A very small sample of what the garden has produced this summer.

My year 7s are sitting doing a reading test on their computers in total silence, so I thought it’d be a good time to get this neglected blog up-to-date.

Remember how last year – the first year of my new expensive wicking vegetable garden – the soil was awful and hardly anything grew? Well, after bringing home vegetable scraps and coffee grounds all year from work and turning them into compost, things have certainly changed! We have had LITERALLY hundreds of tomatoes spring up, which is insane because I didn’t plant any! Some were from last year’s sickly crop, but most were seeds from the compost I made from the school’s waste.

Free food!!! This makes me happy on so many levels. Beans have gone crazy too and so have the squash.

Each bag will be a bolognaise one day. So far I have 50 of them in the freezer.

I’ve been weighing the tomatoes out in lots of 400g, like a tin, and pairing them with around 200g of squash or zucchini and some herbs and popping them in the freezer in the laundry. By the time this harvest has finished I should have well over 70 bags put away. There’ll be no excuse for getting take-aways when I’m tired now!

Speaking of fast food, I did my annual spend for last year and I spent $1,175 on restaurants and fast food last year. Yikes! Some of these meals would be for when I took people out to see a theatre show and I’d pay for dinner (that’d be the boys!) or going out to lunch with the girls in the holidays etc, but the vast majority of that money was spent at the charcoal chicken or fish and chip shops. This has to stop.

However, some spending is more fun and will last far longer.

Dogs? What dogs?

We now have a new front fence and electric gate that actually works. I can’t tell you how great this is. The dogs are far quieter now that they can no longer see other dogs walking past and I love that I can now sit out on my front verandah with a sneaky G&T on a warm afternoon and not be on display to the whole street.

We’re letting the wood cure for a month or so and then we’ll be painting it. It’s going to look fabulous. If I’d had my ‘druthers, I would have gone for a clinker brick fence, but I’m wary about tagging. If someone spray paints on a brick fence it’s ruined, but with a fence like this I can always paint over it. Tagging doesn’t seem to be all that much of an issue here, but back in the old place every front fence in our street was tagged – except mine. I must’ve taught someone who liked me!!

Scout’s like a velociraptor when it comes to food.

My apple trees went nuts earlier on this year but I decided that 15 apples on a tree that’d been newly transplanted was probably a bit much to ask. So I thinned it out. There are 3 apples still growing – it was more than fesh and blood could stand to pull them all off!

The dogs are used to getting little snacks from the garden. Poppy and Scout clearly wanted to sample.

The view from the back door.

Here’s how the garden looks.

But wait – what is this roof that you see?!?

Can it be – is there a verandah here now?

Oh yeah baby!! This entire backyard is now user-friendly. The top level is for the veggie garden, while the bottom level is shielded from the elements. We can sit out here and enjoy the outdoors without getting burned to a crisp.

Those of you who have met me IRL know that I’m like a vampire. My skin is really pale and I start burning within about 5 seconds of getting out in the sun. After nearly 4 years of living here, I can finally sit out in my own backyard and read a book without risking melanomas. This area is designed for being a family celebration place. The verandah covers half the whole backyard, so when we have Christmases, birthdays and Mothers Days I’ll be able to have everyone out here.

It’s going to be epic.

7 thoughts on “Fruitful.

  1. Your backyard is looking great! And I bet the roof over the pavers will make a difference for heat radiation off the pavers and into the house during summer.

    We have a big development going in next to us. We’ve been spoilt since moving in to have had no neighbours in sight, despite being right in the middle of town. And we kind of felt that nothing would be built within 150-200m of our house because of the way things are configured but apparently temporary accommodation for Snowy 2.0 is planned to be built right over our back fence! And our back fence is very see through! It’s all either lattice or 1.2m high chicken wire! Also, our house is built much higher than where they are planning on putting these accommodation and amenities blocks, so it is going to be hard to reduce the sight lines. We’ve planted some camellias in the hope of growing a hedge for one section, but I’m worried they will take longer to grow than the 5-7 years they are saying the 170 FIFO workers will be next door. I’m doing my best, having bought the tallest plants possible, and gave them a dose of fertiliser over the weekend. Fingers crossed for good growth with this rain.

  2. I’ve noticed over the years that when some seeds don’t sprout the first year you plant them, they’ll generally sprout the next year.

    Soil nutrition itself rarely plays a role until they’ve already germinated and began sprouting. Larger seeds tend to have longer dormancy periods and larger water + oxygen requirements. And some species also need a specific number of days of cold, and so on- all of which impact whether or not they’ll germinate, and when!

    You can pre-sprout some species, though, with nothing more than warm water and a paper towel as long as you get the temperature and amount of time right for the species 😀

  3. Verandahs need a roof – even if you don’t burn in an instant, just too hot otherwise. We sit on our front porch as it faces north east so cooler in summer afternoons/evenings, and love being seen and seeing all the passing parade. Neighbours look for us and stop for a chat, but then we do not have dogs.

  4. So different from us. We don’t need verandahs! Just a tree or two, for shade. I love your dachshund quilt, even though I’m more of a cat person.

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