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Saturday, January 22, 2011


I got into gardening a few months back after an innocent request to remove a small tree turned into a full-on landscaping epic. We are a fairly typical family on an average suburban block (around 610sqm total) on the outskirts of Sydney. Our yard is L-shaped and by no means large. A portion is fenced off for the dog, another section houses the blow-up pool (in summer, trampoline in winter). Some of the rest is given over to a play area and what will hopefully be a deck, and also a meditation garden.

We have four beds assigned to vegies, another which I haven't completely decided on yet and is currently home to some lovely sunflowers and another bed which is for flowers only. I probably could have planned the bed rotation better but because the whole set up was a bit haphazard (made up as we went along basically) there are plants alongside plants that probably aren't recommended to be together. But hey, Brooke Shields and Michael Jackson were happily dating for a short time so why not corn and beets?

Here's a list of what's currently growing (to varying degrees of success):

Bed 1 (kitchen garden bed)
Tomatoes, lettuce (various), capsicum, dwarf beans, lavender, basil, marigolds and a sick zucchini.

Bed 2 (along a fence)
Ballerina apple, cucumber, lavender, watermelon, leeks, carrots, capsicum, squash, cherry tomatoes, rosemary. And just planted runner (climbing) beans.

Bed 3 (the organised bed)
Cherry tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, capsicum, zucchini and newly planted runner beans.

Bed 4 (the anything grows bed - pictured below)
Ballerina apple, dwarf beans, squash, sunflowers, chia.

Bed 5 (new raised bed)
Corn, butternut pumpkin, cos lettuce, beetroot, cauliflower, radish, broccoli.

Also around the place are dotted a few pots containting various herbs, strawberries, blueberries and a dwarf peach. Nearly all of the plants have either been purchased as seedlings or grown from seed in the past six months.

This blog was inspired by a tip I read in one of Jackie French's books. She said to get the most from your garden, as motivation for doing all the yakka if you like, eat something from it every day. Even if it's a sprinkling of herbs. So for the past few days that's what we've done. Yesterday it was a handful of dwarf beans cooked with mushrooms to go with our sausages and mash.

Can we keep it up for 365 days? Let's see.

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