In The Vegetable Garden

Terracotta finials ready to top the tomato stakes in my vegetable garden

Jane Campsie in her decorative vegie patch in England

A garden on the Mornington Penninsula, Victoria by Paul Bangay

What better way to start a new year than in the garden. For me, at this time of year the beaches have less appeal down here due to the influx of summer holiday makers. (Apologies -this must seem far fetched if you are shivering in blizzards somewhere in the northern hemisphere.)

I have mentioned in previous posts that my vegetable garden had turned “feral” in the last few months because of the huge rainfall and warm weather, not to mention my busy schedule… Well I’m pleased to say that it has now been tamed. The giant, matted wild rocket, jurassic weeds and towering silver beets have been yanked out and new seedlings bought at the Berry markets today are about to go in.
Months of compost my husband has been diligently turning has been spread on top and I’m trying to follow organic principles and rotate the sort of crops that will go into each garden bed. Does anyone have a fool-proof guide?
My seven year old daughter helped choose the eclectic range of plants – a strawberry seedling, watermelon, butternut pumpkin, broccoli, sweet basil, yellow egg tomatoes, various types of lettuce and more wild rocket, amongst other things!
I am secretly hoping this will enthuse her to wanting to actually eat all of the above, fingers crossed.
I’ll also be putting in some decorative elements in the vegie patch to dress it up. Too often people treat their kitchen gardens as a messy “work area” when they can be quite attractive.
I have an old victorian gate, a set of obelisks and some gorgeous Italian terracotta stake toppers (from Heaven In Earth). Jane Campsie’s vegie garden in Hampshire, above, is one of my inspirations and a great example of a decorative garden.