Did My Garden Survive?

It was good to be home after three and a bit weeks away.  Arriving back late in the evening, I couldn’t wait till the morning to view my garden.  I had been wondering how the garden would cope without my attention for almost a month.

In the early morning light, I grabbed my camera phone to capture the first glimpses of the ‘reunion’.

Well as you can see the garden not only survived but perhaps thrived in my  absence (I like that I need my garden more than it needs me).

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Community Gardens Valuable to Property Developers?

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A traditional scare crow man in a brand new housing estate, community garden

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Putting money into the donation box to support the community garden

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Beautifully designed raised garden beds in a community garden

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A community garden sign to encourage envolvement with the garden - my kind of sign

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A shared raised garden plot in the community garden

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Community garden local business supporters

Little One and I, are still in the sunshine state of Australia (Queensland).  I have been here for work (while poor Daddy has been home the majority of time for work).

As my Mum and family live here, Little One and I have been having lots of fun in the sunshine – work, play and family time. We have been staying with family in their brand new home in a brand new estate. 

The brand new housing estate (where we are staying) has a community garden which appears to be installed by the developers – to help build the ‘community’ and hence sell the houses.  Just think about that last statement for a moment. Could growing your own food and community interaction, now be a ‘value add’ by developers?

Never thought I would see the day that property developers would see value in a community garden.  This is probably more from their acknowledgment of the buyers wants and needs rather than their change of values – if you know what I mean.

Still I sense it is a positive direction.

Flowering Broccolini at 4am

Currently it is 4am in the morning.  I have been awake since 2.30am. Getting out of bed to do something productive is not my preferred option – it is just too cold and may wake the sleeping family.

So now I am hiding under the covers so the illuminated light from my mobile phone doesn’t awake my husband.

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Sharing a photograph of flowering broccolini at 4am just feels appropriate (not sure why).

I have allowed one full bed of brocollini to flower this season because it attracts the bees and because it also attracts me to the garden too – as very little is currently flowering.  Don’t worry there is plenty of brocollini to eat.

I’m feeling a little sleepy now….

Learn How to Build Wicking Raised Garden Beds

We have built the frame of two raised garden beds, at Buxton Community Garden (Buxton is part of Wollondilly Council, at the base of the Southern Highlands – an hour South of Sydney, Australia).

Buxton Community Garden will now be building wicking (water reservoirs) inside the raised garden frames.  The purpose of this is to save water and help with watering – like a self watering system.

The date to build the wicking water reservoirs is September the 27th.  Everyone is welcome to come along and learn while getting involved (or welcome to just watch). This is a FREE event.  Children are welcomed and encouraged to get involved too.

For all the details check out our event listing.

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The raised garden bed frames, will soon have an inbuilt water reservoir, soil and plants.

Organic, Child Friendly Pesticide

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While gardening with our Little One this week, I was struck by the absurdity of my teaching “spray the pesticide on just the weeds”.

Children using pesticides, sounds totally irresponsible for a parent to ordain. Right??

No sooner than the words left my mouth, I immediately sensed the need to verbalise an explaintation.

There is no need to stress, as the ‘pesticide’ was an organic, home made recipe – totally safe for little ones to give a helping hand.

One a side note, according to biology, a weed is just a plant that someone doesn’t want.  It is quite possible for one person’s weed to be another’s valued plant.

Also according to permaculture, a weed is just a plant we have yet to find a meaningful use for – our knowledge being the problem and not the weed.

This week I was killing my weeds organically and environmentally responsibly.  Tomorrow I might be actually growing weeds or at least allowing them to live, for a greater purpose.

Australia, Now This is Winter

It is hard to believe that last week it was snowing 30 minutes away from our house (very unusual).  This week the nights are still very cold but the days are bathed with warm sunshine.

Time to venture outside after our recent hibernation stint. Time to finally pick the winter mandarins.

This photographed mandarin tree is a miniature variety.  We have had this tree and pot since we lived in the inner City of Sydney.  Proof that you can still grow vegetables and fruit even if you have very little outside space. Space doesn’t limit you – your imagination and belief does.

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Photographs from Stage 1 Build of Buxton Community Garden

Stage 1 of Buxton Community Garden is complete!!  What’s next? We are planning two workshops on basic composting and building water reservoir, raised garden beds (wicking beds) – information coming soon. Both workshops will be in September. 

Stage 2 of our community garden will see more raised garden beds, building our meeting area, establish a three bay compost bin system and worm farm. 

Again I would like to take the opportunity to say “thankyou” to all the locals, community groups and businesses who sponsored and supported Buxton Community Garden!!

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Children of our Town say "Thankyou" to local businesses who sponsored and helped make Buxton Community Garden a reality

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With the generous free use of a 'Dingo' (thanks to Picton Hire), Buxton Community Garden stage 1 build was much easier

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Building the first raised garden bed which will be turned into a wicking water reservoir garden bed

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Our first raised garden bed is finished

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Down tools. It's lunch time

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Old black plastic garden pots, reused as planted seed markers - a permanent silver marker was used

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Stage 1 build of Buxton Community Garden is completed - two raised garden beds built and a large planted area (netted to keep birds away)

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The beginning of Buxton Community Garden

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Stage 1 of Buxton Community Garden is completed - this time next year, in 5 years and in 10 years, we will look back at this photo with amazement on how far we have come. We have a big vision!

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Buxton Community Garden grand plan