gardening · life

I have a GARDEN!

Big news. (For me).

I HAVE MY OWN GARDEN!!!!

MY VERY OWN GARDEN! To do with as I please!

I haven’t had my own patch of dirt since 2007 (when I was young and pretty clueless about gardening and our flat had a bit of a courtyard/jungle of un-mowed lawn.). Ever since then I’ve either been travelling, had shared balconies that got no sun, lived in share houses that I had no say in, balconies (that I made the most of) or a unit with only a common lawn (I hijacked one corner of it for tomatoes, silverbeet [chard] and herbs).

But now… now… NOW! My own garden! My very own garden! It’s small, but it’s mine.

My Little Brother, we’ll call him The Weatherman (he’s a meteorologist, I’m not being very original) moved in with us, into our two-bedroom little flat, over summer. It was just meant to be temporary, but after five months there were no signs of him leaving. That place was a little bit too small for three of us, and I was getting utterly sick of living in such close proximity to so many strangers, and even more sick of people walking past our bedroom and lounge room and just gawking in if the blinds happened to be open. With The Weatherman’s added income, I realised we could actually afford a 3-bedroom house, without increasing our costs much.

Let the hunt begin!

I was patient-ish for once. For the first time in my rental-hunting history, I didn’t have a deadline. After the initial 12-month lease was up,  we had the option of signing another lease, or just going month-to-month. Of course, I picked month-to-month. This also meant we could take our time looking for a new place.

We inspected quite a few houses. There are some… interesting… houses out there. We actually applied for a different house, but in retrospect I’m glad we didn’t get it. We finally saw this place, and I loved it.

It’s old, crooked and a bit draughty, and some of the power-points and light switches are in really weird spots (thanks to a bunch of DIY renovations over the years that have relocated rooms and doors, but not the electricals) but I love it. It’s got character. It’s a 3-bedroom California bungalow that was probably built in the 1920’s or 1930’s.

It’s got a front yard. It’s got a back yard. It’s on a quiet, dead-end street. There is no one walking past my bedroom window, no one peering into my lounge room or kitchen. There’s no toddler having tantrums above me, no smokers next to me, billowing cigarette smoke into my bedroom at 2am. I feel so much lighter. I grew up in the middle of nowhere. I’m used to having a bit more personal space than apartment living affords.

The garden needs a lot of work. I was chatting to the landlords (seem lovely, yay) and she told me that their original tenant that was here for 8 years was a passionate gardener and had a wonderful veggie garden growing out the back, and they’re responsible for the groundwork of the lush front yard. Unfortunately the past couple of tenants have neglected the gardens, so there was/is a lot of weeding for me to do. I’m making progress. The front yard is mostly done. The backyard still needs a day or two worth of weeding.

I’ve planted a few crops. It’s winter here at the moment, so I’m a bit limited in that regard. Lettuce, broccoli and silverbeet are in. As are some of the herbs I’ve been carting around in pots. And the sweet potato. I’ve got garlic and onions and some beans waiting to be planted once I finish weeding. More broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage seedings are growing, waiting to be planted out once they’re a bit bigger.

I’m really excited. I’m planning on having the back yard to be pretty much 100% edible. The landlords told me I can do pretty much whatever I like to the garden. There’s quite a bit of concrete that’s pretty old and cracked in a lot of spots. Someone’s ripped a few squares of it up over the years for more gardening space, and they said I could do that too if I wanted/could be bothered. I might. I’m not sure yet. I’ll tackle the existing gardening beds first.

I cut down a big branch the other day. It was blocking most of the garden’s winter sunlight. Now I don’t know what to do with it though haha. It seems a lot bigger now that it’s on the ground.

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