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Verge gardening

With all the attention on verge gardens of late, I decided to spruce ours up a little with more native medicinal plants.

We’ve had the verge garden for a while but it hasn’t received much attention beyond the periodical hack back of the opportunistic wild edibles or ‘weeds’ as they’re known to the rest of the street.

We’ve decided to formalise it into two long beds with path that is wider than the previous one, giving folks the council mandated 1.5 metres of space to swing their cats.

Jelina enjoying a clear path.

The raised bed is home now to some very healthy and productive Zucchini and Strawberry plants. How it’ll handle the extreme Summer heat remains to be seen though. Maybe a little shade is in order

We chatted with the postie before we started the work and identified the angle that he likes to come up from the road on and promised to keep that clear. He’s even got a little clear flat area now so he doesn’t need to beat back the weeds with his front tyre. The lady who delivers the catalogues to other houses and the meter reader are all happy with the amount of access they get (plus the free nibbles they get to take).

A garden bed for free veggies for folks to take.

We’re changing the mix of plants out there. Boobiala (Myoporum insulate), Pigface (Carprobrotus rossii), Eremophila (Eremophila maculata) , Sticky Hop Bush (Dodonea viscosa), Ruby Salt Bush (Encylaena tomentosa), Old Man Salt Bush (Atriplex nummularia) and Kangaroo Grass stay (Themeda triandra) The New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax) stays too, it makes an excellent screen for the Hungry Jacks wrappers that blow in from who knows where?

Recently, I put one of the branches that I’d pruned from the Elder Tree (Sambucus nigra) into the ground as an experiment to see if it would grow. It has its rooted in there and can’t come out without a shovel and also has new leaves on it. Tough bugger, I don’t know why people made all the fuss when I suggested doing it.

Elder flowers and berries are incredibly good at fighting off colds and viruses and to comment them, we’re adding half a dozen Black Anther Flax Lilies (Dianella revoluta) to the mix. This plant has many uses from fighting viruses to making string, all of the plant can be used for different purposes and, as long as it gets a little shade, it’s drought tolerant. It’ll also help the New Zealand Flax to screen out nasties. Jelina uses the NZ Flax to weave with, so that has multiple functions too.

Muntries (Kunzea pomifera) will make their appearance this year as an edible plant and the Midyim berries (Austromyrtus dulcis) have been shifted from deeper within the main garden to right along the fenceline where they’ll sprawl out into the verge garden.

We don’t get our verge sprayed by the Council’s pest controllers. All it took was a phone call to the Council who redirected us to the contractors and it was fixed. No more poison for us!

Sheet mulching

I removed a lot of the Pigface. We get a lot of beautiful big flowers for the Bees and lots and lots of leaves but no fruit. That’s because our soil isn’t sandy enough for the Pigface’s liking but it’s so pretty when Flowering and such a vigorous grower that we decided to keep it. The leaves are edible and medicinal too. I’ll add it back to fill the empty spaces as time goes on.

At the moment, opportunistic Warrigal Greens (Tetragonia tetragonoides) is popping up out there. I’ll encourage it with a little bonus water from time to time and see how it goes.

The verge from the South

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