Pages

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Little Fire in my Winter Garden

We returned from a holiday a couple of days ago. The house is an absolute bomb. Not only are there suitcases ready to unpack and dirty washing and toys and the usual stuff strewn from one end of the house to the other, but every item that previously resided in the laundry has been dumped in the living room while Monkey Man finishes the plaster / paint job. Not a pleasant house to come home to. So rather than start cleaning and washing, I popped outside for a bit of a meander in the garden and what did I spy...

Two red chillis in my garden. Smack, bang in the middle of winter.

I planted these chilli seedlings at the wrong time of year. My neighbour Mr P gave them to me and suggested that even though it was Summer I plant them anyway and see what happens. They did get a very good spot in the ground. They were plonked behind the chook shed. This was previously habited by a big, spreading bamboo jungle that was an absolute nightmare to dig out. (Read here if you're at all interested in why you should never plant bamboo). So the ground was heavily mulched with years and years of bamboo leaf mulch and before I planted the seedlings I deposited a load of compost on it. Later, poor Wonky the lame rooster/chook died and was also buried there. And it is a rather warm, protected spot with a corrugated iron fence on one side and straw and chook poo on the other.

Now I know what all you international visitors are thinking. That veggiegobbler is a real whinger. She's been complaining about winter and the cold in her part of the world and clearly it is not even cold. In fact it is obviously warm enough there to grow chillis in the middle of winter. Well it is true that I hate winter and the cold but to my credit I did just tolerate a day trip to the snow and for the sake of the children I pretended to enjoy it - most of the time.

But I really cannot explain those red chillis. I did a little google and apparently chillis need 30ºC or more to ripen. Hmph well that is obvious piffle. Today we are heading for a top temperature of 14ºC and yesterday morning there was frost on my brassicas.

The only explanation I can come up with is that I am obviously a brilliant gardener who has warm, green fingers.
Chilli plants behind the chook shed

16 comments:

  1. Lucky you to have had a little holiday...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pretty cool to have chilies now! I have left my chili plants in the ground but nearly all the leaves have gone and I'm not hopeful they'll see the winter through. I just saw your spring countdown, clearly a woman after my own heart! I was just celebrating being on the downhill slope of this season!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations on achieving the impossible! You obviously have magical powers!

    ReplyDelete
  4. How lovely to find some colour in the veggie garden in the middle of winter :-). Well, I think that they are probably in a sheltered sunny spot and the vicinity of the hen house would produce more heat :-). And yes, of course you must be a brilliant gardener :-)!

    Ciao
    A.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks VG. So sad not to have the flock roaming around after me.

    Amazingly the chillis are one of the rare things to have survived in our garden whilst we've been away! Not sure why?! There must have been huge storms here in Melbourne in the five weeks we've been away...

    ReplyDelete
  6. It certainly is the unexpected things that happen in the garden that make us want to do it even more.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great stuff! How marvellous to have a pleasant surprise like this awaiting your return. I hope you will consume the chillis with all due reverence in some exotic Laksa or curry or something. Your first photo is a stunner too.
    The statement about chillis needing 30C to ripen is (as you say) rubbish. It almost never gets to 30 here in the UK, yet I always get ripe chillis outdoors, without the aid if a greenhouse. And you talk of the temps going down to 14, but here I'm thinking about them going UP to 14! Daytime temps here right now are about 15 - 18.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yep Suzanne it was good, we went for a couple of days to Sydney. HIA yay yes we are on the downward slope to spring! I wonder Hazel if my magical powers could remove the weeds that are growing everywhere? Alessandra they are in a good spot - I hope it doesn't get too hot there in summer though. I think chillis must be hardy Mrs Bok. I agree gardenbliss. Not sure how I'll use it yet Mark - laksa sounds good. Sorry Mark that your summer is the same as our winter! I'll stop my whining. We are getting 14-16 daytime here.. But it is cold in the morning I think it was 2 degrees the other morning... And that is very cold to me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Alright - I like it! Warm those fingers up baby!! Nice homecoming... and it was zero here the other morning. ZERO. That's not even one degree to warm you up.

    ZERO.

    I'd have eaten that fabulous chilli to warm me up it was so cold.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Really Ali?! That's colder than Melbourne!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love gardening surprises - and you should definitely take credit for it, even if you don't know what you did! I've got quite a few green chillies on various plants - hot cayenne, bulgarian carrot, razzamatazz to name but a few. My tomatoes have started to ripen so maybe the chillies are next??

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wonderful surprise to come back with red chillies welcoming you back. You have the chilli redthumb. You also discover the perfect place to keep perennials plants growing on that spot ;-). I think lentil will do well with the Murtabak recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well you obviously are a brilliant gardener!

    I don't like your countdown to Spring because it means our Autumn is getting nearer and then Winter. Our Winters would give you something to whine about!

    Thanks for my good gardening report by the way ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've still got chillies as well, the same thing happened last year too. In fact I still have chillies on the same plants this happened to last year. My theory is that as long as it doesn't get too too cold at night chillies can fruit in Melbourne from December to July - I also have some new flowers but am dubious about them setting fruit - we shall see... The cold does seem to affect the heat a bit though as mine seem milder than they were a couple of months ago.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh how I am missing the Aussie weather, your winter is like my summer at the moment...bla! Loving your chilli, what a wonderful little burst of heat on a gloomy winter day. Also, loving your new water feature, great job with the mosaic, how fun!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well of course you are a brilliant gardener! :)

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails