This is an article that I have written and has been published by Urban Times. An interesting topic for urban/kitchen gardeners.
Came across this exciting project. Would love to see more of this in our urban landscape. Not only does this have a positive effect on food security, it has positive implications socially. Great way to get people to talk with their neighbours and other community members.
I strongly encourage my readers to check this blog out and start utilising their front gardens.
Well it’s that time of year when the garden starts to come to life. Not sure if I speak only for myself but like the garden I start to come out of hibernation and really start to enjoy the sunshine and the garden.
My Dutch Irises have come to life in the front garden. They look absolutely stunning. I have managed to even plant some broccoli and zucchini in the front yard. Much to my fiancé’s dismay. He’s not quite convinced vegetables belong in the front garden. I personally don’t believe there are any hard and fast rules on where vegetables (or even fruit) can and cannot be planted.
So in the backyard I have set up a new compost bin. It’s the first time I have used a commercial bought bin. I suppose I will be able to let you know how it all works soon enough.
The most exciting thing is my eggplants. I have my first eggplant and I can’t wait to be able to start picking. The type I am growing is a heirloom variety called Listada Di Gandia. I have grown these plants by seed and planted last season and have survived the winter.
A quick update on the garlic… It’s not happening! I think Diesel just had too much fun with it. However I have plenty of herbs – oregano, parsley, thyme, mint (found out I have a summer variety and it is starting to shoot), bay and I still have some basil growing. My chilli plants have also survived the winter months.
I am so looking forward to the next couple of months. I want to make sure I can get as much as possible into the ground. It may also give me some welcome stress relief as my wedding day is not far around the corner now.
When I moved into my fiancé’s house almost a year ago I knew I wasn’t marrying a gardener. While he doesn’t haven’t a green thumb he certainly makes up for it in the kitchen. So it was a simple plan when I moved in… I would garden and he would cook. However we do cross over a little as I do like to cook and I think I have given him a little confidence in the gardening realm (well at least with the mowing).
Today I was on my way home and I saw a sign for free pavers. I stopped and got out of the car and to my surprise it was just what I was after for placing a rock border around the garden (well it has got me off to a good start) and some pavers for stepping stones to the letter box.
After I looked at my no-cost handy work I started to think the front garden transformation has become a real tribute to sustainability in the sense of materials costing me nothing, lawn cost nothing (the real bonus with that was I didn’t even have to lay it) and apart from a few plants they to have cost me nothing.
The main outcome for the front garden is for it to be a butterfly garden and the rocks were a perfect addition as they need somewhere to rest and warm up. Along with some nectar plants all I need now is a nice birdbath or something to ensure butterflies and birds have what they need to drink and eat.
So I guess there you have it. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to landscape your garden. Generally what is required is a little patience because sometimes you may just have to wait for materials to be available. All I can say is be on the look out and don’t be afraid to ask people if they require something or what they are doing with the left overs. Bartering is another good practice. That’s how I manage to get a lot of my plants (my son has a little nursery set up for native Australian plants and teenagers are always up for a good deal).
Next I might have to sneak in a few vegetables throughout the garden beds out the front. My fiancé seems to think you can only grow those types of things in a backyard. Well I think he may be in for a lesson on permaculture.
Garden Recycling – Homelife
Butterfly nectar plants of the Adelaide Region – Butterfly Conservation SA Inc.
10 Steps to a Butterfly Garden – Melbourne Zoo
So finally I have garlic estabilished and growing quite well. The lemon tree has not succumbed to anymore harrassment from Diesel. In fact the garden is coming together quite well at the moment.
Diesel is managing to chew up his own toys (has chewing and disecting tennis balls down to a fine art) and bedding and while that is a pain to be constantly picking up after him, I already do it for 4 children so whats another 4-legged child? He has also decided to undertake some earthworks in the back yard. I’m wondering if it is because he saw the boys digging a hole (where I am trying to re-establish the lawn) looking for worms that he thought it looked fun enough to try himself?
Oh yes! My special pup Diesel. What can I say? The temptation of a freshly potted lemon tree with the luscious taste and smell of cow manure was just too much. Lucky for Diesel the damage was superficial but I think I will be getting the chicken wire out tomorrow.
Chicken wire my saviour in the veggie patch!!!
Came across this website today and it is full of awesome ideas and information. It is written with Australian readers in mind but I’m sure that people from overseas will still enjoy the website.
My favourite gem from the website is a booklet that is crammed with very useful information about setting up the home veggie patch. It has certainly given me some motivation to extend my veggie garden and get it ready for the arrival of spring (although I’m sure I could sneak a few bits and pieces in between now and September).
Can you help identify this caterpillar the kids discovered on my lime tree? Would love to be able to tell them its name and what it turns into.