I love love love my garden! I rely on my garden to feed me and I love food but that is only the start of it. I enjoy spending time outside, I still get a thrill every time a seed germinates. It fascinates me when a seedling becomes a plant that I can eat. I am trying to run a closed loop garden which means no fertilisers or compost or anything really bought in from outside the backyard. This does not address my compulsive seed acquisitions. That is a problem I am working on. My current system is seed saving and only buying new and exciting different varieties when I have finished 2 other packets. Seed saving means I now have more seeds than ever but I am purchasing a lot less.
My closed (ish) loop garden means my worms and chickens provide liquid fertiliser which help the plants to grow, the trimmings and old plants plus lawn clippings go into the compost (or back to the worms or to the chickens as supplementary food) which turns it all into glorious rich dirt which then goes back into the garden and nourishes the plants so that the cycle can continue. I aim to have all my fresh produce coming directly from my garden, I am about 85% of the way. The fruit trees produced their first fruit this year (8 apples, 6 of which the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos ate about a week before they would have been ready to pick, so very far from impressed and 1 Feijoa) so fruit (apart from melons which I grow myself in Summer) is something I am still purchasing at the farmers market. I also do not grow mushrooms (yet!) so I purchase those from my favourite mushroom man. The only other times I need to make purchases from the farmers markets are when I have people coming over that I did not plan for and cannot harvest enough food to feed them.
Winter is my least favourite gardening time, everything grows so much more slowly, there is no need to perform multiple tours of the garden a day as nothing changes very rapidly. I love that you can see the growth in a single day in Summer. Amazing! So here are some somewhat less exciting than Summer Winter garden photos. This is the first time I have grown Romanesco Broccoli (one of those coveted and finally purchased new and exciting [to me] different varieties) it is just starting to form. Blooming Rosemary, always a delight, roasted potatoes are just not the same without it. I have been waiting (slightly impatiently) for this mammoth spring onion to go to seed. It is finally ready to flower. The Borage has just begun blooming, when the bees find it they will be so happy, they adore Borage. The many beautiful colours of a strawberry plant that desperately needs attending to. And finally, my gardening helper.