Still Counting

Last week disappeared in a complete blur.  There was lots of the usual hoeing and rock building but that’s kind of becoming a bit boring – well not boring to do but boring to talk about.

rock building
The rock is coming along nicely

The weather has thrown some excitement into the mix.  It has been a really warm autumn with winter just over 2 weeks away we are still experiencing temperatures in the 20°Cs or thereabout.  But then on Thursday it dropped dramatically.  We woke up to a chilly 5°C, and it didn’t get much warmer than 16°C.   It was quite the shock, but it was, to its credit, one of those magnificent blue sky days that often accompany days like that.   The next day I woke up thinking I was ill because it was so hot.  The temperatures had bounced back up to the 20°Cs!  Goodness knows what this confusion is going to do to my plants.   Today is rainy.

pumpkin seedlings
The weather has been so confused that pumpkin seedlings from the home made compost that has been spread across the beds are making an appearance.

The highlight of the week was speaking to the lovely folk at the Howick Horticultural Society.  Gardeners of the loveliest people and they all seemed to enjoy my talk.   I took advantage of being in the city to stop at a garden center and place called Pots and Things to see if there was anything there, I could bring home.  I was tempted at the garden center to buy a plant called Bonking Grass (Selliera radicans) apparently it is a NZ native but also found in Australia and Chile and I probably should have brought some because it does really well in coastal conditions, but it likes damp coastal conditions.   It did feel rather soft and spongy and quite luscious and would invite you to lie upon it.  I didn’t come home with the Bonking Grass, but I did come home with a duck.

duck statue
I do love my new duck!

Last week I decided to throw myself into a rather large project that I had been putting off for ages, but the time was right.  I needed to reinstate Neville.   Neville is our cute as a button Gardena robot lawnmower.  We’ve had him for years and to start with he was at the old place and then operating on the front lawn here, but we’ve decided to move him around to the back lawn.  It did take a lot longer than I thought for this project because it required a bit of a lawn makeover before we could even think about Neville’s needs.  I wanted to do a big DID DAH… moment at the end of the project but we still need to do a few more tweaks so I will fill you in more on this project once it is completely finished.  It took a lot of time and a lot of hard work which to be fair for most of my projects I completely underestimate what it would take in time and effort.  But I get there in the end.

weedy lawn edges
The lawn project started with some really weedy edges.

The worst part of this project was down to my impatience.  I was attempting to tidy up the edges, so the kikuyu grass doesn’t sneak into the garden under the fence.  it turned out the weed eater had a flat battery, and I was too impatient to wait to wait for it to charge and started trimming away at the grass by hand only to disturb a wasp who let me know he was there by stinging me on my wrist.  Normally we have a bit of an agreement the Wasps and I, I don’t bother them, and they don’t bother me although it would seem I bothered this wasp.   Of course, I dropped tools and ran inside to get antihistamine, painkillers and anti inflammatories because I’m a sweller.  It did put a bit of a spanner in the works for a while as I gently healed from the dramatic event, but by then the weed eater had charged and I was able to finish tidying the edges without further incident.

very late autumn garden
All in all the garden isn’t looking too bad – largely thanks to the mustard cover crops that give it a lovely lush green look.

So aside from the project that isn’t finished and the routine stuff that, while enjoyable, is becoming mundane, it is hard to say whether or not I have been doing justice to #MakeMayCount as it seems to fit better with a whole lot of small punchy projects that I can a make a dramatic dent to my To Do List with.  It feels like large projects defeat the purpose because it doesn’t feel like you’re getting there for days on end with nothing much to report about.

peanut plant
This is a good sign the peanuts are almost ready for harvest.

The cold snap has caused chores in the garden.  The Jerusalem artichokes have pretty much died off, so they’ll need digging up and possibly eating and the peanuts are looking a little bit manky on the leaves, so they’ll need pulling out, which is always exciting, I love growing peanuts.  And the eggplants are actually starting to give up the ghost, so they’ll need pulling up sooner rather than later.

Slowly but surely the hot peppers are ripening up, but it may turn out to be too slow…

I’ve been picking the peppers as they become red and bunging them in the freezer so I can make a sweet chilli sauce but at this point I think I’ll be making a green sweet chili sauce.  Other than that, it’s pretty much under control.  I just need to keep up my vigilant checking because even though there isn’t much to do it can suddenly get away on you.

aphids on kohlrabi
I have to remain vigilant and keep my eye on the garden or I’ll miss things like these aphids on my kohlrabi.

I’m hoping for a much more productive week ahead of me, not that last week wasn’t productive, it was productive in a different way.

Come again soon – is only two weeks until winter.

Sarah the Gardener   : o)

11 thoughts on “Still Counting

  1. What’s your favourite way to eat Jerusalem artichokes? I have lots to dig up and eat. So far I’ve tried roasting them which is pretty good.

    1. I’m still undecided. I love growing them, but find them an acquired taste. I have read cooking them with lemon juice can reduce the gaseous effects or long and slow cooking, so I’m going to try as many different ways as I can. Although – you are supposed to ease yourself into eating or if you eat too many in one go you can get tummy upsets. Apparently you only dig up what you need as they can go soft easily otherwise. All the best with it – let me know if you find a fab recipe. : o)

      1. thanks for the lemon tip. I think I slightly overdid it the first time I ate some – hopefully lemon will help!! 🙂 I’ll let you know if I find any good recipes. I love the idea of these – in my fantasies if everything went to custard, we’d have a secret source of food no one else would know about 🙂 Only half joking 🙂

  2. Wow, Sarah. That sounds like an action-packed week to me, injury and all. I understand the frustration of setting out to do one thing, only to be thwarted by the mundane. I hope you feel better about your week ahead. Cute duck!

    1. Thanks for your encouragement. The week has started out quite windy and not ideal gardening weather so I’m stuck inside trying to think of creative things to do. I love the duck too – and I think I know exactly where he will go so he is on the list for an area in need of a good tidy up! : o)

  3. Your rock is coming along nicely! Glad you shared that photo. I have so many garden projects myself—it’s diverting to get to read about others! Plus seeing and reading about gardening on the other side of the world! I really enjoy your posts.

    1. Thanks, I’m really pleased with how it is coming along. Sometimes it turns out my ideas aren’t all that crazy! I have so many projects in my head all jostling to see the light of day – that is what keeps me going, that and seeing other people get stuck into theirs. There is nothing like a 20min video of a job being done – even if it was filmed over several weeks! : o)

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