Spring Gardens


Midway into winter, gardening activities have geared down with slow plant growth and limited harvesting.  The glorious exception is our green manure which is now prolific and occupies more than half our beds.  The combination of lupin and oats has produced dense growth overtaking any lingering weeds, and with the lupins doing their damnedest for the planet through nitrogen sequestration.   The green manure will shortly be cut down, cut up, and folded into the top soil, optimising its contribution to soil enrichment and structure.  We will maintain some beds with the harvested green manure as surface mulch into which we will directly plant vegetable seedlings.  The grief at cutting down the blue haze of lupins in their prime (in order to halt seed production and loss of nutrients) is offset by the expectation of future soil fertility and increased food production. 


We are now committed to maintaining one third of our beds at any one time in green manure throughout the year (the accepted standard for organic cultivation of soil).  We will require to source other seasonal seeds and grains to achieve this, which will provide additional interest within the food garden.


Our harvesting is now limited to lettuce from the nursery, the last of what was a bumper carrot crop, some poor orphan cabbages, and to some recent turnips, and ofcourse the faithful spinach.  The open sowings of beetroot, carrots, and turnips have survived extreme cold (including frost) and torrential rains, as have the leeks and spring onions planted out at the beginning of winter.


Regrettably, we had no olives to harvest this year.   It would seem our Mission olives fruit only  biennially.  So, we went off to pick locally  (Calamata) and these have now been successfully  cured by Makka using the “Greek method”, which involves purging with salt over many weeks, then washing, oiling and flavouring with herbs.   They appear in the jar as diminutive prunes but taste special.  They are now present in Matilda’s salads and are for sale in the Green Café.


The Woodland is now in its winter splendour.  The ponds are all full and covered in waterbloemijies.  The trees and shrubs are verdant and throwing off colours.   Bulbs are surfacing.  We await more fresh growth and the flourish of our geophytes.  The Heap is slowly taking its own shape and more trees will be planted on and around it as resources permit.  The Labyrinth commands increasing attention and careful maintenance by Louise and helpers.


The latest addition to Lynedoch Gardens is now complete as a garden for the After-School Care Project.  The previous environment of the building now has young  shade trees, and is contained by a fence of shrubs (the ever-reliable Tecomaria).  There is a small wagon- wheel garden for vegetables and an open space with stumps and wood-chip which can serve as an outdoor class-room.  The young people in the Project have worked to bring this about and will now be responsible for the Garden’s care.   The rehabilitation was assisted financially byImageImageImageImageImageImage


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    gyronesa said,

    Absolutely stunning! 🙂

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