Since I got into trying my hand at gardening I’ve noticed two things;
- I’m getting the hang of it, finally, and
- It’s good for the environment, and sustainability, if I can grow some of the food I like to eat
Being able to grow my own garden, as opposed to living minimally in a tiny apartment and buying everything I need, would not only allow me to directly compost my coffee grounds and scraps somewhere, but also drastically reduce my carbon footprint by providing foodstuffs just a short walk from my kitchen.
In the image I provided with the help of a free garden planning tool (loosely based on the kind of space my in-laws have in their yard, but could be doable in the space my apartment block has for parking. It’s an average-sized Australian garden lot) I was able to achieve quite a bit. 4 raised garden beds and three shrub-sized trees, with a line of flowering bushes to separate the potentially scruffy-looking vegetables from the aesthetically pleasing flowers. A coop, to house a duck and a chicken or two, and a small greenhouse to protect seedlings before I plant them in warmer months. Behind the coop is a compost bin, a clothesline for electricity-free clothes drying, and a trellis where I can wind various vine-based plants for decoration – such as Jasmine and/or a pea plant.
Given the freedom to do so, I would also desire a small beehive to take advantage of the multitude of flowers I’d have lying around, but there didn’t seem to be a little symbol for that.
An outdoor BBQ for all steak-related cooking needs, and a water tank off to the side, complete the picture.
The specific plants I’d want to grow, based heavily on my own food consumption, are forever-growing items like leeks and spring onions, statisfyingly developing peppers known locally as capsicum, a tomato plant, basil and rosemary herb bushes, and three coffee plants to take advantage of Western-Australia’s subtropical climate. (Also I drink a bit of coffee, so there’s no harm in trying to grow some of my own). I’d plant some native flowers mixed in with some other, hardy foreigners like lavender, in the hope that my little bees produce some deliciously fragrant honey via a flowhive – which seems simple enough to operate. I’d register the hive with the local apiarists’ society for a bit of assistance, as I would be a novice beekeeper. The hive would go someplace behind the greenhouse – perhaps nestled between the two flower bushes – to prevent the rest of the family from accidentally disturbing it.
This type of planning doesn’t particularly serve a purpose – the concept of having a place of my own to grow things like this is still quite far off for myself and my partner – but it’s still enjoyable to imagine what I could do with a patch of ground and a weekend to wander the aisles at my local nursery.