The past two years has seen Spring come a little late to our garden here in West Gippsland. Last year, the fire was even on for an extra month, and more firewood needed to be un-enthusiastically collected.
What's happening down the Red Dirt Road....
We thought we were safe in heading across the seas and enjoying Ireland’s Autumn. We told ourselves silly things like “Oh the garden will probably stay dormant for the bulk of the time we are away and it may be only a little untidy.”
The plan was that if the garden stayed dormant then we would be home in time before the dreaded weeds took over. We were too cocky. Alas, of course, Spring came bounding in across the hills with great force while we were away.
By the time we pulled into the driveway at home it had been springing for a good couple of weeks. Weeds to the knee, tall grass and all the late daffs blooming. Every single vegetable had bolted to seed. It was apparent that Spring had been here for a little while.
I estimate that we mowed the lawns three times in our first week back and we are now still getting on top of the weeds. The vegetable patches are being newspapered, manured and topped up with soil and finally I have planted the first of the summer seedlings in the greenhouse.
I feel a little out of whack because we are behind the Spring.We are catching up to the season, constantly finding another weed to pull, the grass is growing in a matter of a couple of days. We are enjoying warm days with a nitrogenous rainy day or two in between that ensures green lush growth. It feels like garden maintenance is a round the clock job this time of year, but it is nice to spend days outside in the sunshine.
I must admit it was very pleasant to re-visit Autumn over the other side of the world, but we are now scrambling around the garden to try and get on top of all those jobs I would have attended to while I was paying close attention to the change in season. Now while the garden is bursting into life, so are we!
On the flip-side of course is all the good things that happened out there in our absence. The flowers all grew well in the greenhouse, we had set with a spray timer. The bananas weathered the frost, and the chickens kicked out their first eggs, currently there's a-lot of quiches are being made.
It’s nice to be home to abundant blue skies. We are already dreaming of summer veggies, preserves and bottling. I am now planning on planting my new flower garden out the front. You can keep up with it's progress on the instagram page.
Our trip away is now distant memories of the many castle gardens, walled gardens, convent garden, peat lands, eco conservation sites, the wilderness, green forests, designer gardens, kids garden, and even gardens under construction that we visited. We also happened upon Ireland’s oldest grapevine very unexpectedly. Ahhh, the golden light that is Ireland in Autumn was magical.
I look forward to telling you all about these and more as we get stuck back into the garden and as I get stuck back into writing blogs, articles and features.
Happy planting until then!