Goodbye long gloomy winter days…

Hello ever so slightly shorter gloomy winter days.

Well we have passed the winter solstice – the shortest day.   No longer will the day be so abruptly ended at 5:11pm!  With each passing day we will begin our descent towards summer.  Each sunset will bring us a minute closer to the warmer sunnier days of a perfect summer.  Because this season is going to be “the one.”  It has to be because I am going to be so ready for it and will have done so much preparation and I am going to have the best garden ever!

My lovely new kitchen - oh how exciting it will be to preserve the harvest!

My lovely new kitchen – oh how exciting it will be to preserve the harvest!

It is still cold outside.  The boffins at the weather office say it is currently 8.5C.  Now I could get out of bed and go and check on my outside thermometer but if the boffins say it is 8.5C why would I want to get out of bed and go outside to confirm this.  In this instance I am willing to take their word for it! They also say the day should warm up to a sunny 16C with a chance of 0.1mm of rain at 10am but I shall ignore the rain thing – the boffins are never right anyway.

OK - I just realised I ripped you off last time and the odds and sods before and after photo was actually a repeat of the pepper before and after photo, so I have to set things right.  So this is the before and after photos of the odds and sodds bed.

OK – I just realised I ripped you off last time and the odds and sods before and after photo was actually a repeat of the pepper before and after photo, so I have to set things right. So this is the before and after photos of the odds and sodds bed.

My last sniffles have been snuffed and I no longer need to take an endless supply of tissues with me wherever I go.  That nasty lurgy took some shaking off – but he has gone and my energy has been restored.  My first thoughts are directed at the more mundane housework – the kinds of things only a mother notices, but the family did do a good job.  But I don’t mind spending time in my new kitchen setting things straight – in fact it is a pleasure.  Although I do have to remind myself that baking isn’t my thing, my ‘thing’ is waiting outside….

I do believe there are carrots and parsnips in here ....  Yup, here they are!

I do believe there are carrots and parsnips in here …. Yup, here they are!

The garden calls to me.  I see it from the windows and I as soon as I am able or should I say ‘allowed to’ – Hubby the Un-Gardener has been growling at me about ending up perpetually sick if I don’t get inside in the warm and the dry…blah blah blah…  His concern does come from a place of love and this was a long bug.

I'm not entirely sure there's anything edible in the salad garden ....  nope there wasn't!

I’m not entirely sure there’s anything edible in the salad garden …. nope there wasn’t!

I have managed to escape a few times and have found the soil a pleasure to work.  The beds have drained away nicely from all the torrential rain – two weeks ago we had almost 50mm in one day – not including the rain on the day before and the day after.  It was just as well I was banished to the inside.  The ground is still a little sticky – but it is winter and you kinda expect it to be muddy, especially when you live in a swamp!  The soil in the beds is lovely.  So soft and crumbly – even the thug of a dock weed just slips out without leaving part of that annoying taproot tip firmly wedged deep down underground that you know will just come back and haunt you in the height of summer when the soil is set rock hard!  I have been out there trying to make up for lost time and have found I can almost weed an entire bed in no time at all.  But there are only a few of these ‘easy beds left.’  I think things may require a bit more effort from now on.

This is more of a before and middle photo as I have made the new bed for my new cut flower attempt, but Hubby the Un-Gardener just needs to fill it for me...  It is like going to the gym for him ... but different!

This is more of a before and middle photo as I have made the new bed for my new cut flower attempt, but Hubby the Un-Gardener just needs to fill it for me… It is like going to the gym for him … but different!

Last night I cast a glance towards the setting sun and decided with the increasing day length (a whole 1 minute) and my lovely soft soil, I would see if I could indeed clear a bed before it got dark and I was so pleased with myself – I managed it in just over half an hour! I should have timed myself!  So now I have completed tidying or clearing 11 of my 30 beds and with 12 days left in my personal challenge, I’m sure I could easily make it!

A race against the setting sun - I win!

A race against the setting sun – I win!

