Saturday, 7 June 2014

may in my garden

i don't think i'd fully appreciated how much work i actually do in my garden until i came back from a recent two week trip..nettles, flanders poppies and borage plants had literally taken over my front garden as well as the degraded and in need of resurfacing gravel paths..most of the seeds i'd planted a week or two prior to leaving hadn't come up..kikuyu was sprouting long tentacles from next door's lawn and from my own lawn into my various garden beds..and my broccoli seedlings had a sporty polka dot look from being eaten by cabbage moth larvae..but my neighbour's father had mown my lawns..they'd well and truly needed mowing before i went away but i'd not had time..thanks're a legend!

the hard yakka

~ broad beans, radish, onion, oak leaf lettuce, carrot and sweet pea seeds directly in soil (only the broad beans and radish survived my trip away)
~ ruby chard, dill and mustard greens in a seed raising box (the chard survived)
~ broccoli and pansy seedlings
~ relocated self sown cornflower seedlings


~ lemon verbena

~ eggplant bushes even though they were still producing flowers
~ parsley and rainbow chard
~ lots of the ever over abundant nettles, flanders poppy and borage 
~ invasive kikuyu from my next door neighbour and from around vegetable garden beds that threaten to take over my hard won vegetable garden beds
~ carnations from the window box 

~ vegetable garden bed where parsley and rainbow chard were removed and a section of the same garden bed that i have been trying to rehabilitate with compost and manure (it was covered in concrete up until a few years ago)

~ continue to compost all kitchen scraps and to cut up and compost all garden waste apart from invasive bulbs such as oxalis
~ composted and manured window box for resowing

extended new vegetable garden bed
~ i covered the remaining area in another op shop purchased woollen blanket ($4) and started adding kitchen waste and cut up garden material

the rewards

~ green beans (blue lake)..the plants are still producing a handful of beans every few days, radishes, egg plant, spring onions, chilli and rainbow chard
~ parsley, basil, celery, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, mint, sage, chives, lemon balm, comfrey, pineapple sage, lavender, nettles, borage flowers, lilac flowers, marigold petals, violets, roses, hollyhock flowers, nasturtium leaves and flowers
~ rhubarb, the last of the pomegranate, cumquat and alpine strawberries

more hard yakka

need to
~ pick chillies for drying
~ plant peas, spinach, coriander, beetroot, mustard greens and potatoes (check seasonal suitability first)
~ plant a manure crop on bed where parsley and rainbow chard were removed and in the area being rehabilitated
~ replant onion, lettuce, carrot and sweet pea seeds 
_ replant carnations in window boxes
~ finish tidying garden edges
~ stay on top of weeding
~ remove bean plants when production ceases
~ pick crabapples
~ transplant lemon verbena and black currant bush
~ mow lawn (i use a hand mower)

rainbow chard, rice and lemon soup*
tea with hazel


1-2 bunches of young rainbow chard well washed
6 spring onions cut fine
3 celery stalks cut fine
6 cloves garlic cut fine
1/2 cup chopped parsley 
1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
1/4 cup torn mint leaves
1 cup arborio rice
2 litres stock (i used homemade)
juice of 1/2 lemon per serve
olive oil
salt and pepper


~ remove stalks from chard and cut into approximately 2 cms pieces and cut leaves to desired size
~ in a large saucepan heat a few tablespoons of olive oil, add chard stalks, celery stalks, and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes
~ add rice and cook for a few more minutes
~ add stock and bring to the boil and cook until the rice is al dente
~ add chard and celery leaves and mint and parsley and cook until the leaves are softened
~ add salt and pepper to taste


~ drizzle each bowl with lemon juice and a little oil

rainbow chard coloured broth


* this soup was inspired by a greek dish called spanakorizo (spinach rice)..i love the flavour of dill but i didn't have any growing so i added mint instead
** all the greens were from my garden

see you next month for 'june in my garden'

1 comment:

  1. reading this Jane makes me want to go out the back and get my fingers dirty...yep, might just do that.