Yesterday was spent doing a lot of weeding through the flower gardens and planting more seedlings. I ordered a box of cottage flowers from Awapuni in the Black Friday sale so have those to plant out. In this lot there's Aster, Lupin, more Petunias, two varieties of Cosmos, and Delphinium.
As well as the flower gardens around the edges of my four raised vegetables gardens I also have a huge flower garden at the front of the house. I'll be honest and say I haven't posted photos from there as I can't do it without showing the house in the photo. Living in a small town it would be pretty easy for anyone to work out where I live so a little reluctant when living by myself.
I questioned whether investing so much time into planting flowers and establishing cottage gardens would pay off in the vegetable patch, but I'm almost positive it is. I'm seeing not only the usual increase in bees, but other benefical insects too. The biggest suprise has been the beautiful ladybirds and praying mantis.
As I went around taking photos of the garden this morning I decided to add up the different varieties I've got in the garden. I reached 30! The only one I didn't plant myself over the past couple of months are the Agapanthus. They were already here when I brought the property, but the rest was bark!! Oh how I hate bark and kikuyu grass! This is also excluding the extra plants still to pop up from sprinkling Yates Wild Flower seeds and the Bee Pasture Mix.
Here's a little list of what I've planted over the past couple of months - Alyssum, Lobelia, Pansies, Nasturtium, Roses, Hydrangea, Calendula, Sweet Peas, Wisteria, Marigolds, Poppy, California Poppy, Star Jasmine, Cornflower, Fox Gloves, Sunflowers, Aquila, Canterbury Bells, Sweet William, Snap Dragons, Lavender, Lupin, Petunia, Aster, Cosmos, Delphinium, Purple Tansy, Zinnia, and Statice.
The next area I want to work on is increasing the amount of herbs in the garden. Currently, I only have Basil, Parsley, Rosemary, Mint, Thyme, and Pineapple Sage.
This weekend, for the first time I think I managed to get in and out of Mitre 10 without buying a single plant haha. I went in to buy some of Yates Nature's Way Fungus Spray, a couple of boxes of Quash and some new garden gloves and by some miracle only came out with those items! One of the roses has black spot and I've noticed some early mildew on one of the cucumbers so I'll treat both with this product. Welcome to humid Northland and constant light showers!
Other than that the garden is looking really healthy! I managed to pick a few courgettes and cucumber yesterday, which I passed on to my grandparents. They've been coming in during the week to pick silverbeet as they need it too. The chickens at school have also had a decent feed! Luke's radishes and some of the lettuces are ready to come out so I've got some more Cos lettuce, a red loose leaf lettuce, and some rocket to go in. I've never been great at succession planting, especially when it comes to the salad garden so I'm trying to get that sorted this year as we have salad with most meals over summer.
The post peelings are all lined up for next week, which I'm really excited about!! The plants have had a good feed of Yates Thrive Natural Fish and Seaweed now too. I started that job earlier in the week, but often run out of time during the week days to get those extra jobs ticked off. Three days left of the school term to go for us. Roll on summer holidays and more time in the garden! The next big job on my list is creating a BBQ area. That and buying a decent hose!