My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Surfeit of Green (and why I love my husband)

I love my husband because he drives home from work to help me start my car when it has a dead flat battery and I'm due to (wo)man the quilt exhibition. I love my husband because the battery was so past it, he couldn't jump start it so he put the wee ride-on lawnmower battery in instead and it worked. I love my husband because he then dropped the kids off at his mother's on his way back to work so I wouldn't be (too) late. (I also love him for other reasons too!)

I've just uploaded a stack of pics from the exhibition here.

When I got home I raided the garden for greenery. I have pumpkin thugs so I took a cue from Ali and tried steamed pumpkin shoots. The kids loved them dipped in soya sauce. I thought they were ok but I preferred my green beans, and my husband said, "Hmmmm."

So on to the actual garden, I thought it was time for an update. In the picture above, take note of the vege bed to the right. That's what greeted me on about half of my first vege garden when I came back from holiday. I'm proud to say that that little strip is all I have left to weed.

This large compost heap is what has become of the weeds, plus another little pile that I've chucked under a tree because it has kikuyu grass in it and I'm trying to keep that out of my garden. Kikuyu grass will just continue growing in a compost pile and grow all through it, grrrr.

Amaranth - how pretty. And those pink flower shoots are meant to get a whole heap bigger and become big weeping seed heads. What do you do with amaranth? It's a kind of a grain - I'll let you know how I get on.

These are a few of the beds I've weeded. For quick results I bought a few punnets of lettuce, spinach, silverbeet, and seed potatoes. The front ones are pak choi seedlings that were self-seeded, but in the middle of the path so I've transplanted them and they're not sulking at all. I've covered all the paths with cardboard because weeding them took just as long as weeding the beds!

This is the second vege garden. It was a rooster raising pen and they ate all the greenery, pooped everywhere and then took a permanent holiday in our freezer. I dug it up, planted it and oops, it seems to have 'got away on me'! See below for what it looked like when I first planted it!

Ha! How tame and deceiving those little plants can be! Still, we're eating kale, courgettes, beans, coriander and potatoes (and a few pumpkin shoots) out of it. We've get sweet corn, tomatoes, pumpkins, onions and capsicums still growing. And sunflowers for show and chook treats.

Next job in the garden is to finish the reclamation from weeds, finish covering the paths with cardboard, start off some seeds and finish planting out my beds. But not tomorrow, it's meant to rain. Alot.

By that way - my heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the massive floods that just seem to keep on coming in Australia. My family are all safe and well so far. Kia kaha.


  1. I am sooo envious of your garden! Perth (unlike the rest of Australia) is in drought and although my grapes and figs are producing over abundently, the rest of the garden is suffering from lack of water and heat stress (37 today!). Husbands are such useful creatures...happy anniversary to mine for yesterday!

  2. I love mine too especially now he has decided that a garden needs to be kept :) I only wish our greens would grow like yours!

    We have our very first exhibition coming up for our arty farty group. We have only existed for two years but we already seem to have made quite a lot of impact.

    viv in dunedin

  3. Oh yes, your garden is a bit fabulous. I'll bet things grow beautifully over there too, such lovely rich soil, I'd be taller if raised in NZ!

    I'm glad the children liked the shoots, mine wouldn't have a bar of them, neither would their father.

    Have fun weeding!

  4. Very productive!!My vege garden only has some self-sown potatoes and so is now a nursery for trees I've brought up from Dad's!

  5. Very cool husband he would have earned lots of brownie points :) Your vege garden is very impressive, I am shamed to say my vege garden consists of a pot of chives on my kitchen bench! Perhaps this year... though we are seriously thinking of building a chicken coop to have a few chickens in the city :)

  6. Your garden is lovely,I wish we could grow vegs like those!how pretty.I am following your blog, you are welcome to follow mine as well,Blessings jane

  7. They say that men show their love by doing things, so your Husband really loves you! Tell him I think he's lovely. PS garden looks good too.

  8. What a good man he is! A real gem. It's all those little things that mean a whole lot isn't it.

    Your garden is thriving all right! I join you in mutual dislike of kikuyu ... oh I just hate it - I swear it sends out runners overnight ;-) I used to put my weedings of the stuff in a thick black plastic bag and leave it out to "cook" for a month or so in the sun - result: a nice squishy mixture which I'd pop into an old piece of cloth (like a giant tea bag), sit that in a bucket of water, dilute the strainings and use as a fertilizer tea.

    By the way, your quilt turned out lovely too.


  9. Looking gorgeous. So nice to read about your doings again.


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