Our DIY vegetable garden

Our DIY vegetable garden

I guess most gardens are probably classified as DIY, aren’t they?!

Well, I decided to build a small 1.2m sq in May of last year, to plant vegetables and fruits in time for the current summer.

Getting my handy-girl on. Manny and Bob would be proud

After a few false starts (buying treated wood at first, then correcting the choice with hard wood pails) I built the structure all by myself (proud! ps, corded electric drills work WAY better than cordless ones whose battery never charges properly) and using the giant fat Kitchen Garden Companion by Stephanie Alexander, I prepared the soil and got the bed ready.

Next birthday present please somebody

Annnnnnd 7 months later HOLY WOW! We have been rewarded with humungous zucchinis and the juiciest, best tasting tomatos ever.

A small selection of our tomatoes, at last count we had about one billion

People keep asking me what I’m doing to yield such good results, and the answer is “nothing”! So far, we’ve been lucky to avoid any caterpillars or birds or snails trying to eat anything, and all I do is give it a good water every few days if it hasn’t rained. Lucky or what?!

Thank you garden!Yummm #nofilterFirst crop!

I planned spaghetti for dinner tonight, and forgot to check if we had any zucchinis before I went to the shops, so I got one just in case. I came home, and picked these two beauties right off the vine. Makes the shop bought zucchini look pathetic really!

Store bought at the bottom, home grown at the top. I think we can officially say the vege garden is a success.

This is my crop of tomatos from today:
And tomatoes aplenty

I also made a quick bruschetta for an entree from the mini romas, on top of some store bought garlic bread, and oh. my. It was super delicious.

Best bruschetta ever

I’m definitely going to make a bigger garden for next summer!

My Vegetable Garden – Part 1

My Vegetable Garden – Part 1

Today I *finally* got the structure started for our Vege Garden! I feel a big sense of achievement here, because the area has been sitting there getting more jungley by the day, for about 2 years now… And today I managed to weed it, move a wood sleeper to create the fourth wall base, put 3 star pickets on the correct place, and placed the wooden garden edging stuff around to create the walls.

I now need some more metal stakes to secure the walls in place, some hessian for the sides, and then, over the next few months, I will be building the perfect garden bed for planting things such as tomatos, zucchinis and beans =)

I’ll be following the sage advice of Stephanie Alexander:

So good to make a start!

Do you have a vege garden at home??

Open Garden & Inspiration

Open Garden & Inspiration

Mum and I visited a lovely open garden inCanberra on the weekend. It was owned by an older retired couple, who have lived there for 43 years! So they have about 40 years on me and my garden, but I was still so envious. The style of their garden was not totally on par with mine, but I’ve taken away several things to use as inspiration for when I can finally get outside and get things happening in my own garden.
I want slate (?) stepping stones with gravel and mondo grass outside the back door to the left, leading up to the vegetable garden.
I love the look of small trees in big pots! I think this would be a great way to continue the japanese maple theme from the front yard into the back, as a dividing marker between the future undercover pergola and the grassed area.
The use of mirrors on garden cabinets (instead of a cluttered shed) will reflect greenery and add depth, not sure where though…
Our front landing is quite a big area, and ferns would grow quite well there I think (sheltered).
Again, love the mondo grass here. I am also planning on putting a large pot to make a small water feature out the front, with water lilies and other water plants.
I loved the extra touches in the garden, and we could definitely have some hanging plants or a fernery type area under the future pergola, to bring some greenery to the space.
The solid garden edging definitely made the garden look really neat and tidy, where as our front garden looks a bit bedraggled with it’s hodge-podge edging, and it’s hard to whipper-snipper the grass properly. Something like this (in this colour to match the future new colourbond roof) would work really well along the front.
I really like this mass of succulents!! I’m not sure where we could have something similar, I’d have to research a bit more the ideal conditions for this type of succulent.
Somewhere to sit! Always important ;)
I’d like to plant more medium sized bushes along the front garden, with smaller flowering plants in front of them. Hopefully I can find a range of plants that flower at different times of the year so there’s a bit of colour all year round.

My plans are many and varied, I wish it could all happen in the blink of an eye!

Skinny Front Garden

Skinny Front Garden

In December it was quite cool and rainy here in Canberra, so I took the opportunity to be outside and work in the garden, tidying up the front yard and creating the Skinny Front Garden bed to “fence off” the front corner of our block.

The area I wanted to use for the garden is very hard clay soil, so I decided to build a raised garden bed, like I did for the circular garden. I ordered sleepers and soil from Canberra Sand and Gravel, and used the wood-chips from the big old tree we had to cut down as mulch. It was a bit of a challenge to hammer the garden stakes into the ground (to hold the frame together) and I’ve still got a bit of a way to go with all of them, but that was the most difficult part of the whole garden bed! Once I had the frame in place (one end being a branch from the old tree also), I filled it with new garden soil, planted the new plants, and topped it off with a nice thick layer of mulch. I gave them a good watering, and in the weeks that followed it also rained a lot (thanks, Mother Nature!), so they’re well on their way to becoming established.
Mikaela landscaping garden

I tend to forget what species of plant I’ve used in previous gardening, which makes it difficult to go and buy another when I find one that’s hardy enough to cope with having me as an owner! Luckily Santa brought me this cute Garden Journal, which has some good info about different kinds of plants, but also space to write and little pockets to keep the plant tags! Very handy =)
Mikaela landscaping garden journal

And lastly I’ve got some photos to show how much the plants in my circle garden have been growing, though these photos make me realise I really need to plan in advance and take better photos in better light for the blog (ie, not in the middle of a blistering hot sunny day, and focus on the garden so you can actually see stuff, instead of being distracted by the bricks of the house in the background!). If you look carefully though, you can see the Gum Tree on the left has grown enormously, in only 18 months it’s just about quadrupled in size!
Mikaela landscaping garden

January To-Do List

I have 6 months before I go back to work. I want to get a LOT of stuff done around the house before that happens, so I need to get a wriggle on.

Here’s my list that I want to get done this month!

  • Paint Bathroom cornice and ceiling (and post final bathroom reveal)
  • Buy new TV cabinet
  • Get quotes for Living Room blinds
  • Weed pavers (left area)
  • Put all weeds and branches etc in trashpak
  • Pull weeds from big front garden bed
  • Paint timber sides of skinny front garden bed
  • Transfer soil & wood chips to big front garden bed
  • Plant new plants in big front garden bed
  • Get blinds installed in Living Room
  • Move BBQ
  • Set up pot plant light out the back

Ok that’s probably enough for this month!