December: what is blooming in the Floral Mixtress’s garden

Pot Marigold – Calendula officinalis

In bloom this month

Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia (Pacific Blue)

Thyme – Thymus officinalis

Pot Marigold – Calendula officinalis

Tomato – Solanum lycopersicum

Heartsease – Viola tricolour

The Big D and I are having a lovely, lazy weekend at home.  Home for us is a three bedroom house in the western part of Auckland, New Zealand. The Big D and I will celebrate our two-year anniversary next February and were just reflecting on how much change our lives have seen these past two years – long, lazy weekends afford you the time to think such things. We have both moved house twice and both changed jobs. We also moved in together and then bought a house together. So it is no wonder we are both feeling rather shattered. I hope that if you are in the same boat you can also have a few long, lazy weekends to help you regain your equilibrium.

So the Floral Mixtress’s garden is a blank slate at the moment. A long narrow sloping backyard for which I have big, floraceous plans. We just need to scrape together the cash to build some raised garden beds – living as we do in the city formerly known as Waitakere, you dig down about half a millimetre and hit solid clay. Sigh.

Pots of marigold, thyme, basil, parsley and sage.

Pots of marigold, thyme, basil, parsley and sage.

Currently I’m gardening in a collection of small plastic planter boxes and pots on our back deck. I’ve potted up the planters boxes with culinary herbs (basil, thyme, sage and parsley) and pot marigold. Pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) is a great plant for a budding floralista as it is edible, medicinal, a prolific producer of flowers and great at dissuading pests that would like to feast on your other plants. I am so head over heels with Calendula that I am letting it completely take over my planter boxes. My sun-loving sage is particularly unimpressed with living in the shade of the triffid-like Pot Marigold towering above it.

Thyme and Lavender flowers

I also have some Pacific Blue lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Pacific Blue) in pots. Pacific Blue is a cultivar of lavender developed in New Zealand. It makes the most divine essential oil, as well as having pretty flowers and forming a nice round shape.

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