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Happy Holidays and Farewell from Carolyn

We are so close to Christmas now that it is possible, if you listen very carefully, to hear a faint tinkling noise that could be the bells on Santa's sleigh!  
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We are so close to Christmas now that it is possible, if you listen very carefully, to hear a faint tinkling noise that could be the bells on Santa's sleigh!    We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a lovely summer.  We hope you get just the right amount of sunshine and rain at just the right times, and that you have a wonderful, vibrant garden throughout summer, and some wonderful harvests!

This is the last Kings Seeds blog post of the year, and I'm writing it with mixed feelings, as it is also my last blog post for Kings Seeds, as I step down from writing.  I had a look back and my first blog post went out on 20th December 2010 - 7 years ago almost to the day.   Today is the 100th blog post I have written for Kings Seeds, what a nice round number to finish on!  
I've really enjoyed sharing gardening ideas and the odd progress picture of both our Katikati garden and our Turangi garden during that time.  I've also learnt a lot in preparing blog posts with growing tips.  I'm bowing out of regularly writing contributions, but never out of gardening  - like you, I'm hooked for life!
Our Blank Slate

So as a goodbye, here is a look back on our Turangi garden.  We began nearly three years ago with a blank slate.  The house had previously been a holiday home, with just lawns and a few shrubs.  We had a clear out, organised a planting day, and put in our edible food forest on the front lawn. 

It looked pretty brown to start with, with bare trees and a sea of mulch, but we sowed and planted more each year.  We allowed plants to go to seed, and this year we were really happy to see lots of self seeded plants coming up throughout the garden, to add to the seedlings we have grown from seed and planted out.  
Overgrown montage

About a week ago, the garden was looking pretty wild and unkempt!  The spring flowers were starting to look bedraggled and tired, we had kale plants from last year that were taller than some of our dwarf fruit trees, and quite a lot of things had fallen over in the wind.  Plus we had weeds.  We'd been busy at work and the garden was getting a bit wild.
Garden tidied up

Since then, the main garden worker in the family (not me) has started his summer break and has spent a week in the garden.  Everything is weeded and tidied up, most of the taller plants are staked, the compost has been turned and spread around as mulch, the gardens have been replanted with new seedlings, and everything has been fed.   
Strawberry montage

The strawberry harvest is starting to slow down, so I'm not sure if we will have mountains of home-grown strawberries on Christmas Day, but we have had an avalanche of strawberries recently, with an average of 2kg every second day - we ate them for dessert every evening, had them for breakfast, gave lots away, made jam, froze them, and had our first attempt at making strawberry and lavender gin, so it has been a bumper harvest!
Back Garden Dec 2017

The back garden is also looking good, with the greenhouse full of tomato, capsicum and basil plants, beds of sweet corn and capsicums, and a replanted bed of lettuces.    We are really enjoying having a greenhouse - another new aspect of gardening to learn about.  We have our first tomatoes ripening from plants we grew from seed, which wouldn't have been possible in Turangi without the greenhouse in which to sow and raise the seedlings.
Back garden montage

Finally, earlier this week we had a huge thunderstorm here, which brought torrential rain.  We've been luckier than some areas of the country and have had a reasonably regular supply of rain to keep the garden watered, but this downpour was amazing, and we scampered round the garden in excitement, taking photos of the Swales in the food forest filling up with rain water.  The pond was replenished with clean water, and the garden enjoyed a great soaking!  
The rainwater runs from the roof into the pond, and overflows into the first swale.

Bottom two swales full
The top two of the three swales often fill during rain, but the bottom only fills up in a heavy downpour.  
water in the swales
water everywhere
It was totally worth getting a bit wet taking photos - very cool to see the garden running with water like this!
So I'm signing off now - thank you for reading my blog posts over the last seven years - I've appreciated your comments and feedback as well.  The Kings Seeds blog will still be going strong with Karen at the helm, so watch this space for fantastic ideas, tips and tricks and general garden enthusiasm in 2018....



We hope you have enjoyed Carolyn's fantastic blogs as much as we have.  Her current garden is something to aspire to and we all watch the progress with great interest.  These latest photos are brilliant so thanks loads for sharing with us Carolyn and family.  Your blogs will be missed.

Here we are at the end of the year.  The team have survived another busy season and managed to get some gardening done ourselves.  Most of us have gardening time scheduled while we are having a break from work!!!
garden sign3

We hope you are enjoying your gardens and they are starting to show abundance.  Despite the slow start to spring and all that endless rain, the last month of sunshine and warmth has created some lushness and colour in the garden now.  I never tire of marvelling at the wonder of having a garden grown entirely from seed and eagerly awaiting the crops to mature.  Growing from seed takes some patience and it is well worth it to save all those dollars being spent buying seedlings.

We are closed

Last orders are being processed today Friday 22nd December until midday.

We will reopen

On Monday 8th January 2018 we will back in the office to process the orders received for the previous two weeks.  We always come back to a back-log which takes a few days to clear.

A big merry Christmas wish to you all.

Have a safe and happy holiday and we will see

you in 2018 when we start celebrating our

40th year of supplying seed.

fb xmas greeting-596
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Glennis says ...
Hi, Thanks Carolyn for all the blogs. Your text was always interesting and encouraging and photos amazing. Especially your last one about your garden, inspiring. And the photos of the big downpour swishing round your garden was lovely - first time I've seen anything like this.


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