This post relates back to when I first arrived in Scotland and went to live in Fife. I had come from the sub tropics on the east coast of Australia (28.55ºS) and I thought it was normal that vegetables and ornamentals grew all year around with a bit of fertiliser, sun and water. Rake and add tilth every year – no probs! Here’s my wee kitchen garden (raised, of course!)
Well, Leslie (56ºN) was an eye opener, in more ways than one. I found that the name Leslie had been conferred in 1283. Good grief! Part of the town had been called Fettykill before that and the other part Prinlaws. Nothing in my country is called anything until British occupation in the late 1700s. The aboriginal names for historical areas didn’t count until a magnificent court case granted aboriginal rights to their own land, thus admitting, sub judice, that occupation had occurred.
I have to say the earth here is much softer than Mullumbimby and the weeds and grasses are softer making it harder to eradicate them. You leave bits in and they take off again. Grrr. Grasses in Australia tend to be a harsh couch and Kikuyu and they thrive because the climate is close to that of southern Africa.
I did some digging and made a small patch in the back lawn to take some plants. I am a fiend with plant buying. It must be an addiction, I think. I arrived in April and the bulbs were stunning. Everywhere, every roundabout, every grass verge, every public garden. What brilliant eye candy for an antipodean girl.
The first thing I did was plant pansies, primrose and lobelia around a beautifully composed pine stand of bushes. They all flowered at once. Extraordinary! It looked beautiful.
I cut out a circular piece of lawn to add to my idea of garden plots. There were a number of rocks that I would be able to reuse in my creation.
Quite a lot of work digging the centre garden but I was fresh from Aussie where I had worked in my hydroponic farm, so I was reasonably fit. So I thought. Here is a snapshot of part of that hydroponics farm.
Ahem! Then I slowed down and realised that I couldn’t keep going at that pace. My next garden was a no dig one. The back lawn was long and narrow and very boring. I sprayed the area I wanted to grow in and when the grass had died down I spread some weed mat fabric to cover and pinned it down with tent pegs. I had to buy in a lot of compost because there wasn’t anything on the grounds.
But it was certainly worth the effort.
The rocks were useful and I ended up edging the whole shape with edging bricks. It was a very satisfying garden to have made.
As far as I know the gardens are still there although we are not. I brought the hanging baskets with me but haven’t really done anything with them since. First flush of gardening I suppose.
It was my kindergarten period and I am now learning how to encourage and make my own mark on an established garden where we live now. There were mature pines on the back perimeter that have been cut down to let the summer sun in. The roots have unfortunately spread through the lawn and that is now mainly moss. So it is definitely no dig gardens and decks in the back.
- Gardening with Laurie: Break out the yard tools, get gardening (victoriaadvocate.com)