Welcome to the final installment of the Growing NOW Garden Tour. For those of you who have been following along on the tour, the last post may come with a degree of sadness. The lovely Beth Billstrom from More than Oregano has been hosting an amazing array of fabulous and inspiring gardeners from across America from the early anticipated days of spring, right through to now – Labour Day weekend. Each week the growing season has been showcased as it burst forth from those early days 16 weeks ago, to the fullness of a summer garden. Now these gardens are beginning to show signs that fall, or autumn as we like to call it, is upon them.
It is with a strange irony that the last post, with fall knocking on the garden gate, should take the tour full circle, straight back to the hope and anticipation of spring. For the benefit of those on the tour, my garden is in a completely different hemisphere, down here in New Zealand. I have watched northern gardens flourish throughout the last few months, stealing sunshine vicariously. I have watched tomatoes ripen and sunflowers bloom, and absorbed the feeling of warmth that can come through the cheery image of a bright zinnia on a gloomy, wet, miserable winter day. And now it is my turn for spring and a new growing season.
Spring has just begun and my greenhouse is slowly and surely filling up with seedlings. My peppers were sown about a month ago with great fanfare. I won’t see fruit from these until the other side of Christmas. The first days of spring are joyfully celebrated with the sowing of the tomatoes. A garden without tomatoes isn’t really a garden at all. I love to grow tomatoes and have space for about 25 different kinds. Deciding which ones not to sow is a tough call.
Our Labour Day is held later than its American namesake, towards the end of October. However it is way more special to the gardener than a day off work. It is the day deemed safe enough to plant out the tender summer crops without risk of frost. Having said that, it isn’t always the case, so you have to keep a sharp eye out.
So between now and October I shall be nurturing tiny seedlings that hold the hope of a new season. I’ll also be frantically digging, weeding and enriching the soil to prepare the homes these seedlings will spend their summer in before being gobbled up in one form or another. Hopefully by me and not the bugs and slugs! It will take every spare moment as my garden is a little on the large side. I grow all our veggie needs and my family enjoy the benefits of a wide variety of fresh food, although some are a little less familiar to them as growing the unusual brings in an excitement that elevates things from the standard carrots and spuds.
This year I am growing for the first time: Caigua, to make up for the fact we can’t get cucamelons. I’m not really sure what these actually are but time will tell. And I’m growing Painted Mountain Corn and Soybean. I’m also growing marshmallow, so we can have a go at making our own clouds of delight to roast over a BBQ in months to come. That should be interesting to see! And I think there was some kind of African squash, but I can’t seem to find the seed packet!
So thank you Beth for hosting this tour, and inviting me along. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to retrace the tour back to the start and relive the highlights of an American summer. The Growing NOW Garden Tour. I was fortunate enough to meet Beth earlier this year at the Garden Bloggers Conference and if all goes well, then maybe I will see her again soon.
Come again soon – I will gladly share my summer sunshine with you this season.
Sarah the Gardener : o )