My sew-jo has been a bit lacking the last two weeks – My brain is fried and I am crawling slowly towards a much deserved Christmas break.
Here in NZ this is the last week at work for most professionals (a few I know people who working Monday and some others also Tuesday next week) and we come back around the 6th or 13th of January 2014 – I’m cheating and coming back on the 21st (because the Monday is Wellington anniversary, yay). Retail obviously still operates and some other industries, but often at reduced hours. Last Christmas I met one of Nerdy Husband’s new work colleagues, freshly arrived from Los Angeles, and he was shocked at how much time everyone has off this time of year, apparently this doesn’t happen in America. I wonder what other countries don’t take a break, is it just Australia and New Zealand? What’s the deal in your country?
My sew-jo will return very shortly, trust me, Santa has something in mind that will help 😉
Therefore, because I have no sewing, I thought I’d update you all on my garden, because I am quite proud of it, here’s where we left off last:
To my herbs, tomatoes and strawberries I have added broccoli, cucumber, chilli and bell pepper. NH bashed in my waratahs to support the tomatoes and I bought this cool expanding spiral thing for the cucumber to climb.
As soon as my strawberries began to fruit the birds were in! I added the netting last weekend as well as pea straw. My herbs are now big enough for regular use and spinach has appeared but for some reason no carrots yet, I suspect last years seeds may be duds.
Keeping the rosemary, bay and cranberry company in the side garden I have added a blueberry bush (my choice), a raspberry bush (NH’s choice) and a lavender bush. At the bottom right of this photo you can also see a small cat nip plant. NH slipped this in the trolley while were at Palmers, especially for Harri, who has discovered that “helping” in the garden is just as much fun as “helping” in the sewing studio. Those broccoli leaves are so much fun to hide in and jump out at unsuspecting humans! She rolls on the cat nip (I am surprised it has managed to actually survive her attentions) and munches on the leaves. It doesn’t last long because an insect will fly past and then she is off. Currently her favourite to bring me are ridiculously large cicadas – as in the size of my thumb – I never knew they got that big!
While weeding last weekend I noticed a weed that looked suspiciously like a tomato plant. It was a surprising find given that I never planted any tomato seeds…then I noticed another, and another…and on it went until I had counted 15 rogue tomatoes!
So where did they come from? From last years crop of Moneymakers most likely. You might remember that I spread the dirt from my old bed over this area to smooth it out and I can only guess that some of last years plants dropped tomatoes that broke down and left their seeds dormant until this year. I’m really excited about my accidental find! I relocated a few plants for me and potted the rest to give away to family and friends.
This year I bought Beefeater tomatoes so now I have two varieties and I think at the end of the season I will try to keep some seeds and have a go at growing BOTH next year – If I can do it accidentally it can’t be that difficult right?!
Another addition to my garden has been plant markers. Finally! It took me ages to decide what I wanted to do, initially I was thinking about buying some old spoons to hammer flat and letter punch but then I saw some painted rocks online somewhere and was sold. One weekend while out and about I convinced Geologist Husband to help me appropriate some. I cleaned each stone thoroughly and then painted my text and image using acrylic paint. I’ve made about 6 and have quite a few more to go but I’ll get there 🙂
Ok last pic promise:
This is my new seed raising mini “glass house”, thanks to Subway, perfectly fits my recycled plastic cup planters, neat huh? 😉
Found your blog through Dreamstress!
Work culture is the US is pretty wretched for a developed country. During the winter holidays, white-collared jobs may get a day or two off, more if they’ve requested to take holiday time. Those of us in retail will actually work longer days. Malls are often open during the year from 10am to 9pm. Many stores will be open till 10 or 11pm. Since I work at a store that caters to construction workers, and it’s the colder season here, we close early now at 9pm.
In general, most Americans don’t get vacation time, since most work hourly wage jobs. Those with salary will have different amounts, but taking vacation is not encouraged in the States.
I used to have a catnip plant when I lived in NZ. The local cats loved to eat, lay and roll in it. In the end I had to hang the pot from the clothes line to stop them from killing the plant!
Veggies looking good. I have self seeded parsley everywhere – which I kinda like. In Australia and NZ it is our end of school year and summer holidays, which is nice lining up with Christmas. But on the other hand we have a long year between the breaks. Merry Christmas!
