30 November 2016

Expanding our garden

It has been a long time since I’ve shared anything about my garden. The last time I posted was two years ago and much has changed in the last few weeks.

With the upcoming addition to our family, we have turned our thoughts to the house. I have been asked by friends if we will move, so our kid can have a "proper backyard". While it would be great to have a backyard, we are lucky to have an array of public parks in our neighbourhood. Plus our proximity to public transport makes it hard for me to uproot and leave for the sake of having a backyard. I have access to trams, buses and trains, which is perfect as I don’t have a car and we are going to try being a one car family. Yes, this country girl is quite happy to stay in our suburban town house for the next five years. That should be enough time for me to woo the Builder into making a tree change to a country town ;) Regardless if that ever happens, our home without a 'proper' backyard, will do just fine.

Early in 2015 we made plans to try for a baby in 2016, way before a zero waste wedding was ever talked about, and I have been squirreling money away from then. Since we decided that I would take two years out of the workforce to be the primary carer, I thought it best to put some money aside as Australia does not offer the best maternity leave scheme for women or men. I have saved enough, but we still had to look at other areas where we can save money. Food is probably that area we could reduce spending. Truthfully, it's probably the only place, other than bills, where any of our money goes. While we are pretty good at being frugal food shoppers, we still wanted to cut down on what we spent as we switched to a one income family. So we decided to look at our garden and try maximizing each space, turning what we have into a proper food resource.

We grow some of our own food, but never enough to avoid a trip to the farmers market each week. Two years ago, the Builder added planter boxes and made space for me to grow some vegetables. It was enough to play with. At the time I could not ask him to remove the birds of paradise and palms that took up most of our courtyard garden. But over the years they grew too big and eventually, the Builder saw the space could be more useful than ornamental. It was decided that the birds of paradise, palms and other decorative plants would go. Adverts went up on our local Buy, Swap, Sell Facebook group and one by one, the plants were dug up and taken away to new homes. Now the space is empty, ready for vegetables and herbs.

Expanding our garden

Expanding our garden

Over the years, it has been trial and error, understanding what grows well and what does not. With the new open spaces, I will have to relearn how it to make it work. I don't believe myself to have a natural green thumb, but I do work hard at it. I think the Builder has more of an inbuilt way with plants that he is not aware of. But I can see it. While the garden we have is small, it is larger than many people have, and we intend to make the most of it. Properly this time.
  1. That will be a lovely garden, and plenty of room for a toddler to waddle around. I look forward to watching your garden grow (from here in Germany)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rebekah :) I look forward to watching it grow too.

      Delete
  2. Congratulations on your pregnancy! I can't wait to read your blog when the baby arrives, and all your zerowaste-baby tips.
    I think for the kiddo it's gonna be awesome to have a garden instead a backyard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I think for the kiddo it's gonna be awesome to have a garden instead a backyard." I like seeing it from that point of view. Heaps of people have backyards, but how many have food gardens :) Thanks for the well wishes. I look forward to sharing my zerowaste-baby tips.

      Delete
  3. When I read this title, before I read the article, I had visions of you sneakily removing the neighbours fence and staking your claim to their garden! ;)

    I totally agree with you about utilizing local parks. They have huge expanses of grass, awesome heavy duty play equipment, huge established trees... I always find it crazy that everyone wants their own tiny private play area in their garden when they could make use of the awesome shared facilities! If we don't use them, they will all get sold to developers and turned into more housing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are no backyards to take over :(

      Lucky the parks around me are very busy. It will be a good excuse for me to get out of the house too.

      Delete
  4. Your yard is so lovely! We have a very similar sized backyard and I really want to get into gardening this year to teach my toddler about how we can grow our own food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Liz :) I think teaching children to grow food is one of the most valuable skills to pass on.

      Delete
  5. Hello, this blog looks amazing :) I'm moving to Melbourne in a month and am interested in starting zero waste living there. Do you know much about compost collection services in the city? Thanks again for the great posts and helpful info :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jump into the Zero Waste Victoria Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ZeroWasteVictoria/). Someone who lives in the city will be able to help you out, depending on the council you will be moving into. See you in the group :)

      Delete

Start typing and press Enter to search