Tuesday’s Top Five – Things I would grow in my dream vegetable garden

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.

2. Asparagus
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.

3. Rhubarb
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.

4. Berries
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.

5. Chooks
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.

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12 Responses to Tuesday’s Top Five – Things I would grow in my dream vegetable garden

  1. What a great list! I’m trying a few of my dream plants in small-scale, but I don’t have space for a proper attempt. Mine would be:
    1. A full-size avocado tree
    2. Kalamata olives (enough to pickle)
    3. Nut trees: macadamia, almond and walnut
    4. A tea hedge (Camellia sinensis)
    5. Capers

    • Barbara Good says:

      I’m already very impressed with what you manage to grow, I love the unusual things you try, or at least those I can’t even contemplate down in the south. My list would have been very different if I didn’t consider climate. Capers, I didn’t even know you COULD grow capers, but that seems pretty silly of me.

  2. My dream garden would include
    1. leeks (I can’t get enough of them),
    2. more strawberries I only have 18 plants right now,
    3. celery as I refuse to buy it in the store,
    4. spinach
    5. peach trees of my own

    • Barbara Good says:

      I agree with the leeks, I just planted a few, but I’d never be able to grow enough to supply our needs where we are now. And I don’t know if you can have too many strawberries, so I agree with that one too. The celery I have loads of at the moment, and I grow silverbeet instead of spinach, but it would be nice to have a bit of both. The peach tree is probably my number one dream item.

  3. Definitely strawberries, asparagus, spinach, blueberries and blackberries for me.

  4. Bek says:

    Dream away! My wish list currently stands at:
    1. Lychee
    2. Prune plum
    3. Mandarin
    4. Another orange to extend the crop, probably a navel type
    5. Good celery, mine is always rubish, but I eat it anyway.

  5. Andrea says:

    Great post Barb…………. My dream would be a part-time gardener to help me with the weeds !!!
    Oh and I’d love to be able to grow more citrus trees, I have a lemon tree in a pot(looks a tad sad)
    and two cumquats which are covered in tiny tiny fruit.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Love it! But of course now I’m jealous again of the size of your garden, big enough to need help in. I certainly couldn’t justify a gardener!! Yes, I think more citrus too, I’m going to go for a dwarf orange for Christmas this year I think.

  6. Andrea says:

    Barb, I hear your dream, I keep eyeing off the neighbours yard which has heaps more sun. Re house and chicken sitting you could start a house swap like time share….

    • Barbara Good says:

      I told Mr Good the other day when we move we have to pick a block that gets lots of sun, doesn’t matter what the house is like, you can’t move the sun!

      Love the house swap idea.

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