is nightly watering.
    Your frosty photos remind me that this intense heat and arid clime cannot last forever.

    1. Hi Jenn. I hope your weather calms down soon and that you even get a drop of rain – just enough to sort out the garden and no more. Our last summer was just too wet and really miserable. Is it too much to ask for a nice “normal” summer? Cheers Sarah : o )

  4. Queensland has had lots of rain as well but here in Tasmania we are rain free and minus 1 every night. All we have in our greenhouse is a few Madagascan palms we grew from seed, some orchids and a couple of banana plants (because we CAN!). I have to say…I would trade with you for one of those hothouse tomatoes lol 🙂

    1. Hi there. You should really give winter tomatoes a go next autumn. You are probably warmer than us (being a bit further north…) They should grow for you, no worries. I’d love to have bananas, but I reckon there is no chance! Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. We visited a nursery a while ago to pick up some bulk plants and they showed us inside their enormous glass house and right in the corner was a HUGE banana plant (herb whatever…). It was massive and had outgrown its large bag and was heading for Norway! It was a really lovely plant and when we saw a couple for sale at Bunnings (of all places) we bought them and they have survived 2 years in our glasshouse. I dare say they will never flower or fruit but hey, sometimes you just want a bit of the tropics lol ;). We also have a coffee plant, a Camellia sinensis (which I am going to get more of as I am a tea slurper of old…) and a few other exotics that have to stay in the glasshouse but at least I can head up their and pretend I am in Queensland whenever Tasmania gets too much for me lol 😉 I will try the tomatoes for sure next year. We actually had some in there and put them out for the possums thinking that they wouldn’t ripen but now we know better!

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