The simple inexpensive ways we made our garden quickly
Wherever we have found ourselves over the years we have made time to have gardens and sometimes had to make gardens quickly and inexpensively. Gardening after all is good for our health – both from being outdoors and eating produce.I am always on the look-out for keeping costs minimal without missing out on the loveliness of choices that can be had in the scenery of a garden Click To Tweet. Some ideas here may not suit you in gardening inexpensively but use your creativity and the “sky is the limit”! We have also found ourselves in many different locations with different soils, different aspects and different climates. Whether cool, rainy climate in the high hills,: sub tropical or dry desert type close to a river for example. Each of these and others have had different challenges and positives.
Having a simple garden idea in “your head”
Okay well a plan can be good. But not so much for “some”. I am the “some”. My ideas evolve as I start to see where things can fit better. This means – I gain ideas and more visuals as I see things taking place.
My husband is just along for the ride sometimes although he is a great contributer to my ideas. Not having a concrete garden plan doesn’t mean I don’t have a main aim for the garden – but I have my mind ticking over with what can make it better while using what we have to hand and also those things that we come across – through recycling, up-cycling and re-growing or propagating.
So have a simple plan or idea in your mind about all those garden ideas on Pinterest. Narrow it down to one which fits your garden situation. By this I mean consider items you have that can be used in your garden. Do you have logs? Pallets? Stones? Rocks? Pebbles? Do you have access to a Community Centre or Gardening Club where there are keen gardeners happy to do swaps (and not just for gardening items)? Do you belong to Free community boards online where you can advertise for items (particularly for swaps) you’d like to fit into your “plan”? Start talking things over with your husband, family or buddy – so that you can start to get in mind a sketchy plan.
Consider – are you on a hill, flat and does it rain often or is it rather dry. Also what grows well in your area. Do you want a low maintenance garden or are you happy to work in it often?
The Grove effect and the “Murray River” garden
This is the garden that took us about 10 months to put into effect from start to finish. I wanted a vegetable garden but I also like to mix flowers and ornamental plants into the layout. The aim was to make an attractive appearance overall. The climate in Murray Bridge is a type of Mediterranean one with a semi-arid touch which can make for some very high temperatures. The soil was great being a red loam and lovely and easy to grow in. I felt to help cool things down was to have a high breezeway over-top ie posts on the side with rails with hanging baskets etc. So here are the details:
- A path was central to the theme and this was done by erecting a crazy path. Someone had to get rid of concrete – so the path was made with broken bits of all shapes and sizes. (A win/win situation as they had nowhere to put it) The flats of the concrete of course were to the top
- As mentioned above the posts were put up – but either side of the “crazy path”. The over-hanging greenery was voluminous and added to the protective affect of hot sun.
- I planted out lots of lavender up each side leading up to the grove. Excellent plants for the climate. Italian lavender being more resilient
- The vegetable garden nestled on two plots on one side of the grove and vegetables of various heights helped give ground protection to any that needed a bit of shade from the sometimes fierce sun..
- On the opposite side of the Grove we made up a shape of our country Australia. It was bordered by fluted tin and inside I grew succulents. This did not take long and fitted in with our principle of having a garden quickly and a mini-garden at that.
- We situated more posts opening both to the left and right and the end of the Grove. We put on top of these railings as well. These held more pots from the rails. We had shade cloth on these for awhile as they were just beginning to start into hot weather. The shape of the grove was like the letter “T”
Having the garden quickly
I am a proverbial picker of cuttings to put in pots for the time when I need them. I can carry a lot of pots around for the time something is suitable to plant in the garden. One thing I know is sometimes you can have easy soil to work with and in this situation that was so. I remember in a previous situation where the soil was slow we got a trailer load of soil – just to start up a plot while organizing some fertilizer.
My husband is also very resourceful since he is a born re-purposer and thinks of things to re-use so as to make do with what we have or to chat to people in the area in case they have items they don’t need or would like removed. We swap favors.
Grow fast growing vegetables in your vegetable plot to start with such as Arugula (Rocket), Radish, Lettuce, Beans, Cucumber, Beetroot, Tomatoes. There are so many cuttings that grow well for flowers such as Geranium, Lavender, Salvia. Pop in Marigolds, Daisy, Sunflowers, Borage Nasturtium for quick growth too (all of which provide beneficial insects)
Grow your seedlings indoors before the cold times have finished while you are laying back awaiting the outside work which will come in full swing in the Spring. You are not laying back you say? Good! You will be pouring over those garden books/magazines and checking out Pinterest
If you have a sloping block to contend with – consider terracing it where you can and putting in a raised section of garden bed. If your block is dead flat – consider putting in raised items – large rocks, pallets squeezed in to look like gates or fences, post structures that are useful, plants and shrubs with different habits and heights.
I often will swap normal exercise for my garden so that I cancel one type of exercise out for another – so that I can spend more time getting great garden results.
I go and view the garden often and think through ideas – in case there is something that will fit in or cut short the time element. I don’t cut corners but often together with my husband we will come up with plans such as moving plants if they are in the wrong position if it makes for a better garden idea.
Get online to make contact with gardeners in your area. Ask questions and find out more about your locale.
I collect everything green that I can to compost. Leaves is one of my favorite since I feel that since the roots of trees go down so far they are very nutritious for your garden. The healthier you can get your garden the better it grows.
Although the aim is to garden quickly – we garden well and spend time reviewing and looking at our results. Gardening is so worth it. Plus you get tomatoes and all other manner of amazing things!
Deborah Hunter Kells
I have a wide range of interests and the top of my list is people and relationships. I appreciate our big wide world and nature which tries so hard to deal with what we do to it. I enjoy learning and am a “forever student”. I would love to hear about you and what you have experienced – that one or both of us may learn.