Exploiting the Suburbs

There is one downside to growing in pots under deciduous trees...

And that would be going out each morning to disinter the baby garlic, and lettuce and spinach seedlings from their blanket of butter yellow apricot leaves. At least in a couple of weeks they will be getting a whole lot more sunshine than they do now..

I know that planting seeds now is a bit pointless going into winter, but I am doing it anyway. This weekend, between many child-related social engagements I will finish planting garlic and broad beans. Yesterday I planted more lettuce, spinach, Chinese cabbage, and some cute little red chard seedlings from a friend. I have a little sun trap at the northern corner of the house, on a patch of concrete between the black asphalt driveway, and the white reflective house walls. It is very warm, and I ripened a number of capsicums here this summer, so hoping the winter veg will do well, despite being planted late.

That is another advantage of being a suburban gardener. There are so many microclimates created by hard landscaping that we can exploit for our own greedy (and lazy) ends. I've mentioned before that citrus is not a viable commercial crop here in Tasmania, because it is too cold. But almost every suburban garden can grow a lemon tree against a wall, or in a sheltered sunny corner. I have a little moan quite frequently about the lack of space here for vegetable gardening, but there are many ways to extend the season, and make the most of frost-free pockets in a small garden in a built-up landscape that would be very hard on two acres of exposed paddock.

So here's to the little pockets and corners of our tiny gardens that work hard to feed us and make us happy gardeners.


Anonymous said…
I used to do a bit of gardening - sort of manic episodes. But I had fun and stuff grew. Now, even though my kids are independent, I have less time to garden. Wish I did have the time. I know my neighbours wish I did more too. But work is taking more and more time.

Your garden looks lovely. Love how you are making the most of all the spots in the garden. Wouldn't you love a Secret Garden?
Jo said…
Yes, I'm thinking about an acre, enclosed by red brick walls, covered with curtains of ivy hiding a secret door.. would just hit the spot nicely..
Heather said…
My husband always tries to avoid planting deciduous trees in our garden, because they are so "messy." I think the dropped leaves and flowers make such a beautiful carpet on the ground. You can tell I'm not the person who rakes up all that stuff, huh?

I hope your seeds do well.
Jo said…
Thanks Heather, I'm hoping too! I love my deciduous trees, and I do the raking, so I plant as many as I can! The range of gorgeous autumn leaves, just from fruit trees, is extraordinary. The butter yellow apricot, greeny yellow apple, and I have a pear tree with the most wonderful glowing orange leaves. I'd better stop now before I catalogue the exact shade leaves of each of the trees in the garden.. as you can tell, I love them all!

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