Labour Weekend came and went and I cautiously held off from planting out my summer vegetables.

Traditionally Labour Weekend in New Zealand is the time for getting tomatoes, peppers, corn, pumpkins etc into the ground outside, after the threat of frosts have passed. But for the past few years cheeky old Jack has snuck up on us in the early hours of morning and delivered a cold snap just as our fragile, summer loving plants have been popped in the ground. There is nothing more depressing than seeing the bouncing summer babies that you have carefully cultivated, dashed and black, dying on the their icy beds.

I’m not one to get into all the debates over climate changes but I will say that either things on that front have definitely changed or it’s just that now that I am gardening, I am much more aware of the unpredictable nature (so to speak) of weather. Perhaps as a kid, a teen and a young adult with no plans to ever garden (oh how things change) I never took notice if we got the odd frost in November? I probably just grizzled about another morning of having to leave my lovely bed and then got on with it. I never would have considered the plants outside.

Either way, I’m going to give it another week or so and then I guess I’ll just have to cross my fingers and hope for the warm and bright days that one should expect in November so that my summer babies can have their days growing in the sun. The greenhouse is all prepared and their new homes have been topped up with fresh compost ready to go. I know once they get their roots safely bedded in they will quickly shoot away and reach their full potential. The right amount of growing time is important but with the right amount of love and attention, I reckon they can catch up.