My arms and shoulders have a satisfying ache because I’ve spent the day digging and planting.
It is with tremendous pride that I let you know that my bloke has followed through and The Greatest Plant Box of All Time at the front of our home has been completed. My bloke has finished the task. He can tick that baby off the list of things to do in his spare time. And the up cycled drums, delivered some time ago are now in place, holes drilled at the bottom for drainage, adjusted to become worthy garden pots.
I have boxes of plants, carefully chosen the day before, waiting for their new home.
There is a pile of top notch potting mix ready to fill tubs, boxes and pots in the drive way.
Today is the day when it’s all going to come together.
It is the best gardening day ever.
Let me set the scene.
The sky is that super blue, but the air is crisp and cold.
In the morning, I don my gardening gear. This is not a look that is suitable for public viewing, more driven by comfort,
practicality and availability. It’s true that there is a fleecy jacket in the mix.
The household is empty of teenagers and blokes. This is important because it means I have uninterrupted time to think my moves out. This allotment of time is surely the greatest luxury. To be truly alone, as a mother, a partner and a friend, at home is like being away in another part of the country, but better. You know where the toilet is and you know the coffee is good.
I get to work.
By lunch my jacket is off.
By mid afternoon, the final sweep is done.
I’m hot, tired and pleased.
And the result? Now I have a garden that extends past my courtyard, past my front door, past my deck and into the wild wonders of community. I reckon that’s marvellous.
My family, eventually home from school and work have mixed reactions.
My youngest simply doesn’t notice. (Unbelievable.)
My oldest is happy for me, but also hungry.
And my bloke? Well, he does the tour with me. He compliments me on my choices of plants and positioning. He pours me wine. He makes dinner. He asked questions about watering and harvesting. He comes out again, after dark, in the cold, to look at the finished garden one more time before bedtime. Again, he praises my efforts, without talking about his pretty substantial contribution. ( I mean, really he did all the work, and I’m strutting around like a peacock after one day of labour.) Team effort, he says, gallantly.
I always love my bloke, but today he makes me fall in love with him again.
Gardening, who’ed have thought that brings romance?
Truly, one of the best days ever.
(c) Chris Gordon. Please visit her website here www.opensourceoutside.com.au
Food swaps have taken off in many parts of the world. They are fun, sustainable, community building, healthy and free. Meet the neighbours, eat seasonal fruit and veg, reduce food waste, save transport costs and emissions and stretch the budget!
When & Where:
Mount Martha, The Briars, 450 Nepean Hwy(Mel Ref 150 E7)
1st Saturday of the month, 3-4pm
Dig It, Mornington Community Garden, Mitchell St, Mornington (Mel Ref 145D3). 3rd Sat of the month, 2-3pm
Rosebud Community Garden, Leon Ave, Rosebud (Mel Ref 170 F1). Last Saturday of the month, 2-3pm pm during School Term
What to bring: A smile and your produce – any fresh homegrown food or garden related goods.
Mount Martha: Paula - email@example.com
Mornington: Lorraine – firstname.lastname@example.org or Maree - ph. 5975 6014, www.dig-it-garden.weebly.com
Rosebud: John Eldridge – Jnj.email@example.com, ph. 5989 2839.
What Goes on at
FROM GARDEN TO PLATE
There's a revolution taking place around the country and it’s happening in our own backyards. Trampolines are being replaced with raised veggie patches and greenhouses are taking the place of cubby houses, all in the name of fresh, organic fruit and veggies.
Whether you are a seasoned or novice gardener, growing your own veggie patch this winter is an easy way to round out meals with some fresh produce and add healthy nutrients to boost your immune system. What’s more, gardening can be enjoyed as a therapeutic hobby on your own or as a fun activity for the whole family.
To start your winter garden, think comfort food. Cabbage, carrots, celery, cauliflower, garlic, leeks and onions grow well in the colder months are all perfect additions to your hearty soups, stews and casseroles.
To complement these winter warmers, add herbs. Add parsley, along with rosemary, oregano, and thyme - all great garden performers in the colder winter months and perfect garnishes to any meal.
If winter salads are more your taste, try planting Asian greens, rocket, lettuce, spinach, mint and shallots - a great addition to the winter garden – and to a steaming Vietnamese pho!
Nothing beats the satisfaction of growing your own produce. It’s a great way to cut the veggie bills and can be a fun winter pastime, with these simple tips from Bunnings National Garden Care Buyer, David Hardie:
Make a cosy bed raised veggie patches keep soil warmer and allow rain water to drain easily, making them perfect for winter. Portable greenhouses are also a great option with controlled climates that will also keep vegetables warm and sheltered from the elements.
Give them space Many winter veggies, including cabbage and cauliflower, need space to grow. Ensure your patch is big enough to plant larger vegetables about fifty centimetres apart.
Remove weeds and any dead plants that have sprouted during autumn to prevent the build-up of disease and insects. Remember not to throw dead plant matter away as it is can be a valuable addition to your compost.
Rejuvenate soil Mix soil with fertiliser and compost to promote healthy plant growth. Use a garden fork to make sure nutrients are thoroughly mixed throughout the soil.
Mulch protects soil from the elements and breaks down to fertilise your plants. About 3-5cm is a good amount for most mulches, and make sure to pull it away from the trunks of plants and small seedlings to keep them dry.
Time your watering There's no longer a need to water as much as in summer. If you're using an automated tap timer, consider turning the tap off after rain, and turning it back on in dry spells.
For those looking for the ultimate garden-to-plate experience, why not add a chicken coop to your backyard and accompany home grown veggies with delicious fresh eggs. Kids will also love collecting eggs and taking care of the chickens!
Bunnings Warehouse Mornington,
1100 Nepean Highway (Cnr Bungower Road),
Tel: 5973 9000
Bunnings Warehouse Rosebud, 282 Boneo Road, Tel: 5982 9300
If you have gardening stories, hints on how to grow better plants, photos of your garden,
or what's in it, please send them to us
or what's in it, please send them to us