>Green things

>I’ve been inspired by Unique Schmuck‘s blogging about her garden. It’s satisfying browsing the back and front yards and knowing what’s coming on the vines/branches, what might be ripe soon, and thinking of things we can cook to complement our own produce.

Below are a couple of pics of a raspberry S. harvested for me today. Our daughter, E., tends to descend on the raspberry bushes like a locust so we normally don’t get to partake in them (unless we sneak the ones on the bush that are above her eye-height…). This season is the first time I’ve ever had fresh-picked raspberries from the garden. They’re fantastic. I don’t think we’ll ever have enough harvested in one hit to make anything raspberryish (see reference to locust-daughter above), but it gives us hope for next season’s crop…perhaps.

We’ve had a good crop of capsicums (below) so far this year, heatwave notwithstanding (anything that was on the bush at the time of the heatwave shrivelled and dropped with alacrity). Being a family that’s partial to regular Tex-Mex meals, these often ended up in (or on) burritos and enchiladas.

S. built two raised vegetable beds when we moved into our Melbourne house (along with a cactus/succulent shed, fancy front fence, and water-tank stand…). One of the beds is mostly herbs: chives, spring onions, garlic, oregano, flat-leaf parsley and Vietnamese mint (below, with a new basil in the foreground).

The other houses the bushy veges: (rather sad) tomatoes, capsicums, beans, pumpkins (see the beginnings of a Kent below), some stray strawberries and cucumbers.

The front yard has a dedicated fruit tree zone where S. has put in pear, apple, peach, and plum trees, grapevines, and raspberry bushes.

The set-up complements my idea of what a garden is for. I grew up in sub-tropical Queensland with what one might term ‘an ethnic garden’ (if one wanted to open a can of taxonomic worms): rows of styrofoam boxes with all manner of herbs/spices/veges in them, long beds of bushy vegetables and chillies, kaffir lime, fountains of lemongrass, low beds of cassava and turmeric, and a much-prized parrot mango tree that rewarded us with bumper crops of fragrant, succulently smooth-fleshed fruit every 2 years (the intervening year was not as bountiful). As much space as possible was devoted to growing things that are eaten and used in cooking. The front garden was the only concession to a ‘pretty’ space, and my father planted out some roses (my mother’s favourites) and other flowering things. We had a gigantic wisteria covering a pergola, and its trunk was thicker than my arm by the time we sold our family home.

In Melbourne, I can take just about no credit for the burgeoning garden. S. is the one with the green in his soul, who nurtures the entire enterprise. I’m a staunch vicarious gardener.


2 thoughts on “>Green things

  1. spc 03/04/2009 / 3:56 am

    >the photos look great! We have a garden..more of a frankenstein garden. We throw seeds in and see what comes up…we have watermelon at the moment.I’d love to grow a mango tree. We are trying to grow a lemon tree, but it’s either a dwarf tree or we’re not giving it what it needs. It’s been the same height for 2 years. More thickset these days…L loves harvesting stuff from the garden.I want to pick that raspberry off the screen and eat it. I always wanted to just scatter random seeds in public parks, workplace gardens etc… so that i could recreate enid blyton’s the land of eat what you want..ok digressing again.

  2. tseen 17/04/2009 / 1:33 am

    >It’s great being able to harvest from your own garden. The shift to being anywhere near ‘self-sufficient’, though, is pretty huge – the amount of time in planning and management of a food-producing garden is really quite high. I wouldn’t say we really supplement our household significantly. It’s fun and a bit of a novelty at the moment but nowhere near allowing us to, say, survive Armageddon… A lemon (or lime) tree is priceless! When growing well, they really do just keep on giving.We’re sadly drawing near the end of the raspberries, but the crop will be even bigger next year. 😀

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