Ewen's garden

A collection of columns, paintings and photographs about gardening on an offshore island in New Zealand.

Monday, October 18, 2004


I can’t help myself, I just have to brag, last Sunday I picked an enormous cauliflower, weighing some six kilos!! I was so impressed, I had to have my picture taken with it. We have been able to provide seven different lots of people with a feed from it. This has to be one of the greatest pleasures of having a productive garden, being able to give away food and flowers. I must confess to now being a little over cauliflower, cauliflower and cheese, cauliflower bake, cauliflower and mustard sauce, cauliflower sauce with fish soufflé and cauliflower stir fry. I find though, this is how it goes with the vegetable garden, you all at once have a fresh vegetable, not available for some time and then you eat it almost every day. Next to take the place of the cauliflower are the sugarsnap peas and broad beans, and so goes the vegetable year.
One vegetable I have not yet grown is asparagus, a perennial and a crop you must be patient for, because it really takes up to three years before a decent crop can be harvested. Each season enough shoots must be left to support the growth the plant for the crop the following season. But then, you have a time where nearly every meal will include some form of asparagus, I just live it.

This time of year in the garden is most definitely without doubt the most prolific both in vegetable bounty and also in flourishing weeds. It is also good time to get fertiliser on to the garden while plants are in flush growth. Glancing outside now, with the first sunshine in what seems like ages I can see my citrus trees, or rather somewhat stunted shrubs, needling me to throw some fertiliser at them, I will I promise! Fertiliser not only helps the plant maintain its growth but also by being healthy helps to keep pest and other diseases at bay.

Another task urgently required to be done, is the placement of bird nets over the strawberries. Having been given a chocolate fondue set for my birthday, it would be rude to loose my strawberry crop to the birds! Naturally birds are not our only enemy at this time of year, but also the weather, how sick are we of the wind and blustery showers of the equinox? I have seedling runner beans running all across my covered clothesline area waiting for the moment I prepare a spot for them, with a sturdy climbing support for them, unlike my feeble attempt to keep my sugarsnap peas and broad beans within their bounds. My sugarsnap peas have totally pulled down the support I so dutifully provided for them and now cascade down out of the garden bed and over the pathway! I just console myself with the thought that ‘all is fair in love and war’ in my backyard and the battle is never over but ongoing. I think on reflection though, the successes far outweigh the failures.


At 3:37 PM, Blogger Peter said...

gosh, that is a big one, mister Ewen!

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Becky said...

Your blog is so interesting, and i'll check back to read more of it when I have time. I'm new at blogging and can learn from you.
Your photos are great too.
Thanks for sharing.


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