Eighty bags of manure a year, plenty of mulching, slow release fertilizer, a couple of water tanks, an artistic sister, a sense of humour, and a whole lot of love for gardening….that is all you need to have a garden like Christine Fernon’s.
In February this year I visited this wonderful cottage garden in the inner city of Canberra. Christine bought the property ten years ago, and although it is hard to believe now, the garden was completely overrun, and she began from scratch to re-build it. Now the garden is crammed full of plants, flowers and vegetables. In a space smaller than many Canberra gardens, she has four vegetable beds, and another area where she grows rhubarb, strawberries and chives.
There is espaliered fruit along the driveway with almond, feijoa, crab apples and quince trees.
The rest of the garden is packed full of colourful flowers and shrubs. Her sister has taught her ceramics and the garden is dotted with ceramic figures, pots and whimsical garden labels.
She has three slimline water tanks, two aerobin compost bins, plus a worm farm. The water tanks are mainly for the veggies and potted plants, and no pesticides are used in the garden.
But I’m sure the key to this lush and healthy looking garden is the end of winter ”energy drink” of cow manure/mushroom compost/blood and bone, and slow release seaweed solution and mulching during summer. …….very hard to sustain that kind of dedication!
Every bit of the garden is inspiring and needless to say the bees and birds abound. Christine has 6 birdbaths in all; one show-off magpie was taking his daily constitutional despite all the Open Garden busy-bodies in his garden.
Christine has included a birdbath on the nature strip in the front of her property and it is used in summer for the kangaroos who stop off at night-time for a drink….so very close to the Parliamentary Triangle.