It’s grey & wet, & very, very muddy. Our plans to put in better paths before the wet have been thwarted, it’s actually safer to walk in the gardens than on the paths, even the dog goes cross country.

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Last weekend we had our first big frost, so there’s plenty of tidying up to be done. The sheep got into the vege garden & ate most of our greens & the tops of the fennel, & pulled out beetroot plants, bugger! Luckily they missed the broccoli plants, & most of the garden is dormant or under a mixed herb ley (cunning way of saying buried under weeds). We’ll get into it when the mud firms up a bit. Meantime next job is to prune the orchard & tidy up any other rampant growth.

Geoff & I went on an expedition into remotest Hawkes Bay to pick up Lavender Oil from Stoneycreek & Olive Oil from Matapiro, we spent a couple of hours driving through windy, hilly roads, (not great fun for me, as I get carsick, but I had my trusty wrist bands & they help a lot). It was a bit of a bleak day, but we took some photos just to give you an idea of where we went.

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We have had minimal success getting into the gardens, just as the mud firms up, it rains again. We did have a couple of hours re-making the strawberry patch & planting it with fresh runners. We’ve also cleared & manured a permanant bed for the Asparagus seedlings. The corner of the garden where we are putting them, is turning into a perennial patch, with Rhubarb, Gooseberries, Raspberries, Jerusalem Artichokes & Asparagus.

When we first started vege gardening, we read the Complete Food Garden, by John Seymour. What I especially loved were the drawings for each season, with the perfectly organised garden, with tidy paths & compost heaps, & everything in it’s place. Very, very occasionally I catch a glimpse of that in our garden, as long as I focus on one small area!! JS did have an area for perennials in his garden too, so on the 50 year plan we’re on track.

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We did repair our greenhouse last week, perhaps 6 weeks later than planned, so it’s now cosy & warm again & a good place to potter on chilly days. We dug up The Cardamom & Galangal from the garden, the Galangal especially looks very happy, & we’ve split it up into 6 plants, & put them in pots to over Winter in the warm. I investigated one of our Goldenseal plants, that’s been in a pot for 3 or 4 years, & it too is doing very well, I bravely split that, (it’s so precious I was scared to touch it) I even trimmed some end roots & started a tincture, our own Goldenseal tincture, how cool is that? Of course it will taste digusting, but will work wonders. Pics below: Goldensealcrown & roots, jar of Goldenseal Tincture, Florence Fennel Bulbs.

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