Agapanthus – 1; The Curious Kiwi – 0

Guess what? This will be my 200th post, wow! 😀 I didn’t think when I started my little blog that I’d enjoy writing so much but I love it!

Thanks for following along xx

On Saturday we had a weather bomb* so I spent the day pottering in my room. I was in a quiet mood so I worked on the rugby jersey and managed to trace three dress patterns, one of which will be the “Birthday Dress” for 2012. On Sunday it was beautiful, in Wellington anyway, so I declared Gardening and I were BFFs 4EVA and decided it was time for Edible Garden: Stage One Extension.

Three more bags of compost was acquired from Bunnings and I dragged the wheelie bin around to the back and set to work.

First up, here is the next area to be cleared:

Oh my gosh, don’t look at the grass! This is before it got mowed, last weekend Nerdy Husband declared it needed to “grow out” a bit before the next mowing.

Recently there has been a healthy discussion in the sewing blogosphere around how much people dress up for, or alter, their garment photos in comparison to “real life” – honestly, if I knew how to make a lawn looked mowed in Photoshop I would have done it!

To give you a location based on the first bed, it is a bit further along the north fence-line and just as overgrown.

A rouge (and poorly Photoshopped) lawn mowers appears – it’s not very effective!

It is also a bit lower down and a bit more boggy, mostly due to the types of plants currently growing there, but nothing a bit of sand and compost won’t fix.

I was keen to clear at least half of it to start with, beginning with one offending mini-Agapanthus.

I don’t like Agapanthus.

I’m sorry if you do (actually, I’m not) but they annoy me and I don’t really know why. Kiwis (and the Aussies too) are so obsessed with planting them everywhere. The council stick them in our roundabouts, people line their driveways with them but to me they are a glorified weed and they are not to reside in my garden.

I know my dislike is irrational and I completely understand people disagreeing with me. Nerdy Husband feels the same way about hydrangeas for no good reason either. I don’t mind them actually, what’s to hate? They pretty much grow a complete bouquet on a stem, easy as. We have one in the front garden, I recognised it the other day when it started greening up after it’s winter sleep.

I”ll wait until it flowers to see how long until Nerdy Hubby notices it, a little marital experiment if you will, hehe 😉

Luckily, we do agree on the Agapanthus issue.

Does anyone else feel that way about Agapanthus? Just me? Or perhaps there is another plant you love to hate for no reason? It’s OK if you like Agapanthus, feel free to defend them in the comments.

There were a couple of green leafy things cowering in front of the Agapanthus, but I quickly dispatched them to the wheelie bin and soon there was nothing standing between me and the Agapanthus but soggy dirt.

It’s possible that I may have mentioned something out aloud to that blight in my garden…

…and it may have heard me.

It broke my fork 😦

That’s just plain cheating!

I will admit that when I went and bought all my new garden toys a couple of weekends ago, that I did buy the cheapest fork in the shop. I wasn’t sure if Gardening and I were going to be friends so cheap and cheerful was the motto of the day.

This fork may have been a bit too cheerful.

I have two options: buy another one (more expensive/better quality), or perhaps convince Mechanical-Brother-in-Law to weld mine up. I think I may go with the latter to begin with. Mechanical-Brother-in-Law owes us a favour and he has a couple of those welding things, one of them will do it I am sure.

He’ll probably ask me what sort of metal it is…”cheap” is a metal isn’t it?

So that was my day of digging done for and I took my wrath out on the ivy instead.

I don’t hate the ivy but it does go all along that fence and around the corner. The stuff around the corner is safe, it camouflages the fence and I like that when I look out my lounge windows I see green with the hills in the background above. It makes my backyard look like it goes on forever. The ivy over the vege garden however will prevent me from growing and supporting taller veges like beans and peas etc. It will also be a mission to maintain and make a mess when I trim it.

I didn’t get as much cleared as I wanted, my bin filled up surprisingly quickly but that was fine because by then I was tired and sick of bugs jumping out at me. I did manage to salvage the chicken wire from underneath for future use, very recyclingable of me.

So I left my garden “extension” like this, not very cleared but with high hopes of hitting it again on the upcoming long weekend:

In other gardening adventure news we have had one casualty in the current garden bed, a thyme seedling has mysteriously shrivelled up and died, but the strawberries are doing amazingly well, including the one I rescued & divided. One of those even has new flowers (and that means strawberries will follow!) and I saw some bees humming around them too.  My gardening book says that strawberries are self pollinating but good pollination is essential for quality fruit so yay for bees!

I’ve been using my herbs carefully while they get established. Selective trimming of pieces for my cooking while encouraging bushy growth. Last night I made Spaghetti Meatballs flavoured solely from my baby herb garden and I swear it was the most delicious thing I have ever cooked!

Oh and look! Carrot & spinach seedlings! And since I took this photo the spinach has gone mental, they all have their first “real” set of leaves, you know, the ones that look like the actual finished plant:

I have a 100% strike rate on the Pak Choi (which apparently should be harvest-able in about 2 weeks, I find that hard to believe), a 50% strike rate on my beans which are growing very fast and I will need that garden bed ready for them soon.

If you look really close you can see one lonely leek seedling in the left hand most row, 4 cells back! Ohh!

I thought there was still nothing from either the celery or the leeks but I after looking at this photo I noticed a tiny lonely leek seedling, can you see it?

I read in the same gardening book that they can take between 21 days and a whole month to sprout! I also read in my book that I can actually plant a few of the other seeds I bought. I mis-read the packet: I read “plant indoors in winter…” aww but it’s spring, and I put it down…actually it goes on to say, “or early spring outdoors…” oops, I thought I had a longer attention span that that! So I have another mini plastic greenhouse now planted with cheery tomato, chili & capsicum, yay!

