Friday, 11 April 2014

A spot of gardening.

One of the drawbacks to our block of land is that all the topsoil had been removed before we bought it.  What we were left with was a dispiriting lump of leeched clay full of ironstone that baked in the sun & set like cement.  For all the intents & purposes of gardening it was useless.

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. 

No comments:

Post a Comment