Asparagus is a strange plant. I remember the pretty fronds of Asparagus Ferns which looked so old fashioned when I was young. That’s really what asparagus is. The spears, if not picked when young, develop into ferny fronts. However the spears look so strange sticking out of the soil by themselves – so bare – and you just snap them off at ground level.
I have asparagus growing both in the raised garden bed and in the side extended colorbond fence bed. I’m sure it’s not supposed to have spears now, but I think trimming the old fronds and feeding and watering them has brought them to life. Anyway, it’s most welcome and each day I pick some spears and add them to the collection until I have enough for a food creation. There’s quite a healthy crop at the moment which needs attention most days.
Last night it was Asparagus Crepes – just a white sauce and a little parmesan added to the steamed fresh spears on paper thin crepes. Yum. The asparagus plants are just over a year old which is very young, so I have high hopes for the future. Once established, asparagus is supposed to crop for decades!
Spring has sprung here in Kandos and last weekend was perfect weather (although we definitely need rain).
The Convent gardens are coming back to life. I’m happy to see a number of the plants I though had died off over Winter with the frosts, springing back. Remembering that this is my first Spring in the garden, it’s lovely to watch the young trees I’ve planted blossom and come into leaf for the first time. The trees and plants are all still quite small and dwarfed by the building but I’m sure will fill out over the next few years and fit in well.
This weekend was busy with my friends G and L visiting. G and I attended Cheesemaking workshops at Mudgee, as described in my last post. We also did a bit of gardening. The ponies next door seem to have been moved on and we took advantage of utilising some of the prolific horse poo in the garden. The dogs are enjoying this addition much more than they should! Whilst in the paddock, we noticed another local taking advantage of the wonderful sunshine.
Another adventure was harvesting asparagus growing wild on the roadside. Whilst it was very hard work to dig up the crowns, I now have a number in the side bed and am hoping for a harvest in future.
Life is a little chaotic at present as I shuffle between Sydney where the house is going on the market in the next week, and Kandos where there is still lots of work being done. I’m hopeful life will settle down a little once the house is actually on the market and even moreso when permanently residing at the Convent (which I’m sure will be the case).
The bulbs have been great value. At a time when so little else flowers, the bulbs are not just cheery, but always a surprise and at times spectacular. I look forward to adding more (why didn’t I plant any Bluebells?) and seeing my foundation bulbs naturalise and multiply over the years. I’m also starting to see the importance of colour placement. No mistakes so far, but it is rewarding when colour schemes work in practice.
This week the Hyacinths flowered. Last weekend there was just a hint of colour in tight tucked-up buds. This weekend was a spectacular show. They must have popped up so quickly. I bought these from Tesselaars and deliberately chose blue but had no idea how deep and vibrant they would be.
The Daffodils are growing and many are flowering. I chose a few different varieties which all seem to be thriving. The Snowflakes are always a delight and have been the first up and are still going strong. The Freesias all have lots of buds but are not quite there yet. I’m looking forward to them as they are spread under the Catoneaster.
As for the roses, well after pruning all the old ones back hard last weekend and planting six standard Icebergs, this weekend I planted eight new roses, mainly from bare root stock (yes, I’m learning terms and actually doing this stuff). Most are classics and I try to keep the list updated on an earlier Rose Blog. I’ll slow down on the roses soon, but still need to get a few more “Saint” ones to finish off the collection (at least for this year). I can’t imagine i won’t always have new ones I want to add as I learn more (two serious Rose books are on their way from Amazon).
I’m also ready to commence planting the long awaited ‘taties. This weekend I only started with Desiree in a potato bag, but also have Pontiac ready to go. You need to have some growth from the ‘eyes’ and I’ve left Nicola, Kipfler and King Edward potatoes in a nice protected sunny spot in the kitchen so hopefully can get some more bags started.
The other notable editions were two Asparagus crowns and two Rhubarbs in the side ‘Pumpkin Patch’, which is now a healthy mulching zone.
I’d like to think I will slow down soon, but know that I really want to get the front wall garden bed more established … and the weather is so good, it’s easy to spend time out in the garden. The dogs also spent all weekend outside with me, although I tend to think that Tango was more interested in the Dynamic Lifter. I know the roses will be rewarding just like the bulbs in that the new growth and flowers are so obvious to watch develop. I keep being told you can’t kill a rose. Fingers crossed I won’t be the exception to the rule. I look forward to the time when I post the blooms from each of these.
On the downside – still no painters, but looks promising for next week and my bedroom side toilets/drains are blocked : (
On the good side – which is the bigger side, lots of progress. A trip to Mudgee resulted in some great new plants, trebled with a Diggers’ Club delivery and a few relocated Sydney plants, so lots of plantings for the front wall. This is a huge area, so I’m mainly putting in the big plants and then starting to dig out the areas that will have the mid and smaller fillers. It’s already starting to take shape.
A flowering Plum was added to the front garden which means the old shrubs have now been replaced with 6 deciduous trees – 5 of which will change colour and blossom.
I also started up my “plant nursery” with putting aside an area for propagating cuttings – starting with the Convent roses and adding in the original geraniums and some Salvias which look cutting-friendly. Fingers crossed!
D has started undercoating the side verandah and it already looks so different! Very exciting to think of how much better the place will look with some TLC.
The expanded Pumpkin patch which was to mulch itself in the lead up to Summer has already been partly planted out with a Globe Artichoke, Rhubarb and an Asparagus crown which I am told should be a faster track to Asparagus cultivation. I’ve only taken a small area and will endeavour to leave space for the vegetables it was originally intended for. A neighbour mentioned wild asparagus growing on a roadside as a faster route to croppable asparagus – I must find out where this is.
I managed to get wire over the top of the Grotto for the climbing roses to have something to hang on to. The bulbs are so close to flowering. I hope they last long enough for me to enjoy them and don’t come and go in the few days I’m away! I’m now at least able to tell what is coming up. I also installed two solar spot lights in front of the Grotto which are currently charging. Not sure if this will look pretentious but only plan to use them for special occasions (including miracles).
Lastly, I dragged some of the old sleepers from the replaced section of the fence around to a fairly unstructured garden bed to give it an edge. Even the small sleepers are unbelievably heavy. I was really pleased with this, even if it will mean some work in digging up and preparing the garden bed – although it’s always good to have another bed to plant in.
All in all a good weekend, although the list doesn’t seem to be getting any shorter. I came home to two boxes of perennials from Tesselaars which will put me back to work and I’m hoping the slip for collection from the Post Office may be my long-awaited ‘taties from Diggers.