While its immensely tempting to rest every single bed under a thick layer of mulch, cardboard or black plastic and head north to the sunnier states for winter, I try to rest one bed and plant lovely greens to enjoy for winter suppers.
In many places throughout the world, autumn can feel like a clear ending. Visiting Europe during autumn in the past, it seems so clearly defined that when the season is over, there’s nothing to really look forward to for awhile. Local gardeners tell me ‘that’s it, I’ll be covering up the beds and hunkering down for the winter”. And why not! Leaves fall and crunch underfoot, evenings turn crispy cold, harvests wrap up and days get dramatically shorter. Not that much in a vegetable patch can surv
This year planting a diverse range of flowers has never been so important for pollination. The choice of flowers in our gardens is just as important as our choice of vegetables. We noticed increased pollination yearly as more butterflies, dragonflies, bees and long beaked birds take to the garden. The presence of moths and mantis insects have increased also. The more pollinators that visit the front garden, the more vegetables have thrived around our edible block.
Not just for dinner, we spend much of our time picking them and eating them straight from the pod. This is the very reason that we decided that we needed more than just a trellis in the vegetable patch to grow them on.
The shortest day has arrived. It was memorable and beautiful and I can’t remember a Winter Solstice quite like it. We woke up to a pink, purple , blue and apricot-tinged sky. The sun was enlarged by the misty fog, becoming a gigantic round ball of light that beamed across our winter flowers, which were glistening like jewels under the magical glowing light.
As well as freshening your breath and providing health benefits, there are the environmental benefits of less transport, no use of pesticides, and less packaging associated with growing your own cup of tea.
I really like the winter season up here actually. As you can detect from the passage above, our cold temperate climate here in South East Australia is fickle.So is the frost. We never quite know when or how much we will get. In the decade I have been here I have counted from 6 to 25 frosts per year.
One particular favourite place for me this time of year it at our little bowls club, hidden down the side of a hill. A thoughtful gardener (or gardeners) has planted the boundary of the green with a blaze of colourful dahlia's.
Whatever it is, the summer vegetables have been struggling and the pests have been thriving. If “one must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter,” as Henry David Thoreau puts it, then we might be out of luck (...)
The garden has never looked more beautiful to me, as extra attention has been spent lately on looks as well as its usefulness as an edible oasis. Tomatoes were sown in the windowsill in mid July, never so early! The same can be said of the zucchini and basil, which are thriving in the humid wet greenhouse. (...)