Alice, from A Growing Delight, was the first blogger who found me when I first started my blog. Her infectious commenting and willingness to make others feel welcome within the gardening blogosphere is second to none and I find whenever I go to comment on another blog she’s beaten me to it – again! Not only is she is a great commenter, hence her huge comment base per post, she’s a great gardener as well and spends her time dressing up her garden in Australia’s Capital City, Canberra.
When did you start gardening as a hobby?
I started gardening when I was about 7 years old. We had quite a big, somewhat neglected garden on my parents’ dairy farm. I found some violets hidden under a hedge so I dug them up and replanted them in other places. Some grew and some didn’t, but the thrill of gardening and watching plants grow began then and has continued for more than half a century. My mother also allowed me almost free rein in the garden, so I was able to dig, rake, mow, pull up and replant (or sometimes not!) to my heart’s content. A Yates Garden Guide became my ‘bible’ as I dreamed of all the flowers that I wanted to grow. My grandmother encouraged me to plant anything, saying, “You never know, it might grow.” That also included flowers taken from vases once they started to wilt. I still love propagating plants, especially by cuttings and division.
Why did you start blogging about your garden/ gardening topics?
My daughter suggested that I start a blog early last year as I might ‘meet’ someone with similar interests, primarily gardening. I had no idea what a blog was at that stage and struggled to find any other gardening blogs in Australia. However, within a very short time, I found several new ones in this country and many others across the world. My blog has expanded beyond the ‘garden fence’ to include other topics, supported by photos. I particularly enjoy taking photos of clouds, sunrises and sunsets, trees and water. I feel closer to some of my blogging friends than I do to my personal friends.
What’s the best gardening tip you picked up along the way?
It’s hard to recall a particular gardening tip, having read so many, but the experience has given me a greater understanding of gardening conditions and experiences in other countries and climates, and a greater appreciation for the benefits of being able to garden all year round, despite the continuing drought in this country. My gardening knowledge has increased whilst international distances seem to have shrunk.
If you had to start your garden again from scratch, what would be the first thing you would do and why?
I would definitely have a PLAN incorporating all of the elements that I could envisage in my ideal garden, also taking into account the needs of the environment. I would plant trees first and I would not be in too big a hurry to build retaining walls, unless the site was very steep, so that I could vary the shape and size of garden beds in the early stages.
If you were only allowed to have one plant in your garden, what would it be?
It would be a tree of some sort, possibly a fruit tree. I would do my best to propagate it so that I could ultimately have my own little orchard. A fruit tree will provide me with not only fruit but also flowers in the spring, shade in the summer and coloured foliage in the autumn. In the winter, the bare branches will allow the sun to shine through.
What will your garden look like in 10 years time?
We are working towards having the remaining undeveloped areas planted with trees, shrubs, perennials and groundcovers. The majority of plants will be drought hardy, with a good proportion being Australian natives and plants from other countries with similar climatic conditions. The current garden beds will be planted more densely with a similar range of plants. We would like to be able to maintain the two newly planted lawns from this year as a foil for the increasingly drier surroundings, and to create at least an illusion of cool lushness in the garden.
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