Friday, April 13, 2012

Autumn Garden

Autumn in Brisbane can be joyous, but tricky. The brutality of summer has retreated to a sharp glare, the storms (and subsequent flooding) of late Summer have retreated and the nights are brisk enough to enjoy sleeping under bedclothes again. We are still in the subtropics though, so it isn't cool enough for any bulb planting or spectacular Autumn foliage, you'd have to head south for that. It's a time to clean up the garden, move on with any large projects and plan for the coming months. It's also time to plant winter vegetables because when Winter comes it will only be here for about 6 weeks. It really is an area to garden to your individual micro climate.

I gave the veggie garden a thorough clean out in the last month, & removed almost everything in it. We garden to the layer method, so I added another layer of compost, a layer of composted seaweed, and a top layer of straw. Next layer will include a lot of well rotted manure, which the garden loves but wasn't available this time. The seaweed was an experiment, the jury is still out on that one...

I built some medieval looking supports from the lemon grass canes for green beans, (above) and planted snow peas, that promptly died in the wind. The wind is also pretty good at blowing over those ridiculous supports! Another experiment I won't be repeating..

It's all looking a bit bare still. I can't wait for the lush green overgrowth of the warmer months..That small tree in the pot is a feijoa, a fruit that is native to New Zealand. The mini triffid to the right of the fireplace is a rogue tomato, which didn't get the memo that winter is coming. It was so vigorous, I didn't have the heart to pull it out. The herbs in the planter box at the front are doing OK, but I think they need re potting. There is marjoram, lemon thyme, thyme & rosemary. I bought another rosemary the other day because we eat it faster than it can grow, maybe with 2 plants it might stand a chance.

Chinese cabbage seedlings and some italian parsley. I love italian parsley, but I loathe curly parsley - seriously, it's like mother natures pubic hair! I can't imagine anyone liking it. It's not going in my mouth.

Another rogue tomato, this one actually bearing fruit. It can stay.

Behind that tomato there are some Chioggi beetroot seedlings. This beetroot has concentric red and white stripes when you cut into it, like the Target logo, but more stripey. It's very hardy, and doesn't mind a bit of shade. Most of the greenery in this pic is provided by the rocket, which is soldiers on like a hero in any season, and is a firm favourite with the adults in this household. It's also really good for you, and very easy to grow - this was a packet of seeds I literally flung into the ground and forgot about. I made it into some pesto last month with some olive oil and parmesan. Yum.

On the left, there is mignonette and iceberg lettuce, to the right, regular beetroot. I love beetroot, it is so versatile & the whole plant is edible.

Also planted are some chives, shallots, marigolds and sage. I've also put some potatoes into an old wheelbarrow, because that's what we had available. I don't know what cultivar they are but they where bought to eat before they sprouted, so I'm sure they will be OK!

I might plant some silver beet soon, which is happy all year round. And I really need to divide and repot that Lemon Grass clump....

Do you garden to the seasons? What are you growing at the moment?



  1. AHAHAHAHA "mother nature's pubic hair" I am a total brown thumb but if gardening can be that hilarious I could definitely re-consider my aversion...

    Went to a wedding a few months ago and the little take home guest gift were these little plant seedling sprout trees...mine died within a few weeks even though I tried...I am now paranoid, if the couple split up I will feel entirely responsible...I killed the symbol of their love! :O

  2. you need to come here cause I have every single noxious weed in Australia in my garden.

    True story.

    I garden with full strength roundup in a sprayer.

    True story.

    I would like to concrete the lot and hire it out to kids as a skate rink.

  3. I love fresh herbs and vegetables and I always try to grow them. I am not blessed with a green thumb and my garden is pretty much a herb graveyard. Rachel x


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