* Quick random rant: is weather “bomb” not the most over-used non-scientific meteorological term ever? I’m not trying to down play it, Auckland did get hammered by said “bomb” but weather peeps, if you want to be taken seriously can we have some science please? Science will always trump sensationalism!


26 thoughts on “Agapanthus – 1; The Curious Kiwi – 0

  1. PS: and yes, I get an idea about their popularity as well as their hatred:
    – withstands indeed quite some neglect – hardly needs any water
    – grows even when planted with the ‘green’ part into the soil and the white roots up! 😉

    • Haha, grows even is planted upside down?! No wonder people love them – actually they are good for retaining dirt, that must be why they are so popular in hilly NZ – sacrifice away 😀 great to have you reading xx

  2. I feel rather small and feeble now: I DO like ‘angry panthers’!
    Especially since I’m living on a very steep block of land and the ‘Agapa’ is helping me to terrace and lock any plateau-build-up-intentions long before hubby can than add some retaining-systems.
    I use the plant as sacrificial one (= getting killed or replanted later) whilst I can build up all sorts of garden-debris behind it being used as ‘living retaining wall’. Green-agreement (since really not popular with them!!!) : dead head before seeds set on = right; can do – no problems!

  3. I love agapanthus plants ❤ In my old house my housemate's dad did a garden makeover for us, and my only comment before was "please don't touch the agapanthus". And guess what, he dug them up and split them and replanted them, saying they'd be fine. They weren't, they didn't flower for two years, and by the time they flowered again I was moving out 😦 Not a happy bunny!

    Love seeing your garden progress though, your strawberries look yummy!

  4. Love the photoshopped mower! hehe My mum hates agapanthus too – every time she sees them, ‘I hate those bloody things grumble grumble..’ haha. Congrats on your 200th post too 🙂

  5. I know we have a hydrangea, but not sure about the agapanthas. It’s just the word that puts me off!! I’m waiting for lots of seeds to grow into enormous plants at the moment!

  6. Congrats on getting to your 200th post and what a ripper it is too! My hubby and I laughed at your photoshopping the grass comment and LOVED your attempt at it. And then the crossed out Agy photo – more laughter. They are WEEDS (Iwish I could bold and underline that sentence) and it is perfectly normal to hate them 🙂

  7. I love agapanthus! As kids we used to call them angry panthers. My mum had planted a deep border of them all down the side of the swimming pool, so they remind me now of long hot summer days by the pool. They don’t like to grow in my cold wet English garden, so I really miss them. Love hydrangeas too! Good luck with your gardening mission!

  8. Great to see all your seedlings shooting up! I don’t particularly mind agapanthus, or hydrangeas – neither are particularly common here in Sweden. But I do have an irrational dislike of hostas. At least the deer like those.

    • I had to Google search that, oh my gosh, is that what all those green ones I have been digging up are called? Grrr, I hate then too, they are so boring looking and they are everywhere! Out the back, out the front, down the side – I need to borrow me some deer to eat them all 😉 haha, the neighbours would love that!

  9. I’m with you on the aggies (I’m from Vic, Australia) and they are banned on Mornington Peninsula (classified as a weed). The dwarf ones are ok and a lady at Bunnings told me that the dwarfs are sterile so they won’t go berserk in their growing.
    Loving your blog (I’m a new subscriber).

    • Ah ha! So they are officially a weed in some places – excellent! 😀

      I only have that one mini one, I had wondered why it hadn’t multiplied like the bigger ones do, it’s all clear to me now.

      Awesome to have you reading, thanks for commenting too 🙂 xx

  10. I’m not that fussed about Aga’s…though they do remind me of Christmas-time on this side of the ditch…I think they’re also called Star of David??? (or has someone been telling me porkies again??)

    • Hmm I haven’t heard them called that before but I guess it could be true – Pohutukawa are definitely my Christmas reminder – Poor Agapanthus won’t get a chance to flower for this Christmas, gosh I’m mean, hehe!

  11. Have you considered option #3 – return the fork for a refund or replacement? It seems unreasonable that it broke under ‘normal use’ only three weeks after your bought it – even if it was cheap. It should still be fit for purpose under the consumer guarantees act 🙂

    • Hmm I have, but I couldn’t find the receipt! Don’t tell my Mum, she always used to tell me to put my receipts in a safe place 😉 Hehe. I am still looking for it so if it does show up I will try for an exchange, it’s not like I was trying to dig up a 20m tall tree with it so it shouldn’t have broken against a puny little mini agapanthus

  12. I do love reading about your gardening exploits as I love sewing and gardening too. I agree with your comments about agapanthus; my mother gave me some and I let them die! I also have a slightly irrational hatred of petunias as they are planted EVERYWHERE here so I refuse to let them anywhere near my garden.

    • Awesome! I enjoy sharing my gardening too so it’s good to hear you enjoy reading about them 🙂 Hmm petunias, I don’t mind the “double” ones, they look a bit more substantial, but I could take ’em or leave ’em too

  13. I was never fond of agapanthus until our 10 year drought in Sydney (something beautiful New Zealand doesn’t seem to suffer from) and it was one of the few things that survived in our garden. It thrives on neglect and every November those beautiful purple flowers appear. Your vegie patch is coming on a treat!

    • Ah ha! So that is its secret of secrets: it is unkillable – even garden forks fall under it’s dark spell, hehe 😉

      Drought is tough isn’t it? I tried a bit of vege gardening when I was living in Perth but it didn’t seem to matter how much I watered everything struggled. I had to constantly treat the soil to keep it from becoming hydrophobic – I have to admit, I am enjoying the ease of gardening back home.

      Thanks for reading xx

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