Come wander through the garden with me. This is our first Spring for our kitchen garden. We started working on it about a year ago but it wasn’t until January this year that it was ready for planting.
Our kitchen garden is my absolute favourite place to be. The kids and I spend time among the beds everyday checking on the seedlings, straightening up peas, turning the compost, pulling weeds and watching patiently as the strawberries grow.
So I’ll take you for a little tour around our kitchen garden.
But first, a reminder of the before…
And 12 months later.
So on with the tour. We’ve never had a kitchen garden before so we are on a huge learning curve. We’ve lost plants to frost and heat but we are learning all the time and enjoying every moment with Jack and Sarah.
In the front garden beds is our little vineyard. This is our second year with the Shiraz grapes and this year my husband is hoping to start training the vines along a trellis. We built the vegetable gardens from salvaged materials. And of course our very cheeky chickens.
Here’s our little vineyard looking towards the kids’ outdoor art area. Beyond the grapes are some dwarf stone fruit trees with strawberries growing around their base. It’s my hope that the strawberries will spread to fill that entire garden. Along the fence we have some raspberry and blackberry bushes. At the end of the grapes we have some small pots for blueberries. I think we might get some lovely fruit from them this year. On the other side of the front path (where you always see the kids drawing with chalk) is our dwarf apple tree orchard. We have six apple trees of different varieties. They are still small trees but the kids love checking on the little apples and watching them grow.
Dwarf trees are fantastic. They give full-sized fruit but only grow to about 2m tall (as opposed to 4m+). We have dwarf apples, stone fruit (cherry, nectarine, plum and peach) as well as citrus (lemon, lime, orange and mandarin). Dwarf trees mean we can have a full orchard of trees without taking up all the space.
Around the corner from the apples (and behind the kids’ sandpit) are some pear trees. These are full-sized pear trees that we are espaliering (shaping) to make a hedge to hide our ugly shed. We’ve never shaped trees before but it’s fun learning. And look, we have little pears growing. Behind the mini vineyard (and off to the left) are the veggie gardens. We’ve got four main garden beds and one along the fence. At the moment we have peas, beans, capsicum, broad beans, carrots and beetroot growing in the main beds (along with some lovely flowers to encourage bees). Along the fence we have some lavender (for the bees), corn, tomatoes (full size and cherry) and snow peas.
And of course our very lovely chickens which just light up Sarah’s day. We converted an old water feature into a small herb garden which sits underneath an arbour. We’ve planted some kiwi plants which will hopefully grow up and all over the arbour.Next to the chicken coop is our compost bin and chook poo bins. First time making compost and manure. It feels very farmy. Sarah really enjoys cleaning out the coop and helping to turn the manure. These are our dwarf citrus trees. We are not sure whether they have all made it through the winter. One has come back to life but the other three are still looking a little quiet. I hope they are ok.
You can see next to the black bins is a wire cage. We made this last weekend. It’s a potato cage. We saw it on Better Homes & Gardens. Apparently it allows you to grow a lot of potatoes in a small area. It was fun to make. Sarah enjoyed helping out. We’re still waiting for the first of the plants to pop their heads through.
So this is our garden. As you can see we have pretty much converted our entire front yard. We absolutely love it. And my baby girl, in her absolute element, singing sweet songs of encouragement to the plants.
I know she will remember these days.