Where did January go?

Seriously – I turn around and there is one day left of this first month of the year.  The tomatoes are laden and I really need to find the time and energy to get out there, harvest them and then do something with them.  I haven’t done such a fabulous job of keeping on top of the zucchinis and I find I have more marrows that I really wanted.  The cucumbers have succumbed to powdery mildew, and I really ought to consider sowing crops for the autumn garden.

I see some tomato relish coming on...

I see some tomato relish coming on…

Every season is different from the last and this one is no exception.  It was supposed to be the perfect summer, with ideal gardening weather, lovely warm sun – not baking hot, but enough to know it is summer and accompanied by endless blue sky days and a gentle breeze.  Now don’t get me wrong – we have had days like that, but not many.  I think so far it has been mostly cloudy, a little on the cool side and there has been quite a lot of rain, but the wind – oh how it howled!  Luckily I learnt lessons from a previous windy summer so my corn is still up right.  And I have kind of shocked myself that despite everything the garden is surprizing weed free.  There is something to be said for keeping on top of the little weeds early in the season.

Soon the corn will be ready and I'll have to harvest that too!  I can't wait there is nothing so lovely as fresh sweetcorn

Soon the corn will be ready and I’ll have to harvest that too! I can’t wait there is nothing so lovely as fresh sweetcorn

Apart from beginning to look a little tired, the garden is in relatively good shape.  I even got out there and cleared out a weedy overgrown patch that didn’t really have much use.  But I have plans for it and will be doing some hard landscaping – gosh that sounds so serious!  I need to take care of drainage issues and there will be concrete pavers.  But for now I have cleared the weeds, mostly levelled the site and did what I do best – put in a raised bed.  But it doesn’t count as garden expansion as I want to plant flowers, not veggies – well…  that is the plan for now.  Having said that I always fancied a seedling nursery garden to transplant small plants before they go into the big garden, particularly at about this time of year when preparing the winter garden and the greenhouse is just too hot to use.  So we’ll see.

A work in progress - goodness knows when I'll finish it!

A work in progress – goodness knows when I’ll finish it!

But my lack of serious attention to the garden and everything else wasn’t down to the landscaping – I did what I did in a burst of energy in a couple of days and now it will probably stay like it for ages, while I process tomatoes and marrows.  I have finally completed a huge project, which was loads of fun, however quite time consuming.

For some reason the Mudlet chilli is on the small side and is towered over by what is supposed to be exactly the same plant.  Both are laden with chillies so I guess it doesn't really matter to much!

For some reason the Mudlet chilli is on the small side and is towered over by what is supposed to be exactly the same plant. Both are laden with chillies so I guess it doesn’t really matter to much!

Now it is over I shall turn to the garden with gusto, and as the kids go back to school on Monday after what seems like forever on holiday, I shall do what motivates and drives me.  I shall begin to write more frequently – I may even go as far as to say daily, as I find I will actually get out there and do stuff if I have an expectation to write something.  Otherwise I find myself drifting from day to day and then panicking at the last minute.  So the start of the new month seems like the perfect opportunity for a fresh start.  It is Chinese New Year today, so this is technically a New Year’s Resolution – if I can borrow from another culture.   However I don’t think I will go so far as to get a horse.  Lucky it isn’t the year of the dragon as I really don’t know where I would get one of those – even if I wanted one!

And baby makes 15!  (Which for the record is too many chickens for a family of four!)

And baby makes 15! (Which for the record is too many chickens for a family of four!)

Come again soon – join me as we embrace the last month of summer and beyond.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

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21 Comments on “Where did January go?

    • Hi Jen. I have so many different kinds of tomatoes in my garden that I am hard pushed to find my favourite. I think I like the darker ones like Tula, Purple Cherokee and Black Krim the best – they seem so sweet.
      I am relieved that only one egg hatched as we don’t need any more chickens, but the dilemma now is: Boy or Girl?
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  1. I was just thinking about you the other day, Sarah and figured you were busy with your garden. I forgot that your children were also on holiday.

    I too like the discipline of writing on a schedule. You’re right, too, that it is a good motivator.

    Your corn looks yummy. I love sweet corn fresh from the garden. Nice tomatoes too and that blue sky shining through.

