Garden Share Collective ~ Post 1 ~ Confession Time

This is a post written in shame.

Yes, shame.

I could blame it on post-hospital recuperation. I could add the cold weather, the frosty snap, the terrorist chickens. But the upshot is – I just got busy, and time poor, and it’s taken Lizzie’s Garden Share Collective series to guilt me into ‘fessing up and sharing my woeful tale.

This is the tale of what once was a thriving backyard garden, brimming with vegetables, herbs, citrus, spices and more.

Now, as I do the walk of shame, armed with camera, I introduce you to my festering weed plot and get it all out there.

‘Cos it’s pretty woeful.

Some things are not doing too badly.

IMG_2071My lillypilli looks deceptively green, and with fruit. The reality is, there’s about 7 fruits on the old girl, not even enough to add to a dish. The birds are feasting. IMG_2063The mango tree has had a strong Winter prune and is greening up nicely. I may even have a few mangoes come summer.

But the reality is here, in my coastal 1/4 acre, everything else is either woody, dead, bug ridden, chewed, moth eaten, stalky, bolted, shot or ready to be put out of it’s misery. IMG_2069My herbs are in planters. They are usually lush and green and loaded with lavish leaves. Here you can see the truth: Stalky Thai Basil, half dead curly leaf parsley, woody Thyme, sulky Sage. IMG_2058Even the Rosemary, (which does better in the ground, I know, but you’ll understand it’s pottedness in a moment) is forlorn. And I have no idea why there is stalky looking cherry tomato remains in the forefront planter – it used to hold French Tarragon :(

IMG_2070Even the lemongrass has dried out, the once lush stems now probably more suited to kindling.  IMG_2067I can blame these girls for some of it. By the time I have fenced off plots and pots with enough wire to keep out the Walking Dead, I need a lock picker and  wire cutters just to go out and gather some goodness.

But I know that’s not really why they are in such neglected sorrow.

I’ve been lazy. IMG_2056Look at these poor strawberries.

I mean really. What hope do they have of producing decent fruit? IMG_2055

And this Basil. More wood than a forest, more flowers than a florist.

I suck. IMG_2062

My Kaffir lime has bugs in the leaves.  It seems the fruit loves neglect – it fruits constantly – the knobby, nubbly fruit full of tartness. Apparently it’s hard to get a Kaffir to fruit. I have the answer. Ignore it :(

Under the Kaffir grows spring onions, chives and garlic. I didn’t photograph them because the terrorist chickens have been sun bathing in them.

IMG_2061The chickens smell great.

Pre-basted, even.

Given the state of the garden, they may just have to watch their step… IMG_2060

This is an eggplant. It’s in it’s 3rd year. It should have been replaced after it’s second season. My husband was so embarrassed that I was including this photo, it has now mysteriously disappeared and just the empty plot remains. IMG_2057

This is the small plot. It’s current purpose, apparently, is to provide a secondary bathing area for the terrorist chickens, which, as you can see, is proving very successful.   I don’t even know what that is, growing in the forefront. But it’s stubborn enough to withstand chicken bathing and mustn’t taste good, because it’s still there.

You will notice it’s behind the wire fortress.



My Bay tree has bugs.  And scale. And something else, I think. IMG_2053

And the grasshoppers are loving it.

I so have some un-pictured goodies. The curry plant is doing great things,The lemon, orange and lime tree are starting to get ‘legs’ – they are only a year or so old. We planted these citrus trees IN the chook run. There’s irony in there, somewhere. They thrive.

The chickens ate the birds eye chillis. They gobbled the gooseberry bush, and discovered that carrots, peas, corn and rhubarb were all to their palate.

IMG_2052I wanted to leave this post on a up-note.

So – here’s a mandarin.

Wish I could say I grew it.

It comes from over the neighbour’s fence.

This is the first post in a series of ” The Garden Share Collective” — a web hop about the veggies, hers and edibles we grow. On the first Monday of each month I’ll be sharing my  failures and successes in the garden, as part of a community designed to help problem solve and gain motivation to growing clean food organically and sustainably.

Thanks to Lizzie, from Strayed from the Table, who founded this idea.

Check back next month to see how the garden – and the terrorist chickens – have progressed over the first cold Winter month.