Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In praise of... new delights

My parents have always loved gardening, a passion they each gained from their parents. Such weight of family tradition (combined with the need to be out in the sun for long periods of time) ensured that I only contributed to the weeding and composting when they were explicitly added to my duties or there was a bribe of some kind involved. When smaller, I mildly resented the space 'lost' to such important activities as backyard cricket. When a teenage, I mildly resented the time 'lost' to such important activities as sleeping. Isn't it good to grow up?

...And to help other things grow up! My wife and I now have a small garden on our balcony. Last year we tried growing some herbs and had such a wonderful basil harvest that we gave away bottles and bottles of homemade pesto for Christmas. This year, particularly after a gardening workshop at church,* discussions of permablitzing, and a growing realisation of the importance of eating locally produced food, we've decided to diversify and see what survives: not just basil, but thyme, sage, mint, oregano, parsley, watercress, rosemary, coriander (which has already bit the dust), rocket, carrots, lettuce, zuccini, tomatoes, beans, snow peas, radishes, broccoli, corn, potatoes - and worms. Due to our location, gardening also no longer means spending hours in the sun, both because with only a few square metres, it would be hard to spend hours, and because our balcony is south-facing, three floors up, and under cover and so doesn't get any direct sun.
*The second image is of an old tennis court at the back of the rectory which Tim has converted into a very productive organic vegie garden. He recently ran a very successful "square-foot" gardening workshop: gardening on a tight spacial budget.
Series so far: I; II; III; IV; V; VI; VII; VIII; IX; X.


Rachel said...

Your Recor's garden looks fabulous!

Your balcony plants look SO healthy. well done you!

Did you get the facebook invite to the permablitz? Currently it is looking bigger than Ben Hur as we have had Greens MPs, Peter Cundle and Mr Permaculture himself (David Holmgram) all interested in attending. weird when it is just a bunch of people gardening in their freind's backyard.

hope you and Jess can make it.

ps happy birthday (again)

Anonymous said...

wow Byron! They've all grown so much since we were there only a few weeks ago. Your garden looks fantastic!

Jen M

Anonymous said...

I wish you were offering points for naming the plants - I could get some of these

byron smith said...

Heather - I think I've already given away most of the answers in the post...