Ahhh.. gardening is so awesome! We also had rogue tomatoes AND found heaps of potatoes in the ground when we dug it up after moving in. This year I have already been harvesting zucchini, strawbs, spinach, lettuce and spring onions in Auckland (might take a little longer in Welly?). And we have some funny looking cucumbers and a vine full of passionfruit amongst other things. Totally understand the winding down for a bit. It’s all about enjoying the sun and kai for the next few weeks. Merry Christmas!
Your veggie garden makes me dream of summer (already 😦 ) and lazy days on the beach and salads because it’s way too hot to cook! It looks like your patch is doing really well! Enjoy!
Wow! So much of your post requires commenting on! Can I just say how fantastic to discover self seeded tomatoes, now that’s a real treasure. I so adore tomatoes! Also, how fabulous is your vegie garden! I so enjoyed your post when you were creating this, especially the bit about the enormous concrete boulder that hindered yours and your hubby’s progress but never deterrred you and which you conquered with enormous effort and sweat. Curious as to which birds will pray on your vegie patch. I am in Perth and relocating to Wellington with my wonderful husband in February. We spent time there in 2011 and loved it so much we are coming back. I want to grow carrots and potatoes in pots and catnip too as we are bringing our cats, Lady Lotus Blossom and Leopold the Brave. I so dig your use of Subway’s catering pack (not sure what else to call it) as a place to raise seed. I have encountered many of these in my time via Subway catering for work do’s and always felt it criminal to waste such a magnificent glasshouse. On a completely different note I would love to connect with you and others that sew in Wellington when I arrive. I plan to have time up my sleeve and would like to mingle with creative and inspiring types. I currently dabble with the Burda girls here in Perth!
I think the strawberries are a favourite of the blackbirds and thrush – although I’ve never caught any of them 😉 It won’t be my favourites, the Tui and Fantails, they have moved on now that my Kowhai has finished flowering – they’ll be back soon once the Pohutukawa are in full bloom, they love to get drunk on the nectar!
Oh how excited that you are coming to Wellington! I spent 6 years in Perth and enjoyed the time there but glad to be home now, I am biased of course but I love Welly and I hope you will too. Of course I would be happy to introduce you to some like-minded girls, help you make some new sewing friends. The Perth Burda girls are awesome, I miss them, but I’ve found a great group of sewing ladies here too, sewing with others is so much more enjoyable and inspirational! Good luck with your move and once you are settled let me know, I’ll flick you an email so we can stay in touch 🙂
I found lots of ‘tomato’ plants growing where I had spread my home made compost. Some turned out to be peppers – but no less welcome for that!
Your garden is looking great now. I’m glad that Harri is enjoying the catnip 🙂
I love your garden, it looks amazing.
So funny, your garden has such different things than mine. I can only dream of growing broccoli, especially at this time of year. Carrots seem to go ok for me, although sometimes are short because I never water long or deep enough. My basil, cucumbers and tomatoes are going crazy! I also have a rogue tomato plant that appeared in the front garden – no idea how that go there, but thought I would leave it to see how it goes 🙂
Pish posh to your cicadas the size of your thumb!! In Oz they grow to the size of my hand – ridiculous stupid big bugs over here!! 🙂
Workwise, I finish on Monday and go back on the 2nd (not a holiday here) – crap to that I say – but I am in insurance and it is storm season so I need to be on board. On the plus side, it means I can take my holidays at another time.
All the best for your break x
Winter Holidays in the US might be 1.5 days each for Christmas & New Year’s if you’re in industry. Sometimes companies will furlough the week between the two, w/o pay!, sometimes not. Definitely not my idea of a decent life style!
Your garden is wonderful – so nice to see things growing while in the midst of snow/sleet/freezing rain. Remember when I had a tiny plot & 2 cats. They’d roll in the catnip and mint, which seemed to survive it all.
Happiest of Holidays to you all!
I am sooo impressed at the veggie garden. *I’ve had three failed attempts at Strawberries so didn’t even try this year and I seem incapable to raising carrots at all – three plantings, a total of 60 seeds planted, and two have emerged!
As far as the long Summer holiday goes, when I arrived from the UK I was also staggered at how long people took for Christmas here, but for most people it is their annual holiday too, as well as the long summer school holiday. In the Northern hemisphere it would never occur to any one to take their annual holiday when the days are short and the weather freezing, and the schools are only off for a couple of weeks, so the most people take off is the days between Christmas and New Year, and of course, New Year is usually only one holiday, not two like we get here (Unless you’re Scottish)