It feels like spring has flown by in a whirlwind this year. Life has been busy, restrictions have disrupted our plans and plantings yet again, but still the garden grows on. And wow does it ever grow in our spring conditions! Join us for a look at our spring garden in our seasonal update, along with other spring news from the Green in Real Life family.
Bursting into Colour
Although our winters are temperate, they can be dark and dreary. Our days are short and conditions are often rainy or foggy. The arrival of warmer brighter spring days and spring flowers are both most welcome. The cheerful yellow kowhai and happy songs of the tui around our neighbourhood add extra joy to my daily dog walks.
Blossoming and Blooming
Blossoms arrive in our home garden first with the plums and slowly spread their way across all of the fruit trees. This year, everything flowered very well except for the apricot tree. It’s young and we have borderline conditions for chill loving apricots. It had a smattering of blossoms and set one or two fruitlets, but those failed to hold for development. It’s a beautiful tree with lovely leaves though. A welcome specimen even if unproductive.
Developing for the Summer Season
The plums are starts of both blossoms and fruit for yet another season. their branches are so heavily set that they are bowing even after thinning. Another round of thinning is on my to-do list for the young fruit if nature doesn’t shake them free for me in upcoming stormy weather.
The espalier is also developing a promising assortment of apples, pears, and nashi. This is the first year that we haven’t removed the majority of the fruit from the trees to redirect their energy into development. The exception is one tree that was underperforming and showing signs of disease. It was removed and replaced with a young specimen that has some catching up to do with its neighbours.
The weather was unkind to the cherries, peaches, and nectarines during peak flower. All set fruit, but not plentiful. We’ll see how they develop through to ripening. Our erratic early summer conditions can be particularly hard on stone fruit. Last year we had many split with after sharp fluctuations in temperature and rainfall.
The Veggie Patch
The winter vegetables were productive into the spring, as I slowly worked my way through clearing them out for summer plantings. Coriander was the star of the show, but the red onion and cauliflower also grew very well this season.
The new seasons vegetables have been slowly making their way into the best as spaces were cleared. The first banana peppers and tomatoes are already ripening, and others are starting to blossom. Again, direct sown seeds and small seedlings continue to be difficult due to invading neighbourhood cats. The only areas spared from their damage and digging are the sections of bed that have barrier coverings, but that isn’t feasible for all of the garden areas, plant development, care, or harvesting access. Any other (kind, but deterring) tips for cats?
Spring weather just about perfect (when it’s not raining) for enjoying outdoor time with Humphrey. The temperatures are comfortable, days are longer, and the world is filled with colours (and smells). Unfortunately, this spring’s adventures were heavily limited by government COVID restrictions in our area. No park walks, beach roadies, or dog-friendly Air BnB adventures for us this spring, sadly. Perhaps later in the summer or in autumn when temperatures cool and things (hopefully) stabilise for bookings and plans.
And that’s a quick look at what’s been happening in and around our garden this spring. Drop by our Instagram to check in on how things are growing in the months ahead, and I hope to see you again here on the blog sometime soon.
Merry (almost) Christmas to those celebtaing the coming holidays. Dig around our blog archives for holiday posts, including our lower waste holiday ideas and lower waste gift wrapping. Season’s greetings and best wishes for the new year ahead!