I thought I would share with you some pictures of how my veggie patch came to be – how we built the patch from scratch!
My father and I built it 7 years ago. We knew from the outset that it would have to be fenced to protect the garden from the local wildlife, particularly our resident scrub turkeys, and the fence would need to be high. We also wanted something that was going to last and be an asset to the property so we decided to do it properly and build a permanent structure from the beginning.
This is the “before” shot – we chose a flat bit of the paddock, that was reasonably well-drained, and got plenty of sun, and marked out the area.
We made it big, since it was going to be a permanent structure, and we didn’t want to do all that work only to end up with something that wasn’t quite big enough.
The first task was to get rid of the grass. We hired a rotary hoe which made the job a lot easier, but it still took many hours and was really hard work!
The most difficult part of the whole project was digging the post holes for the fence. Although we hired a mechanical digger, it was still tough work keeping the thing straight, and we had 26 holes to dig! We also chose to do this project in the sweltering heat of a Queensland summer, so I was very glad when this stage was complete!
Cementing in the fence posts and making sure they were all square was fiddly, but thankfully much less physically demanding!
Next came the trenches to run pipes to the taps, and the laying of the concrete blocks along the edges and up the path, and then we filled in the beds on either side with as much soil and compost as I could scrounge up. When my brother came to visit for Christmas, I roped him into helping out as well!
Finally, it was finished!
|Planting the first seedling (sweet corn)
the patch in full splendour in 2010
The garden has changed a lot over the years. I put up poles and reo-mesh inside to divide the beds, and to make growing and netting things like beans, tomatoes and cucumbers easier.
And although I loved the look of the garden as it was, the devastating wet season and subsequent flood that we had in southeast Queensland in 2011 made it obvious that we needed much better drainage, so I ended up putting in raised beds, using sheets of colorbond kindly donated by our neighbour when he replaced his roof, with gravel paths in between. Not only has this helped with drainage, but it also makes it so much easier to work the soil, and cover individual beds (which is essential here to protect crops from fruit fly, which still hang around, even in the winter!)
And then it deteriorated considerably after I moved away and it was no longer used much.
It’s still a work in progress – I suppose most gardens always are. Since moving back here late last year, I’ve done a lot of work to improve the soil and get the garden working again, and there is a real sense of satisfaction that comes from seeing crops start to thrive and new plants starting to flower.
the garden today
There is so much I still want to do, aside from just getting the veggies growing again. I want to plant some more passionfruit vines on the north west fences to create some more shade. I want to bring lots more colour back into the garden with flowering plants, and pretty pots and maybe even some garden art if I get the time to create it! I want to have a little sitting area to enjoy an afternoon cuppa, and plenty of drinking dishes and birdbaths and shelter for the frogs and lizards and little birds.
It’s a lot of work but I love doing it and I’m so grateful to have such a huge space to do it in.