Asparagus

It’s taken a long time but I finally have an asparagus bed. To start with I thought asparagus didn’t do well in Northland but I have discovered several people with good, productive beds. Then I always seemed to be moving which isn’t conducive to planting such a long term crop. That reason hasn’t changed but I have decided to risk not being here long enough to enjoy a good feed of my own asparagus. Perhaps age has either addled my brain or made me more fatalistic about the future.

asparagus
Totara roots in original bed

So we dismantled what had been the chilli garden which proved hopeless because the totara roots totally invaded it, even through a lining of weed matt.

asparagus

Using the timber piles to extend the rhubarb bed we have sufficient room for both the asparagus and the chillis. We filled it with the clay/loam topsoil we bought in last year. All this was done in the middle of the extremely wet July but now after a few fine days I have been able to rake it over and plant the year old asparagus crowns. I’ve given it a good dressing of blood and bone and dolomite and later we will add a deep mulch. The varieties I was able to buy were Apollo and Atlas, both NZ breed varieties.

I’m not expecting to be eating my own asparagus anytime soon!

Winter Wet

It’s a while since I’ve done a blog. It has been very wet, although not very cold, we have had covid and somehow the garden hasn’t been very inviting. However there is a lot of colour out there so when the sun does come out it looks good from the house.

Rain

This morning we had another downpour, after we’d thrown out 54mm from the rain gauge for the previous 24 hours. Water gushed everywhere but suddenly it was all over and the sun came out. It is always quite startling in Northland how brilliant the colours can be even in midwinter. That brilliant green! The water was still gushing of course. We do get a lot coming onto our property from neighbours including the forest. You can see it rushing down to the pond and then on down the swale and back into the bush at the end of our property, all sparkling in the bright sun.

The water is sheeting across the grass from the bush into the swale drain. The white plastic box on the fence is a rabbit bait station. I am keeping bait in the four we have at the moment because we are seeing rabbits again.

Winter Wet

There are some ducks on the pond.

Flood

Gordonia

Gordonia yunnanensis
Gordonia yunnanensis

Gordonia yunnanensis is a fabulous shrub/small tree. It has a huge number of very large white, camellia-like flowers over a long time from now on through winter. You can see from the number of buds how floriferous it is. The foliage is slightly bluey and stands up to wind well. It would make a very good informal hedge as it grows quite upright and remains well clothed right to the ground. It is much more manageable than its fellow species, Gordonia lasianthus which grows into a large spreading tree also covered in smaller white flowers for a long period. 

Gordonia yunnanensis
Gordonia yunnanensis