Sunday, 31 July 2011

Early harvest - asparagus

The weather has been amazing today in Melbourne. We are still in the middle of winter, however it has been a beautiful sunny day with a top of 19 degrees celcius. Other than today it has been quite cold here, but oddly enough I harvested the first of my asparagus today. Very early indeed, but very welcome.
This picture was actually take last week, so the asparagus heads are well and truely up now. Perhaps an early Spring is on its way?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The promise of good things to come...

Yes it's winter here, but come spring, in five weeks time, things will start to really come alive in the garden. I simply can't wait. This is the time of year I start to get very impatient. I have pulled out some photos from last spring in my garden to keep my spirits alive and smiling:

The backyard Crabapple tree. There is also a beautiful white one in the front yard.

Foxgloves are a big favourite in our garden and they readily self-seed.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The cauliflowers are so WHITE!

At the beginning of the winter season ( around late May), my first lot of cauliflowers were ready to be harvested. It was still a little warm then and they looked like they had a bit of a fungal issue. When I went to the VIC market organic section, theirs also looked a little off. Perhaps it was all that rain we were having. So I planted a second crop and they are beautiful and white....

Sometimes, if you are experiencing alot of winter sun, they can go a little yellow. Just tie the leaves together to protect the vegetable and they will be a perfect white....

Don't you just love cauliflower with a white cheese sauce. YUM!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Time to sow tomatoes

Last year my youngest daughter loved picking the ripe tomatoes and bringing them indoors for me to cook with. We bottled numerous amounts of tomato sauce made from these, and are still slowly going through our supply over winter.
At the end of the season, she collected the seeds from our favorite Roma tomatoe plants ( great for sauce) and dried and stored them for me.
July is the perfect time to sow these indoors, and we have done just that in the last week. They will remain in our warm laundry until they have produced their second set of leaves. Then we will transfer them down to our green house, which is a little warmer, for a couple of weeks. Then we will harden them off in a protected outdoor area before planting them out in spring.
We checked them today, and to our surprise they had already popped up after only six days.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Winter garden blues

Lack of motivation to be in the garden is definitely a problem this time of year. I have however managed to get outside and prune the roses and top dress the asparagus and berry patch with manure, ready for spring, this week.

I also trimmed up my Star Jasmine, ready for their big spring growth. I really do need to give them a good trim this time of year, otherwise they will lose their shape when they flower in November due to their huge growth spurt. They look bronze in colour at the moment, but this is normal for the colder month and come spring they will turn their dark green colour again.

I have a few of these on my fence line to fill in the gaps. They look great in late Spring/ Summer, when they are a mass of frangrant flowers.

We also have four pots up on our deck area that have been used in a similar way. They certainly break up the hard surfaces. We are just about to enclose this deck area, but the pots will remain.

After much contemplation and conversation with the garden centre staff, I decided on the two new fruit trees to be planted in our back yard. I have planted two pear trees, one a William and the other a Josephine. Sorry, the photo is shaded from my lemon tree.

Lastly, my newly planted veggie area is doing well, slowly, but healthy looking:

The rocket is up, the peas are getting there, the bok choy is going guns, and the broccoli is slow, but all looking very healthy.

Six more weeks to spring......

Friday, 8 July 2011


Previously I have mentioned in my blog how my watercress keeps reappearing. In Melbourne we are really not meant to treat it as a perenial, but maybe we should.
This is a picture of the handful that I just removed from my garden, as it is taking over the whole area:

You can clearly see the roots of the plants developing in this photo right up the stems:

So I have placed the cuttings in water and will give them to family when they visit tomorrow.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Pear tree purchase

Two weeks ago I pulled out one of our passionfruit vines. We had three in our backyard, and this one didn't perform as well as the others last summer. So out it went, and now I have a beautiful large space alongn my fence line in full sun. My plans are to plant one or maybe even two pear trees. I have done my research and narrowed it down to a few different varieties that will perform well here in Melbourne. The first is the Red Sensation pear, a beautiful fruit to look at, which be forms well here. The second on the short list is William Bon Chretien, or William pear as we know it here. This is probably the best choice so far, as it is a prolific fruiter, and is self polinating. Although it will be even more productive if there are two. My intensions are to espalier them along the fence.

Any ideas??? would love to here from anyone in this region who has a pear tree as to what variety it is.

At this stage I think I will probably be putting in one of each variety. This way their fruiting season will be longer as they fruit at different times.