Making My Father Proud

My Father is a gardener. Not just an occasional gardener, a hard-core, get out there every night and weed, weed, weed gardner. And, despite his insistance that I must have the gardening gene passed down from my grandparents, I’m not sure I’ll ever LOVE gardening.

But I am learning to like it, especially now that our backyard no longer looks like this:

I took this photo in 2008 after our house renovation, during which a bulldozer came in and basically demolished what was left of our backyard. I haven’t looked at this photo in a long time and, now that I do, I’m pretty impressed with what we’ve achieved – even if it took about 5 years.

I didn’t manage to get a photo from the second floor for comparison but here’s a quick one from the deck (on a very sunny day).

In five years we’ve added french doors, a back deck, a patio, a veggie garden and a shed. Not to mention a good place to put my wine while I take photos. We’ve planted grass off to the right but currently the weeds are winning so I’ll spare you the trauma of that view.

Here’s closer look at the veggie garden.

Our snap peas are coming along nicely. Samuel spent at least 30 minutes grazing on them last night.

I have my fingers crossed that our warm early summer will produce a few peppers/capsicums.

I used to grow Strawberries in the hanging baskets but this year I planted some ground cover flowers. The basket linings also provide nest material for our hummingbird visitors. That red thing is a hummingbird feeder and it’s attracted at least one return visitor who was too quick for me to take a photo. I may have to plane a stake out to catch him.

Carrots, brussels sprouts and chard. How do you know when a carrot is ready? We pulled one last week and it was a teeny tiny little thing. I was embarrassed for it.

I also planted a flower garden this year and filled it with things that smell good like lavender, thyme and sage. I can’t wait until they threaten to take over the yard. (I find pruning quite therapeutic).

I have high hopes for this peony.

And, finally, my bother and sister-in-law’s contribution. I think they bought it from a dollar store in Melbourne. I’d say it’s a little bit of Australiana in our backyard but if you look closely you’ll notice that the flag is backwards. How many people can say they have a backwards Aussie flag in their veggie garden? I think that makes it all the more special.

I can see us spending a lot of time out here over the Summer watering, weeding and simply enjoying our backyard, all while I wait for our hummingbird friend to return.

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