In the UK, I was a passionate gardener. Here, hey guess what – I am still am! We have been in our apartment now for 6 months, and it seems like we are meant to be here, on so many levels. But today, it’s the gardening I want to talk about…

Our landlord is a busy chap, and I think he realised I was an avid gardener through the conversations we have been having, like…(me), “I love growing veg…”, or (me), “Check out my sweet peas…”. Then out of the blue one day he suggested we did some gardening for him, in exchange we wouldn’t have to pay for our electricity bill. Without hesitation, we of course, said yes. When someone offers to effectively pay you to do something you love, how could you refuse?

So, we have a garden of mainly native plants to look after, tree ferns, silver ferns, even a Kauri tree (check out the big tree in the pic below).

My passion is vegetable gardening, and we have started growing veg on our decking: strawberries, swiss chard, rocket, coriander, parsley, courgettes, cucumber, tomatoes, peas, sweet peas, thyme, basil, lettuce, mint, and I am sure there are more that I have forgotten. I’m used to working on a large allotment, but it is surprising what you can grow in a compact place, when you put your mind to it, with a little bit of organisation (this is where Mrs. E comes in).

A few observations so far:

1. Things grow VERY quickly – I guess it’s the rain and sunshine combination. I’m interested to see how things are in the summertime here when the UV levels will be very high, and whether we will need to use shade clothes

2. Strawberries ripe VERY quickly, from white to ripe in 2/3 days (see below)

3. Tomatoes, chillies, and cucumbers thrive outside (no glasshouse required)

My thirst for gardening is being quenched by a free horticultural course, which I am starting in February, and I have located a local dahlia group, which I am hoping to join. Sure, the dream is to have a field full of sweet peas growing one day, but for now, this is all good.

I’m a happy, contented gardener…

One of The Hoomans

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