Celebrating Spring

This article was originally published in the Waiheke Weekender. I was all prepared to celebrate the spring equinox on September 21 this year when I thought I better check the date before making a public announcement. For me spring always starts on the equinox, the day of the year when daylight and night are of equal length. The following day the daylight hours will be ever so slightly longer than the night, and before we know it it will be time for barbeques at the beach. Or in my case heading back out to the garden after dinner for just

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Where have your flowers come from?

 This article was originally published in the Waiheke Weekender. It’s the week to celebrate locally grown flowers! Well to be honest, NZ Flowers Week was last week. But given that in the rest of my life I’m about two months behind, I figure a week is nothing of significance. Some of you will know that I’m a little obsessed with flowers at the moment. It’s been a passion that’s developed over the past couple of years and my family will vouch for the fact it has taken over my life. My version of a mid life crisis perhaps. So why NZ Flowers

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A Flowering Month – September

September - Spring! It's been an incredibly wet start though I have to say! The flower field is still too wet to cultivate, and I'm having to find other places to tuck my seedlings in instead. So far this strategy is working but am going to run out of room very shortly. The dahlias are bursting out of their planter bags too. First flower of note  this month was the almond blossom. I always leave the almonds unpruned until they start flowering, and then prune away to my heart's content. They are planted in an exposed area into just about

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A Flowering Month – August

With my new Flower Farm project, I've become much more observant about what is flowering when. We follow a standard seasonal pattern generally, but with our climate being relatively mild I'm interested to see what the possibilities are.  Here's a mid August vase picked from a wander round the house gardens. Hellebore, scabiosa 'black knight', a new orange alstromeria, and euphorbia. These annual scabiosa  - or pincushion flower (a much nicer name) - were sown in December last year. They were slow to get going (leaving them stranded in their little trays for waaay too long did not help), but I've

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The Garden Chronicles

Sitting inside with a roaring fire and yet more rain coming down, it's amazing that the garden is still thriving throughout this winter. In the vegetable garden the corn salad  (also known as lamb's lettuce or mache) is providing more salad greens that we can keep up with. I sowed this about 5 years ago, and it has self-seeded every year since. It reliably germinates in autumn, perfectly timed for the slow salad season. The citrus is an 'uglifruit'. It took several years before it fruited, maybe five? If it wasn't tucked away out of sight it might not have lived for

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