Monday, 3 April 2017

Holding the space

A couple of posts ago I mentioned planting geraniums in my new garden for something other than being pretty, so I figured it was time to talk more about that!

These are the slightly sad looking geraniums I planted a few weeks ago. I have just regular plain pink (?) ones from my mum's garden, and some lemon-rose scented ones from our old house. I love geraniums because they are tough, and easy to propagate (good for kids!) and the scented ones can be just so lovely.

Now I have a deep love of gardening. And one of my children in particular and Charlidog (above)  both have a deep love of tapdancing all over my freshly planted gardens. It frustrates me no end, so rather than get cranky, I thought I would get smart. These geraniums are acting as pioneer plants in my garden! A visual and physical reminder that there is something happening in that spot, and that children and dogs are expected to keep off them as much as they can. Now that they have been in for a couple of weeks, I am slowly adding a few other tough plants that can tolerate the odd foot/paw with minimal distress. Tarragon and gerberas so far, since gerberas are a favourite of the previously mentioned tapdancing child and Tarragon is delicious and cheerful!

It seems to be working quite well, and it means that I've also been able to plant my first fruit tree guild, right next to the patio and right where the original round garden was.

In the centre I have a lemon tree, and surrounding that is a mix of herbs and flowers, with some vege sprinkled in there too. So far I have rosemary, comfrey, society garlic, dianthus, pineapple sage, licorice basil, sweet basil, sorrel, silverbeet, and no doubt a couple of other things I've forgotten. All planted because they will add more than just their beauty or tastiness. Comfrey will be a valuable addition to our medicinal herbs, as well as a deep rooted mineral accumulator, compost activator, mulch provider, and pretty flowers. Both basils will bring in pollinators and predators, as well as delicious leaves, flowers and seeds. Society garlic will bring in predators and pollinators too, add to pest control as the clumps develop, and be delicious in salads and cooking. Each plant needs to do at least a couple of things for it to have a place in my garden. Even the dianthus, which is edible, scented, pretty and attracts beneficial insects!

Now that the weather is drying out after Cyclone Debbie, I'm hoping there will be a flush of autumn growth before things cool down a little for winter. We're full steam ahead with putting in new garden infrastructure, so in the next couple of days I should have another post talking about what we've been doing this last week. I'm extremely excited!

Take care!

Thursday, 16 March 2017


When we knew we were moving to our new town, one of the first things I did was look up community gardens. I've always felt quite passionate about community gardens - they are an excellent way to help local communities reconnect with gardening, growing food, and each other. Living rurally meant that visiting community gardens was something that rarely happened though, so that particular passion has been on the back burner for a while.

Luckily for me, Maryborough has a lovely community garden! We joined the Lupton Park Community Garden  with a family membership, and now I pop in once a week for a couple of hours to do whatever odd jobs need doing. In return I get to share a cuppa with some new friends, learn more about gardening in this area, get my hands in the dirt, and share what I know.

I get to take home some lovely fresh organic produce too!

                                  A couple of zucchini (one the size of a small child!), some eggplant, 
                                 a mix of beans and some passionfruit, all from my first week. And 
                                                         my own name badge! Very fancy.

This weekend Lupton Park is hosting 4 short permaculture workshops run by Morag Gamble - author, teacher, blogger and general all-round sharer of awesomeness, who can be found at Our Permaculture Life. I'm extremely excited! I'll be learning more about sustainable living, food production and permaculture gardening.

The best part (second best, I'm dead keen for these workshops with Morag lol!) is that they are free for members. I wouldn't be able to go otherwise, as we have other things that are higher priority when it comes to funds. But part of what makes community gardens so wonderful is the sharing that is involved. We share our time and our skills not just with each other, but with anyone who walks through the gate. We share food, and information, and we share a space that allows others to do the same. This weekend is, to me, a prime example of why community gardens are just so valuable. So if there is one in your area, even if you can't get there often, or maybe even at all, see if there is some other way of supporting them. Donations of clean pots, excess seeds, even just sharing information about them so others can connect. All of it helps. All of it builds a community that can start caring for each other. It is well worth sharing :)

Take care, ox

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Our yard!

This is our yard - I took this picture before we moved in. You can see it is very bare, and the grass is almost non-existent. We also have an excellent view into the neighbour's yard behind us (lucky for us, he is a very nice neighbour!).

 This is post-move, as can be seen by the gigantic trampoline and the kids' clam shell. Also our dog Charlie, who is patiently (for a change) waiting to see if pats will be offered. We put up the chain link fence you can see behind the bins there before we moved in - when you sister-in-law is your landlord, putting up child-containment fencing becomes much easier! The neighbours on that side are also lovely, and are keen gardeners too. I've already been gifted with some cuttings, and I have a few plants here to share in return.

 Here you can see our patio area. If you look closely along the top of the photo you will see the very edge of another garden shed, which is the same size as the one on the slab behind the patio. It used to be on the pavers, taking up valuable patio space, so we moved it. We're not sure what we will do with it yet, but the extra patio space is excellent. We're putting in gardens around the edges of the pavers up that end, initially filled with geraniums (I have a reason for that, which I will detail in my next post) but eventually to be filled with herbs and flowers, a lemon tree and some salad greens. Probably a cherry tomato, and some beans too, to make for a quick salad. Basically whatever will fit in there...

These are some photos of my last garden. I've always loved mixed plantings of vegies, herbs and flowers. And I'm convinced that it makes each of them healthier than they would be on their own. I often let things go to seed, both to collect the seed and to attract pollinators and predators. Looking at these photos makes me miss having a productive garden, but it also makes me excited to know I will have that again, as long as I'm patient!

Take care oxox

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Welcome and hello!

                                               (Marigold grown from seed by my son)

Hello there!

Welcome to this tiny corner of the internet, where I'll be documenting my family's journey into town living at our new home. We've gardens to put in, flowers to pick, food to make, pictures to draw, a chook pen to build - the list is long!

I love gardening and crafting, as well as reading and writing. We homeschool our two youngest, so there is usually craft stuff hanging about, and a couple of weird "science" experiments evolving somewhere (hopefully where I will find it before it starts walking!). I usually have at least one crochet hook in my hair, even in summer when it is almost too hot to hook anything.

We've recently moved off a farm, and the two little ones are living in town for the first time in their lives. Having close neighbours is both exciting and a learning curve! Exploring our new town has been lovely, and having op shops and markets close by has been fun (if a little draining on the wallet). We're settling in to our new community, and looking forward to this next phase in our lives.

Right now we're waiting for much needed rain so we can start putting in our gardens. This means most of my time is spent planning the food forest layout and the forage for the chook pen, and unpacking boxes. Mainly boxes of books and craft supplies. I have way more of both than I thought ;)

I hope you read along with me. Next post I'll put up some pictures of our yard as part of our garden record keeping. There's nothing like seeing the before pictures to help you remember just how far you've come.

Take care ox

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Under Construction

Hello lovely people - my blog will see its first proper post over the weekend. Come and visit often!