On September 13th almost 3 months to the day I joined the Yates Growing Community with my first blog ever titled “A Somewhat Blank Canvas”. As I read over the many blogs of the community here and see how many have reflected on the changes and the progress they have seen in their own growing adventures I thought it was time to look back on mine.
Boy, what a difference between then and now. I had to chuckle to myself as I thought back on all my learning curves from leggy seedlings to happy tomato plants, pesky pests to buzzing beneficials bugs. I have so enjoyed all my failures and successes over this time and my goodness how time flies when you’re learning and having fun doing it.
My photo collage shows my garden in its early days on the left and how it looks today on the right. I am quietly pleased with the progress I have made in these few short months and attribute most of my successes to the kind advice and tips that have been shared in this community.
I think some of my biggest successes were the result of planting a variety of flowers around the garden bed and in pots in front of my greenhouse to bring in beneficials such as hoverflies and bees. My greenhouse is often full of bumble bees that first visited my flowerpots only to find their way inside the greenhouse and now regularly return to roll themselves in tomato and cucumber blossoms.
Though the bees found their way inside my greenhouse they seemed to ignore my eggplants. On my journey of learning I read about using a paintbrush to gently transfer pollen from one blossom to another and whilst I thought it a bit silly I diligently did so whenever a flower opened. I now have the cutest little eggplants in my greenhouse, and I am so pleased I gave this a go!
Perhaps one of my biggest failures was my battle with the pests in my garden which continues to this day but in following the many blogs here I appreciate that there is a balance to be found and that it takes time and whilst I may have been at this property almost a year, I must be patient. Good things come to those who wait – right?
My biggest surprise would be a large rainbow silverbeet that was harvested many times for its leaves and when it went to seed and was uprooted, I discovered it was a beetroot (giggles were had all round) and yes it was delicious from top to bottom.
My best memory so far is the look of excitement on my kids’ faces as they harvested their first lettuce, radish or strawberry from their mini gardens and shared their successes with us as a family.
I hope that I get to see that more over the growing season ahead and that they continue to be interested in what we eat and how things grow, the nature around us and how we are caretakers of the green spaces we enjoy.