Winter veggie garden

We are in the middle of winter here, and fortunately we have escaped the long stretches of severe frosts we experienced last year, which crippled many of my crops. Today the sky is blue, and my veggie garden is bathed in the gentle warmth of the winter sun.

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I can honestly say my veggie garden is one of my most favourite places to be. I like to peruse the aisles like a magpie, checking to see what’s happening, what’s ready to pick, is the nettle getting out of hand (again). Sometimes I just sit on the log near our fire pit (nothing glamorous – just a patch in the dirt where we burn stuff) and have a coffee with a book or notepad and pen and jot down how I would like next seasons garden to be. But it is seriously a messy, unkempt space. Weeds grow wherever they please, nettle grows in commercial proportions, there are no garden bed edges, and I often, purposefully, allow plants go to flower. And I am sure, because of this level of neglect, it has become a thriving micro ecosystem, offering food for a myriad of flying insects, not least of all bees, and ourselves. It is home to grubs and slugs and a million snails, and likely things I can’t see as well. It is vibrant, productive and alive.

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I don’t thin carrots until they are ready to eat!
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Savoy cabbages in all their crinkly beauty
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Broccolini flowers make excellent food for bees
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I let the fennel to go to seed, and now baby fennel have sprouted at their base

It was so hard not to include all the photos I took in the garden, and clearly I didn’t try that hard! It is just so uplifting to see your efforts being rewarded. I shouldn’t be so surprised really, plants and seeds want to grow. Put them in the ground, provide them with good soil, sun and water, and have faith that they will grow. You will be rewarded with produce that taste even better that what you buy at a farmer’s markets – because you grew them!

 

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Radicchio – so vibrant
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Rocket gone to flower
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A magical view from our garden
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An asian green gone to flower long before it matured – I have not mastered the art of asian green growing
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Deliciousness pulled straight out of the ground
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Taking food back to the kitchen

I love seeing photos of peoples gardens – it is just so inspiring. Like a Julien Dupré painting, photos of gardens invoke so much life and honesty. There is magic in the everyday, the stuff of life. And there is nothing more perfectly ordinary than growing what you eat.

I’d love to hear what’s going on in your garden, so please share.

 

6 thoughts on “Winter veggie garden

  1. your vege garden sounds magical! i have a small vege garden growing on the chook pen mainly for the chooks to pick at through their fence, have a small tank down there to keep them watered; the rest of my gardens have pretty much died off (except for the surviving trees) our town water supply has gotten to an all time low & we can not water more than twice a week here, so i keep my pots watered & just hope that my garden will forgive me; i have plans to change many over to more drought tolerant plants; salvias, herbs, geraniums, etc. it’s just too dry.
    lovely post
    thanx for sharing

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    1. Hi Selina – I’m sorry to hear it’s so dry where you are. We’re having a ‘green drought’ here, but I am fortunate that we have access to bore water (and the levels are good) to water the veggie garden. We don’t need to water in winter as the cold seems to set the moisture in the ground, but summer is a different story. I have heard wicking beds are effective in the dry, but it is much nicer to work in the soil.

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  2. Paula, yours is the kind of garden I love, and very similar to the garden I used to have. Gardens should be a bit wild and should always be a place to sit and watch. Love your photos and the way you write about your garden. It’s obvious you love pottering around there.

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    1. Hi Rhonda! Thankyou for your comment. I do love pottering around and the garden happens to have some fantastic views! A happy place to be in. I do love your garden now though – it is so productive and that soil is so rich!

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  3. I enjoyed reading the description of your veggie garden and viewing the accompanying photos. I grow nettles, as well, and some people think I’m a bit crazy but they have many uses. There’s not a lot growing in my veggie garden at present but I’m preparing beds for when the warmer seasons arrive.

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    1. Thankyou for your kind comment Robyn. We have been fortunate this year – it has been a mild winter. Last year we were hit with a month straight of -9 to -14 mornings. Froze virtually everything! As for nettle, I don’t purposefully grow it – it’s just more determined than I am!

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