I think it’s safe to say that we have our herb & vege garden pretty much under control! Well that’s a loose term but it does imply that perhaps there are more plants that we want in the garden & fewer of those we’d rather not have. Note I am not calling them weeds, as we have carefully left Plantains & Chickweeds growing, among other things. Geoff has planted all the tomatoes we want for the Summer.

Spring Tomatoes weedmat planting

We have a nasty patch of Couch Grass, which we are dealing to by covering with sheets of weed mat, left over from our nursery days. We plant pumpkins etc in the holes that exist in the mat, but otherwise just anchor it in place. It seems that if we are not winning the war against Couch we are at least holding our own. We have the optimistic plan that if we spent half an hour in the gardens each day, we could maintain this sense of being on top of things I planted out amix of beetroot seedlings & mulched around them with wet newspaper & compost. They are shooting away, so I think my lack of success last year was simply that they weren’t nurtured enough. Our garden compost is not the weed-free  type that comes from a good, hot heap, it’s the slow, cool type which provides us with a wide range of ‘weeds’, but also some interesting seedlings like sunflowers, mysterious curcubits of unknown heritage lots of Coriander & Calendula, & tomatoes.

Elderflowers in Olive Oil Elderflower Champagne

Our Elder tree by the compost heap, is a mass of flowers & we are picking them to add to jars of olive oil, to make Champagne & to dry for infusions & tinctures as needed. They smell so delicious, & the sweetness wafts through the garden. We’re trying out a spray, made by boiling up the Elder leaves, it’s used to control aphids, black spot etc. Will report back later on progress.

Elder Leaf Spray Elder Flowers

Geoff is cleaning out our old para pool today, & has caught & moved a frog from it. This frog has been steadfastly serenading us for the last week, especially at night. It’s been re-housed in the concrete pond. I think we shall miss it’s rasping call in the middle of the night. The plump female frog we spotted a few weeks ago has disappeared, so we are going to resort to buying some tadpoles to increase their numbers. I’m not sure what happens to them, I know they are sensitive to sprays, but we don’t use inorganic sprays here, perhaps last Summer’s drought finished them off?

Mum's Garden Foxgloves & Geranium pratense

The roses have been a riot of colour & in Mum’s garden they are looking extra large & abundant..we must see about building that high fence around her place! The Wisteria has finished & now Daylilies, Delphiniums, Foxgloves & other cottage flowers are flowering. We have some large bronze flaxes which are flowering for the first time, the spikes must be 3 metres tall, & stand up above the deck. we are hoping to have a bird’s eye view of any Tuis or Bellbirds that come in to feed. I’m putting in a pic of the flower buds of a red Cabbage Tree, which look amazing, like lizard tails.

 Cabbage Tree Flower Buds Herb Garden Calendula Flowers

Flower Border Flax Flower Stalks