Thursday, 2 October 2008

Pictures of gardening things

We're putting vegie beds in the front yard. UnAustralian, or perhaps only New Australian? Anyway, I felt slight twinges of guilt upon thinking about what whoever it was that sweated blood to get the front lawn going in the 50s would think, but the guilt subsided soon enough. This is not a street where people can be bothered doing much in the way of decorative front gardens. Vegetables look good, anyway, I think.

Here's the frame of the bed Dorian put together on the weekend. It is twelve square metres. I am thinking I want to put another one and really go mental.

These are seedlings coming up in my little greenhouse: five varieties of tomatoes, multi-coloured capsicums, sunflowers (for the chooks) kale, silverbeet, lettuce, cumin and coriander (for seed) spring onions, basil, lavender and white striped eggplants, salvia and petunias for the bees.

We'll sow the rest direct into the ground - corn, rocket, beans, peas, pumpkin, spinach, radishes, carrots, beetroot, zucchini, summer squash. The potatoes and garlic are already growing.

Then the backyard will once again be the sole domain of these indigent females:





You can really tell they are related.

19 comments:

innercitygarden said...

I think if I had all that veggie garden in one spot I'd be inclined to stand in the middle off it occasionally with my arms outstretched. So much space!

Very New Australian to have the veggies in the front yard, and since the change of government you can probably do it without coming to the attention of ASIO.

Whereabouts did you get your mini-greenhouse? I have been planning to get one but keep chickening out at the thought of the hardware shopping experience.

lucy tartan said...

It was from Bunnings and it was a good bit cheaper than the materials to build a much simpler one, which is what I went there intending to get.

It's really good - stuff comes up heaps faster in there. Plus the bugs can't get at it.

dogpossum said...

Hey, we had that greenhouse! We left it with a friend's mum when we moved. The plastic was totally trashed by the sun, but the frame was fine.
I have seedies in my bathroom, desperate for real dirt.

A friend of mine who's a hardcore permaculture gardener (he's at CERES and loves a chat) was telling me about veggie gardening in suburban australia. He said that during the war there was a lot of pressure to grow veggies. It was also something you did if you didn't have much money. So when the war ended, being able to devote your entire front garden to non-edibles was a mark of affluence and status. So that's why a lot of suburban nanna and pop types had lawns in their front yards - it was a status marker.
Then of course migrants grew their own veggies because they simply couldn't get what they wanted from the shops in the 50s (there's an interesting book called 'Wog Food' by John Newton that talks about this stuff).

I envy your giant yard.

And of course, veggies also have a long history as ornamentals (I'm thinking France, pre-revolution Great Houses. Ms Austen would have been into that fushiz).

lucy tartan said...

I wish somebody would bring back the grow-your-own pressure - I think it was called Dig for Victory. We could dig for victory against Monsanto and climate change.

Re the ornamental vegetable garned: in my dreams I would do something like this (Kate will be familiar) but I wonder how it looks when you pull things out to eat them. It must totally ruin the effect, unless you have a team of six full-time gardeners devoted to keep plants continually cycling through.

librarygirl said...

All that vegie potential - it looks fabulous. You could double it, or do what we've just done and plant 4 fruit trees (to go with the 3 plums, lemon and feijoa already established).
Those war gardens were called victory gardens and there is a real movement once again to get everyone planting ever spare centimetre, all related to slow food and peak oil. I think everyone should plant as much as they can - and if your front garden has the best sun aspect that's where the vegies should be! Looking forward to progess photos when it's all planted out.

Bernice said...

From little things, big things grow -

http://www.foodforthefuturefair.org/

lauredhel said...

Love it!

Our front yard is now 100% vegie 'n' fruit garden, too. We're hoping, once the natives are established, that that will be the only bit that needs watering.

And one day, once we somehow gather enough money to fix the roof and buy the tank, we'll have rainwater. There are no subsidies unless the rainwater tank is hooked up to laundry/toilet, despite the fact that we're currently having to water the veg garden with schemewater, and the laundry/toilet are at the other end of the block making it rather impractical to hook one tank up to both. How does that subsidy restriction make sense?

Definitely New Australian. May there be more of it.

lucy tartan said...

we need to replace our entire roof :( before we can get a tank. I know exactly what you mean about the stupidity of the current subsidy restrictions. We are only allowed to use mains water on the garden between 6 and 8 am two mornings a week, but there's a possibility even that will be banned and it will be grey water or nothing.

I actually think laundry and shower water is absolutely fine on plants like tomatoes, beans etc, as long as you don't splash it around. It's no good for root vegies and leafy things.

Bernice said...

The grey water thing is a bit well, bit of public health overkill thing. Use no-phosphate detergents, and unless you wash yourself with bleach, grey water is fine for all human consumption foodstuffs.

Apparently its a concern about potential human waste products being deposited (so to speak) which I think asks questions I don't really want answered about what people do in the shower, but the E.coli & other little critters who might be lurking are usually wiped out by the UV in sunlight.

lucy tartan said...

We do use phosphate free detergent. I think I believe you but I'm still a bit off the idea of putting it on certain food plants. Might have to get over that, though - if the people in Toowoomba or wherever it was were expected to get over being icked by recycled sewage, why not.

The grey water does smell bad if it sits around for long.

But then so does Albie....

lucy tartan said...

What were the four fruit trees you just planted, Librarygirl?

lucy tartan said...

ps - Bazlotto!

Think I'll take the evening off to celebrate.

librarygirl said...

Moor park apricot, Nectarine, Anzac peach and a two-way apple -Granny Smith and Golden delicious.
I have high hopes of them. The blossom at the moment is just so beautiful. People tell me we'll fight a losing battle with the birds for the fruit but I'm staying optimistic. Can't believe we planted a mini orchard for about ninety dollars.

livebird said...

Oooh, ooh, I love a front yard vegie patch. There are so many here in inner city Melbourne and I alway shave a snoop to see how people grow things.

Can you tell me how you constructed the bed? I have plans to do the same but the hardness of the red gum (for cutting and drilling) has stumped (hah) me a bit. Any hints?

Dorian said...

The sleepers are just joined to each other using nail plates. They hammered into the redgum really easily, and at 80 cents each they seemed like the best option. Then there is a layer of cardboard in the bottom to kill off the lawn underneath. Et voila!

Anna said...

From now on, even if I meet you in real life, I will always picture you looking like Felicity Kendall.

I hope you also have a rich socialite couple next door to buy you good wine occasionally.

lucy tartan said...

Funny you should say that - not long ago I discovered youtube has an apparently endless supply of ten-minute segments of The Good Life. It's creepier than I remembered it.....

Ampersand Duck said...

Fabulous! We have a number of houses around the area with front yard vegies. I think the main thing to watch are the midnight raiders when the goods are grown/ripe.

You could get even more fruit happening if you use the dwarf/espailier varieties. We have a few apple trees which haven't fruited yet, but promise to be beauties and take up very little room.

Those chicken shots are tops. Made my spine tingle...

Zarquon said...

We sow the seed, right. Nature grows the seed, and then, we eat the seed. And then, after that, we sow the seed, nature grows the seed, and then, we eat the seed. And then, after that again, we sow the seed, nature grows the seed....