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  • Writer's pictureToni Kenyon

August in an Antipodes Vegetable Garden

August is the final month of winter down here in New Zealand. It's also a time when we have a ridiculous amount of rain and it's cold and dreary--at least that's how it seems to me at the moment.

It's a time of year when I'm aching for the warmth of spring to begin to show itself--even if it does still feel as if it's too early for the daffodils to be above ground.

These are from my front garden.

They sit at the base of one of my plum trees.

Usually this space is covered in a thick layer of comfrey leaves, but the comfrey's died down over the winter months. It won't be long until the bright green shoots begin to show themselves again with the first flush of the warmer weather.

In the meantime, it's terribly slow in the rest of the vegetable and herb garden.

Pretty much the only thing that's growing prolifically in my garden herb wise is my flat leaved parsley. I feel as if I have acres of it.

A few Calendula flowers are beginning to bloom now and the odd patch of mint has started sprouting--no doubt due to the extra rain that we've had. I'll enjoy the mint while I can because a lot of it gets terrible rust during the summer months due to the stress of the heat of summer.

My mustard lettuce has been giving a great show of large purple leaves over the winter and it's cheered me up no end when I step out into the bog that is the back garden.

Chickweed is taking over most of the vegetable gardens, but I don't mind that, it keeps the soil covered and it's also nice to use fresh in late winter/early spring salads. I've been drying plenty of greens (mustard lettuce, chickweed, dandelion) crumbling the dried leaves and storing in jars. I use the mixed greens in stews and bakes and it's a great way to get bitter greens into your diet--without the rest of the family knowing what they're eating ;-)

I'm about to get my seed packets out, take stock and begin the exciting time of planning and sowing for the coming productive months in the garden.

I'll keep you posted on how I go, what I plant and whether or not the planting has been successful.

Yours in love & gratitude,

Toni x

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