The green doesn’t look real does it? But it is, late winter in my garden and skies that look too blue to be real and garden greens that look too green to be real.
There was a lean patch there for a bit, where I didn’t reap what I didn’t sow a few months ago. But it’s back. This is such a productive time in my part of the world. Spring here is often harsh – windy and dry and unexpectedly hot. It means seedlings need shadehouse raising and coddling, and I am always a bit stingy with watering as I wait to see what the fire season will bring. Summers lull you into a false sense of great expectations, with rainstorms often enough to keep things going so long as they are well established and there is plenty of mulch, but then comes a frizzle day – a single day with temperatures in the 40’s and a hot dry north-westerly wind and you can’t stay home all day to rig up shade and mist and it’s all gone in one fell swoop. Then the late summer-early autumn floods when you find out if your drainage really is good enough.
And then comes this, late winter in my frost-free garden, with a season of just-enough rain and lots of clear, bright winter days and bandicoots kept (mostly) out of the garden beds and wallabies kept (mostly) out of the perimeter fence and bush turkeys kept (mostly) from doing too much damage and I think the resident possum has met up with the resident carpet snake so we are between possums.
Spinach is the glut crop. Real spinach grown in the ground in season is a different thing to the little packets of hydroponic baby spinach you get in the supermarket, and now is about the only time of year you will find it at farmer’s markets and in gardens. Spinach triangles and gozlemes and frittata and gnocchi and pie and piroshki and polenta and pikelets and pakora and soup and saag (both with and without meat) and under a poached egg or mushrooms for breakfast most mornings. And today little spinach and bocconcini rolls that I’ll post a recipe for sometime soon.
We’ve started harvesting asparagus, too early but there you go. Broccoli and snow peas and cauliflower and celery are coming on nicely, and carrots and leeks and and beets. My broad beans are flowering. It’s really too warm for them here but I have hope of at least a little crop. I have a nice stash of macadamias, hopefully enough to last through till the pecan season in autumn. The last of the limes to go with avocados. The last of the mandarins to last through till the strawberries (now flowering) start.
A late winter garden in sub-tropical climate is a lovely thing!