Flowers · Garden · Nature

Late Summer’s Garden

As we head towards the end of summer, here in New Zealand, the days are still hot, but we are expecting a cool change this weekend with some much needed rain, which the garden will be grateful for. The air is loud with the sound of cicadas during the day and long into the night, a regular hallmark of summer. There is something comforting about going to bed in the summertime and listening to the chorus of cicadas through the open window. Pretty monarch butterflies continue to visit the garden. They can often be seen fluttering around the echinaceas, and the oleander tree outside our living room window.


In the garden, many of the summer annuals are past their best, but the hardy echinaceas are still making an impressive display of colour in the back garden, while, out the front, the dahlias and marigolds continue to bloom.

Our vegetable garden has produced a bountiful crop of tomatoes this year. It is the best season we have had for growing tomatoes in quite a few years. Our one zucchini plant has provided us with a constant supply throughout the summer and we have enjoyed using them in muffins, fritters, pasta sauce, salads, and zucchini slice. We have a few beetroot left in the garden, as well as some carrots, cut and come again lettuce, kale, chard, and spring onions. We are even still picking a few strawberries.

zucchini and spring onions
kale and carrots

With some of the beds now empty, I have been planning the autumn and winter garden. We are lucky to be able to grow lettuce, carrots, kale, chard and spring onions year round in our climate. I have seeded a new bed of carrots and am growing some red onion seeds to be planted out in the autumn. I haven’t tried growing onions before, so it will be interesting to see how they do. We have dug up the last of our Agria potatoes. Unfortunately we don’t have space to grow enough for storing, but we have enjoyed eating freshly dug potatoes over the past month.

Harvest from the garden

The artwork in my garden journal is by Hannah Dale. It is an English book and includes wildlife that we don’t have in New Zealand, but I think her paintings are just beautiful.

Other tasks in the garden this month have included saving seed and drying herbs.


Below is a recipe for zucchini muffins that I have made often over the summer. They are nice to take to work for lunches or to pack for picnics.

Savoury Zucchini Muffins

1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup olive oil
250g unpeeled zucchini, grated (1 average sized zucchini)
1 large or 2 small spring onions, chopped
½ red capsicum, chopped
1 cup grated goat’s cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 cups plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
salt & black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush a 12 hole muffin tin with a little oil.

Whisk together the eggs and milk. Stir in the olive oil. Squeeze the moisture from the grated zucchini and add to the mixture, along with the spring onions, capsicum, cheese, and parsley. Stir to combine. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Add salt and pepper and mix to combine.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool slightly before removing them from the tin. Eat warm, or cool on a wire rack and enjoy cold.


Happy gardening and harvesting wherever you are in the world!

17 thoughts on “Late Summer’s Garden

  1. Beautiful pictures as always Christine. I will have to try your recipe. I admit that I had to look up what Capsicum was! 🙂


  2. I love your garden and saved your journal on Pinterest for inspiration ❤️ thank you for the recipe, i will try it as soon as I will harvest zucchinis ( it’s winter here) 😘


  3. Oh, what a wonderful post! I so enjoyed seeing your beautiful garden and the array of flowers and vegetables look amazing 😁. I love the pages that you created to remember your late summer garden and the packets of seed are fabulous too! Those zucchini scones look delicious! Thanks for the recipe, the addition of the goats cheese makes my mouth water 😉. I’ll need to try making them, do they freeze well? Well only if they last that long …lol 😉. Wishing you a happy weekend! J 😊 x


  4. Your garden is gorgeous! I love that you keep a journal of all the going on’s from year to year. Your zucchini muffins look delicious and I bet they are tasty with that goat cheese inside.
    A lovely post!


  5. What a gorgeous garden! We have had so much trouble with new bugs like the Japanese beetle that were not seen in this part of the country five years ago that we have much reduced what we grow. They are voracious and eat all the leaves including even rose leaves.

    Your zucchini muffins look delicious. When the kids were young, I would hide the zucchini in a chocolate cake. It is everyone’s favourite…no one could guess that this was how I would get rid of a bumper crop of zucchini. Spaghetti sauce too was a great way to hide some of the zucchini.

    Great blog post…as you go into winter….we are on our way to summer…regards from 🇨🇦


    1. Thank you so much! I’m not sure if we have the Japanese beetle in New Zealand…I hope not! It is not something I have come across. Chocolate cake is a wonderful way to hide zucchini. I do that with beetroot, too!


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