Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Mid-Spring Garden

What a changeable and unpredictable time of year this can be. Proof of this is seen in this month’s weather statistics.

Lowest temp: -3.1 degrees (celsius)
Highest temp: 31.8 degrees
Total rainfall: 31.4 mm
Highest single day of rainfall 17.4 mm

Additionally we’ve had a few days that dropped around zero – one of which gave my squash a bit of a shake up, but despite a little frost burn I think they may survive.

While I don’t have any recent photos, there are some very encouraging signs in the garden. The onion leaves are looking very healthy, so hopefully that will be matched with good sized bulbs to harvest in a few months.

The Broad Beans I planted early in winter have grown well and are now developing an impressive number of pods. They are still immature at the moment, but that didn’t stop me from trying some of the very young beans which tasted a little like fresh peas. However their initial sweetness was marked by a slightly dry and bitter after effect.
Before the pods developed I was surprised at what a pleasant fragrance the flowers had.

We’ve also been raiding the kohlrabi. Overall these plants have been a disappointment, most of them failing to develop a ball-shaped stem. However, we have tried eating some of the fatter stems and they have been very tasty. We’ve had it both raw and cooked after peeling away the tougher outside.
Raw it tasted like a very mild radish – though it totally lacked the moistness of the radish. Cooked it had the texture of a zucchini, but I’m not sure how to describe the flavour, Gloria thought it resembled turnip.
While we’ve enjoyed eating the few that we’ve grown, I have found them not to be worth the space (and time) they have taken up in the garden so I doubt if I would grow them again.

This year we have also had an impressive display of Irises around our mailbox. These plants have been there since we moved into the house but they have never amounted to anything. There would be an occasional single flower but the colour was an insipid grey/mauve.
I assume their current success must be a result of the generous rain fall we’ve had over recent months. We now have a small forest of Irises that have continually flowered for a couple of weeks, and even the colour seems to have improved. (I'll try to get a decent photo of them later)

Another impressive flower display has been given to us by the Altissimo rose along our side fence. At the moment it is the only rose with an abundance of flowers. The others are covered in buds, but very few have yet opened. Hopefully we’ll get to enjoy them before the real heat of summer arrives and dries them up.

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