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That’s parsley in the foreground shade, coriander to the left, tomatoes staked and not so staked, hiding the bed now devoid of potatoes and home to broccoli, onions and lettuce seeds. Behind all that (along the fence) are the olive trees, oregano, thyme and sage.

We’ve been tidying and reorganising inside and out. Pulling out pumpkins, digging up potatoes, tackling the enormous number of weeds that grew when we we turned our backs for a few months, and rearranging the living room. The lounge furniture has been turned clockwise, the dining table and toys have been swapped, and a book nest has been created.

We’ve sorted books, cleared shelves of crap and bought more baskets. The secret to a happy toy collection and art supplies is always more baskets. I’ve even sharpened the pencils and thrown out textas that don’t work.

We’re so freakin’ happy to be home for the whole day doing only things we fancy doing. I got excited. I ignored the list of “basic mainenance level housework” (vacuuming, for example) and did several things on the “once a year level” list. I oiled the wooden bowl collection. I even dusted.

In shocking news, my garden blog will have pictures of, wait for it, my garden! These are from earlier this year, in response to Dr Sister Outlaw’s post at Progressive Dinner Party. I’m kinda jealous of her chooks.

empty-potsThis is the ‘soil’ in our front yard. It’s mostly sand, the lad is sitting quite near to where next door’s cat likes to poo. The gnome has met with a sad fate since this photo was taken, and so have a couple of the pots. The pots are all empty since we moved out of flats, they were quite handy when we gardened on windowsills, but they do dry out rather quickly.

side-gardenThe blind on the left is our kitchen window, straight ahead is the loungeroom, and on the right is the next door neighbour’s kitchen. The white thing up the back of the garden bed is the plastic cover on the compost, the plants are corn, eggplant, capsicum and marigolds. The beige pot is the one we were collecting broken glass in. We found enough of it that we had a designated spot. This garden bed gets around two hours of full sun a day, needless to say, it’s less than ideal. However, it’s worth growing veggies, even for a small crop, rather than leaving it bare and having to weed it. We grow excellent nettles. We did grow tomatoes there the first summer we lived here, they weren’t as good as the sunnier spots in the garden, but they grew and they produced fruit.

view-from-the-backdoorFinally, here’s the view from the backdoor. As you can see, we’re practically on acreage, with a dam there on the right (um, baby bath, catching rain fall), rolling lawns native reserve toward the back and tomatoes to the left. There’s also a sunflower in there, some tyme and oregano, chives and marigolds and basil. We didn’t buy any tomatoes last summer. Off to the right, out of shot, there’s a small clothesline which is too low for me to stand under, so we’ve grown a couple of things there, largely unsuccessfully. Immediately below where I was standing to take the shot, to the right, I had a couple of good rosemary bushes. In an effort to make the place neat and tidy for the upcoming move (no, I still don’t know where or when, but soon) I moved them around the corner to a spot where the landlord would see them. They died. I should have known they would. In the spot above where you see the sunflower there is a sage bush, since then it’s become enormous and floral, I’m very proud. Next door’s cat likes to sit on it, I’m less excited about that. It now has a big empty patch in the middle of it where it’s been squashed and broken. The sage bush that is. I haven’t caught the cat.

Maybe that should read “Garden Centres versus Nurseries”. When I was growing up (which wasn’t that long ago) the place where one bought plants was a nursery. The place where my mother used to take us when she bought plants is still called a nursery. They also still have chooks and a playground, although the whole place is a lot fancier than it was twenty years ago. The chooks are ornamental now and their coop has a sign saying ‘Birdhouse’. I went there today with my Mum and the lad. He’s obviously been watching us when we shop for plants (and perhaps he’s had too many opportunities) because he toddled between plants looking at their tags and turning the tags around. He seemed pretty impressed with all of the trees and was most unimpressed with being put back in the stroller. Anyway, my point is that this nursery has grown over the years to sell lunch, garden furniture and outdoor sculpture and all sorts of other junk that isn’t plants or mulch. It’s what I think of when I hear the term ‘garden centre’, but this place is sticking with ‘nursery’. Yesterday (you’re seeing how our kid has learned so young about plant-buying behaviour?) I went for a walk to my local plant sellers, who have called their business Adjacent Suburb Garden Centre and they don’t sell anything other than plants, basic tools, pots, manure and mulch. They grow veggies in a corner of the carpark. They guerrilla garden the dead space between their land and the road. They inherited an ugly old fence from the site’s previous owners and (rather than building a stark new wall) they planted a grape vine on it. In short, this place is run by people who love plants, who think garden furniture takes up space where their ought to be plants. It’s what I think of as a ‘nursery’. I don’t think this is an earth shattering observation, but it niggles away at me nonetheless.

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