Tag Archives: herb garden

Gardening – Creating Form or Function

What type of garden are you working on? What are you creating? Are you creating something beautiful, or producing something functional? Or are you creating something beautiful that will produce for you also, not sacrificing one for the other?

The active gardener will typically have one of two goals. He will either grow things for consumption, in the form of a vegetable garden, herb garden,  fruit trees and the like. Or he will create a space to enjoy, a space of beauty, peace or for contemplation. A master may be able to create something that serves both purposes. A place of beauty that also produces food for consumption.

I am more of the “produce food” type of gardener. That being said though, I have also spent significant time in my youth growing bonsai trees, so I really appreciate the space and tranquility a beautiful garden creates. I think when creating a garden for food, I often forget that I  can also create an experience for visitors. I get caught up in the harvest already when planting, and plan according to what will grow well now in that space, completely forgetting I can sit back, think about beauty  and manifest that also.

So I am going to make that one of my new year resolutions this year. When planning a garden for herbs or veggies, I will site back, plan a little longer and give thought to the aesthetics of the garden also. Plan the garden with the intention of creating beauty as well as food. I am going to try and create a space that when we go out into the garden to gather some herbs for the soup, we end up sitting and spending a few moments there as the experience is so enjoyable we don’t want to leave.

After all, we all deserve a little more peace and beauty in our lives don’t we.



Urban Gardening – Making Use Of Your Available Space

So many of us these days live in restricted space. We don’t live on a farm, or in the country. We don’t have a paddock, a field or meadow to use. If we are lucky enough to own our home, the chances are the yard space will be small. As the Australian population swells, our yards do seem to be getting smaller and smaller. Maybe you don’t even have a yard, you may be living in a unit or flat where your only outdoor space is a balcony, or even a window sill. If you are really unlucky, you may have no outdoor space at all. I lived in a highrise unit in Sydney for 18 months where the windows didn’t even open. I was completely trapped indoors.

You may rent also, which puts restrictions on what you can and cannot do to your living space.

This is the challenge of urban gardening – how do we make best use of our available space and conditions.

I have recently started a new project in my front yard – you can see how I have a trellis on the inside of my fence. When I bought this property, this trellis contained a creeper of some kind. Recently it got too much, it was climbing all over the other trees in the garden, cleanly folding and snapping branches off as it grew. It had extended up the brick wall and into the garage guttering and roof. I decided recently it must come down. So on the weekend I have completely removed the creeper, leaving me with this blank canvas :)

Over the next few weeks (or months) I am going to fill this trellis with herbs and vegetables. It is just a too useful (and well placed) space to have it under-utilised or with an aesthetic plant only. It is well positioned too, getting good daylight but none of the hottest afternoon sun. Both the garage in the west and the fence facing the north will protect the plants from the worst of the hot Aussie sun.

So to start the project I went to Bunnings today to check out some of the options for pre-built wall garden solutions. Most of the ones available were designed for a smaller space like a balcony, but to my mind they were very expensive. They were about $60 for a 3 pot vertical solution, where the pots were about 30cms wide by 10 cms deep. Given the pre-existing trellis, I am sure I can come up with a much more cost effective solution, given all I really need to do is hang some pots on the fence. I may make the solution I come up with my first excuse for a video post – so stay tuned…