You only have to take one look about outside this evening to know it’s going to be a cold one. There is very little cloud about and the moon is already out, trying to outshine the sun and it’s not even 5:00 yet. The weather forecasters say it will only get as low as 6°C but that’s the lowest it’s been so far this autumn, so it’s cold to us.
Today, the sum total of time spent in the garden has been to go out and open the greenhouse to make sure it doesn’t overheat during the day and then go back out this evening and shut it up again so it doesn’t get too cold overnight. Although on the evening trip today I took the camera as an excuse to prolong the time I am able to spend in the garden. I have been spending my gardening time doing an equally exciting project; however it robs me of my gardening time. It shouldn’t be for much longer and when the project is over I shall miss it just as much as I’m missing the gardening now.
The garden is looking ok for a late season, partially neglected patch. There are still goodies to be had and the cool season crops are loving the cooler weather.
The capsicums are probably the last of the summer plants to give up their goods. They look healthy and lush, but it is a little sad to think any flower stretching itself wide open for the sun and the bees isn’t going to fulfil its destiny and become a bright red capsicum. The cape gooseberries will also suffer the same fate, yet the bush is so green and full of life.
The peas are doing great and I harvested a large bowl yesterday and sat around the table shelling peas with Tim the Helper and the Joeyosaurus. Shelling peas is one of those things all kids should do at some stage in their lives. I’m sure I would have ended up with more to cook with if I’d done it alone, but kids need memories like these.
I’ve also planted a load of new peas to ensure a continuous supply. We are so blessed to live where the winters are mild enough and through the right choice of pea variety we can grow them all year long!
Due to my limited time available for gardening I have done a bit of lazy weeding. In previous years I set a garden bed aside for the kids, who strangely were only really interested in it when it came to eating the stuff they grew, so it basically fell down to me to maintain it and keep it weed free. It started out as a lovely garden, but the kids neglected it and then I neglected it and eventually it became such a weedy mess that we stopped neglecting it and began ignoring it.
I have now decided if the kids don’t want it, then I’ll use it to grow the stuff that wasn’t on the carefully laid out plan. You know the stuff: a “must have” picked up at a garden centre; a seedling given by a friend who “grew too many”; a vegetable that had been overlooked as a possibility, but now the garden wouldn’t be complete without; and then of course there are the ones that all the experts and celebrity gardeners say are the new seasons “hottest thing!”
So I grabbed a load of cardboard boxes and just covered the whole mess up. I disturbed a few mice who jumped up and ran off into the strawberries. I thought “that can’t be good” but I’ll have to worry about it later.
And the last thing I managed to do to protect my crops was to launch a sneak attack on the chickens. The foul-feathered creatures have been jumping the fence and hanging out near the veggie garden – too near for my liking. So last night, under the cover of darkness, Hubby the Un-Gardener and I went outside, armed with my best dress making scissors and we clipped some chicken wings! We found waking them from their slumber is the best time to do it. It eliminates the need for all that chasing and try to catch business. You just work your way along the roost picking up chickens and wing clipping, one chicken at a time. But you can’t put them back on the roost as they are so drowsy that they fall off. Even the rooster isn’t terrifying to do this way. It seems to have worked as the only chicken to escape today was Brandy, but nothing can keep that girl contained!
Come again soon – I don’t think any project – no matter how exciting can keep me from my garden!
Sarah the Gardener : o )