Tag Archive: plot


Companions in the garden

While I love my pets – Gina (a jack russell x sausage dog…. we think) and Lea (a small tabby cat) – how they see the garden doesn’t always align with my view. This year I have accepted it is not just my garden, it is theirs as well and have tried to adapt the space accordingly.

 

It was an easy solution for Lea. I could continue to have my plants squashed in certain pots that she loves to sleep in (I even tried skewers & sticks which she would also flatten and sleep on), or I could leave a few empty pots to keep her happy. Also I had to accept that any time I picked up the camera she would appear, wanting to be part of every photo.

Gina on the other hand, while small and cute – she’s quite territorial. Make that incredibly territorial. She guards our property from any dog who may walk past by running up and down the fence line reminding them of how big and tough she is (they are never fooled). After watching many plants become trampled and even setting up pots to try and break up her running (with mixed success) – I decided to make a formal dog run for her.

Creating the dog run

One of the hardest parts of the garden to get anything to grow has been the section directly behind the front fence. Gina had compacted the soil with her running and a large tree on our nature strip means little light ever falls there. To try and improve this I dug up all the soil, added gypsum (we have heavy clay soil here which I’ve spent a lot of time trying to break up), & compost and mixed it all in. I created a more formal dog run with small stakes and twine, and planted some shade tolerant plants in which have all taken off with great success! Gina no longer tramples my garden and she remains happy being the “big” guard dog. 

It’s lovely having the company in the garden – the pets supervise every planting and change made, and they have both really enjoyed what our front yard has become. They now spend loads more time in the garden than when we first moved in, enjoying all the new spots created by the new plants (e.g. lying in the shade of a pumpkin leaves) which is really a great compliment.

 

I have accepted now that February always means the inevitable -the winding down of summer and consequently the winding down of the summer vegetables. The leaves of the tomato plants wilt and brown, happy they have provided enough seed to keep the plant’s life cycle continuing. The nasturtiums have died off and already new nasturtium seedlings are growing from the dropped seeds.

While working to clear all the dying growth, I’m surprised as I realise I’m not feeling sad – the whole process feels very positive. I’m moving the garden forward and creating space for the next season’s plants. Clearing out all the dying material (and a lot of the weeds I’ve been turning a blind eye to) also makes the garden seem a lot tidier. With the extra space created my mind is already buzzing with ideas for the next season’s crops. Each season in the garden creates the opportunity to try something new and grow something again. That is something to be thankful for.

An Introduction

ImageIt started with two packets of seeds… what to follow was a huge passion that I simply wasn’t aware was brewing inside. Join me in seeing the changes that take place over each season in my garden– a tiny plot in my suburban front yard. See the triumphs, the disasters, and the continual war with the snails as I attempt to turn my small patch into not only a garden that is visually lovely all year round, but is productive as well.  

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The starting block... creating the garden initially

We’ve been in our current house for 3 years now. We’re renovating… which has not only meant joyous activities like outside showers for 3 months, but has also meant our backyard has been a full-time building site almost since our arrival.

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The first winter garden - everything still new and small

 

There is only so much you can grow in pots (which I tried the first year) and I slowly started to add veggies into what was our very young front garden. When my partner didn’t complain I took this as free reign to do whatever I pleased and have over the past few years created my own little oasis right outside my front door. A garden splattered with veggies, flowers, natives and evergreens in no formal order.

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Summer creation

Trying to keep the garden visually attractive (as it is on continual showcase) has been a challenge, as well as accommodating two small animals (a dog that loves to run and a cat who loves to sleep in pots) has added to my experience.

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My current garden - Summer 2012

I have no formal training in gardening, what you will see and read has been experimentation, common sense and a lot of previous reading (which I’ve learnt does not always work in real life). Sometimes it works in my favour – and a lot of the time it doesn’t. But all of it makes me happy.

ImageSo what does a late 20’s female living in inner Melbourne know about gardening? It turns out a lot more that I’d originally thought…..