The theme for this month’s Garden Share Collective is ‘colour’, so today I’ll show you some of the colours in my autumn garden and give some ideas for adding year-round colour to your kitchen or food garden.
Now that the autumn equinox has passed, the colours in my food garden are changing rapidly. Early limes show a hint of gold, the apples are changing from green to blush, and colourful summer crops like tomatoes and squash have made way for the plain green of winter vegetable seedlings.
Perhaps it’s the earlier-than-usual onset of cool nights, but my Satsuma plum tree, a blood plum, is already a bright and glorious red. None of my other plum trees are showing any autumn colour at all. The only other splash of red comes from the chilies outside my back door and the stems of silverbeet seedlings.
After some good recent rain, the dominant colour in my ‘patch’ is green: green vegetable seedlings, green limes and apples, and even green grass. It’s so pleasant and restful to be surrounded by green after a hot, dry summer.
After failing to thrive over the summer, the eggplant bushes are now producing like crazy. The little black Australorp chicks of last spring are now adult-sized and will hopefully start producing eggs like crazy soon.
I recently moved the chicken run to my old veggie patch. The chickens will eat any bugs in the soil and fertilise it ready for future crops.
How to add year-round colour to your food garden
A food garden can be just as aesthetically pleasing as a flower garden, if attention is paid to colour and form.
- Choose deciduous fruit trees like apples, pears, plums and peaches that provide spring blossom and bright autumn foliage
- Include edible flowering plants like borage, nasturtiums, scented geraniums and marigolds. These will also attract bees that will pollinate your fruiting plants
- Choose interesting and colourful heirloom vegetables like black krim tomatoes and Turk’s turban squash
- Don’t forget leaves and stems; the pink, yellow, orange and red stems of rainbow chard can do a lot to brighten an early spring garden
- Consider plants with colourful fruit, like citrus trees, plums, blueberries and pomegranates
- Consider the composition of your patch. Think of your veggie patch as a cottage garden where plants of many sizes and colours can mingle together. Alternatively, plant kale, chard and rhubarb in an existing ornamental garden rather than a dedicated veggie patch.
Every month participants in the Garden Share Collective also share what they are planting, harvesting and a to-do list.
- Asian greens
- spring onions
- carrot seeds
- beetroot seeds
- coriander seeds
- beet leaves
Over the next few weeks I intend to:
- Pull up weeds and feed safe ones to the chooks
- Keep an eye out for gall wasp infestations in my citrus trees
- Remove the last of the summer vegetables and prepare beds for winter vegetables
- Dig up some of the horseradish roots and preserve them
- Plant garlic