Garden Bounty

Earlier this week I collected this garden bounty….grown in my own backyard!

Most of it from my raised garden bed.

Here is a pic of the bounty…and yes…hasn’t the grass dried off.

Garden Bounty..Grown in My Own Backyard

Baby beets, dwarf beans, spinach, coriander, parsley, my first courgette, chives and vietnamese mint.  It all went together to make a yummy soup.

More baby beets are ready for harvest, and today I cropped another, larger zhuccini.  Just as I was returning from taking out the compost this morning..a rather urgent and close-sounding tweet was heard.  On the back deck was sitting a beautiful tourquoise budgie!!!

It didn’t take long before he or she was eating grass seed from a stem.  I tried to catch it but to no avail…off it flew into the neighbour’s garden.  I do hope it returns,….

Budgie Visitor in the Garden

My How They’ve Grown

Wow Those veges have grown!

I have had a few days incapacitated, but one of the joys of getting better again is racing out to the vege patch and reconnecting with my babies.  And my how they’ve grown.  Even a beginner vegetable grower will quickly get attached to the joys of tending their charges.  Even when you are not watching…guess what??…those veges just carry on doing their thing.

here are some pics of the developments….

Beginner Vegetable Garden in Raised Garden Bed...My How They've Grown..
Zuchinis are coming soon to my raised garden bed...
Tomato Plants in my Raised Garden Bed

The baby beets are happy and the lettuces are all snuggled up together.  Flowers on the tomato plants are encouraging.  Zuchini babies are forming at the base of the plant.  The silver beet on the far right are going to seed.

Happy Little Rose...keeps the veges happy
Hard to Resist a Rose


So these aren’t veges…but it’s hard to resist sharing the roses.  I guess you could use the petals for rose jelly…or just enjoy them in the moment.

Latest News from the New Raised Vegetable Bed

Well the spring growth has been inspiring enough for any beginner vegetable grower!

Here is an updated view of the new raised vegetable bed.

Inspiration for beginner vegetable growers

See how things have grown!

Front left is the patch of baby beets. Lettuces are front middle, then dwarf beans…and continuing around anti-clockwise…tomatoes are starting to need support hence the strings, raspberry canes line the back.  There is one cucumber plant and one courgette.

Can you see the renegade pumpkin growing by the lawn at the front of the bed??

Growing Outside of the Square

I couldn’t bring myself to squash up those tomato plants any more so popped a few in in front of the Dublin Bay rose….along with a few spinach plants and some coriander.

Further view of both vegetable beds...
Close up of Courgette or cucumber...I'll have to go outside and check...

The other day I called in on a friend and she loaded up the back of my car with boxes of recycled/untreated timber shavings…and then I sprinkled some sheep manure pellets for good measure.  I don’t think these veges can complain about their treatment.

New Raised Garden Bed Excitement Continues…

Only a few weeks in creation and happy rows of baby vegetable plants are forming in my new raised garden bed.

There are rows of baby beet plants, mixed lettuce, a few sweet 100 tomato plants, some dwarf beans, raspberry canes in the background, and one or two basil babies.  With the new spring warmth and wet they are getting going fast.

Happy Rows of Mixed Lettuce
New Order and Possibility in the Garden

Help Please! Snails are eating my baby passionfruit vine!

Dear readers, please could you give me some advice, so I can share, about a non-toxic way to stop the snails eating my baby passionfruit vine…it is almost leafless!

Thank you…leave the info in the comment box.

Some days later…the passionfruit vine is making a comeback!

On the advice of a friend I sprinkled coffee grounds around the base of the vine…..and it may be a shortlived cut-back on caffeine by the snail family, but so far so good.  The vine is busily shooting up some new leaves…and time will tell.

Meanwhile the lettuces are launching ahead.

Some time soon I will get to my old patch and clear more room for the rhubarb, and plant a few potatoes….

Melbourne Botanical Gardens…Revisited

The Childrens’ Garden and the Cafe Garden were a joy to revisit a couple of weeks ago.

It was great to have more time to focus on the pleasing order that a structured garden returns to the soul.  There were patches of great order…columns of cabbages, and then a rumple of rhubarb…..lavish lettuces and happy nasturtiums….


Cabbages all in a row.
A Rumple of Rhubarb
Lavish Lettuces
Lemons and Happy Nasturtiums
Bountiful Broadbeans

New Raised Garden Bed Excitement

Home made new raised garden bed takes form in my garden

Providing new structure in your garden or your life gathers the energy and focus to move forward and create something new. I was excited to have my partner finish building the new raised bed before I went way for a few days.  Keen to fill it and get some planting done.  Upon my return some of the seeds have already sprouted and some of the raspberry canes are shooting leaves…..These photos are of the new Home Made Raised Garden Bed.  I was able to line it with newspaper and old horse-feed bags, and fill it with a mix of topsoil and compost from the council recycle center.

