Things have been busy up here at Newlands Manor. Woodburners went on special and we saved a boatload getting one installed, which also meant spending WEEKS getting wood together for next season. Man… that’s some hard-out foraging.

The good news is that it’s as warm as toast up here despite this patchy “Spring” weather.

The remainder of the story is that Chef Du Plunge and I have been working hard on getting the base of the garden laid in once and for all. This means that all the beds have been laid (we got a little guy his own shovel. He LOVES ‘dig dig!!’ and getting outside to help me in the garden), all the plants are in, and all the amateur landscaping is complete, for now.

Next is just ongoing maintenance, and maybe replacing some of the generation-old trees dying along the boundary fences. But, the good news is that for the first time since we moved in here (February) I don’t feel like there is stuff that absolutely must be done. Very relaxing.

There has been some failures though. I put in Broccoli and the wind was just too much for it. I’ll have to sort out some a wind-baffling system of some sort (currently thinking perspex – it’s a long story for another day). The mandarin is not doing well – have resorted to popping up there and watering it occasionally. Might end up replacing it with something. And the bamboo in the front garden stalled over the winter, but has started to perk up again.

Otherwise, beginning with that poor mandarin (which might just end up in  a pot so it can be protected a little more), here’s a few snaps.

That mandarin. Drainage seems to be OK, and the acidity is about right, but it seems to have a trace mineral problem.

Recently-planted blue-berry

Here's the flowers starting on the black currants. Can't make up my mind about whether to trim them this year

One of the two redcurrants out behind the compost.

Hopefully this garlic is actually producing bulbs! Looks good so far.

Beetroots growing away nicely. Am hoping there's not too much nitrogen (they'll only produce leaves...)

The punga borders started sprouting! We figured, meh.

This coriander is sprouting in the middle of the bulbs. Doing nicely too.

A path I dropped in, from free stones!

Some New Zealand spinach growing nicely. Pretty hardly this stuff. I leave the outer leaves and harvest the inner. Also, there a small portion of the wood in the background...

Thornless blackberry and the peach tree. No fruit yet, but it's only wee.

mostly in the ground as a soil conditioner, but also coming along nicely.