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A letter from our Summer Gardener

Kia ora gardeners,

I am sitting here in my garden to get some inspiration on what to write for this letter, I looked around me and thought “this is it, we are here” the time of year that we spend the rest of the year getting ready for. Midsummer, time to enjoy all the fruits of your labour- literally.

But it’s more than fruit, vegetables and flowers for me in my garden. From my seat in the garden I am watching a thrush teach its 5 babies how to extract a snail from its shell. Other birds are scuffling around for worms and snails and yet more are flapping into the red currant bushes to pinch a few berries for lunch, and that’s ok because they eat more snails than berries, so I benefit in the end.

Bugs and bees are everywhere, buzzing in and out of flowers. I think that after a few years of growing my garden organically and interplanting vegetables with flowers,  I am seeing a lot less bad sap-sucking bugs (aphids and monkey hoppers) so my garden has reached a good balance of good and bad for now.

I can see the abundance that is planted; courgette, sweet corn, butter beans, cavolo nero, silverbeet, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and lettuce all in fruit or flower or ready to eat. Grapes on the vine getting plumper. Pumpkins only as big as a pingpong ball. Feijoa flowers ripe for pollinating. Calendula, Queen Anne’s lace, borage, phacelia and parsley have gone to flower to attract all those pollinators to my vegetables and fruit trees, and the promise of a beautiful display from the 50 odd sunflowers I got into the garden this season.

A Tui just flew right over my head after sipping the sweet nectar of my flax, monarch butterflies are supping on the buddleia flowers, and I am sure all the above wild life know they are living in a poison free, organic haven in the ‘burbs.  

None of this would be there for me to enjoy without the soil it is all planted in.  Gardening all begins with your soil and maintaining and improving your soil life is essential if you want to keep producing good food for your table.

Come in and see us in the gardening department at Commonsense Organics and we can show you excellent products to increase your soil fertility. We have rock minerals, sheep manure pellets and compost- all organically certified. New products instore include green manures such as blue lupin, phacelia, and Lucerne (all in small or larger quantities). Our green manures are all grown specifically to dig back into your garden, and bokashi zing is designed to be sprinkled straight onto your soil. All good for increasing the life of your soil flora and fauna.

Happy gardening,

Catherine Collins

Produce Manager, Wellington City Store

A bumble Bee on a Borage flower
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