Reasons to Be Cheerful - My New Work Space

When a landslip caved in the back of our house a couple of winters ago, It seems like a disaster. But out of that disaster came Terence's Terrace, the garden that was formed by the timber retaining wall that had to be put in. And after months and months of dealing with architects, engineers and the bloody council we got planning permission to repair the back room.

Duncan and the builder were working on that while I was away in Europe for 11 weeks. I came back just before it was finished. Last week all the remaining work was done and I was able to move into what is now my studio. It gets great light as it faces northwest. It also faces the garden, Which could be a bit of a distraction.

 My studio in Lyttelton, New Zealand

My studio in Lyttelton, New Zealand

It’s a lot messier in real life (and it’s only going to get worse!).

Alex Hallatt's studio

New Zealand Garden Diary: Planting an Olive Tree in Hope of Olives in the Not too Distant Future

I planted this leccino olive tree in a big hole filled with compost and leaf mould, backfilled with soil, watered and then mulched. It is supposed to be a variety suited to most of New Zealand and cold tolerant (we don’t get heavy frosts here in Lyttelton, but it can get below zero on a few nights in winter). It is often used to produce oil, but I’d be happy to get a few olives I could brine. Some day.

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New Zealand Garden Diary: Planting a Feijoa Tree

Feijoas are an iconic New Zealand fruit tree, even though they are native to South America. The fruit looks a little like a kiwi, but tastes more floral, perfumey even. I love to add one to an apple crumble, as they are quite potent. They are great to chop up and add to kombucha in the secondary fermentation. I’m also looking forward to using them in smoothies.

As for the fig tree, I dug a big hole, added compost and leaf mould, planted Fiona the feijoa, back filled with soil and watered. She shouldn’t get as big as a fig tree, so I didn’t line this hole with anything.

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New Zealand Garden Diary: Planting a Fig Tree So That it Won't Grow too Much

I dug a big hole, lined the bottom and sides with ceramic tile pieces (left over from the rebuild of the back of the house) and added compost and leaf mould. Then I planted Fred the fig, back filled with soil and watered. He is growing happily so far and we’ll see how big he gets.

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