Kitchen Garden Guides

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gardening in public…

I know I keep going on about it, but Carol and I have done an amazing job with the Cygnet Library garden. I spent a couple of hours there on Saturday, weeding, spreading a bit of mulch, planting some new things and watering and I felt like I was 10’ tall. I am so proud of it.

Every plant was chosen for several reasons – first it had to be edible, next it had to cope with VERY shallow soil and lastly, it had to be pretty. And I am pleased to say that, so far, they all score 10/10. Another reason was…. it had to be cheap or free!

We only had a budget of $150 and we spent every cent of that on plants, fertilizer, signage etc. Now we are running on empty but the Cygnet library-goers are regularly donating to a box I put on the counter inside and that is all I now have to keep the garden up to scratch.

It is completely different gardening on a narrow strip of ground between the library and the carpark, compared to in my private acre. I really quite like seeing people constantly coming and going, cars driving in then out and every now and then someone coming over for a chat. Today a German tourist came and sat on the bench and used the free wi-fi provided by the library. We were both pleasantly surprised that it was available even though the library was closed.

A local came and said hello and I picked her a lettuce and some herbs. You see, the garden is for everyone; not much use growing herbs and food if no-one eats it. I wrote a new sign on plastic milk bottle that I put upside down on a stake. It tells you what is ready to pick and encourages everyone to join in. Right now you can pick a few broad beans, some lettuce, kale flowers, all sorts of herbs including marjoram, thyme, rosemary and Vietnamese mint plus edible flowers like marigolds.

The red cabbage is forming a heart now and the black currants are ripening well. Don’t tell anyone but I ate 2 deliciously ripe ones today. I planted out a caraway plant and lots of garlic and plain chives which will clump up and flower later in summer – autumn. I am always looking at the garden with an eye to what will be finishing soon and choosing a few more things to put in to take their place when the time comes. This is how the donations are used.

I am hoping to take this theme up and down the streets of Cygnet, wherever I can get permission to add food to a piece of ground, no matter how small. I have already asked at the Commonwealth Bank and look forward to the reply when the bank opens again!

Happy food gardening!


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Jason Dingley said...

I love how you put up signs inviting others to help themselves to the produce. One day someone will pick on of those beans and it will taste so good it will inspire them to start a garden of there own.

Keep up the great community spirit.