1st January, 2009
I am feeling disoriented today….. it feels like sunday, not thursday. Like many others I celebrated the arrival of the new year. I was out in the countryside with a wide view of the sky. The night was still and the air clear. High above my head sat the crescent moon and the evening star…..looking very comfortable with each other in the sign of Aquarius, and creating a lovely sociable evening with lots of animated conversations and some dancing!
A few days later I have started some major restructuring of my garden. Intent on planting more veggies and some fruit trees in a tiny space, the process has been a bit like solving a rubix cube…..involving lots of lateral thinking and creativity. It’s been hard physical work too…..but even that has its own reward and I have slept like a baby. There’s no point in planting fruits and veggies that you don’t enjoy eating, and with a small space it’s good to work out the things you do like to make the most of the space.
You can interplant herbs, lettuce and chinese greens with climbers like beans, snow peas, cucumbers and climbing spinach, as long as the soil is enriched with compost and is teeming with life. Another benefit of inter planting in a small area is that there is less work to do with keeping weeds at bay and it will look lush and inviting most of the time. If you want to feed yourself from the garden you will need to feed the garden as well. Compost is great, so is seaweed. A light mulch can help feed the ground and make it more difficult for weeds to take root. Best of all, when the soil is rich and moist you will see plants grow quickly and will be harvesting within a very short time. It’s not just our stomachs that we need to consider however since many of us derive a lot of pleasure from the sight and smell of flowering shrubs and trees. You can have it all with some thoughtful planting.
A tree can provide fruit and also screen off an unpleasant view or create a buffer from the neighbouring property. A citrus trees can be grafted to grow lemons and mandarins on the same tree. Trees can be planted close together and kept trimmed to provide a fruiting hedge. You can under plant trees with strawberries and other herbs and grow sunflowers in the most unlikely spot.
Bamboo can be a screen as well as provide stakes for the garden, mulch and kindling for the winter fire. Set up a compost bin in your garden to make more space in your garbage bin and encourage worms into your garden. It’s exciting watching the worm population increase as they turn your green waste into compost with minimal effort on your part. I would love to see every home with a veggie garden and fruit trees. For the small effort involved the rewards are incredible!