New Zealand Garden Diary: It's Spring and the Birds are Busy

The birds are very busy in Lyttelton at the moment. I saw a pair of kingfishers on a fence by the Bridle Path this week, the grey warblers are singing their little hearts out and the skies are a superhighway of sparrows.⁠

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Blackbirds are one of the many non-native species introduced to New Zealand by (homesick? crazy?) Brits a hundred or so years ago. They do very well here and they drive me crazy as they mess up garden beds and disturb seedlings looking for earthworms, etc. But I guess they have got just as much right to be here as me.

New Zealand Garden Diary: Planting Winter Vegetables

Yesterday was 25 degrees but it plummeted about ten today. And the sun is getting lower and will soon be disappearing behind the crater rim mid-afternoon. Time to get the winter veggies in.

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I’m hoping the purple-sprouting broccoli I also planted does as well as it did last year.

New Zealand Garden Diary: Tomato Harvest

Most of my tomatoes did ripen in the end and I have harvested the last of them and put the green ones in brown paper bags with bananas to ripen them). They haven't tasted as good as last year and I'm not sure why. We haven't had a lot of rain, but they taste a little watery. perhaps because I have had to use a hose and they have had too much at any one time. So to intensify the flavour I have roasted them in the oven with my home-grown garlic and thyme and a bit of olive oil and salt.

Roasting a tray of tomatoes with olive oil garlic and thyme

I then put the roasted tomato mixture in sterilised jars. I'll be testing some of it tonight with pasta.

Jar of roasted tomatoes, garlic and thyme