My garden is significantly less attractive than the garden of Tennyson’s poem, but this blog post will also be significantly less weird, bloody, and tragic, so that should help balance things a bit!
My parents are farmers, and my mother has the most spectacularly green thumbs, which sadly I mostly did not inherit. But I do like gardening, and I’ve really been enjoying turning the brown, weedy wasteland of a garden that we inherited when we bought the house into something green and growing.
Mr D and I have some differences of opinion about how much garden there should be as he prefers LAWN (and pretty much nothing else). So I haven’t made much headway in my quest to turn the entire front lawn into raised garden boxes (oh, the dream!) but I have been allowed to clear out the three weed-filled garden boxes we inherited, and I have turned them into three mini gardens.
The gardens have struggled a bit this year: the weather turned abruptly from quite cold and wet to HOT and dry, so my first batch of lettuce rotted in the wet, and the second went directly to seed in the heat, and the poor kale was devastated by an outbreak of brassica moths brought on by the hot weather.
Despite all this, I have succeeded in growing a very attractive radish:
And a rather spectacular crop of an attractive, vining, flowering non-quite-a-weed in the cracks of the garden boxes (this is purposeful).
And a really gorgeous set of alyssum in the cracks of the next one over.
I love alyssum. It’s so unassuming, but when I bend over the boxes to weed them I’m surrounded by the most delicious fragrance, and every once in a while you get a waft of it as you sit in the backyard.
My goal with my vegetables is to grow basic seasoning herbs and alliums (parsley, rosemary, coriander, spring onions and chives), and lettuce, kale, and mizuna, so that I have the foundation to a salad (lettuce, kale & mizuna), the filling for a soup (kale) or the green veg for a stir fry (mizuna) at any given point.
Oh, and basil. I am obsessed with basil. It won’t grow all year round in Wellington, but for as many months of the year as it will, I grow pots and pots and pots of it.
I put great handfuls of it in salads and soups and stir fries and curries and ratatouille all summer long.
The only problem with filling my garden beds with vegetables is it means I have no-where to plant my spring bulbs! I definitely need to work on convincing Mr D that my front garden aspirations are the way forward!