Attractive And Productive Spring Gardening

Whoever thought food production could be so beautiful and Almond blossoms August 2013easy?

One of the things I like most about spring is getting out and looking at all the beautiful gardens.

In fact, Canberra (where I live) has Floriade, a whole floral festival, to celebrate spring.

Spring is the busiest time for visiting gardens that have been opened to the public.

All that green growth and beautiful flowers really lifts the spirit…and it inspires you to get out and work on your own garden.

And with World Food Day this week, there’s no better time to be inspired to grow some of your own food.

So…I’ve been out visiting a few gardens. 🙂

The Shorthouse’s charming garden in Canberra shows some ways of attractively growing food in a beautiful and practical way.  I thought I’d share some ideas from their garden that I particularly liked.

This is their rhubarb patch – set amongst flowers, and with gooseberries and a fruit tree in the background.

Rhubarb patch with spring flowers and gooseberries

Rhubarb patch at Shorthouse garden, Canberra

I love this berry fedge (a combination of fence and hedge).  Attractive, practical and productive, boysenberries are growing along a fence.  This enables the berries to be picked from both sides.  The fence provides a support for tying up the berry canes to make them neater and more manageable.  The bamboo rods support netting to protect the berries from birds and possums.

Boysenberries growing along wire fence, Canberra

Berry fedge at Shorthouse garden, Canberra

Here is a lovely example of using potted plants both to make your garden more attractive and for food production…a simple idea that can be used anywhere – even a balcony!

Peas & strawberries growing in pot in Shorthouse garden, Canberra

Peas & strawberries growing in pot, Shorthouse garden, Canberra

At Floriade I didn’t go to look at all the flowers (even though you don’t get much choice!).

I went to be part of the team of explainers at the Urban Agriculture Australia’s demonstration garden.  It was set up to show different ways that you can grow your own food, no matter where you live.

Of course, you can grow food in your garden.

But what if you don’t have a garden, or your garden is very small?

You can still grow food – you just need to think creatively!

For example, you can grow on your nature strip (verge) if you have one

Urban Agriculture Australia's sign and verge garden, Floriade 2013

Urban Agriculture Australia’s verge garden at its demonstration garden, Floriade 2013

…in vertical gardens

Over door hanger pockets as vertical garden

Vertical garden using over door hanger pockets, Urban Agriculture Australia demonstration garden, Floriade 2013

…in boxes

Gardening in crates and vertical garden of wicking pots made from milk bottles

Growing food in crates and vertical garden of wicking pots made from milk bottles, Urban Agriculture Australia’s demonstration garden, Floriade 2013

…or in traditional pots.

Permaculture plant guild in a barrel

Plant guild in a barrel, Urban Agriculture Australia’s demonstration garden, Floriade 2013

This last picture shows how you can even have a permaculture guild in a pot…for even more sustainability!

There really is no excuse for not growing at least some of your own food. 😉

I’d love to know what your food-growing plans are.  Leave your comments in the Reply box below …or send me a voice message by clicking on the tab on the right.

Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!