Reflection on last summer’s garden….sometimes you just get lucky…

July is a very dreary winter month in Canberra, and it seems a perfect time to look back at photos of the garden over the spring and summer months of 2015/2016. This might give some inspiration for the coming spring…

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In Canberra sweet peas need to be planted around my birthday, mid-March. My father-in-law was an enthusiastic gardener and he always reminded me to plant them.

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Sweet peas also remind me of my Mum who loved all flowers and growing things, but sweet peas were one of her favourites.

I think of them both in a companionable way when I am in the garden…

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During the summer I read a little book called ”Six Square Metres” by Margaret Simons. Margaret is a journalist and gardening enthusiast, and some years ago, she wrote a thoughtful, often humorous, gardening column in The Australian newspaper.

One of her quotes sums up a season of gardening….(and our year of gardening)

Sometimes you reap what you sow.

We certainly did that last summer, this pea crop went on for months, above and beyond the call of duty…

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Sometimes you reap what other people sowed..

We bought this tomato as a sapling at the markets in spring. It is called ”Mortgage Lifter” and the tomatoes grow to an enormous size. Every few weeks Paul and I would put more stakes in for reinforcement as the plant grew bigger and the tomatoes grew wider. The beauty of this tomato is that it is very juicy, with a wonderfully rich flavour. I made tomato puree with the left over tomatoes in February, and now we add them to soups and stews. A taste from our own summer garden in winter.

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Sometimes you haven’t got a clue what you are sowing.

….at the markets in spring I thought I was buying a new kind of chard with lovely purple stalks…and it was beetroot! I can’t believe I’m admitting to this….

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and sometimes you just get lucky.

….this Gardenia really does not like the Canberra climate, especially the cold weather. This year we nursed it through the winter and then gave it plenty of fertilizer in spring and summer, and now some beautiful, perfectly formed scented flowers…

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We were very lucky to have an abundance of tomatoes, and the best garlic in three years of trying to get it right..

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or unlucky….

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Much as I love the cockatoos, they sometimes just come by to pick the top off a rose stem, very very annoying…….. ”Who me?”

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All these things are true of life, as of gardening…

I hope this year has been a lucky one for you and your garden…




15 Replies to “Reflection on last summer’s garden….sometimes you just get lucky…”

  1. What a lovely collection of gardening photos and memories. Sweet peas always make me smile. My grandmother had an entire fence covered with them, and I remember picking them to fill small vases inside. It sounds like you had a good gardening season to keep you planning for next year. 🙂

    1. Thanks Judy, the first thing I did with those sweet peas was to fill small vases with them! Their perfume is just lovely!

  2. Lovely garden photos, Gerrie. My dad always had sweet peas in his garden in England. I love the scent of them. Your rose-pecking Cockatoo looks quite unrepentant, but the bush still has many blooms. 🙂 I love Gardenias but have never had much luck with them. The buds always fall off, so I must be doing something wrong.

    1. Perhaps we could send our unrepentant cockatoo over to your place, I wonder what he would make of all your wild life…he’d have to mind his manners! Yes, Gardenias are tricky to grow, but I’m putting more sweet peas in this year.

    1. Yes, I agree.The scent of gardenia is even too strong in a vase after a while. We do put the gardenia under cover in winter. Really, it would love to live in Sydney……perfect outside conditions!

    1. Yes, I felt quite cheery after writing that spring/summer post! Sweet peas do take up a lot of room for the result, but I’m hooked now!

  3. What a lovely selection to dwell on in the midst of winter. I loved the sweet peas and was impressed with your garlic and tomato harvest, it’s lovely to be able to eat home grown food in winter. That gardenia is so lovely, I had one but it died last year. Rose eating cockatoos??? How naughty of

    1. I’m glad the post could warm you up, yes, we have had a cold and rainy winter altogether….cross fingers for a good spring!

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