It was the first birthday of Hugh's vegetable garden this November! Back in 2008 we cleared away years of rubbish and neglect from the yard of the house he rents. And then we dug out some of the acres of concrete.... a shocker of a back yard to start with!
The soil is very sandy and in places it is just white sand, being so close to the beach. We dug in bags of compost from SA Composters, a brick of coconut fibre to hold the moisture in and Rapid Riser as the "soil" seemed so lacking in anything at all.
He started off wanting neat rows and vegetables grouped nicely.... and didn't like my approach of inviting nature in to work for you by having things all mixed up.
Everything grew like mad and he was so proud of it all.
Then the earwigs and caterpillars discovered it. He made earwig traps and sprayed Dipel for the caterpillars but thought there must be a better way. He bought a couple of books and studied them well.... Jackie French's "Towards Backyard self-sufficiency" and Lolo Houbein's "One Magic Square". Jacky lives in NSW and Lolo in Adelaide so he did well. Funny he chose these 2 books of the hundreds available at book shops because, unbeknown to Hugh, this Jackie French book was also my first vegetable gardening book a trillion years ago and I had recently met Lolo at Fern Ave Community Garden and thought her book looked great!
Anyway, the gist of all this was that he began to plant herbs amongst the rows of vegetables. He gradually moved away from rows and went for ....dare I say it.... Mum's more natural approach!
During the year I helped him expand the garden into more of that concrete jungle but the things he grows and what goes where are all up to him.... I am just the worker following instructions these days.... something I am pretty shocking at!
......until now it looks like this! It brings a tear to my eye to see such a wonderful patch of paradise grow from such a harsh beginning and it just goes to show what you can do....
So, we sat outside in the garden and raised a glass to Hugh's first year as a vegetable gardener.
May the future bring him happiness and may his garden flourish.
....I have no idea why I am having such trouble getting this to post how it is supposed to look. Has Live Writer gone mad or is it me??