If this is your first time reading a post from my blog, hi :-). And just as a quick catch up for you, I have made some pretty awesome life changes during the past twelve months and you can read about those here and here. This is one of those changes…
The gorgeous area that you see in the above photo used to be a fairly vast expanse of nothingness. Just bits of cracked cement surrounded by dirt which would quickly turn into awesome muddy puddles that even Peppa Pig would be envious of. However,my clever, ultra-talented hubby designed all this for me, as a birthday present and as a reward for both of us quitting smoking, how lucky am I??? But honestly, I really didn’t know how it would go, so it was really an experiment. Luckily, because my partner is so handy and built the raised garden beds out of recycled timber, it wouldn’t be a costly experiment. You see, I have always seen myself as having a “black thumb” as opposed to a “green thumb”, I was just never blessed with being able to see eye to eye with plants, flowers, cacti, I have always managed to kill them all, possibly with kindness, rather than neglect. So you can see why I was dubious. The weather gods were kind enough to lay on some gorgeous weather on the weekend we planned to get all the seedlings in, and we did it all in one weekend at the end of. March this year, and it was such a satisfying feeling. Originally we planted out; dwarf broccoli, miniature cauliflower, English spinach, silverbeet, green mingionette lettuce, Tuscan kale, carrots, cabbage and white onion (that tested the memory a tad!). As we were heading into the second month of Autumn (I am situated in the southern-most state of Australia, Tasmania), these veggies SHOULD have been perfect for that time of year, but for some reason, despite watering just enough and not too much, they just wanted to wither, not completely,but they certainly weren’t healthy. Then, we had a week of cold, frosty weather, and the little seedlings started to take off, and within the next two weeks, the little babies that had started to wither away had doubled in size. There was hope after all!
I became a woman obsessed. Every evening before bed I even used to duck out to the garden to remove any snails or slugs that may have decided my veggies would be a welcome feast. I’m not sure whether I thought that if I watched the veggie plants enough that I may see them grow in front of my eyes, or maybe if I took my eyes off them something would suddenly come along and destroy it, but I began to realise that when I was having a tough time, I could step out into my “green space”, take a deep breath, and all would be well again. So my new-found hobby was also a form of therapy, who would have ever thought?? This garden was like my “baby” (well, not really, but you get the idea), so the day I decided to check on the progress of our carrots, I was devastated. I pulled out what I thought was one carrot, but it ended up being four or five carrots all intertwined with each other, they were like a form of carrot from another planet, and totally in edible. Hoping it was a one-off, but knowing deep down it wasn’t, I pulled up another, and it was the same. Tears sprang to my eyes and I ripped them all out, one alien carrot bunch by one, and threw them in the compost heap. After doing some reading, we found out that our soil was perhaps a little bit too good to plant carrots in, and that we should possibly plant in some sandier soil. Yep, great to know that NOW! However, the carrots have so far (touch wood) been the only real failure. The dwarf broccoli was just unbelievably delicious, tasted unlike anything I had ever tasted from the supermarket and it looked pretty darn awesome, too.
The plants we grew that were from the “Brassica” family (that is, the leafy greens), could not have grown better, they totally exceeded our expectations. I have managed to get my partner eating his greens (after quite a lengthy time of despising them!), my boys have become obsessed with “Kale Chips” (I promise I’ll do another post on these later if you would like, hands up???) and we are just eating more and more healthy in general. The silverbeet is still going great guns, I’ve only just completely taken out the spinach plants after they fed us for well over three months, same deal goes for the kale and the cabbage and onions are still growing away, doing their own thing while I patiently wait. Of course since March we have done a lot more to the garden. We have added additional garden beds, we have re-done our front yard to accommodate some pea and broadbean plants, we have hanging baskets which are now home to a vast array of strawberry plants, we have a work farm, we have just gone all out really. But as I say, if you’re going to do something you may as well do it well ;-). Although I’m sure there will be a lot more stumbles along the way, everything in the garden seems to be full steam ahead for the Spring season, which has begun in glorious style in this neck of the woods, and I can’t wait to see what Spring will deliver to my garden.