Come again soon – the green has returned to my thumb.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

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12 Comments on “Goodbye long gloomy winter days…

  1. Hi. I was out in the garden this morning, weeding the nicely manured asparagus bed and I noticed that two littel spears had popped their heads through the soil. Is it my imagination or is this a bit too early for them. We are located just south of Wanganui, between there and Hunterville in a the Mangamahu valley. Any thoughts? Regards Liz

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    • Hi Liz. Wow asparagus already! I should go and have a closer look at mine! Normally we get our first asparagus in September in time for fathers day. Hubby the Un-Gardener always gets poached eggs, steamed asparagus and crispy bacon and it is such a treat. But last year it came in early August and I remember everyone was really concerned about it being early and the general advice given was enjoy them! Although being this early I would probably mulch the bed with some rich compost or something to protect if from frosts and give it a bit of a feed. It may slow down if the temperatures drop again. Last year I ended up getting sick of them and stopped cutting them a month earlier than I normally would. I hope this helps.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. HI Sarah! Yesterday was our first day of summer here. It’s fun to follow you and be reminded that winter isn’t far away. Your kitchen is beautiful and I hope you continue to feel better. Stay warm! Michele at The Salem Garden

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    • Hi Michele. It is always with a hint of envy that read about summer gardens in the northern hemisphere with their warm weather and tomatoes, but it also inspires me to get out there and do something – anything, weather permitting.
      I love my new kitchen – we have so much more space and has been designed for how we will use it, and not how the previous owners used it. There is even a place for where all my jars and preserves will go!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. For starters, your new kitchen is stunning. I don’t know what the former kitchen was like, but everything here looks streamlined, orderly and neat as a pin. I love the subdued colors, too. I bet you’re thrilled to have it done. How is the rest of the remodel coming along?

    Well done on the bed-clearing. I’m glad you’re feeling better again, and that you are on track for clearing all 30 by month’s end.

    It’s always a pleasure to stop by, Sarah.

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    • Hi Alys. I love my new kitchen. The old one was a darkish blue with an impractical design and was falling apart. The whole house now feels lighter and like it has been opened up. We still have a few last little bits and pieces left to do and then we can say “we have renovated” instead of ‘we are renovating.”

      I was really hoping I would be able to finish the beds in 30 days but nature seems to have other plans and it is raining. The kind of rain that sets in for weeks. But it was a challenge I sent myself so I can change it to suit if I want to I guess!
      I hope your summer is treating you well.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi Elaine. I love my new kitchen. It is so cool, a pleasure to work in and importantly – easy to keep clean! The old kitchen was badly designed and so would get cluttered so easily, and it was falling apart.
      Being able to potter about in the garden is fantastic – although in winter you have to take what you can get when you can get it!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. Still hibernating here in darkest Tasmania…I let the chooks out at 6.30 and need a torch to make sure I don’t squish any of them as they race off into the darkness (they obviously have MUCH better eyesight than me!). I am loving the rain as every time it rains we get one step closer to filling up our big rainwater tank that we FINALLY got installed :). Happy days! “Bring it on rain…MORE!” Last year saw the end of winter as a very wet and soggy affair. Bet your bottom dollar it’s dry as bilio’s this year 😉 Glad to see you got your green mojo back. I planted out some semi-dehydrated (due to being left in a bowl for about a month…) Jerusalem artichokes and a half decomposed purple sweet potato so that they wouldn’t turn brown/green and fuzzy and render me guilt stricken every time I looking in their general direction. Aside from that…not so much has been going on in the garden but I can now draw you something in Adobe Illustrator so the time holed up inside hasn’t really gone to complete waste 😉

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    • Hi Fran. I would gladly send you some of our rain – we have had more wet days than not – and some have redefined the meaning of soggy! But I am pretending I never saw the weather forecast for the next 10 days and shall wake up with an expectant hope that it will be dry – which it wont be because it is school holidays! The key I guess is to stay productive when cooped up on the inside. Well done you with the Adobe illustrator – that must be so cool!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • Adobe Illustrator makes me twitch ;). Steve is rigging up more roof space to fill our tank up quicker. Our “rain” isn’t coming fast enough or long enough. Might have to rig up a system that stretches over the ditch to harvest YOUR rain methinks 😉

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