Friday, 6 August 2010

Our garden

We've always pined for a proper garden. We made do in our apartment in Sydney by building planter boxes for the balconies and growing flowers, herbs, jasmine, wisteria and bougainvillea. We grew ficus trees and frangipanis in pots. We taught Joshua about how seeds grow and what worms do.

Our little gardener
However, it was always just making do.  We had to keep replacing the potting mix as it lost its goodness and there weren't worms doing their fancy footwork.  The ficus trees became rootbound as they grew too big for their pots and we had our hands full with raising the two older pixies so didn't have the time to repot them.  Lots of hand watering was involved.

Then we moved.  We gave our precious ficuses and frangipanis to friends and hoped our tenants would tend to the planter boxes.  Finding our little cottage in Hobart took four months of looking but the wait was worth it.  We have a garden area where the pixies can play within easy sight with their friends.  Ian has planted a mass of bulbs which are now peeking out to say hello.  Most importantly, we have a large area for growing vegetables. 

Any garden worth its salt needs one important addition.  Mr PB was up to the task, creating a masterpiece from our old clothes and some hay.  The pixies were most amused.

Our trusty friend, Scary the Scarecrow
To our great delight, we soon found this strip of soil was rich and full of our wormy helpers. The pixies were enthralled by the sight of the wiggly little critters they unearthed. They were thrilled to go to the nursery with Daddy to buy the plants and then don their fancy new gumboots to stomp around in the dirt. Joshua wielded the hose with gay abandon, watering the fence and the house as well as the soil. We laid down a row of wooden planks so we could walk down the middle of the garden without stepping on the plants. Then we waited. And waited. Time seems to pass so slowly when you are little.

Over the ensuing weeks, the pixies' highlight of those summery evenings was watering the garden when Daddy came home. Soon, the garden was bursting with an abundance of riches. We had armfuls of basil, handfuls of beans, strawberries, capsicums, zucchini, rhubarb, tomatoes, silver beet, sweetcorn, dill and coriander. Finally, we could experience the thrill and satisfaction of eating something we had grown ourselves. The children revelled in collecting the goodies and presenting them to us.  Not that it actually always persuaded them to eat the fruits of their labours - that's a story for another time!  At least they finally appreciated where food really comes from.

Now we are waiting for the spring bulbs to reveal themselves in all their glory. Spring in Hobart is wondrous as everything bursts back to life. Not much longer now! I'd love to hear about your gardens. Do you find the time to tend to them? What are your favourite flowers? I think we might have a peek around the inside of our home next. Stay tuned!

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