I have recently started reflecting on where plants in our garden are originally from, because people often ask me the same question about myself. Most of our flowers, fruits, veggies and herbs in the garden are from other countries. I have started writing a series of blog posts to explore some of our favourite flowers and edibles we have grown over the years which are from overseas. This is the last post in this series. To close, I would like to cover plants we have grown in our garden that originate from Australia and New Zealand, which is the region where I live.
Jarrahdale and Queensland Blue Pumpkins
While pumpkins are thought to originate from North America (which I covered in my previous blog post), the varieties Jarrahdale and Queensland Blue come from Australia. I don’t think it’s exactly a coincidence that both of these varieties perform exceptionally well in our garden, since they are from this part of the world. As I have mentioned when covering our favourite edibles which come from Europe, the pumpkin Musquee de Provence which comes from Southern France does not perform well in our microclimate. In all the years that I have faithfully sown a packet of seeds every spring, we have only ever harvested one pumpkin.
Both of these varieties have great flavour and also store very well.
I enjoy growing a type of squash called Kamo Kamo, which is native to New Zealand and was consumed by the Maori, the indigenous people to NZ. It needs very long hot summers in order to crop well. Because our summers start later every year, are shorter and temperatures are cooler due to climate change, we usually only get a couple even if I sow an entire packet of seeds.
New Zealand Spinach
As the name suggests, NZ Spinach is also native to this country. It performs well in warm weather, so I recommend planting seedlings outside when summer has started.