The happiest of New Years to you

The Joeyosaurus checking out the blooming Pohutukawa tree that heralds a long hot summer

The Joeyosaurus checking out the blooming Pohutukawa tree that heralds a long hot summer

We are midway through the best summer holiday in years.  The main reason is the sun has blessed us with its presence.  Last year the break at the beach was memorable because of its absence.  In exchange we spent the summer in the company of wind and rain, which was actually a bit dreadful.  Coming home to the garden was awful.  The warm wet weather had invited powdery mildew, and blight and the plants that escaped those nasties were all bent over or wind damaged.  So heartbreaking.  But it is one of the joys of gardening in the middle of the Christmas holidays; you never really know what you will come home from the beach to.

There is nothing like spending time at the beach for a hot summer holiday

There is nothing like spending time at the beach for a hot summer holiday

We have just popped home on route to our second summer holiday spot and it was a good opportunity to have a quick look at the garden, grab a few ripe veggies and start making a mental list of all that needs attention before we whisk ourselves off to another exciting adventure.  It’s just as well I have had enough sun, swimming and relaxation and new year cheer to leave me completely knackered because one look at the garden and I’m overwhelmed.  I don’t know where to start.

Where do I start?

Where do I start?

The heat hasn’t been all that friendly to my lettuce.  Most of it has gone to seed.  Having said that lettuce is more of a cool weather crop anyway.  I think I may have to do the unthinkable and buy a few seedlings from the garden centre as they bolted much quicker than I thought they would.  I have a contingency plan for more lettuce but it is ages from being ready.  Many people looked at me at the beach like I had a touch of madness… But all I did was take my succession seeds and some seed raising mix and some trays to the beach and sowed new seeds.  They were already a bit late as Christmas festivities hijacked my intentions, and if I left it until I got back it may be too late, so I took my garden on holiday.

Taking seeds on holiday isn't a lot different than taking a good book or two!

Taking seeds on holiday isn’t a lot different than taking a good book or two!

The weather was ideal growing conditions and so my garden took full advantage and grew!  The pumpkins and squash are having the best season I have ever had.  I need to remember this as I have only had crops in the past where the plants were existing – not thriving.  As a result the bed I have put them in is way too small.  They have climbed all over each other and have now escaped the bed and they have a couple more months of growing to do!  I’ll be overrun!

The tomatoes are a bit late and haven’t really started yet which is great because I’m not missing much but the peas have decided this isn’t the season for them and curled up their toes and dressed themselves for their swan song in a white fuzzy outfit, and I have to say – it’s not a good look.  So when we get back properly I’ll need to clear their bed.  Another bed I’ll need to clear is the onion and garlic – but that is because they are ready.  It’s possibly the best crop I have ever grown.  Oh I can’t wait a moment longer.  I have waited six months and 12 days so a few more days won’t hurt!

It's not looking it's best...  I've got my work cut out for me!

It’s not looking it’s best… I’ve got my work cut out for me!

But time is short and so for now I shall retain the holiday mood, grab a glass of wine and sit in the sun and look at my garden.  Despite all attempts it has made to rebel like some troubled teenager, you can still see the good garden underneath and a few days of disciplined gardening on our actual return from holiday should restore order and replace the chaos with a sense of calm.

Come again soon – I wouldn’t be too misguided if I included digging, weeding and harvesting in my new year’s resolutions!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

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13 Comments on “The happiest of New Years to you

  1. So it wasn’t just me with a disappointing pea crop. I took it as a personal reflection on my inadequacies in the pea-growing department. Thanks so much for passing by my blog. Great to see your like! Happy New Year.

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    • Hi There. The peas seemed to go down hill so quickly. One minute they were perfect for the Christmas dinner and in the blink of an eye they were good for nothing. Strangely nothing else has suffered from mildew so I’m not sure what happened to the peas. Do you have tomatoes too? How are they doing – are they slow getting going?
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. I love your use of literary elements in this piece, great writing is always more fun to read. As for the seeds on holiday, go for it. Also, I think this was a pumpkin year all around. I am still trying to use up all the pumpkins we picked. Only 18 left…but they are mostly the large ones, next year we will carve more.

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    • Hi Lucinda. Thanks for your kind words. A six hour car trip is a fantastic greenhouse for seeds. I had seedlings at the end of the journey that weren’t there at the start.
      I imagine we will also be trying to use up excess pumpkins in the months to come judging by how crazy the growth is. I’ve never grown them so well. I hope I can remember what I have done for next time!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. What a wonderful read! I confess that I still have my pumpkins on my laundry room counter as I don’t know what to do with them! They were very late when they finally decided to turn orange, so we didn’t carve them for Halloween. We ate our cooking pumpkins, but I just can’t get myself to get rid of these lovely pumpkins!
    What a great idea to plant your seeds while on vacation. Good for you! 🙂 Dana

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    • Hi Dana. I think I will have more pumpkins than I know what to do with! We don’t really use them for carving as it is completely the wrong time for Halloween so I’ll just have to make loads of pumpkin soup!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. It’s so nice to see you enjoying the beach and all that sunshine. It’s been the brightest part of my day I can tell you! Miserable, wet and windy on and off here – the ducks are enjoying it though!
    Happy New Year, Christine

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    • Hi Christine. We are definitely enjoying all the sunshine as last summer it was non-existent and it was just wet and windy and the garden suffered dreadfully. It is still a nice feeling to be warm, mind you, it hardly ever gets unbearably hot here. I hope the rain stops for you soon and the winter sun makes a welcome appearance.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  5. We HAVE a Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) on Serendipity Farm! Here in Tassie they grow huge, much like I would imagine they do in N.Z. Great to be sharing something with you across the sea :). We have more sun than we can use at the moment so I will package some up and send it to you. We are constantly watering just to keep the soil moist and the veggies growing. I don’t want to contemplate this quarters water bill and will be putting in all sorts of weird and wonderful containers under downpipes this year to catch the winter rain to be used on the garden for some of our extended 3 months of rain free summer.
    Don’t be ashamed of buying seedlings…thats all we grew this year for our first hurried crop of veggies. We didn’t even know that we were going to build a garden…it just happened suddenly and BAM we needed something to put in it and late spring isn’t any sort of time to be planting from seed. LOL! I can see you in your sun hat sitting potting up seeds on the beach ;). More productive than sandcastle making indeed!I love the tangle of a real garden…every time I see those pristine perfect gardens on blogs I think “FIBBER!”…we KNOW that they are not naturally like that…some poor hired gardener out there has to manicure them within an inch of their unfettered lives to get them that perfect…it simply isnt’ the way of nature to be that pristine. Nature lets everything tangle and curl and cuddle…it protects the soil from moisture loss and it results in the best for everything. I guess we keep insisting on planting out annuals and nature keeps telling us to plant trees and shrubs and perennials… I am trying to listen to her at the moment but my horticultural and permaculture liens tell me that I need to be planting less annuals and more of “the rest”…the only thing is that those annuals taste SO GOOD! 😉 Heres to gardening the real way in the New Year…may we all get to share our exploits together and bolster each others gardening efforts over the coming year 🙂

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    • Hi Fran. I have to say we are really blessed with the water situation as we have a bore and a rainwater tank so we don’t really have to worry about the cost of the water and can use the hose freely.
      I saw a “perfect” garden on a movie the other day and made a wee jealous sigh, until it was pointed out it was completely staged – A FAKE! My garden is a real garden and real gardens get a little messy from time to time. And to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way.
      Thank you so much for your support – it really means a lot. I hope you are a long way away from the fires. Just the thought that you and your garden could be in harms way is dreadful – after all the work you have done.
      Stay safe.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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