When Janet Wyllie moved to her small suburban block nine years ago, the garden was mainly lawn and weed trees. Mirror bush, wild tobacco, cotoneaster flourished. Now she's replaced the front lawn with flowering perennials and fruit trees and created a haven for birds and lizards. The former back lawn's now home to a veggie garden, more fruit trees, and a chook run.
In our food garden
Loads of deliciousness. A dwarf avocado and a feijoa have started to fruit this year. The persimmon tree with super sweet fruit is a favourite. I'm also very proud of my asparagus. Four crowns of asparagus produce two meals a week from September to December. This winter, I have self-seeded broccoli and cabbage for the first time.
Standout sustainable practices
I've planted a passion fruit vine on the chook run fence. The chooks fertilise the vine, which makes a shade tunnel where they spend hot days. The chook run has a gentle slope. I throw prunings and weeds in at the top of the run. When they eventually make their way to the lower end, I collect what's left and return it to the garden beds as mulch/fertiliser. I garden and live as sustainably as I can by using minimal electricity or petrochemical products.
Top tip for novice gardeners
Good gardening is 90% observation and 10% perspiration.
Look out for
Several uncommon plants, including oca, Peruvian apples, Jerusalem artichokes, leaf cardamom, davies plum, Wurtz avocado, medlar, and shatoot.
For sale on the day
Some mosaic pieces will be available for sale.
I'm a potato, usually a bit grubby under the fingernails.