Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

28 May 2009

The Year of the Garden

Mary, Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?

Just before the beginning of the year I had dinner with a friend currently living and working in England and we designated 2009 The Year of Optimism.

In other quarters however I had already declared 2009 to be The Year of the Garden. We moved into our home here at the beginning of 2008. It is in a really beautiful setting but the actual garden is, well...

"Garden" is probably a bit generous. "Yard" would be better.

I just couldn't get to it last year. So I decided this year would be the year. Rather rashly (or maybe for reasons of accountability/motivation to actually do something about it) I announced far and wide that I would get working on garden this year. (And I REALLY need to do something about it now that I have mentioned it here! Not that I going to be bullied by my own blog!!)

So here is the baseline.

The yard is an "L" shape. This is the base of the "L" - with the washing line in the corner.

Then, standing halfway along the upright of the "L", looking back down to the corner where the washing line is you have the boys' trampoline.

Turn the other way and you get a wonderful paved area, which currently features, among other things, a stack of empty pots that moved with us from our last house.

I need to confess at this point that I am no gardener. We brought empty pots with us because all the plants that had once been in them were dead...and there was no point shifting dead plants to our new home! You will start to get a picture of the challenges that lay ahead.

And then for the grand finale, the empty patch, just crying out for a garden.

Now there are three major challenges for me. One is to overcome my gardening ineptitude. The second is that I will be working on a tight budget. The third and biggest challenge is that there are lots of gum trees all around the perimeter of the yard and although you can't see it, there is one just to the right of this empty patch. And I would be reasonably confident that there are certain things that will not grow under a gum tree.

So that is the baseline. This is The Year of the Garden. And it is only the end of May. I haven't even missed Spring for 2009. Where there is still Spring to come there is hope.

I'll keep you posted...and no doubt I'll be asking for some advice along the way.

Oh, by the way, the United Nations has actually designated2009 the International Year of Astronomy.


mattnbec said...

Well, I'm certainly not gardener either, so I sympathise!

The first thing that comes to mind is that with all that space surely you should make a nice vegie patch/herb garden! Even we have been able to grow nice potatoes, tomatoes, capsicums, butternut pumpkins etc before. The really fun bit is playing 'guess the plant' when your put the compost out and it produces something in your vegie patch all by itself! We've had watermelons, butternuts, cherry tomatoes and more from it. As for herbs, I know rosemary is very hardy and parsley, chives, basil etc are so useful to have fresh (and not that hard to look after). Good for the food bill and good for teaching kids about plants, God's creation...

The other thing that comes to mind, given that you have two boys is that there's good space for a cricket pitch!

Some lovely native plants would go nicely with the Gum trees too. They suit the environment and if you choose well should cost less water-wise too. Zanthorrea nursery, in Maida Vale is worth a visit. They are fantastic for natives and are full of good advice. When we're visited and said "we need hardy plants that will be able to survive despite our ineptitude" etc, they've been very, very helpful.

Have fun!

love Bec

Sharon said...

I heard it was the Year of the Potato. Hmmm.

To make the soil better you can buy a trailer load from a soil supply store (rent the trailer from them) and just dump it down on top of what is there. We did this at our last rental home and it worked a treat. We are going the much longer composting with vegie scraps route though.

~ Sharon