How it really is……

I’m feeling a bit of a fraud, although that’s too strong a word, a bit guilty isn’t quite right either, deceptive is kind of what I mean.  You see my garden isn’t perfect.   I wrote my October -Wrap Up  post and gots lots of lovely comments about how lush the garden looks. While that’s true in places;

it isn’t always really true if you look a bit closer.  So today I thought I’d show you the other side, the side I carefully edit out of the photos, the failures, the half eaten and the just plain messy.

I thought I start with the eaten (with a few weeds thrown in for good measure).  Whilst I know what has caused the damage on the cabbage (a large green caterpillar) this is the first time I have encountered these beetles (see below).  After a little research I think they are either cucumber or potato beetles – probably the later as they are on a Cape Gooseberry which is Solanaceae.  Annoying destructive little things, they have returned twice after I gave them the Pyrethrum treatment – does anyone have other ideas?

If plants aren’t getting eaten they’re doing things they shouldn’t be doing – like bolting rather than developing a heart – this is supposed to be iceberg lettuce:

Then there are all those signs of neglect – the mess, weeds and plants that clearly need a new home:



And finally there are the failures:  Garlic planted in potting mix that was clearly past its best:

Worst of all (although I know there are some who will disagree) my dill, my lovely dill, the thing they call weed in the States, so I presumed would be indestructable, and that I was talking up a couple of weeks ago, has done this:

If anyone knows what kills dill I would love to know.

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23 Responses to How it really is……

  1. Bee Girl says:

    Ahhh…the other side of the garden! We all have one, it’s just more fun (and uplifting) to look at (and show) the good of it all! Don’t worry about it! I wish I have some great ideas for you to help save some of your plants! Sorry!

    • Liz says:

      Actually in some ways writing the post showed me that actually I have far more good things in the garden than bad, so all is well.

  2. Mark Willis says:

    The reddening of the leaves on the Dill probably means that it has been attacked by Carrot Root Fly. I get this a lot, in not only Carrots, but also Parsley, which are both Umbellifers – as is Dill. I don’t know why the leaves go red. Maybe because the fly’s grubs suck out all the sap??

    • Liz says:

      That’s interesting – I haven’t had any problems with my parsley but most of its gone to seed now so perhaps this is a new development. Is the only solution you’ve found elevating them?

  3. That’s hysterical! I love it that you post the other side of gardening, the side that we all have and tend not to brag about. Too funny. You want to kill dill? Plant it in my garden.

  4. Leanne says:

    Great post, makes me feel a little less of a failure. I have to ask though, how do you know when the garlic is ready?

    • Louise says:

      I researched this a lot before I pulled up my garlic. (My crop didn’t turn out though, so maybe you shouldn’t take my advice!) From all accounts, the garlic should be dug up once the leaves are 2/3 brown.

    • Liz says:

      I usually wait until its died down before harvesting it. If you planted yours in March/April it will probably be ready about Dec/Jan. I’m expecting to harvest mine around Christmas (I have heaps in the garden which is looking really good and hopefully will produce lovely big bulbs.

  5. Louise says:

    My garlic crop failed, too. After 5-6 months of anticipation I harvested a bunch of roots. I think I’ll be avoiding that one from now on – considering the amount of garlic my house consumes (a LOT), it’s not really worth it for me.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Louise, Garlic does seem to put on most of its bulb growth pretty late so its entirely possible you just pulled the crop too early. Mine are in the ground for about 8 – 9 months. I too eat a lot of garlic but I find I get at least 6 months + supply from about 2.5 square metres, which makes it very much worth it to me. Aside from that box I do have about 90 plants growing in the garden which I am really hopeful for.

      • Louise says:

        Maybe I did dig them up too soon – with a plant like that all the research in the world won’t help you know exactly when to pull it – just trial and error! Maybe I will try again one day, but for now I will concentrate on veggies I can watch grow.

        Your garlic crop sounds like it will be bountiful and lovely – can’t wait to see pictures!

        • Liz says:

          Its interesting, failures used to really frustrate me but now I actually enjoy the trial and error nature of gardening. I do know what you mean about watching them grow though – but at the same time the ones you pull or dig up are often the most exciting (tomatoes excepted of course) provided they work!

  6. Thank you Liz! I needed to see this, especially the kids toys scattered around the place. makes me feel better about my own yard.

    • Liz says:

      Stuff everywhere – that is the story of my life at the moment. Mostly kids stuff, occasionally my stuff, I think perhaps the key is less stuff but it just seems to accumulate and then get spread everywhere….arrrrggghhh.

  7. L says:

    That lettuce looks awesome – I reckon you could make san choy bow, crockenbouche style 🙂

  8. leduesorelle says:

    Thanks for showing the another side of your garden, though your wonderful eye still finds the beauty there.

  9. Dave says:

    You are braver than I am to show the “other side” of your garden! Trust me, I do a lot of selective photography to make my garden look good.

    If it’s available there, I use Neem oil to repel and kill all kinds of beetles. It can be mixed with Pyrethrum in a spray to make both of them more effective (that’s what I usually do for them).

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