As I’ve gotten older the more, I’ve appreciated having a garden… especially here in Queensland.
Fortunately for me I have my own personal slice of this paradise with a garden chock full of tropical beauty.
Just taking a walk around my neighbourhood is a feast for the senses. Not only beautiful visually, but fragrant with exotic scents that linger in the air around you.
It’s just something that’s good for the soul!
When I was young tending a garden was the furthest thing from my mind, although I guess for any kid it is…
Dad always had an incredible veggie garden. I’m not talking about any little garden patch, nope he always had almost half an acre under cultivation at any given time.
Between his veggie patch and the dozen or so fruit trees (nectarine, peaches, walnuts, plum, apple, quince, and lemon) there was always plenty to do.
On the flip side it was pretty amazing to be able to walk out the back door of our house and literally pick a ripe and juicy nectarine that was hanging from a nearby branch.
During fruit season our trees were so heavily laden down that dad had to prop up the branches with large wooden props.
However, the smells accompanying his garden were far from exotic and it announced itself well before you made it to the actual plot.
Earthy is the word I’d use to describe it. Lol!!
He would gather a sugar bag or two full of cow pies from the surrounding paddocks and bring them home to dig into the soil. Over the years his garden could grow just about anything given the rich composition of the earth.
That process well at least initially was a smelly and manually intensive activity, but one that had to be done to keep the soil super fertile.
There is no questioning dad’s sound judgement on this, he knew exactly what he had to do.
To say it was bountiful is a complete understatement!
We always had fresh veggies from the garden, and there were very few times during my childhood that mum ever brought fruit or veggies from a shop, nope we always had a staggering number of fresh fruits and veggies on hand.
Often too much as you can imagine as it all ripened around the same time…
Prior to meal times we were often sent up the garden to cut a head of lettuce, pluck some peas or beans, pull some carrots, or dig some potatoes. Armed with an old 2 litre ice cream container my brother James and I would traipse up to the garden gather whatever mum had requested
Growing up in this type of environment you take this all for granted and it wasn’t till I was older that I realized how lucky we were to have fresh produce at our fingertips.
After dad’s passing, I found out that over the years he had been supplying half the town with fresh fruit and vegetables. Dad was just that sort of low key and generous guy.
I think he was happiest when he was in his garden free from the stresses of life.
It wasn’t till many years after that I gained an appreciation for his head space.
When I lived in Toronto, I had little actual space for a garden other than a few planter boxes on my back deck and a lounge room sized lawn at the front that faced the street.
That being said I did look forward to spring so that I could replant flowers and herbs out back and tend to my two Boxwoods out front, but unlike dad didn’t have space for a veggie patch.
The challenge was the short growing season in Toronto. If we had more than two months of summer weather, then it was a memorable year. However, it wasn’t always the case with some years being rainy for the duration of the supposed summer months…
Yep, it was hit and miss at best!
That all changed with my move back to Australia and a much larger house and plot of land.
My dad would cringe if he knew that since moving in that I’ve replaced all of the natural grass with artificial turf for easier maintenance, and that the only garden I have are tropical plants and shrubs… not a veggie to be seen.
That being said we did buy three fruit trees recently (lemon, mandarin, and passionfruit), although they will only live in large pots out back, we’re hopeful that with the right level of love and affection that they’ll flourish and begin producing in the near future.
Clearly, I’m more into the aesthetics of my garden versus the practicality that my dad had, but like him, enjoy being immersed in the beauty of a lush garden environment.
Until next week