You never know what to expect to find in the garden when you return from a week away. Will it have withered with neglect? Not so this time. The only misfortune was a fallen tomato plant which had crashed due to the weighty trusses of fruit.
It seems okay, and I’ll leave it where it is to prevent any damage. One truss of tomatoes broke off, however. Not surprising as it weighed one and a half kilos.
The tomatoes in the hanging basket were doing well.
Some of the salad greens were bolting in the vertical planter.
The beans, peas and chard were flourishing under their domes. Scarlet runner beans were heading skywards and flowering profusely. Meantime, the sweet peas (the ‘scramble’ to the right) were past their best and the artichokes ‘hats’ had faded from purple to brown.
The red salvia seemed to have doubled in size.
The Japanese anemones were crowding around the sapientia rose – and me, as I walked up the path.
The greenhouse is proving its worth. My long tee shirts are useful for collecting tomatoes.
Pockets are okay too for a few tomatoes, but you have to be careful not to forget the collected ones – or accidentally squash them.
In the last few days the number of ripe tomatoes has increased.
Every vase has been called up to accommodate the sweet peas.
Yesterday’s ferocious nor’west wind threatened the second flush of roses, so I rescued this Blueberry Hill. These roses are all on one stem. The abutilon flowers were blown off by the wind.
Popcorn is broody again. She is all fluffed up, giving the impression of an abundance of feathers.
If there was sound with these photos, you would hear her muttering darkly about how cruel I am to shut her out of the nesting box. And she doesn’t let up.
In the wider backyard of our city, people are gathering for the Backyard Buskers’ Festival. Formerly the “World Buskers Festival”, border restrictions mean no international performers this year. A circus trio was entertaining a large crowd in the city today, and another pitch I passed was full of people waiting for the next performance.
We are not unaware of how fortunate we are to be able to live like this now. On Saturday, at a Christchurch Symphony Orchestra performance in Victoria Square, I noticed a person on a balcony of the nearby Managed Isolation hotel. A poignant reminder of how lucky we are – for now.
The next day, having ascertained that the greenhouse could be viable, I bought plants which I normally wouldn’t purchase for at least another month. Here is the greenhouse, complete with cover, and with two tomato plants in the ground. I have to wait a little longer for the “lunch-box” pepper plants I prefer to be available.
In pots on either side I’ve planted a “tumbling tom” tomato with which I have had success before, and basil. There is also a pot in which I sowed salad-mix seeds. Two containers of seedlings – sweet peas and lobelia – are safe on another shelf ready for planting outside. The terracotta-coloured pot has a chain attached and I’m considering planting something edible in this pot and hanging it from the ridge pole to make use of the upper space.
We had a frost the morning after I planted, so I was pleased to see that the plants seemed unaffected by the cold outside.
To take this photo, I had to wait for the condensation to clear. It was warm inside the greenhouse. When the sun is on it, I unzip the flap and put the piece of trellis (leaning on the left) lengthwise across the doorway to keep the hens out. If it is warm enough and the moisture on the plastic has evaporated, I roll up the door and secure it with the ties.
“Northwesterlies, gusty at times” are forecast. The greenhouse, although nestled into the fence, is not secured – so fingers crossed it stands its ground.