What A Summer!

Gosh what a summer it has been here in West Melton, Selwyn district of Canterbury; we have had a total mixture of hot, cold, wet & dry. Mostly hot and wet which has been great for all the herbs, vegetables and fruit but also great for the weeds and grass! I only mowed our grass Friday night and now four days later after a weekend of constant rain it has just grown straight back and I need to mow again! Along with mowing it also constant weeding, usually by this time of year it has eased off a little, but not this year. At least the vegetable garden is producing well. I have pumpkins that are growing like triffids and have had to cut back some of the runners even though they have small fruit on it is better for them to be cut off and get the plants energy focusing on the pumpkins already established, of which there are many, so if all else fails in the garden we will be living on pumpkins all winter. My tomatoes in the green house have grown well but need more sunny days to ripen, there are plenty there they are just green. I have cut away many of the lower leave to let light in and keep the air flowing nicely so let's hope they will ripen soon. The ones in the garden has just gone rogue on me! They were all in neat rows ready to be attached to climbing frames and bamboo canes, the rain came and they have just burst their seams and now no assemblance of order just total anarchy in the tomato patch! I have decided to leave them to do their own thing as I am only going to break the plants at this stage and cause damage so best left alone to flower and hopefully fruit.


Rouge Tomatoes

All the herbs have done well this summer so have managed to harvest and dry many of them. My Holy Basil (Sacred Basil) is doing very well growing in the greenhouse and will be cutting it back later today to take to the drying room and dry out on the racks so I can use it for teas. It's a lovely gentle herb and wonderful as a pick-me-up in the afternoons or any time for that matter.

January has been busy with garden tours and two herbal tea workshops via Selwyn District Council. It was wonderful to meet everyone at Darfield Library and the new Rolleston Library, which gave those that came a little taster into herbal teas and to advise about the benefits of the herbs we were tasting.

Today I had West Melton Garden Club out, lovely to meet all the ladies (I am sure there are some gents, just not visiting today). We had a good walk and chat through the herbal gardens, and a look at the drying room and sampled some of the products I make here with the herbs. Thank you ladies it was nice to meet you all.

If you want herbs there is a list of what I grow on the website - at the moment I have the following available and sell for $3.00 -$5.00 depending on size.

Pineapple Sage

Various Thymes

Holy Basil




French Tarragon


Orange & Lemon Balm

I have also taken cuttings of Lemon verbena, so hopefully they will strike and will be able to offer those in autumn.

I also planning on doing a Herbal Tea workshop on Saturday 26th of February and or 5th March, it will run from 10.00 - 1.00 and you get to taste teas, walk around the garden, and make some teas to take home, cost $60.00 If you are interested in please email me and if there are enough interested I will confirm.

Also I was thinking about running a skincare workshop, it will comprise of making such things as body scrubs, bath salts, massage oil, facial scrubs etc and that will also run from 10.00 - 1.00 and I am looking at Saturday March 12th or 19th. Again if you are interested let me know and I will work out the finer details. The cost will be approximately $75.00.

Both of these workshop you will include morning tea, generally including gluten free delights. Please email to register your interest.

Please note I do need you to have been vaccinated and will ask you to show your vaccination pass.

If there are other workshops that you might be interested in doing please let me know as I am happy to provide what helps you.

I notice the mornings are a little darker and not becoming light until later, plus there is dew on the ground which is a sure sign the season is moving from summer to autumn but still plenty to do and look forward to in the garden. Happy gardening everyone.

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