Winter Gardening

Working in the Winter Garden

It has been a few months since I posted a story about my garden.   Friends have been giving me a nudge and asking ….. what’s happening ….. how is your garden growing? I have not been idyll. Dressed in thermals to guard against the winter cold I have been expending energy around the compost heap. While I have been working I have also been planning a number of blogs on compost making and worm farming.

Garlic and radicchio after the last of the radish have been removed - Henny is searching for a sweet treat amongst the straw.
Garlic and radicchio after the last of the radish have been harvested – Henny is searching for a sweet treat amongst the straw with broad beans towering in the background.

However one of the most important things I have been doing is collaborating with a group of committed volunteers helping to set up Open Gardens Victoria.

Back in 1987 a small team of like-minded Victorian’s established the first open garden program. This grew into Open Gardens Australia. However in June this year  OGA ‘Closed the Garden Gates’ for the last time.  A small group of us in Victoria felt this should not be the end. Our State has a long and passionate history of all things horticultural, it is home to thousands of committed gardeners and the place where many wonderful private gardens are waiting to be discovered.

‘We had to do something’

…………….so after much work behind the scenes Open Gardens Victoria will launch its first garden at Musk Cottage in September this year. Visit www.opengardensvictoria.org.au to learn more about gardens opening this spring.

OGV Musk Cottage_Lge

Back to the veggie patch………..

My garlic is well established, the radishes have been and gone and the radicchio I planted in April needs thinning and transplanting. I have been picking coriander for micro greens, baking beautiful pies using the swiss chard planted last summer, thinning leeks for risotto, picking beetroot, parsley, lettuce and spinach. Pumpkins are still being baked or put into soup and potatoes dug when needed. A few of the last Hungarian peppers need picking, the plants look ‘shocked’ because they don’t like the cold, but the shiny red peppers bake up a treat. I go out and harvest a fresh winter salad each evening.

In the morning we enjoy stewed rhubarb on our muesli.

My garden is abundant and the crisp winter air offers a special snap to the vegetables and reminds me I’m alive and spring is around the corner.

A barrow load of compost ready to spread and the hay bale enclosure ready for the new 'hot' compost heap.
A barrow load of compost ready to spread on the garden and the newly constructed hay bale enclosure with cardboard base ready for the next ‘hot’ compost pile.  I will talk about this technique in my next posts.

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