Growing and Giving
Our homemade limoncello made with last year’s garden lemons (nicknamed Laura’s limited edition 2020 lockdown limoncello…) came out beautifully. Most was gifted to neighbours during the holidays, but we still have several bottles in the freezer for future sharing. It’s lovely chilled, but also superb as a drizzle on vanilla ice cream. Not that either is a frequent indulgence with our current health and fitness goals. Special treats only. Still, I’m already looking forward to next year’s infusion experiments. We’re thinking about getting creative with some other blends. Any suggestions?
Seasonal Success Stories and Top Crops
The edible garden is in full summer swing, although I reduced and staggered more plantings this season, so it’s a little more under control than its past over abundance. Crazy pumpkin plants and their squash cousins not withstanding. Oh my. If I suddenly go missing, I’ve probably gotten trapped under the pumpkin vine. It’s threatening to swallow the entire garden, no matter how often it’s tipped. At least it has some big fat pumpkins growing under there, too. The zucchini is almost as rampant, and the scaloppini squash seem to magically expand in the blink of an eye.
It’s a little too early in the season to declare any successes, since I always share the summer update a little early after the holiday break instead of at the end of season. In addition to the prolific pumpkins and pals, the tomatoes are going well so far. Yellow cherries have been feeding us fresh from the vines since before Christmas and the first green zebras were taste tested on the weekend. We’ve had the first home grown capsicums and chilies of the year, too. Yum!
Seasonal Failures and Flop Crops
Yet again our garlic had to be harvested early due to the seemingly inevitable scourge of rust in our climate and proximity to potential spreading sources. I think I’ll just give it a complete miss next year and pick up what I want at our local farmers market from time to time instead!
After my springtime complaints about leaf curl on the peaches and nectarines, I’m pleased that we still have a small number of beautiful looking peaches fattening up on the young trees. The transplanted avocado trees are also settling in ok, so fingers crossed next year will be a better growing season on both counts.
Blooming and Bolting
Garden Pests and Problems
The Battle of the Birds
The birds are having an absolute feast and making an absolute mess of things. They’ve been decimating the berries, raiding the fruit trees, throwing mulch everywhere, and pooping fruity mess all over the place. Sigh. They don’t care about tapes, decoys, dogs, cats, people… I individually bagged some of my precious Black Doris plums to make sure at least a few were spare (hubby’s favourite). That worked well as a deterrent, but is rather labour intensive and somewhat risky with delicately anchored plums. He was suitably concerned about his plums that he bought me a giant toy water gun to help with shooing away our raiders. Maybe we need to consider fostering a pet falcon. Hahaha!
Bugs Bugs Bugs
Humphrey is a happy little lad and such a joy to have in our world. He’s settled into being a solo dog after the initial adjustment phase following Oli’s passing and is doing well. He might not be able to keep the brazen birds at bay, but he can smell a freshly harvested carrot a mile off. Priorities. Haha! Dog-lovers might also enjoy checking out our partner dog blog Dalmatian DIY or its corresponding social media for more regular updates and photos from Humphrey.
The New Year Ahead
2020 was definitely a strange year. In some ways, it feels like only yesterday that we were prepping the summer garden for my parents’ visit this time last year. And in other ways, last summer seems like a lifetime away after everything that’s happened in 2020. Let’s hope that 2021 is a better year all around. From our family to yours, I wish you health, happiness, and good things for the year ahead. Happy gardening (and garden planning for our wintery northern friends). See you again soon!