    Best of luck with the rest of the summer. We’re seven weeks away from spring on this side of world, but winter barely arrived. We’re having opposite weather. So strange.

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    • Hi Alys. I have been so busy, not just with the kids on holiday, but working on my second book. I have now delivered it to the publisher, so now I can concentrate on sorting out the garden,
      Despite the nice weather we should be reaching for our winter seeds and get them going, but I always seem to put it off in the hopes of delaying the end of summer – but they really need the head start so I guess I need to be a realist.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • Wow…winter seeds already. Yet here we are just six weeks away from spring. The problem is, we’ve barely had a winter.

        Sarah, I can’t believe you do all you do *and* that you’ve written another book. You are amazing. I can’t wait to see it. Congratulations. Do you have a title yet?

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        • HI Alys. This next book is a gardening book for kids that is full of loads of fun projects. It only has a working title and so I can’t wait to see it when it comes out in September.
          Cheers Sarah : o )

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          • Sarah, that is so exciting!!! I can’t wait to read it. My youngest son loved gardening with me when he was small, but has largely lost interest in his teen years. I hope he comes back to it.

            I’ll definitely buy a copy of your next book for my Little Free Library. Can’t wait.

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    • HI There. I still haven’t got to my relish, but hopefully I should by at least the end of the week or I will be quite cross with myself! The up side is they are so nice to eat – we are eating them like you would eat an apple!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Thanks Elaine. I hope your corn goes well too. It is one of the best crops in the garden. So sweet and yummy – so long as it grows well. In the past I have made the family eat the disastrous crop where there are only half a dozen kernels on the cob. I went to the effort of growing it – they can go to the effort of eating it! Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi Virginia. I love the start of the season most. It is like a blank canvas, full of hope. Now I have to wrestle with weeds, plants growing in the wrong direction than I had hoped, preserving more tomatoes than was in my stress free vision for this time, and the constant watering. Don’t get me wrong – I love it all, but I guess in the spring I have an idealised expectation of how it will be – but it never is! I live in hope that one year will be “The Perfect One!” Enjoy your seeds. Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi there, There is nothing like fresh seed packets and the hope of an awesome growing season to come. Meanwhile down under, the garden is beginning to show signs that time is marching on and autumn is around the corner, I need to grab my winter seed packets.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. I don’t even know how many chooks we have on Serendipity Farm. 14 of them go into the coop at night, we have about 8 ferals and I am suspicious that there are at least 5 mums out there producing more babies where I can’t find them (under blackberry bushes…sub the word “can’t” for the word “WON’T”! in the case of blackberries 😉 ). It has been disgustingly hot with wave after wave of heat bearing down on poor old Southern Australia. No idea what we did last year but we really peeved someone up there off BIGTIME apparently :(. Your green gorgeousness is delightful and gives me hope that maybe one day we might get some greenery back on Serendipity Farm again…but we have at least a month of “HOT” to go yet 😦

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    • Hi Fran there is a blackberry bush creeping around the perimeter of the chicken coop and while it can make a lovely impenetrable barrier, in leu of good sturdy fencing – I fear it may become a new nesting box of sorts. So I need to add tackling this to the ever growing list of things to do. Besides I don’t think the farmers next door appreciate us cultivating a noxious weed so close to their well managed land. … Although I may wait until after the berries, it would be a shame to miss out on blackberry jam because I cut the brambles down a couple of weeks before they were ripe!
      I don’t envy you your heat. While it is not hot by your standards it is enough for me to want to loll about on the sofa moaning about how hot it is. In a few short months we will be moaning about the cold and wet again.
      Have a lovely weekend.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • I think I will take “moaning 101” as an extra credit unit this year…I recon I will ace it (might even get prior recognition for it 😉 ). I am with you on the bloody-bollocky blackberries. I am tolerating their tall tendrils because I have nefarious plans to plunder their ovum and THEN murder every last one of them. Call me narfilla the hun if you will. I can’t be abiding with blackberries 😉 I have already been predating some on our early morning walks with plans of harvesting them and making blackberry wine so that I can swill their fermented life blood long after they lay dead…can you tell that I am NOT A FAN?!!! 🙂

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