Spring Garden

October 16, 2019

One of my favourite places in the whole world is my back garden. It is a place to be curious, gently industrious and still. Small amounts of effort, reap bountiful rewards over time. Seeds are sown, seedlings planted out, plants are watered, tended and observed, produce is harvested and seeds let to set for saving. The work is timely but not time critical, earth time holds dominion over clock time.

Pink Lady apple blossom

The garden beds were set up by the previous owner and it has been an incredible pleasure to fill it with flowers, herbs and vegetables.

Rainbow chard, lettuce and parsley

It is colder in Ballarat than in Melbourne and what thrived in my last garden, doesn’t always do so well here. It has been an adventure discovering what grows well here and trying varieties of old favourites better suited to a colder environment. Apart from tomatoes, everything I grow here is from seed. There’s a seed company the Dandenong ranges in Victoria, where I have been buying a lot of seeds from. They have a similar cool climate, non-hybrid seeds and small size seed packets for $1.50…just the right quantity for an urban backyard. If I like the variety and it does well in my garden, then I save new seeds for next year and if it doesn’t do so well, then I haven’t spent much at all. The tiny packets are the sweet spot for experimentation and adventure.

Snake beans in the greenhouse

These wee fellows are snake beans, an Asian variety of green beans that grow very long. I just planted them out today, along with some sweet corn, giant sunflowers and zucchini. Fingers crossed that I’ve called the end of frost correctly!

Slow bolt spinach

From the lemon balm and spearmint already growing the in garden, I was able to harvest and dry enough herbal tea to last me through the winter into another harvest time. It feels almost miraculous to me what is possible in a backyard garden.


Last autumn, I was able to plant a garlic patch that I am hoping will provide us a year’s worth of garlic. It took me about half an hour to plant around 30 cloves and a few minutes each week to keep the weeds out. It takes more energy for me to shop for them I reckon.


And to add to the abundant spring life in our backyard, we’ve just welcomed two Silkie chicks to our home.

This one is called Dawn

They are ten days old and still need a warm lamp to keep them snuggly. We have it set up in the lounge room.

Our broody box made from old packing crates and a desk lamp

They will be ready for adventure in about six weeks when their feathers are fully in. They are a very sweet presence. I can hear their little peeps against the snoring of our dogs even as I type these words.

I shall leave you now with one of the glories of spring…sweet peas. I planted three different varieties in autumn and these variegated pinks are the first to bloom and scent our garden with a heavenly scent. What is happening in your garden?