To my dismay for our first years here we were without a garden. Nothing would grow in our clay ~ not even weeds! Every time we found a paddock that had been slashed we would hook up the trailer, throw in a couple of rakes & go rake up the paddock, pile it in the trailer & bring it home.
We dumped our mulch in great steaming piles all over our yard but it made no discernible difference. The day I found a 1/4" of rich black soil under the leaf litter I danced a little jig. It grew pumpkins. They sprouted out of the compost & spread like a virus, mutating along the way into something never seen before or since but they were the best pumpkins I've ever eaten!
When my older children were little gardening is what I did. John had the degree in horticulture; I gardened. Haphazardly. Rather like my aunt I poked things in the soil & mostly they grew but I do not quite have her green thumb. However I made a terrible mistake. I gardened with my children. Most of them inherited the gardening gene. Not Cait, more because I didn't garden with her, but by the time she came along I realised I had a problem. I only had so much space & 4 children gardening up a storm. What's more they had reached the stage where they knew better than mother & meddled with my garden!!! They pruned flowering shrubs & removed things I had been carefully cultivating. They had very definite ideas of their own.
Now I tend to do things on a small scale; manageable; cost efficient; not too big a drain on our water or my energy. I put in things we use a lot of. I garden round what is already there. Most of my children have grandiose ideas. We always seemed to end up with more garden than I could maintain. That's right, having planted it out the kids thought their job was done & abandoned me to deal with it ~ only I had reached the time in life where I wasn't home enough to do this efficiently. Our vegetable gardens became straggly & unkempt. They were planted sporadically by whoever was bitten by the gardening bug. I gardened less & less but my kids trying to teach their mother to sucks eggs was more than I could stomach. They seemed to forget that while my gardens were never exciting or full of the more exotic foodstuffs they were edible!
Living as part of a large houshold teaches secrecy. Secrecy, not privacy. Very little remains private in a large household. I waited. I needed money, space & no~one at all home for a prolonged period. Which happened on Friday. And I gardened my way. Small. Just the one raised bed. Deep mulched. I put in things I use: parsley, silverbeet, broccoli, beans, herbs. It was very satisfying.
I left the large space. Yep. Ryan is moving in.