Operation: Garden. One Year Later

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”

Audrey Hepburn

Time flies.

Just over a year ago I blogged about starting work on my garden. So here we are: I’m going to show how it’s gone. I have to say, I’m pretty darn proud, too. Warning: lots of pictures to come!

You may remember the sad state of my front garden (see the top pic). Well, we got in there and dug it out. We planted kangaroo paws, eremophila, succulents and tyres for veggies. Set up a worm farm, a bird table and an insect house. Added jarrah mulch. We’ve seen honey-eaters, magpies, twenty-eights and willy wagtails enjoying the garden. I’ve even had leaf-cutter bees use my rose for baby bedding. The only thing left is to trim that hedge ready for summer, and start harvesting some tomatoes.

I feel great every time I walk out of the front door.

And now for the back.

First we dug out a new bed, filled it with soil, covered it with hessian and added log retainers. We ended up pulling out the hessian because it kept the soil too damp for our native garden needs, but it went in the compost so no harm done. There’ve been a few losses: grevillea that grew fungus, an avocado tree that didn’t survive the summer, and most recently, my tyre full of green mulch flowers has been under attack from slaters. Orange traps to the rescue this weekend. I hope!

Yes, that is an old CD rack placed as a trellis. It works, too.

The biggest growers have been the passionfruit vine, eremophila, native wisteria, climbing nasturtiums, and the west coast gem, aka native hibiscus (alyogyne). We’ve also just installed two raised garden beds against the shed, and I’m experimenting with corn along a side wall planted straight into the ground.

It’s not been just natives in the garden, as you can see. I love teaching the kids about growing food, even though the effort for the amount of food grown is often disproportionate. There has been plenty of trial-and-error, much caterpillar and snail exterminating (and sometimes capturing for short-lived pets!), and plenty of munching. I love how the kids enjoy pulling out and eating veggies straight from the garden.

Some of the produce we have grown or are growing: basil, beetroot, blueberries, broccoli, capsicum, carrots, celery, chillies, chives, coriander, corn, cucumber, land cress, leeks, lemons, lemongrass, loofah, mint, okra, onions, parsley, pumpkin, rocket, rosemary, snow peas, spinach, spring onions, strawberries, sugar snap peas, thyme, tomatoes, watermelons, zucchini.

So what’s next?

We installed a 1500L rainwater tank in the autumn, just in time to collect a decent volume over the past few months. I’ve got wildflowers growing along one side of the house for the bees, and thinking of building that into a permanent feature. And I’m free to see what develops.

I love to hang out in my garden. The daily watering, debugging, and tending is a joy. A space for me to breathe and refresh. It helps with my writing, too.

Do you get out in nature? I highly recommend it. I’d love to hear about your own hobbies that bring you joy and cleanse your mind. Does gardening help your creativity? Is there something else that you love, or a project that is coming to fruition that you’d like to share? Comment below!

I shall leave you with some regular visitors: the local galahs and twenty-eights. See you next week for the IWSG monthly blog feature.

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