Garden News from Abroad

Organic gardens on terraces was the topic in the DNA- Daily News and Analysis from Bangalore recently.  Professor Viswanath Narayan talked about planting on terraces in Bangalore to reduce heat…primarily for the good of peoples’ health..also to cool the house and reduce energy bills.

Carbon footprints are reduced.  Pollution is reduced as kitchen waste can be composted and returned to the soil.

We are encouraged to start with one pot a week.  As you grow the number of pots…don’t forget, go vertical as terrace space is generally a small confine.  Start with leafy green veges as these are the easiest to grow.  Grow what you like to eat, and use often…eg) tomatoes, mint, parsley, coriander, basil,and chillies.

Think about the possibilities….workplaces, schools, companies….

Moving on to Indianapolis….this city has an urban gardening initiative.  Intended to promote community, economic development and local, sustainable agriculture.  Regarding the issue of contaminated soil, especially with lead, Gabriel Filipelli, a professor at Indiana University, suggests capping the contamination with a layer of new mulch and clean soil before planting, or build new raised beds.  He says heavy metals tend to sink.  Soil testing would be prudent.

Something else caught my eye…Vegetable Gardening as Art??

a recent post in the Cornell Daily Sun, by Chris Palermo, was about a student artist — Maggie Prendergast.

Maggie’s senior thesis for her art degree was entitled  “Photosynthesis”.  She created a vegetable garden as public art in the Arts Quad.  She wished to raise issues of land use, sustainability and local food production.  She apparently followed the inspiration of Franz Haeg, and architect who planted a series of gardens called Edible Estates, which encouraged people to replace their lawn with a vegetable garden.

On this note..a new piece of art is under development in my own backyard…my partner has just constructed a new raised bed and we have just filled it with a mixture of topsoil and compost from the local council green recycling site…

further installments to follow!

More News From the Garden

By the inch it’s a cinch..

time for an update??…well it is bucketing down with rain today and I’m not going out in it!

On Monday though, the sun shone and I was out and weeded the raised garden bed!  So much easier than it used to be.  Also cleared a new patch for another raised bed to be built.  At least with this rain it will be easy digging to put the posts in.

I did a little job that had been in the planning for sometime…a trip to the beach with a plastic bag to collect some seaweed.  After a bit of a wash with the hose, I placed the seaweed in a bucket of water and placed an old pot saucer on top.  Leaving this in the garden…as it breaks down I will be able to take off some of the fluid, dilute it, and fertilize the vege patch.  Very economical and effective, and walk on the beach was great.

Growing Your Own Organic Vegetables….Hot Topic


This week an article in the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported that it is ‘trendy and hip’ to have raised garden beds and to plant in containers. Do not forget the compost and mulch we were urged. Raised beds are considered

• Ergonomic
• Great for keeping out small children and dogs

Cats are another story…We are told not to worry if our vegetable patches are not as lush and neat as the photos in the glossy magazines. Do your tomato plants look like the latest ground cover?

Like anything – for perfectionists and procrastinators -JUST DO IT – and perfect as you go!

In the Huffington Post I discovered a new word. LOCOVORE seems to mean someone who eats locally grown food. There was a discussion about

• “ethics” of eating locally rather than supporting energy-sapping transportation of food across many miles.
• Energy efficiency
• Supporting more ecological farming practices
• Reduction of excess packaging
• Avoidance of pesticides and other toxins
• Greater connection and accountability regarding more humane treatment of livestock and workers
• Supporting local community had a discussion about fruit trees in your garden. Regarding overwhelming bounty…give it away not only to friends and family as suggested…what about the local retirement village, foodbank or school? Bottle, jam, stew and freeze…it is a lot of work on a hot summer’s night…get your friends around? Ask your local garden centre for best growing tips for your area – regarding soil, climate, fertilizers etc.

A couple of days ago while visiting a yoga studio in Hawaii I started to converse with an older lady who had come to a class that was about to start. She spontaneously wanted to share with me about “a very interesting article that she had just read…” about opening up more land locally for people to lease small lots to grow their own food. Well, that was a sign post to me that this is a HOT TOPIC!

This lovely lady went on to talk about the need for us to return to more natural ways of GROWING OUR OWN FOOD.

Ecological Gardening is defined as growing food using scientific ecological principles.Natural ecosystems are very diverse with lots of intricate interdependent relationships existing between all components. That is to say the interconnectedness of all things is a necessary part of the system’s sustainability. Any discourse on Quantum Physics will remind us that nature will fill any voids. Keep on planting or be forever pulling weeds.Ecological gardening combines natural weed management, soil ecology and crop management. It is very easy and requires minimal time and effort.

Sally Dutton has degrees in both Marine Biology and Chiropractic. She loves to share knowledge about being healthy and healthy lifestyle practices.