Here, in Napier, the gardens are blooming with spring loveliness. We have had an interesting medley of weather these past few weeks, with frosts, rain, thunder, lightning, and hail storms, as well as some glorious sunshine and gentle spring breezes.
Our flower garden is a profusion of colour with poppies and anemones making a welcome return.
The old-fashioned Sweet William in the planter box outside the studio has the most divine scent.
Forget-me-nots have self-seeded everywhere.
The osteospermums or African daisies flower for much of the year and do well beneath the trees.
Our veggie garden is providing us with plenty of greens (spinach, chard, and kale), carrots, spring onions, broccoli and lettuce.
Seeds have been growing in the greenhouse, and potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins have gone into the ground. It will be another two or three weeks before danger of frosts has passed and we can plant tomatoes and other tender seedlings. We have planted a berry patch this year with raspberries, boysenberries, and strawberries. I’m not too sure whether it will get enough sun down the side fence beside the citrus trees, but am looking forward to seeing what it produces.
Calendulas self-seed throughout the veggie garden. I dry the flowers and use them to make a herbal-infused oil for use in calendula lotion. I use the lotion recipe in Jan Berry’s book 101 Easy Homemade Products for your Skin, Health & Home. It makes a lovely creamy lotion. I only make a small amount at a time as I don’t put preservative in it.
I love to press flowers from the garden to use in my art, and there are plenty to pick at this time of the year. This little mixed-media painting was created using watercolour paints, washi tape, stitching, and pressed flowers.