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Musings and ramblings about gardening in Wellington, New Zealand.

First a little bit about my garden so that you can judge if the info here is relevant to you. The garden is perched on a hillside in Ngaio, Wellington, New Zealand, with very little flat ground. The footprint is about 700m2, but the actual gardening area is larger because of the slope. Access to the many terraces of garden beds is up and down narrow, winding paths. No point having a wheelbarrow here! The facing is predominantly north-east and we get walloped by the northerly winds, but are somewhat protected from southerlies (thank goodness!). We've been living here since May 2004 and the previous owners were keen gardeners, so there are many established trees and shrubs.

I haven't done a soil test, but the soil is clay and acidic (judging by the many acid-loving plants such as camellias that are growing well). The previous owners weed-matted extensive areas of the garden. I can understand why - most of the garden was reclaimed scrub/bush covered with noxious plants and weeds. But after investigating under the weed mat, I've been dismayed to see how poor condition the soil is in. The clay is cracked and fissured, there is little to no sign of worms, no humus, and there are infestations of mealy bug. It is hard to see what benefit the weed mat has given because it is covered in just as many weeds as the non-weed-matted sections! So, with heart-in-mouth, I have been pulling back the weed mat and mulching the soil with ZooDoo compost.

I'm an organic gardener and love composting anything I can get my hands on. I also have many pet worms (living in a Can 'O Worms worm-farm) who are pooping their way through pails of kitchen waste and half-finished compost.

Edible Gardening

My first love is edible gardening: vegetables, herbs, fruit trees and vines; not just in the vege garden, but spread throughout the entire garden. I'm fascinated by heirloom and unusual vegetables, herbs, and fruit - I'm a bit fan of Kohunga Gardens and Kings Seeds.

The vege garden is well situated with a north-east facing, but sloped off to the south west. So our first garden project has been to build up the back of the garden so that it faces into the sun better (more details coming!)

Do you want to see some pretty pictures?

One of the joys of a large garden is an endless supply of photo opportunities. Here are some that turned out surprisingly well (click for a bigger image).

Blue Anenome   Grevillia   Daffodil







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Judi Lapsley Miller
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