Many times a month the phrase “when I have a bigger garden…..” comes out of my mouth in reference to some pipe dream or other I have in my head. Mr Good just nods and smiles, knowing that I have so many plans and dreams that we’d need acres and acres to make it all happen. One day we will have another house, one a little bigger but not too big and with what I call ‘character’ and what Mr Good calls old. It will have a decent sized yard and a devoted and sectioned off area for my vegetables. The house will primarily be selected for the garden, lots of sunny areas. More than likely it will be out of the city… somewhere. This is all in my head right now, but it is so clear in there and in that garden there are lots of things growing that I just don’t have room for currently. Here are my top five….
1. Fruit trees
I have some already, a grafted dwarf lemon/lime tree, two apples and a plum tree. As I’ve mentioned in another recent post the lemon/lime is doing brilliantly, the plum tree had a few blossoms so we might get some fruit this year, the apple trees are not looking so promising. They’re just starting to grow new leaves, no blossoms appeared which I assume means no fruit this year. I think they might be in too shady a spot, that wouldn’t be a problem in my dream garden. I’d love more fruit trees, apricots, nectarines, peaches, more plums, pear, orange. Okay perhaps that’s more than any suburban block could handle and probably more fruit than I’d know what to do with, but I can dream can’t I.
A dedicated asparagus bed would be a prized and much loved addition to my dream garden. I can see it, and almost taste it, and I love the idea of planting a vegetable that keeps on giving for years, even if its only for a very short season. Every time I read about others picking their own home grown asparagus my envy grows. One day I will have my own… I hope.
Another one of those rare perennial vegetables, one that doesn’t take up too much space, but something that I just have not managed to find a place for in my current small yard. I love, love rhubarb so it’s high on my wish list, growing enough to keep a ready stock in the freezer, make relish and jam, stewed rhubarb and one of my favourite slices on a regular basis.
I have one pot of strawberries which holds about four or five plants, not nearly enough to do anything with, it really only provides a rare garden snack and though delicious especially when warmed from the sun, the small quantities is fairly unsatisfying. Ideally I’d have lots of strawberries as well as raspberries and a range of other berries. How wonderful would it be to have your own fresh berries to cook with, keep in the freezer, have with ice cream, in smoothies, on cereal or yogurt, make jams with….. there’s just too many possibilities.
Okay, so not a vegetable, but it still produces food so I’m stretching the confines of the list to fit this one in. Chooks seems like such wonderfully useful animals (much more so then the small furry and demanding creatures that currently reside in our house and garden). The eggs obviously would be a welcome addition to the ‘home grown’ fare, plus the chooks themselves seem handy in cleaning up spent garden beds, getting rid of weeds, adding instant feriliser to the garden and generally make the garden a little more perfect for seeds or seedlings to be planted. I’m sure there’s some downsides to chooks, I hear they can be somewhat destructive if they get into the veggie patch when you don’t want them there, the whole idea of foxes scares me a little, and I’m not sure what you do about getting a chook sitter if you’re away from home for a while, but I’m sure I could figure all that out. Right now chooks feature heavily and wonderfully in my dream garden.
Having written all that down I’m now starting to think about the practicalities of it all. How on earth would I manage to care for, harvest and the prepare or preserve all that additional fruit and veg. I might have to start on some serious training for the girls and Mr Good and enlist some additional hands to the task – I know a few people who would readily volunteer for the berry picking, I’m just not sure how much would make it inside!
And speaking of preserves, Liz has a list right up my ally.