The joy of creation in the garden.

I have been inspired by the gardens at the different houses we have been house sitting at.

At Geraldton, Naomi made raised beds from old water tanks and had a flourishing veggie garden on pure sand. (Take another look at it here and be inspired) Malanda had a large organic veggie garden fuelled by copious horse manure and lots of love. (Check it here)

So I came home determined to create an organic veggie patch.

The garden, now, is a crowded tropical paradise, lots of shady areas, so were am I going to find a place for vegetables? Then last week Jack pruned back some of the natives along the road front and suddenly the morning sun flooded along the front of the palms. But palms are voracious thieves stealing all the water and nutrients that veggies need. So I will use Naomi’s solution and make a raised bed.

First a trip to Bunnings, the local hardware store to do the homework. A 2 metre x 1 metre, ready-made corrugated raised bed would cost $99, ouch… I could buy a lot of veggies with that. So to plan B, make our own.

We bought 9 Planks @ 1.8 metres, 3 of them cut in half for the sides, and 4 battens for the corners at a cost of $14.

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Jack assembles the structure then paints the inside with a special paint that will stop any of the chemicals from the tanalising treatment seeping into the soil.

While he does that I clear the area where it will go in front of the palms.

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The blue box is filled with tough rhoeos that will be going to a new neighbour who loves receiving my rejects. Notice that large bromeliad right in the middle of the patch? It will have to come out…

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I will have to find this a new home.

Now to bring the bed around. I am going to create a no-dig garden.

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In the base goes cardboard, old carpet, papers that have been soaked in a bucket of water and other organic rubbish.

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The compost is ready and it goes in next.

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Followed by a liberal sprinkling of chicken manure. Then more compost.

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Lucerne mulch gives an added boost of nutrients, then more cow manure.

In the 28 degree heat the sweat is dripping off me by now, but it is nearly finished.

mixed garden bikes buses pc 038_3264x2448Finally top off with sugarcane mulch, and give it a good watering. Jack has built it with the corner battens raised so I can put netting across to keep off the birds. Crows are a real problem.

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Now I will wait for it all to settle for a week before putting in the seedlings.

Finally I want to share these photos of the Poinciana in full flower. It is about 9 years old and this is the first year it has  flowered so well.

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Categories: Australia, Burleigh, garden, Goldcoast, no dig vegetable garden, photos, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , , , | 44 Comments

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44 thoughts on “The joy of creation in the garden.

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  6. Glad to see I’ve inspired you to go raised. Luckily no nasty birds here, only cute insectivorous ones, though I now have chooks again (well secured from the vege patch). Such characters.
    Ha ha, you should see my garden now, wouldn’t call it flourishing any more. But the dragon fruit are already flowering!! And have just planted a new mulberry tree (in the front yard after the lime tree died). The Great Wall is done (phew), and I chopped down the old mulberry last weekend, so now it’s pond building time….

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    • G’day Naomi, Jack would love some chooks, but….. The wall looks awesome saw it on your post. Always something to keep us busy in the garden.

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  7. oh the hard work – but once it is done it is ready to go for a long time – and I shared hit son your other post, but after years of gardening I will now only use raised beds – or containers – for my veggies – it is just the most sensible – and thanks for sharing this project – it has some nice DIY tips – peace 🙂 ❤

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    • I agree Y once the construction phase is over it is so much easier on the back… 🙂

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      • and for nutrients too, at least over here -I noticed that the raised beds and containers do not get robbed from the trees and shrubs in the area. Oh – and I regret planting blackberry bushes – we do not have the largest yard and while the fruits have been nice – the roots are starting to spread a bit too much – and so we may be burning them down this year – after one more harvest that is… hmm

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        • Oh yes blackberries can go viral, but I have fond memories of going blackberry picking and my dear old Mother making delicious blackberry and apple pies, my mouth is watering at the thought…😋

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          • well I never heard of that kind of paint that seals up the wood – how cool!!! I am going to check on that more for the coming season.

            also – this is not the best pic, but here is a quick one I found of our blackberries – it was a surprise to come out and find just a couple of ripe ones that day:

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            • Do the birds like them too? That paint is a special preparation for painting the inside of fish ponds to seal them. No toxic stuff in it.

