Linda’s Garden

Rockvale Stone & Garden
Rockvale Stone & Garden

Here we are at the end of another growing year – and thank goodness rain was sent to our parched land. I was out in the rain with the fertiliser for gardens and lawns on Wednesday. Half of this week for me has been in Wanaka, helping a busy daughter and her family – and yes – whipping around their garden until a trailer was filled. The other half of the week, I was here doing a lot of the same here. Does it never end this cutting back of the remains of Spring? I am left with gaps which have been topped up with sifted soil / compost to put body back into tired soil. Trimmed plants soon bush up again with fresh new growth and will fill out and cover the unsightly gaps. Delphiniums have grown so tall and strong here this year, they pushed over the supports – its hard to stand them up again without stems breaking, so have cut them back to the broken point to continue to put out smaller flower heads. As it is countdown time now until Christmas, I am sure gardens will be taking a back seat for everyone. If you are going away, pop all your indoor plants in the bath with a little water to keep them going and baskets and manageable pots, around to the shady side of the house until your return. Deadhead as many Roses as you can, so they can get going on their second flowering – deep water and mulch if you have the time – then let the garden look after itself while you have a well deserved break.
Fruit: For us Kiwis, fruit ripens at the busiest possible time for picking – it is such a waste if left to drop, so maybe with some bribing, children could be recruited as pickers and then fruit popped into the freezer until your return? Laden blackcurrant branches can be cut from bushes and stripped of fruit in a cool place, while having a Christmas drink. This way, pruning is also taken care of. Gooseberries are the tricky fruit to pick, but the end of a branch lifted with a gloved hand, will find fruit hanging from the underside ready to strip off a handful at a time. I find Raspberries and Strawberries the most time consuming to pick, but so worth the effort.
Vegetable garden: So much is ready for picking in the veg garden right now.. I will be throwing shade cloth over mine to protect from sun and birds when I am not here to keep an eye on things.
That’s it from me for this year – our tree is ready and waiting for the pitter- patter of small feet on Christmas morning and not one of them will need to hunt for Nana in the garden. I wish everyone a very happy Christmas and all the very best for 2018. Cheers, Linda.

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