Designing Mum's garden

small garden patch with lettuce, peas and violets

Four weeks later, Mum's veggie patch is coming along! The soil is still sandy, but gradually improving, thanks to the rain, clay, and ever increasing amounts of organic things.

Lettuce is our main crop. The seedlings from Bunnings look like deliberate plants now, despite one being nibbled almost to death. Clover, grass weeds, and odd succulent looking things have sprung up. We'll transplant the succulents, and keep the clover for ground cover, but the grass can't stay.

lettuce plants

Buried between plants, in this bed and others, are small pockets of grass. We're hoping they'll decompose or get eaten, and over time improve the soil. I'm not sure how effective this is, as composting is better with air, but we'll see. It was either this or chucking them away, and there's no sense wasting good organic matter.

dwarf pea plants

As a secondary crop, we planted dwarf peas. They're now four weeks old and growing strong. Ideally, they'll grow up the trellis and make this area elegant.

The square-ish patch behind the lettuce is home to very young mustard greens. Fingers crossed they make it and become delicious.

Just to the left is a worm bungalow - a mostly-buried plastic flowerpot with exit holes cut in the side and bottom. Worms may enjoy kitchen scraps in the bungalow, and explore the rest of the garden at their leisure. As a lid, we're using a mesh frypan cover, but will switch to plastic if this starts to rust.

There's now a footpath where it's safe to walk, ie. no plants, no worms. It's basic for now, but we can transform this. The path is marked using old stems from a banana tree - pruned, then hacked into strips. So primitive, so satisfying, so Minecraft. :)

Behind the footpath is my ginger plant. Not looking happy, but I expect it'll pick up as the weather warms. It's been bloody cold here in Perth lately, even though we're past the winter solstice.


Finally, we added violets to make the place look nice. I tell myself adding any life is good for the soil, which I'm sure it is, but the immediate benefit is psychological. It's inspiring to see pretty things. Seeing them grow and bloom makes me feel like we're making progress - otherwise I'm just guessing and hoping. In this way, flowers can be functional.

At some point, we'll plant strawberries in the hanging basket. I'm really proud of this space. Just 3 fortnightly sessions, and it feels like this wee patch could become something delightful.