Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Spring in Pop's garden

Ok, so it's not just Pop's garden at the back of the house - there's also the back of a friends property (1/2 acre block or something). I should clarify that over the years my parents have contributed to both the garden in the front yard (now mostly "Granny's garden") and garden in the backyard (now mostly "Pop's garden") and, as a family, we all benefit from both gardens. The biggest thing this spring is that I have never seen so much produce coming from gardens in this area.

It could be the spring rains (or climate change?), because I do not remember spring being as wet and productive as this back when I was in high school. Granted, that was more than 15 years ago (and that makes me feel old!), so my memory of spring around here might be wrong.

But it's hard to shake the memory of years of drought, water restrictions, and vegetable gardens let go because of the dry conditions. I would never have guessed that there would be so much flat leaf parsley growing in our friends garden that we could have massive bowls of tabouli week after week after week.

And then there are the sugar snaps! With about 8-10 plants between the two gardens we're able to snack to our stomachs content AND bring home plenty for lunch or dinner. (Since writing this sentence, the sugar snaps in Pop's garden have been pulled up, because they producing fewer pea pods and were developing a white fungus-type thing on the older leaves. Their removal now makes way for something new.)

The weeds are pretty too... Abundant because of the rain and warm weather, and some cause problems for people prone to hay fever, but the purples and yellows, whites and blues... All with a rich green background... (these yellow ones (turnip weed) are all over the place and I really like them, even if they might be the worst offenders for allergy suffers.) So, yes, the weeds are doing well, but so are the sugar snaps, carrots, cabbages, spinach, and parsley.

Then there are Pop's chickens - he has three Australorps. Worthy of their own post, they are excited to see us every morning when we go down to let them out of their hutch and when we arrive in the evenings, they run towards us, half expecting a treat, which they often get before being safely locked up in their hutch. They are good egg layers, laying 2 or 3 eggs most days, which is perfect for us so long as we're not eating eggs every day. 

The eggs are pretty, with each chook laying a distinctive size and shape (that pale one was a one-off and before we were able to identify which chook laid which egg).  A little while ago, Pop, Daddy and Jimmy moved the chicken coop and as I may have mentioned, Jimmy really enjoyed helping with the move - he generally enjoys taking part in whatever activity is happening in the garden.

One thing Jimmy wants to help with, but has trouble doing so, is hanging out the washing. The hills hoist is just too high and handing out pegs loses its novelty pretty quickly. I don't mind. He has years of doing his own washing ahead of him, but he may not have a set of navel orange trees providing an intoxicating aromatic experience a few weeks a year. The smell of orange blossoms is part of my childhood and spring in Warwick, along with wisteria, jasmine, and honeysuckle. (Can you spot the cute little spider?)

Currently I am looking forward to the broad beans (they're just starting to produce pods and I'm hanging out for enough to make this for breakfast soon), tomatoes, zucchinis, and the coming crop of basil that will become (a year's worth of) pesto, while still enjoying carrots, parsley, and more lettuce and spinach than I have eaten in a very long time. I'll post some photos of Granny's garden some time soon.

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