Thank goodness I have a garden

Thank goodness I have a garden

During this time of lockdown and being stuck at home I have to say thank goodness I have a garden. It may not be the best, but it is mine and it is outside.

This morning I was reading an article in The Guardian where David Byrne from Talking Heads was looking back over the last 8 months of his life living in an apartment in New York. It occurred to me as I started it how hard apartment living must be at this time.

Being outside during lockdown

Wanting to be outside to enjoy the fresh air is not as easy as it was last year or the year before. Having to wear a mask means you miss the smell of the air. Being outside is so different.

I don’t want to complain, because I understand why we are in lockdown and don’t object to it. However, when I think about people who live in apartments I feel for them and their small space where they can go without wearing a mask.

We don’t live on a massive block of land, but we do have a garden. Smaller than some, but bigger than many. I thought it might be nice today to show you around it. Now I have to warn that while I have done a bit to clean it up and get it under control, there is still a long way to go.

So let’s take a look at the front, back, and side.

The back garden

The grass out here was very long just over a week ago. We bought a Makita 18V Li-Ion Cordless Brushcutter Kit, a whipper snipper, to help us maintain it. We were thinking about getting a lawnmower, but really this was more important. It is a rather weird space, we have never really known what to do with it.

When I had my first vegetable garden I had it out here. Unfortunately, it really doesn’t get enough sun and no morning sun.

You may have noticed that there are two compost bins. I am trying to get back into doing that, but I know I will never be able to just have one and do the turning and whatnot. While looking on YouTube for ideas about composting I saw one that suggested having two. You have one that fills up and when it is full you leave it for a number of weeks. Then you start on the second. By the time that one is full then the first should be ready to use. That is the theory anyway. We will see how we go with it.

The side garden

Our house is a rectangle and goes down the block, so we have quite a bit of space out the side of the house.

Some of the photos I showed you a week or so back were taken from this view. I was planting lots of flowers, but they are all gone now. When I let the garden go we ended up with a problem with blackberries. I’ve been trying to get rid of them for quite some time.

Also, the ornamental pear tree shades it quite a bit, and I don’t think flowers would grow there very well now. I like that it is like a bit of woodland or something. A bit wild. I will probably leave it much it like this, maybe just tidy it up more.

The front garden

This is where most of the work has been done. It is also the garden that gets the most sun, especially that morning sun.

We have a huge amount of cement paving around our house. It was done well before we moved here. Good or bad, I don’t know. However, when we bought the two raised garden beds it seemed like a natural place to put them on that cement at the front of the house.

I have also dug up some space in the actual garden to plant vegetables as well. We have a lot of trees along the front so it is hard to see into our yard. Hopefully, that will help protect the vegetables and they won’t get stolen.

If the veggies go well this year we are going to try the back garden again next year. Get some more raised beds to put out there.

I love the idea of being self-sufficient. Growing our own vegetables to eat. I just hope I can make it work and that it won’t have all been a waste of money and time.

Do you grow your own food? Have you had a lot of luck?

Thank goodness I have a garden

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  1. So glad to see you have some dirt to play in! Where I live, wildlife – wallabies and possums are the biggest hurdle to my vegie garden! I have an enclosed area with raised beds and more netting but the possums never seem to give up. I generally only plant things in my garden that are edible or native to attract birds and animals. Keeping on top of weeds is the biggest challenge :/

    1. Yes, so lucky, there have been times when I have hated it, but now I am so glad. Wildlife can be a problem here too. So far the possums have stayed out of the garden. We have wallabies and kangaroos around us, but they stay in the parks. The biggest problem is foxes. I would love to get some chooks, but I am worried the foxes would get them. The weeds are a massive challenge. Slowly getting on top of them, but expect it will be an ongoing problem for quite some time. Thank you.

    1. You have a great garden, I only hope one day. We should talk gardening sometime. Love the raised beds and have plans for more. It is sugar cane mulch. Not sure it was the best idea, especially since it comes from Queensland. Thank you Julie.

  2. It occurred to me as I started it how hard apartment living must be at this time.

    Thank you for waiting that! I have been infuriated over that last few months by all the articles admonishing people to “quit their complaining” and “man up and other useless garbage.

    1. I imagine it would be hard.
      You’re welcome Khürt, though I don’t think there is a problem with complaining, it is the people that don’t do the right thing and disregard what the health dept and gov are doing that drive me mad. While the rest of the world is in the midst of the second wave, we are now coming out it and restrictions are starting to be lifted. So happy that it is now happening. I can’t wait to visit my daughters.

    1. Thank you Cornelia, it has been great. So much work, but I am loving seeing it all come together. Makes me want to do more.

    1. I am very lucky to have the garden. Mind you, I haven’t always felt that way, but now it is great having it. Thank you Sherry.

  3. I used to have two compost bins and it worked as you say until we had an especially cold winter. I feel I am too old to cope with them now though. I have never been any good at growing vegetables only apples but fresh from the garden is always best. Good Luck with your endeavours.

    1. What happened with the cold winter? I am still good for using them at the moment. I’m determined to make them work. Good to hear from someone who has used two as well. I really hope this method worked for me. Thank you for that RJ.

    2. I had two for similar reasons to you. When we had the cold winter the composting process stalled and I found I had two full composters with just a little compost at the bottom of one. So I had to stop using them. I don’t expect you should have that problem in Australia. It also happened shortly before I had the paving replaced and as my garden is so small and just paving and a few flower beds I decided that I couldn’t face all the complications now I am getting old and the workmen disposed of the composters and their contents though I did save what compost there was.

    3. Okay, the cold makes sense now, I get you. Our winters are never really that cold. Even when we have sunny days the sun is still very warm. I have a really large garden, well not huge, but big enough that the compost will be good, I just need to get it to a point where I can actually use it. Fingers crossed. Thank you RJ.

  4. Three of the tallest seemingly happiest container (bucket) grown tomato plants yielded next to nothing this year in Upstate New York. Hope you have much better outcome. Compost is better when turned…

    1. I managed to grow some tomatoes last year, but they weren’t the best. The pot I put them in had been used for many things over time, so I am hoping this year will be better. Yes, I understand that compost needs to be turned, but if you turn it then when do you use it, because in my head it will always have stuff that hasn’t decomposed. I have a tool for turning it now, so will do that until all of it, in one, is ready to use. Thank you Jonathan.

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