Wednesday, 20 February 2008

KATHY'S SUPERB SUMMER GARDEN

This morning at gardening I took these photos of Kathy's vegetable garden. Bearing in mind that a year and a half ago Kathy didn't even own a spade, this is truly remarkable progress. The thing about Kathy is she listens to advice and follows it. I remember speaking to her on the phone when she rang me after hearing we were looking for new members of our garden group. She told me she wanted a vegetable garden and asked me would we be able to help her set up such a thing as she didn't know where to start. I said yes (naturally), rubbing my hands with glee, and it wasn't long before we were all there, standing in front of a patch of ground from which we had removed a couple of shrubs and a small tree, and we started talking about what to do next. I told her exactly what I would do, starting with a quick green manure crop since the soil needed help and it was already September, but cold at Bridgewater. Then we, as a group, talked about making compost, sowing seeds etc etc. Later I lent Kathy a couple of books on compost making (by Tim Marshall) and some other things that I thought could help her along. She read them from cover to cover and took copious notes, also writing down everything we had discussed.



Then, over the next few weeks and months, she did it all! When her turn came around again for us to garden at her place, 5 weeks later, there was a fabulous crop of various green manure plants, which we gladly dug in. Next she began making her own compost, collecting the lawn clippings from the local man, even collecting coffee grounds from organic cafes in buckets. She and her husband spent Saturdays turning the compost, exactly to Tim's instructions and she made the best compost, which we then dug in some time later. And so on and so on.


It has made me feel exceptionally good to have been a small part of this ongoing project. The vegetables there could grace the fronts of seed packets with their lush, green growth and huge abundance of produce. Now the crops are all well established, she only waters once a week, as per the rules and there seemed to be no evidence of heat stress at all after the hot 4 days, despite the fact that she last watered on Saturday and now it is Wednesday. It sure is a lot milder, though, in the hills and she has things like a Japanese maple and hydrangeas that thrive.
It is a joy to garden with Kathy and I am very lucky to be able to spend every Wednesday morning with such truly special people. (I have uploaded all the pictures to 'photos' and put some captions)

7 comments:

Pattie said...

Excuse me, Kate, but are you a "companion planter"?!!! Yeah! Ya' see?

Kate said...

Yes Pattie but I need at least 1 new recruit to keep me challenged!

gardengal said...

How does Kathy keep the millipedes out of her strawberries and rockmelon? Or don't they have millipedes in bridgewater?

I've finally given up trying to keep them out and now derris dust strawberries and canteloupe fortnightly. At last we are getting strawberries now!

gardengal said...

PS ... can't wait 'til next year when i can come to all these get togethers!

Kate said...

I have never seen a millipede at Kathy's - they wouldn't dare!

Deb said...

Millipedes are only a problem early spring & late autumn at Nirvana (Heathfield)

gardengal said...

Well they are definitely worse when its cool and wet but without derris we would not get a single strawberry ever! They even climbed the peach tree and got stuck into the peaches! Bastards! We're getting nematodes next year.