Looking forward

As exciting as 2018 was, I’m not all that keen to repeat it.  I think you should probably limit the number of dramatic upheavals in a lifetime.  Now we have found this beautiful spot and put in all this hard work to get to this point, I am happy to make the call…  “this is it.”  This will be the place you will find me in 10, 20, 30, 40 or all things going well in 50 years’ time.   It is such a wonderful location and there is enough space and possibility that we will be kept excited and enthralled by this place for a very long time.

summer day in the garden
Finally it feels like summer, you really can’t beat a blue sky day in the garden.

So, reducing that long term view to next year, what does that look like.  We still have indoor projects to take care of, new bathrooms and painting walls etc but I have no problems waiting until the depths of winters.  I want to get this place right, and if we are going to be here for such a long time then there is no hurry.

Training melons
I have specific plans for where I want my melons to grow so I am using landscape staples to head them off in the right direction.

The garden will fall back into the gentle ebb and flow of a normal garden and I am looking forward to this.  There is nothing like construction and seedling management in mid – late spring to fray the nerves!   There are still things to be done.  There is one more bed to be built and I’ll get onto that over these summer holidays so then I can properly say “it is done.”  Well, on that level.

Popcorn pollen on tassels
The pollen is falling on the popcorn tassels, but I do hope I have my timing right and it is all done by the time the sweetcorn start doing the same.

The dome still needs glazing and the glass is here, so it is just a matter of organising the doing.  I can hardly wait for this one.  Then I’ll pop some shelves in and it will be fabulous.  I still want and need a shed or two and the fence needs finishing, but these things are in the plans and I have help lined up.

Almost ready onions
I’m waiting for these Pukekohe Long Keeper onions to become ready so I can plant my strawberry popcorn seedlings so they can get on their way before the painted mountain corn that I want to start from seed once the garlic comes out. I have a bit of an ambitious juggling act going on with my corn this season. I hope it works.

The back beds – the ones behind the dome still need to be irrigated and that is a weekend type project, but not difficult.  Then I need to connect all of the beds together in groups of six ending in common hubs, so I can easily set up my water distributor and water computer to water in a set and forget way.  I have actually found myself enjoying the irrigation process.  I think Hubby the Un-Gardener will be delighted to have the irrigation supplies out of the bedroom where I have been keeping them while I don’t have a shed!

Partially completed irrigation system
Having pipes coming out of the middle of the paths is a good short term solution to keep the beds irrigated. However it is a bit of a tripping hazard so I will need to get to work to connect it all up underground. Fortunately sand is easy to dig!

The way the beds are set up now, there is a connection popping out in the middle of the path that I can just attach a hose to.  I have found, while not as retentive as the swamp, the sand under the garden has water holding properties and in combination with the swamp soil in the beds, I only need to water for nine minutes before it leaks out underneath.   After a nine minute watering, the sand around the beds eventually changes to the dark colour of wet sand and remains like it for days.  Digging down at this point reveals lovely cool moist conditions days after the initial watering.  It has been an interesting experiment as I was under the impression sand was free draining, but it would appear I have some good stuff that is very fine.  It also means my water tank won’t take as much of a hammering as I anticipated over the summer.   I suspect the 20 minutes I was watering the garden at the old place was a touch to long!

Green tomatoes
There are green tomatoes showing in abundance across the the tomato bed. All going well the harvest will be magnificent!

For the benefit of the irrigation – the garden has been divided into five groups of six.   This works well in other areas too – giving me a daily group of beds to care for.  This system worked well in the old garden and will work well again here.  So, on a Monday only group one gets weeded, watered, fed and any maintenance.  Any harvesting across the garden is done on any day.  Although from past experience the Friday bed can get a bit neglected.  But what this means is things tend to stay in control and if it slips from the grasp of order, it doesn’t take much to put it right.  I found in the past if I was going from the worst bed to the next worst bed, then eventually the most in control bed would join the ranks of the out of control.   Weeding a barely weedy bed once a week is way more efficient.

Tatsoi flowers
I missed the tatsoi due to the busyness in the lead up to Christmas. I’ll sow some more, but for now the flowers look fabulous against the blue of a summer sky.

So, I am looking forward to a gentle gardening year where I can enjoy the ebb and flow of nature.  Or I may take on another project – who knows.

Come again soon – 2019 will be way more in control!

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

12 thoughts on “Looking forward

  1. Thank you again for sharing your journey, feels like we’re part of it all.
    Looking forward to the 2019 updates and hope to see you soon….Rotary starts up again end January. Bradley will check the calendar for February and make contact, if you’re still keen for us to visit ☺️

  2. That dome is so much prettier unclothed. It is not easy to see, but the constructions seems to be impeccable. Fitted glazing will do it nicely . . . since it must eventually be put to its intended use.
    What it tatsoi? Is it a mustard?

    1. At each stage of building the garden I have always thought ‘oh it looks good here – I should stop’ but then each stage is even better. I can’t wait to see it glazed. : o)

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