The summer garden

Oh joy is ours, for we have finished the summer garden fence!

(Felice has just gone down the road to swap a dozen eggs for the neighbours’ goats’ milk, so I’m thinking I can squeeze in a quick post before she gets back.)

Old summer garden fence

This is the old summer garden

When we moved here, there was a big fenced vegie garden just down the slope from the house. “Woohoo!” we thought. “Vegies for us!”. (Well, I did. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Felice say “Woohoo!”). But as it happened, I was a little premature…

No-one had touched the garden for months, because no-one had been living here. The previous owner had (thank goodness) mulched the soil with newspapers and straw, but even so, by the time we got to it, it was baked hard. We spent a loooong time hacking away at it, and trying to break up the hard clods, and eventually we achieved some measure of friability. Enough to plant in, anyway.

But it turns out that, southern city slickers that we were, we could have saved ourselves all that trouble, if we’d just known the secret of subtropical clay gardening. And the secret is…wait til it rains. The day after the first rain of the season, the baked-hard clay remaining (I’m not kidding, it was like pottery) transformed itself, with exactly no hacking or cursing from us. It became friable, loose and lovely to plant into.

And plant we did. It was spring, so in went corn, cucumbers, sunflowers, beans etc. And everything germinated and grew like buggery, to our delighted astonishment. Until, that is, we encountered the same problem everyone else around here has: the bandicoots found their way through the fence. And so did the bower birds, and the wallabies, and even a lost-looking Rosie, on one occasion. How did the previous owner grow anything here? She had a dog, that’s how.

But we don’t have a dog, so what to do? Build a better fence, of course. Can’t be too hard, can it?

Summer garden fence in construction

This is an arty shot of the summer garden fence. We basically built four corridors which add up to 14.4m x 14.4m.

Oh my goodness. We planned big, or at least, big for us. I intend (no really, I do) to go into the details of the design some day, but for now, let’s just say that we learnt a lot about fencing. Several months later, we have a functioning fence, and so far, it’s doing its job.  (Except once, I left a door open and a couple of chooks wandered in, but I’m not counting that time.)

I tied up the last bit of roof netting today with my wire-punctured, bleeding fingers, and when Felice gets back we’re going to join my sister, who’s visiting for a bit, on the deck with a celebratory homebrew.

Summer garden fence

Here is the summer garden fence almost finished

Veges in the summer garden

We first planted in the southern corner of one corridor. From the left we have cucumber and green beans, then more beans and corn, then zucchini and radish, and to he right we have carrots.

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