Monday, 25 January 2016

The fruits of my garden - Garden Share Collective January 2016

Well it's time for the first Garden Share Collective of 2016.  The GSC is hosted by Kyrstie at A Fresh Legacy and Kate at Rosehips and Rhubarb.  Head over to check out all the wonderful gardens and gardeners who join into the link. Another month (well two really, as there was a well deserved break in December!) has passed, so it's time to have a look at everyone's garden and the fruits of their labour for the past month.  And that ties in well with the theme for this month, which is - Fruit!

Of course, here in Australia we are in the middle of summer - a crazy wet and wild summer in Sydney, but summer none the less.  I heard on the news tonight that Sydney has already received around 225ml of rain this year.  Plus we've had a number of 40 degree days, which is unusual for us as well.  It seems to mean that many of my plants are looking a bit bedraggled, either drowned or burnt, but the weeds are thriving! 

At the beginning of January I had my nieces and nephew come to stay,  My eldest niece is quite interested in gardening, and asked lots of questions about how to grow different herbs and vegetables.  My youngest niece told me that she liked my garden as it was just like "going to the shops" - this was after she helped me cook dinner and we picked the capsicum, chillies, oregano, and lettuce fresh from the garden.  Interestingly, while they were staying we watched an episode of Gardening Australia (I was quite amazed that an 8 year old, 12 year old and 15 year old would happily watch a gardening show, but that must be the power of Costa!).  And from that episode I learnt something I had never realised - that any plant which produces a seed bearing product that can be eaten is considered to be a fruit.  

By that definition, not only are your traditional "fruits" such as citrus, stone fruit, berries and others included in this list but also tomatoes (ok so I knew that one), capsicum, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, and pumpkin - the list goes on......

 So it turns out I have quite a number of fruits in my garden.  This month the tomatoes have continued to grow and flower, although I transplanted a number of my plants and they are yet to fruit - also they have been overtaken by the weeds.

My eggplant has produced it's second fruit, and I think it looks so lovely.

My capsicum plant produced a few more good size fruit, although is a little bare now.  I did learn though from A Fresh Legacy recently that it may be worth keeping my capsicum plants through a two year cycle, and they may produce better in the second year.  So I will be trying that theory out, and will let you know how I go next year.

My raspberry plant has also been recently transplanted to a new spot, and although no fruit have appeared the plant certainly looks a lot more healthy, so perhaps next year will be a better year?

The cucumber and zucchini plants have succumbed to powdery mildew, which might be to be expected in this kind of weather.

The chillies always look nice and bright and this year I planted a few different types.

My lemon tree does have some fruit on it, but I need to take them off as it is still only young.  And my passionfruit vine is growing brilliantly, but as it was only planted a few months ago I will wait until next season to hopefully get some fruit.

Apart from my actual fruit, I like to think the rest of the garden is still "fruitful" - the spinach just keeps on growing ,my apple mint plant is going great guns, and as I discussed in a recent post my lettuces have been a bit variable in their growth but are growing none the less.  Plus my marigolds that have been planted for companion planting with my tomatoes (they are supposed to repel white fly  - even if it doesn't make any difference I always think it looks pretty!) and other plants are flowering away and making the garden look quite cheerful - it an overgrown and weedy kind of way.

This one is called apple mint.  I haven't actually tried it yet!

My poor tomatoes are being over run with weeds
As usual, my to-do list is dominated by weeding!  Plus I really need to fertilise all my pots, as a lot of the plants are starting to look a bit droopy - I think with so much rain a lot of goodness has probably been washed away.

My compost bin (which is a pretty cheap one to be fair) has started to fall apart and so I am considering relocating my compost - however I'm just not sure where it is best to go so not sure when this will happen.

I'm also considering redoing my whole sprinkler system.  While it works well to water my pots and plants, particularly when I am away often with work, I think the sprinklers are not the best way to get water to the plants and I need to look at putting in drippers instead.  This will also protect my verandah, which seems to be getting wet a lot and the wood is starting to look a bit worse for wear.

We will see how much I actually get done when it comes around to next months post!  Happy gardening to everyone and I look forward to seeing all the different and wonderful fruits for this month.


  1. Your garden is super productive at the moment. I love all your chilli varieties. The weeds have gone nuts at our place too and that is also right near the top of my "to do" list. Happy gardening, have a great month

  2. Thanks Kyrstie - the rain and heat do make for a fairly lush garden but wow, the weeds! I still am yet to produce a "glut" of anything but I'm happy with my few bits and pieces. :-)

  3. I too am battling weeds, especially the dreaded couch grass. It's so great that you are inspiring your nieces to get involved in gardening.

    1. Oh weeds are the bane of my existence. I've just tried out some vinegar on them and will see if that works - it's mostly all in between the pavers so vinegar won't kill anything else (I hope!)

  4. Apple mint! Now that sounds interesting - do let us know what it tastes like and what you would use it on/in

    1. The problem is I don't really like mint! But I have a bad habit of just buying plants that seem interesting - and remembering later that I don't care for the produce. But it does smell nice, just as it sounds - like apple and mint! I'll do some research for uses.

  5. Damn those weeds!!! They are growing like crazy here too. My marigold efforts seem to have been in vain as I had 2 tomatoes now with fruit fly in them. Though I think they were left to ripen a bit too long. Im picking them green and ripening them inside now. Thankfully like yours, they sure do put on a lovely display. I stumbled upon your blog the either day, I can't remember how but I saw you were from Rozelle, which is where my brother in law is from and couldn't help but looking in further. I love that I have found another fellow blogger/ gardener just having a go!! I must look into this link up/ garden share a little bit more. Cheers Elisha @ The Windmill Paddock

    1. Hi Elisha! Glad you have had a look at my blog and my rather pathetic attempts at gardening - I'm definitely just having a go! I haven't had enough tomatoes grow this year to seem to even bother the fruit flies but my marigolds just make me feel cheerful.
      You should definitely have a look at the Garden Share Collective link. It's on the last Monday of the month and you can link in on either A Fresh Legacy or Rosehips and Rhubarb. I think the link is also up for about 5 days. There is a Facebook group too, I think it is a closed group but I'm sure you can apply to join it and then Kate or Kyrstie will add you in. It's lots of fun - most of the time I feel totally inadequate but it's good to learn anyway :-)