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              • oh – I will check on that sealant – thanks!!! and yup – the birds robbed us really bad the 3rd year – and then we put on black nets – which you can’t see in that image because this was near the end of berry picking and the net stopped a bit before this spot. Plus, we do not mind sharing a little – ha! But I also hung up old cd’s last summer (2013) and that kept the avian visits lessened. 🙂

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                • I wanted a black bird net for my garden but could only get white and it shows up so much. I’ll try that cd trick in the paw-paw tree to see if it will keep the bats away…

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                • oh pomme, I just love garden chat – so thanks 🙂 ❤ – and well, the black netting was very subtle, but after this past year we are thinking of something else- because the kind we were using got twisted too easy – or maybe we still need to learn how to apply it better – but lost some blackberries because the netting was woven into branches and you had to fight to get past it – and again, maybe it was our layering of it this year – but I am looking for a new option –

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                • I agree about the subtle look of the black net, white is so in your face, but as long as it keeps birds and hopefully bugs and butterflies away I can live with it.
                  Gardening is a constant challenge but a pleasurable one…

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              • yes, I agree about the pleasure and the challenge – which brings me back tot his fun post – because “smart gardening” can also be amazing – and raised beds are just that – so smart 🙂 ❤ hugs….

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  8. Do you guys ever sit still and relax? I look forward to watching your garden grow, but have to agree with Cindy – will you be around to harvest your labours?

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  9. PS- You really should come to The Holler. We can supply you with all the chicken manure you need……FOR FREE!!!!! 😉 🙂

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    • Oh WOW now that is a real incentive. Jack would love to have some chooks, but at the moment they will have to wait till we are more settled…So we have to buy chook manure…

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  10. I think the problem with you and Jack is that you both spend so much time sitting on your keesters eating cheetos (sorry this is trashy American food, please substitute the appropriate Australian terms. Hopefully there aren’t any). You both might want to consider getting up, moving around, seeing new sights?
    Oh, silly me………. I forgot your constant travel, the healthy vegetables, the mindfulness, the lives that everyone should be paying attention too.
    You have to admit, it will be novel for you both to ‘set’ (hillbilly term I learned at The Holler) a spell at home.
    I have lasted more than a month……leaving Saturday to drive up and see the Elephant Seals. Did you know one of the only places the Northerns Elephants mate is on the Central Caly Coast.
    I am considering a bet with my hubby on whether you will stay home long enough to eat your leafy greens…. 😉
    Love to you both~

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    • I really love this comment Cindy, so many new phrases you have given me, keesters? maybe we call it our “buts” and as for Cheetos, maybe good ol’ Maccas over here, but then that is a USA import!!!! We will be “set” a spell till after Christmas, then who knows???? Things grow very fast in this climate if the birds and bugs don’t get to them first 😭. If we don’t get to eat them I’m sure our friends will enjoy them.

      That sounds an interesting trip you have planned, I look forward to seeing your stunning photos of all the action of the Elephant seals. Will you be home for Christmas?

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  11. Pingback: How does my garden grow? | gypsy life

  12. poppytump

    Wow Pauline that’s some work gone into that preparation . Maybe I’ve gone wrong with the no carpet liner Lol . I’m looking forward to all the veggies coming up .. like dig for victory 🙂
    That’s a real beauty your tree !

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  13. A busy time now the growing season is underway.. Love the raised beds and the compost and Mulch.. Music to my ears.. And the Poinciana in full flower is fabulous.. We have nothing like it that I have seen in the UK.. 🙂 Happy Gardening Pauline.. and I bet your neighbour is grateful for those extra plants you are thinning out.. 🙂 Thats what we like to do.. share them.. Thats how we got our raspberries, then we gave away leeks when we had too many seedlings to plant out 🙂 Oh if only we could all do that 🙂

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    • We like to think of this area as a “commune”. Our friends who live up-stairs, and look after the garden when we are away, share the garden and occasionally we will have a communal meal together.

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  14. What a ripper of a post. I love watching work in progress. The difference in price between DIY and premade is salutary. And I’ve enjoyed more glimpses of your garden.

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    • It is still a work in progress Meg, just bought some bird netting from Bunnings, those pesky crows were digging up and carrying off the sugar cane mulch. Hate to think how many seedlings they would devour….

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  15. Didn’t we do well.

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  16. that flowering tree is awesome !!!!

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  17. The Poinciana flowers are so orgeous. Well done to you both on building and filling the raised bed for your veggies. I look forward to seeing it flourishing soon. 🙂

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  18. I love the raised garden bed idea. What are you planting first? And beautiful poinciana.

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