Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Being inspired ... production garden in the Botanic Gardens

As part of the visit to the Botanic Gardens last week, we dropped by the production garden as part of our tour. It really was a sight to see. There was such a mix of plants growing, from the vegetables, to the fruit, to the flowers encouraging plenty of insect activity to ensure a very bio-diverse universe. I was lucky enough to be passing by the head gardener not so long ago, and she was giving a very good overview of the garden on how chemical free the garden is and the general ecology of the area. Just look at the picture with all the English marigolds, and there were hundreds of them! I also liked the use of materials in the path and the surroundings of the old red-brick walls. Very impressive.
As I mentioned in my last Botanic post, I was in the company of others, so it was really the bigger picture we saw rather than looking at individual plants. And there was this fantastic knot hedging used in the herb area, that stretched along a considerable area, which, would have taken a considerable amount of time... It was very neatly trimmed during this visit and many people stopped to admire it, and the various herbs within each section. 

I was also impressed at the nets over the cabbages, as you can see in the picture. There were large hoops with netting over them. 
Effective. 
But would you really go to this trouble in your own garden. I'm sure many people do, but after growing my batches of my own broccoli, it seems to be a touch excessive?
Again marigolds were a big feature in this area and you can see there are some ornamental onions due to flower soon too, along with some sage plants providing the touch of mauve.


There is an area sectioned off, where you can walk up the fence and view through and area of perspex at some bee hives, where bees seemed to be busily going about their business. And you can see by the picture how close you can go. One hive seemed to be busier than the other with more sections in place. I have done some reading on keeping bee hives and attended some work groups on them, with a view to having some in the future. There is a bit of work and resources needed to getting things up and running, so all will happen in due course. In the meantime, I'm happy to keep observing and learning, and in this case, enjoy the close-up view we had. 

Of course Other-Half is not interested in keeping bees at all ... yet ... Lol

Final picture of this visit shows a different view. 

If you look closely you can see their onions, which I'm interested to see the size, and compare to how mine are doing. 

Even more eye catching are the frames with beans growing up them. This is a far cry from the bamboo or other structures I've grown them on. These must be move-able, as the bean crops rotate around the gardens, I'm sure these must too. 





All in all, I could have spent more time here, and I might plan another visit over the next week or two. I want to see how their fruit trees are doing, along with the berry bushes they are growing, and check out what else is going on too. In the meantime, I've already returned to my plot and I'll begin to see how I can apply some of the learning, particularly round including more annual insect attracting annuals around crops, and maybe begin to hatch a plan for a knot box hedging.

Happy gardening.