Filtering by Tag: making new garden beds

Week 4: Urban Farming

It's been a flowery week in our urban farm. We have lots of gorgeous flowers in bloom and more about to burst out of their buds. I was therefore spoilt for choice when it came to choosing flowers for our weekly arrangement - it will be a very different story in winter, I can assure you. In the end, I settled on snowballs with arching tendrils of banksia rose, and Steve's created a wonderful rustic pedestal using found materials to display the arrangement for photographing.

SnowballArrangement

Courtesy of Steve's hard work creating more infrastructure, we now have a large, new flower bed ready for planting and Hannah and I have been busy propagating summer annuals. This week we've started:

  • Nigella (Love in a mist)
  • Moonflower
  • Edelweiss
  • Sunflowers (Italian and Giant Russian - don't ask me where we're going to plant the latter)
  • Sweet peas (Highly Scented and Painted Lady to drape over the pool fence)
  • White Cosmos
  • Marigold and Nasturtium for companion planting in the vegetable patch
  • Californian Poppy (Jelly Bean and Red Chief - for planting in pots or we'll never be rid of them)
  • Corn Cockle
  • Poached Egglplant
The top photo in this diptych is cause for great excitement in our household. I planted passion fruit vines last spring, taking pains to find a location that would protect against the heavy frosts we get in Canberra. The vines have done well over winter and are now about to fruit.

The top photo in this diptych is cause for great excitement in our household. I planted passion fruit vines last spring, taking pains to find a location that would protect against the heavy frosts we get in Canberra. The vines have done well over winter and are now about to fruit.

Peaches and plums

Peaches and plums

Still on a flower theme, we've planted out delphiniums, blue salvia, foxgloves and coreopsis. We also planted some pansies at the front of Hannah's rose and lavender garden to grace us with colourful blooms while the rest of the garden gets established.

In the vegetable patch, we've planted out a variety of loose leaf lettuces, radishes, beets, lovage, rosemary, tarragon, and another batch of sugar snap peas. I really don't think we can get enough sugar snaps, but at the rate I've been propagating and planting, we'll soon get to test that hypothesis.

And I've had home grown micro greens in my sandwiches all week. Delicious!

Big thanks to Steve for all the awesome photos this week.

Our alpine strawberries are flowering and there's fruit on our cumquat and fig trees

Our alpine strawberries are flowering and there's fruit on our cumquat and fig trees

Granny Smith apple, grapes and passion fruit

Granny Smith apple, grapes and passion fruit

Week 2: Urban Farming

Every gardener needs a Labradoodle in their wheelbarrow. It adds so much joy to the whole gardening experience.

Every gardener needs a Labradoodle in their wheelbarrow. It adds so much joy to the whole gardening experience.

There's been a flurry of impressive activity in our urban farm this week. With seeds germinating left, right and centre, and some beds we created last year donated to Hannah to support her recent interest in growing flowers, we've been under pressure to create new beds to house the plants that are bursting out of their propagation trays.

This week we've planted out sugar snap peas, kale, silver beet and garlic chives. I've also potted on some chillies that I'm going to continue bringing indoors at night until the risk of frost has passed. Although I committed to growing from seed wherever possible, chillies have been an exception to this principle because it's not warm enough in Canberra for them to germinate using the basic means (and knowledge) at my disposal.

But the real work this week has been on developing our infrastructure to enable us to produce food year round on our suburban plot.

The empty bed on the left of the photo was the first to go in.

The empty bed on the left of the photo was the first to go in.

The big central bed was next.

The big central bed was next.

The side bed full of soil with a weed blocking path

The side bed full of soil with a weed blocking path

Our local newsagent gave us a huge pile of unwanted newspapers and the fine young man at the counter climbed into the skip to fish them all out for us. He said he'd done the same thing for his mother last year when he helped her replace the lawn in her back yard with vegetable beds. Every mother should be fortunate enough to have such a son. In any case, we put thick layers of newspaper at the bottom of the new beds, spraying with water to stop the newspaper from blowing away, and then we filled the beds with soil. If you've ever done this yourself, you'll know that carting soil is not the most enjoyable part of the process. Hearty thanks to Hannah and Henry for all the work at the end of shovels and wheelbarrow.

We've got more infrastructure to put in over the coming weeks to maximise our flower growing space, but our vegetable infrastructure is now officially complete. Short of filling in the pool, we've used every possible square metre and we're really excited about our expanded food growing capacity.

Finished new vegetable beds - an awesome weekend backyard blitz.

Finished new vegetable beds - an awesome weekend backyard blitz.

This week's garden flower arrangements. Thanks to  Georgia Bennett  for the two arrangements on the left.

This week's garden flower arrangements. Thanks to Georgia Bennett for the two arrangements on the left.