NZ Kitchen Garden

Home grown goodness for the kitchen and pantry


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There are holes in my brassicas, dear Lila

Is there anything more frustrating than tenderly raising a seedling, only to have it munched to pieces by a predator? Well, the white cabbage butterfly and it’s iridescent green offspring have found their home among my young broccoli and the results have been devastating. However, I hope that my recent efforts have thwarted their attempt to crunch their way through the second wave of seedlings that I planted out last night. Continue reading

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The proof is in the produce

What a month or so it has been for harvesting, now that we are well into summer! I have really enjoyed watching other people’s successes as they reap the benefits from their gardening passion. The vibrant colours of ripe tomatoes, colourful beans and rainbow silver beet, shiny courgettes, leafy greens and more, mean that I have been more “green eyed” than “green thumbed” during this plentiful period. Continue reading


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Garden Tour – 1 November 2013

It’s been two months since I provided my last garden tour and boy have things changed. Here’s the latest update on my garden – such growth, such change, such excitement for an enthusiastic vege grower like me! Continue reading


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Zen and the art of seed collection

As I ran out of the door on the way to the UK at the end of June, I snipped around 30 puffy swan-like seed pods off my large Swan Plant.  I carefully placed them just inside the glass door in a sunny spot, so that they could dry out while we were away. As we drove away from the house, I had the warm sense of satisfaction that I would arrive home to perfectly dried pods, ready to be de-seeded. I would harvest enough seeds to keep me in Swan Plants – and beautiful Monarch butterflies – for many, many moons to come. Continue reading


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Blooms and butterflies

I used to be all about the vegetables, when it came to planting and maintaining my own garden. I wanted plants that delivered something tangible to the [kitchen] table. At a bare minimum, it used to be the ingredients for a basic salad – instant gratification when it came to throwing a feel-good meal together at last minute. My view on that has changed as my vegetable growing objectives have grown and become more about the longer-term, sustainable output of an ever-increasing variety of fruit and vegetables for my kitchen and pantry. However, it has been a gradual, not an overnight, appreciation for what plants of the flowering, non-edible variety have to offer in aesthetic and more productive ways. Continue reading


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Taking Stock

We are four days away from the beginning of winter in New Zealand and an icy blast is bringing snow to some South and North Island communities. Even up here in “the winterless Northland”, smoke can be seen rising from several chimneys – ours included – and we have a chilling wind, rain and hail beating down on us. Continue reading