Friday, May 11, 2012

What does your garden grow?

I live in a rental and there is not much opportunity for me to make the gardens look as lovely as I wish to.  I could if I wanted to spend money on someone else's investment (and over time, I have - I can't help wanting my nest to look appealing for my own benefit). 

Instead I grow things in pots.  I also like to strike cuttings from plants that I have liberated from friends, family or 'in passing' and plump up the garden beds at the front of the house. 

My back patio has evolved from humble ratty beginnings into may own little culinary garden and it is bringing me so much joy.  I am so proud of all my little plants.  They are doing so well.  My garden is a wonderful ambient and sensory place for me to relax and enjoy.

I never thought I would ever grow my own raspberries!  The above photo is the first raspberry that came off the bush.  I was so enamoured with the fact that I cultivated it I had to mark the event with a photo on a pretty plate!  It is so exciting to be able to walk out my back door and pick them, fresh off the bush.  Unfortunately there are only enough at the moment for snacking purposes, but I get such a buzz knowing that they grew from my tender care and love.

 Herbs are essential in my garden.  You would be suprised how much more inspiration you can be filled with when you have beautiful fresh herbs on hand, ready for picking.  My 'must have's' are mint, parsley, thyme and basil.  (Above is my lovely 'Boxwood' basil).  Any of these are a wonderful addition to bring dishes to life.  Especially pasta.  I grow them in the pots I bought them in, in a container (which started its life as a humble automotive oil drip tray can you believe?!) in a sunny spot right by the kitchen door, so all I need to is reach out and pluck them as I need them. 

I love to pick at my herbs and nibble on them while sitting outside while dead-heading daisies and marigolds or just enjoying the space.  Pinching them out from the top encourages more bushy and compact growth so it's a win-win.  After much consideration (as to what I would do with it) I bought a Stevia plant and it is great for guilt-free snacking as it is a natural sweetner.  I simply pick a few leaves and roll a mint leaf around them and it staves off hunger pangs (and makes your breath sweet and minty-fresh!). I haven't experimented yet with it (apparently its sweetness is intensified by drying) though I do plan on trying it in my baking sometime soon. 

I have all kinds of fruit trees, flowers  annuals and perennials.  In addition this year I have Hybrid Tea and Floribunda roses.  I keep pests at bay where possible using organic pesticides - and natural ones, encouraging Lady Beetles and companion planting (aphids hate marigolds!).  Catterpillars are welcome as they turn into beautiful butterflies.  I love how they munch on the leaves, it reminds me of the book 'The Very Hungry Catterpillar'.

My garden is a lovely place for me (as well as Gidget) to sit and contemplate.  To flip through magazines, read my cook books, or to just soak up the beautiful morning sun.  On weekends I treat myself to breakfast at my table.  Warm summer nights are perfect for barbecues too.

You don't need rambling acres of land to enjoy a garden.  Mine is very compact and modest and I love it.  All you need is a small sunny area or windowsill - even the World's greatest gardens started with just one plant.

Until next time...

Kitty xx

1 comment:

  1. I totally love your garden! Thank you for the "flowery" description in words, and the photos which take the place of a thousand of those words.

    Sounds very Peaceful...