(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gardening Adelaide / Full Circle

Regular readers will know how much I love my garden. It calms me and keeps me centred. I love digging in the dirt, getting my hands dirty and watching things grow. The seeds of my passion were sewn in my childhood.  I lived on a dairy farm. We used to milk the goats before school, then again when we got home. We had self-sufficient water supplies and a generator for when the power went out.  My grandmother lived in town and grew vegetables and fruit.

As an adult, I lived in the city. I lived in flats, apartments and units – all of which had gardens you could barely park a car in. As they were rentals, little could be done other than growing potted plants. Mind you, I was too busy to think much about gardening or my time on the farm.

Twenty-two years ago I bought a house with a generous front and back yard. It wasn’t ninety acres – but it was mine. I had plans of self-sufficiency, one or two animals and an overflowing kitchen garden.  Though I did not have a lot of time to bring my grand plans to fruition, I was spurred on by the newly created Gardening Australia on the ABC. They explained and demonstrated ecological friendly gardening methods. I was hooked – as little chemicals as possible.

Over the years, my growing desire became a passion. I love pretty flowers but, above all, I had to grow things – to fill the gardens with edible plants.  Bit by bit, I started filling up the nooks and crannies in the garden. My pride and joy is my ‘monk’s garden’ design. Instead of herbs, I use it as a four bed rotating scheme for vegetables.

Bed 2 carrots leeks 1

This summer was one of the hottest Adelaide summers on record – twelve days of temperatures above 40 degrees (Celcius), in a row. This singed my apples, shriveled my tomatoes, lettuce and silverbeet. Two of my potted lavenders did not survive the heat and our first crop of oranges and lemons dropped off the tree.

Now Autumn is here I am able to venture out into the garden again. My fingers have been itching to get out there and dig the soil.  Armed with my updated crop bed rotation scheme for this year, I have now dug the first bed for the season. Round one of carrot seeds are sewn. (Round two goes in on the right in 3 weeks).

1st apples pick b1st apple pick

Our first apple harvest is beginning. We did lose a few to the birds (which finally found them). I will have to acquire bird netting before next season. In the mean time recycle, reuse and make do – I have upcycled some old shiny CDs, adding grumpy eyes on them. There have been a lot less birds in the past few days (until they work it out).

brid detterent CDs 1

Last week I scored some rhubarb crowns for only $2 each! The big decision is where to fit them as they will be residing there for at least three to four years.

Best of all – Gardening Australia has now returned to our television screens. This year is its 25th year anniversary. I cannot believe I have been watching it for that long. I already have more ideas, more challenges and planting hopes. For now, back to the planning…


Gardening Adelaide / Full Circle

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