Garden Share Collective: July

06 July, 2014

Welcome to this month's installment of Garden Share Collective, where gardeners across the globe share their gardening adventures. Many thanks to Lizzie for putting this all together.

This is my garden circa now.

Back yard view.

Front yard view, with cat.

Raised bed veg patch

The deciduous trees have mostly lost their leaves, with only a few stragglers like some apples, some of the espaliered pears, a few blueberries and the white mulberry.

Pear Belgian fence style espalier, with 3 varieties of pear all in different stages of leaf drop.

The brassicas continue to go at it, albeit with still the damage of the dreaded white cabbage butterfly to contend with. I'm still squishing the larvae every time I head out to check on the plants.

Other than that things are pretty quiet. But I've been making a few small changes.


Only planting this month has been making a new strawberry bed.

I do this annually to ensure I always have a new bed of young plants that will keep me in peak strawberry production. I take these new plants from the runners of last year's plantings, which also helps me to thin older beds and ensure they don't get too cramped, which would reduce the produce and increase the risk of fungal diseases should we have a wet enough season.

I've covered the new plants with wire and plastic lattice to stop the birds from pulling out plants in their search for worms. I will remove these and add mulch later in about mid-spring after the ground has warmed up a little.


As you would expect, there have been lots and lots of brassicas. Broccoli has been beheaded regularly. Kale (Tuscan and Red Russian) are picked almost daily.

Just a few brassicas; on left savoy cabbages and Tuscan kale, and on right mini cauliflowers

The first cauliflowers are likely to be harvested this week, now that I've folded the leaves over the developing heads to stop them going yellow.

Camera shy cauli, with squshed white cabbage butterly larvae

In other almost harvests, I'm keeping an eye on my one surviving fennel plant from approximately 300 seeds sown, which has sprouted a fennel baby.

In the greenhouse, the chillies and capsicums continue slowly but surely. I've been impressed with how well they have handled the weather in the mini greenhouse and will do this again next year.

Other protected plants include the eggplants in their makeshift glasshouse. They seem to be doing fine (as well as sprouting what I think is a jackarandah tree on the right).

In even more makeshift protection, I've covered a couple more eggplants with light plastic boxes, and they seem to be doing ok.

On the fruit front I'm slowly going through the remaining well netted Sundowner apples.

Its funny that this tree still has plenty of green leaves, while others are nothing but bare bones.

Please ignore the weeds, they will get pulled out when I plant onion seedlings here.

To do:
  • Plant out onion seedlings, when they germinate. Nothing has come up yet. Fingers crossed they do soon, otherwise I'm re-sowing with new seed.
  • Go through seed boxes and see if any seed ordering is needed. Unlikely given my seed boxes are pretty chockers. But likely I'll want more varieties of something. Plan is to try and keep things to a minimum. What do they say about the best laid plans?...
  • Start very early sowings for summer crops. Tomatoes are a must. Eggplant and capsicium would be a bonus.
Let's see if I manage to get through this list in the next month.

For other gardening adventures don't forget to check out others posting for the GSC at Lizzie's.


  1. Gorgeous brassica action! And I love how the banana hasn't even realised it's Winter.

    1. Cheers! I'm quite hapyp for the banana to stay in denial.

  2. i must say, i like neat orderly rows of vegies, but then i see how you have your brassicas planted like an ornamental garden, and it is so pretty!
    i'm also pleased to see someone else had to barricade their garden beds off from the birds.

    1. Aww shucks. I too love orderly rows of vegetables, but most of my garden spaces are triangular areas and it just wouldn't work.

  3. Your garden design is fantastic Bek. Those raised garden beds, your espaliered pear trees, the strawberry runners intermingled with fruit trees is inspirational. You have to love fennel, plus it is one vegetable that the chickens do not like. Very clever with your glass houses too, the glass makeshirt and the plastic, very protective and creative :D

    1. Thanks Merryn! It's been a work in progress let me assure you.
      The makeshift glass houses are very experimental, so its been pure luck that they seem so far (touch wood) to have worked.

  4. I love your espalier. Mine is pretty boring as my apples just go straight to the sides. But I didn't want to mix up my apple varieties.

    1. Thanks Daphne! I mostly have very basic espaliers but the pears are fun, and just look so decorative. If only they would flower and bear fruit... hopefully 2015.

  5. You have a really impressive garden both front yard and back. No space left unturned. I have never heard about getting new strawb runners or plants in each year for a better harvest. This is the first time that I have attempted to grow strawberries since I was a kid.

    1. Cheers Liz! No space is left unturned because I always want to try one more thing and eventually you get to the point where you just run out of space. This is my current challenge - where do I squeeze the next thing I find I HAVE to grow.
      Maybe its just me, but I always have problems with strawberries wanting to take over the area I've planted them in. Given them a year or two and its almost impossible to find any space between them at all. So yearly thinning and replanting is key. I've got lots of resources which say that strawb plants are only good for 3 years or so, but I've got some that have been going for 5 years and are as productive as ever. But I still like thinning them as that just makes for more plants, and more strawberries!

  6. Fabulous post ... and so many great ideas. I think I will certainly be planting toms and chillies early this year too. Your makeshift greenhouses are working a treat too. Doesn't your apple tree know it is winter? LOL

    1. Cheers! The apple tree still cropping is a very late harvest one, so maybe it just likes the cold :)

  7. Bek, your garden is fabulous! I love all the meandering paths and use of all available space. Great stuff!

    1. Cheers! I'm lucky that I've got the space to be able to try different ideas.