A couple of days before we went into lockdown in August last year, I had my laptop sent away for repairs. I only got it back three months later, which meant that I could not write any blog posts. While it is a long time ago now, I would really like to share a report on our spring and early summer garden. Everything went really well. It only went downhill in summer, but that is the subject of another post!
A firm favourite in our spring garden is miner’s lettuce. In September, I prepare a small area by mixing in a bit of compost and garden fertiliser. I then sprinkle a 10g packet of seeds and cover lightly with soil. At this time of the year, it is not usually necessary for me to keep the area moist as it rains a lot. The leaves are tender and delicious. We harvest them as we need them. At the end of spring, it runs to seed and if left there, the plants will happily self-seed the following season.
Another favourite in our garden is NZ Spinach. I sowed our plants from seed over the summer and planted them out in autumn. NZ Spinach is difficult to get established but once it takes off it spreads and ends up growing in a bit of a bush. We pick the leaves for our daily green smoothies. The leaves can also be steamed as with any other spinach
In July, I planted quite a few punnets of mini brassicas that I purchased from Roger’s, including broccoli. After we harvested the main head, I left the plant in the ground and side-shoots began to form. This kept us with a constant supply of broccoli all spring, right up until mid-December when the plants started going to seed and I needed the space for the dahlias.
Last spring, I grew two varieties. I always grow Liseta, an early variety which matures in 70-80 days. I also grow Summer Delight, a main crop potato which matures in around 120 days and stores very well. We had a really good crop and have been enjoying eating potatoes from our garden right up until February.
We had an incredibly good crop last year. We ended up freezing lots. To freeze broad beans, shell and blanch them first.
Awapuni very kindly gave me two mega bundles of strawberries to grow in our garden. There were two varieties, Camarosa and Ventana. Each bundle contained 50 plants. They were honestly the best strawberries that we have ever eaten and I have been growing strawberries for many years now. I highly recommend Awapuni’s plants!
We planted a Cleopatra dwarf avocado tree in 2017 and it cropped for the first time last spring. We harvested about 60 avocados which was a great result.
I grew Iceland poppies for the first time last year in a garden bed alongside our driveway. I was very inspired by the displays that I have seen in council gardens. Ours did not disappoint and we had a beautiful display in spring.
Early summer poppies
Every year, a number of different kinds of single and peony poppies self-seed merrily in the garden. Last year, we had a spectacular display.
Last year, Bulbs Direct kindly gave me a number of different tulips to grow in our garden. We had the most magnificent display in late winter and early spring. Here are some of my favourites.
Our roses always look their best in spring and last year they put on a spectacular display. Here are some of our favourites.
Here are some photos of our bedding plants in early spring