Tag Archives: backyard gardening

My Backyard Vertical Garden

Hanging Pot Solution

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about setting up my vertical garden commenting about how expensive the hanging pots sets are for my trellis wall. Over the couple of weeks following that post, I did some research and shopping around and have found a solution that is much more flexible and also more cost effective.

The video below runs through the solution I found

The financials of this solution are:

  1. A set of 3 pre-made hanging pots of this variety will cost you over $60. You will have 3 pots about 5 cms apart, one above the other. There will be a frame behind them though holding it all together, so its still a good solution if you don’t already have a frame on the wall. This is our benchmark.
  2. Each of the pots used in the video costs less than $13. So three are maximum $39
  3. A pair of those hooks were less than $2.50, so three sets cost a maximum of $7.50
  4. Total 3 pot set comes to less than $46.50, a saving of around $15 – or 25%

(Note: this video was filmed early 2014 – prices will vary as time goes on, but I hope the savings will stay similar)

This isn’t a massive savings, however a few of points on this:

  • Urban gardening is about using what you have as efficiently as you can. It pays to get into the habit of being thrifty with space, your time and money
  • If I wanted to fill the wall with these pots, I could get at least 10 sets of 3. That makes the savings minimum $150. Now that is worth thinking about.
  • Also, think of how many seeds you can buy just from the $15 savings

An additional benefit of this set up is that I have much more flexibility. I don’t need to stack my pots in sets of three one above the other. This will make for a much more aesthetically pleasing vertical garden.

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The Backyard In Australia

Backyard gardening in Australia can be quite challenging, especially if you want to have a native or organic garden. There are many reasons why this is so. Here are some of them

Australia’s Size

Australia is a pretty large piece of land. It covers a bout 4000 kms from east to west and when you look south to north, its not much shorter. We have the Tropic of Capricorn running through the country, we have deserts, rainforests, mountains and normal regular areas. We have just about every landscape and climate on the planet. What this means is that the plants that work well in your backyard are likely very different to the plants that work well in my backyard. So you need to understand what works well in your area, given the weather and conditions that your plants will have to cope with.

You should do some homework – understand what is going on. That way if you want plants that are not 100% suited to your backyard, you can take appropriate action to give them the maximum chance of thriving.

Australia’s Plant Diversity

This is particularly a challenge if you want to create a native backyard. Plants are not really native to Australia – they are native to your suburb within Australia. So someone creating a native garden in Queensland will have a very different garden to someone creating a native garden in Victoria. If you want to use native plants in your backyard but are not sure where to start, I’d try the website of your local council – they usually have an interest or program in bringing “native” back into the region and have great resources on the topic.

Australia’s Harsh Climate

Lets face it, the climates across Australia are pretty harsh. If we are not being threatened of losing everything in a flood or bushfire, we are probably experiencing the worst drought in 50 years. Most places in Australia now have permanent water restrictions of some form. We need to be resourceful not only in our gardening, but also in collecting and preserving the bare necessities for the garden. Soil and water.

All these things though I think actually work in our favor. They give us pause to think about what we really are doing. If we use that pause well, we end up with a sustainable backyard garden that ends up being beautiful, bountiful and leaves the land in better shape than before we started. Now that’s pretty cool isn’t it!

 

Why Do We Enjoy Gardening?

Gardening is such a great pastime. It appeals to people across gender, race, spiritual and political persuasion, age and any other demographic. Despite the fact that to some extent it is necessary, we need gardeners to produce food for sustenance, in a time of convenience and mass production most of us do not need to spend time in the garden to survive. Yet we still do. We look forward to the weekend, so we can get our hands in the dirt and mud under our nails.

For me, there are many reasons I love to garden.

First, it’s a great way to find peace in your mind and soul. When I am planting, weeding or nurturing my plants, that is where my attention is. I am present there in the earth, not with the worries and stresses of work or life. It just brings peace. All you have to do is turn up.

Second, I feel the very fact that we do live in an age of convenience and mass produced food has separated us from the source somewhat. Unless we are professional farmers, all food comes pre-grown, packaged and stacked on the shelves of the local supermarket. We have no appreciation of where it comes from or the process it takes to grow. So spending time growing food in the garden, then enjoying the harvest and eating what we have produced has special significance. I don’t know about you, but the food I produce in my garden seems to taste so much nicer. Do you find the same?

The third thing I really enjoy about getting into the garden is I feel it brings me closer to the rhythms of the earth. I start measuring time by the seasons, as that is how my plants naturally behave, then I find my patterns of self and growth start to flow with these natural earthly energies. For example, in the spring I get more busy, planning and starting new projects. In the winter I take more time to rest and recharge my batteries. I find at times in my life when I have extended times away from the garden, like when I was traveling extensively for work, I really lose this sense of alignment, this connection to the earthly energies.

So that is why I love time in the garden, why do you? What are your reasons for getting your hands dirty?