This garden has been an enjoyable challenge. When we moved in, August 2016, the house was smothered by 23 Leylandii pine trees that where destroying our plumbing and retaining walls, we had an added challenge, when we dug down we found out the soil was pure clay.
I was determined to make it my dream garden, I wanted a garden that had a purpose, I wanted it to look like a semi structured English cottage garden but filled with eatables. My husband wanted a space where we could have friends and family over and enjoy entertaining.
I got to planning and knew of certain elements that I wanted but it would take years for them to properly establish, as a result I had the opportunity to “play” with the space. The last 2 years have allowed me to see where I can plant things. As it is our front yard the house shades a significant proportion of the garden in winter and about 30% in the summer. With such a compact space I have tried to do gardening along the lines of urban permaculture, I have been focusing a lot of my energy into trying to build up the soil health with a worm farm, compost bin and an in garden compost. I try not to use fertilisers but using the plants to tell me where I am deficient and so I can adapt planting or add nutrients into the soil from the compost or feathers, shells, coffee grounds ect.
There has been success and failures, one of my biggest challenges has been from the massive tree stumps that were left and how to plant on and around them with such minimal soil, one of the ways of over coming this is to “raise the bed up”, for the items that need larger root space I used the iron rings to raise the plant higher than ground level.
I have had so much fun watching the garden it’s amazing how quickly it can change from bare bones to a mini forest.