Sunday, June 16, 2013

Oh How The Natives Have Grown

The beauty of writing a blog about the development of your new build is the record of change. I look back at our natives only planted two years ago and realise how quickly they have established. Yet when you look at them on a daily basis you feel old age will come sooner than an established garden, how wrong I seem to be.  The akeake hedge is now quiet resilient to the elements at nearly metre and half tall and quite dense. It was such a scraggly assortment of plants when we put them in I thought they would never amount to much. How wrong, natives of course are used to battling for survival.  I love the colour of the akeake, it makes such a statement amongst all the green.

My success at growing citrus is so encouraging. This blood orange has now been in this position for just over two years. It spent its' first two years in a large pot. Citrus actually perform well in pots but of course watering is so demanding on ones time. This particular blood orange is not very red at all and sometimes I wonder if it was incorrectly labelled.  But it is so juicy and sweet to eat and is always laden with fruit.

This is a recent planting of more natives. I did not want to plant out the front but as the wind in November is so persistent when I would like to take advantage of the warmer weather and sit outside, that I felt compelled to put in a windbreak. The tall spindly trees are elders, not natives I know but incredibly hardy and fast growing. I like their bark and leaf so a small deviation from all things native.  The hares have cut everyone of them down to nothing despite my efforts to deter this by painting a repellant on every single plant.

This planting in front of the house is also about two years old and starting to get a bit of growth going. Again the hares just constantly attacked every plant time and time again, some died as a result of too little leaf left to photosynthesis. We left some of the plants that just seeded from wind or birds and they have added to the volume of plants and diversity.

The front border is where the growth is so noticeable. We are starting to get real privacy as a result of the height and density and the look from inside the house to outside is now one of greenery and texture. We can hear people walking past, often commenting on our natives and their growth, but no longer see them and be seen. 

 l love the look of the front of my house and the timeless materials we have used. 

 My vegetable garden has been neglected a bit but I have got plenty of cabbage and cauliflower growing, parsnip and carrots. The globe artichoke is flowering however, I discovered last year that I wasn't such a fan of the flavour after all.

I need to get some carrot seeds in soon as we are prolific consumers of staple foods. My garlic cloves need to go in next week, I hope to have a better harvest than last year which was very disappointing.

We removed the bed of orange raspberries last week as they were taking up a prime site and they had multiplied out of control. I transplanted a couple of plants but we prefer the large red berries for our purposes. 

I have planted two hundred daffodils in the garden and in pots - small green tops are poking through the soil in the pots which is daft but it does give me huge pleasure - the anticipation of what is to come.
I am a bit worried about my bees. I lifted the lid and put some sugar syrup in yesterday to find that there was syrup still in the feeder. Either they have plenty of food in the hive or they are dying. I could not hear any sound but it was a cold day and they may well be clustered together in the centre of the hive to preserve heat. Next fine warm day I must observe the hive.  There was bee activity a couple of weeks ago so I hope all is ok.  Bees are the most frustrating creatures in this world and they are so threatened for survival.

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