I merely planted them. Just like the wildflowers meadow, I merely sow the seeds. I don’t own them, Mother Earth do. I am merely the caretaker entrusted by Mother Earth to not fuck it up with Superphosphate and Urea.

The Orchard Cottage nearly got flooded again this week with more than 30mm of rain! Last year the river flow went up to 40 cubic meters per second, this time, 30 cubic meters per second.

The wildflowers meadow at the Orchard Cottage is once again immortalized, this time in Kings Seeds 2012-2013 catalog. If I am going to do it again I am not going to sow Phacelia Lacy. Too many of them came up, and they are just a pretty dull purple.

I went to the Prices Valley homestead yesterday to get some cuttings. Here you see a huge pear tree. I don’t even know what variety it is but I will consider it a Banks Peninsula heritage, and so I am going to take some cuttings and try to root them.

Then I head off across the bridge to the walnut groove. A payment was made as life is about give and take. I am here to take cuttings, and Mother Nature charged me the price of my beanie which was effortless lifted off my head by a low over-hanging branch as I was walking across the bridge to cross the river beneath, and that branch, drop my beanie into the river. PAID. Its a huge groove with ancient walnut trees, I took cuttings from most of them. Most, because everywhere I look, there’s only spurs and no sign of shoots!

I took them home and poke them into pots of sand with pumice and bark base.

Here’s to jump starting the season! 4x heated propagator holding 16x 6 cells punnets. I build the frame myself as I don’t like the original plastic cover which creates a micro-climate too micro. Its made of wood and mikroclima frost cloth. Essentially this will be self-regulating, too hot and the hot air can escape, too humid and the humidity can escape. The reason I had 4 individual heated unit is because I already have 2, but I needed more, if I have nothing to start with, I will go for Egmont’s Quad Thermo Heat n Grow which can hold 20x 6 cell punnets, and build a frame over it.

I sown a punnet each of 8 varieties of tomatoes (Dagma’s Perfection, Oaxacan Jewel, Black Zebra,  Black from Tula, Cherokee Purple, Indigo Rose, Black Cherry, Henry’s Dwarf Bush Cherry), 2 punnets of sweet bell pepper mix, 4 cells each of eggplants (Purple Florence Round), zucchinis (Black Beauty), and chili (Thai Hot).

That small black pot on the left is the Basil Mint I struck from a cutting. It has been living in water until today.

I also got some herb started, in the long pot, Greek Oregano, Rosemary Lockwood de Forest, and Summer Thyme. Green pot, broad leaf chives and garlic chives. Red pot, French chervil and Italian parsley.

I mix Dalton’s Organic Potting Mix with SouthHort Organic Compost and some Neem granules as the base, then topped with Dalton’s Organic Seed Raising Mix and cover with Vermiculite. Plus a sprinkle of Seedling Inoculant from Koanga.

I have got more to do today but the constant gust of wind has dampened my desire to spend the rest of my day outdoor.

Caesar is now at the stage of life where he is very rebellious and questioning my authority. He decides to run away instead of come to me when I call out to him. He also tries to hide my clothes in his kennel. And man, does he love eating carcasses and animal dungs! This too shall pass.

Finally, before signing off. Many thanks to Sarah the Gardener for nominating me for some cool blogging awards. I am still unable to find one word to describe this feeling that I have in my head. It would be something off flabbergasted + blush + cloud 9 etc etc. If you are a Kiwi gardener you should check out her blog featuring her very awesome garden!

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