its been a while since I last posted and with good reason. So many changes this year, including moving into our new home, which happens to be our very first home! It’s been an incredible experience and the whole family is loving our new space. Im is so excited to finally have a house of my own in which I can do whatever my heart desires. We are in an urban, eastern suburb in Melbourne and on just under 800 m2. The house was built in 1905 and was the original estate home of the area. Its a grand lady with wooden floorboards and high, high ceilings with large windows and skylights make the space light-filled and inviting. There are decorative cornices, stained glass windows, and loads of character
and warmth, and I’m especially excited about the garden. It’s an English cottage garden with a 30-year-old rhododendron, camellias, lavender bushes and old roses whose stems are as thick as tree trunks. Old established trees including, birch, box ash maple, and more I’m trying to identify, create shade and coolness. We have also inherited many established fruit trees including;
fig, mulberry, and various citrus. Add to this numerous bulbs that were a delightful surprise this spring. My dream has always been to be as self-sustainable as I can, and now we can really take this up a notch. As a little girl I grew up with Greek immigrant parents who raised and grew most of their own food, I look forward to returning to my roots and sharing the journey with you. This opens up a new chapter in my blog which is the urban homesteading chapter! We have a great foundation to work with but there is a great deal that needs to get done if we are to make as much use of our this space as we can.
I’ll be sharing tips on growing, harvesting, and preserving food, composting, fermentation and baking. Eventually, I’d like to add beekeeping and chooks, but am taking one step at a time, as it’s so easy to get overwhelmed. Im, sure there will be mistakes, and opportunities to do better, but isn’t that what’s so wonderful about a garden? We need to be patient, and open, to learning and growing with each and every season.
To begin we needed to repair the lawn, which was destroyed after rescuing our second dog, a big, black, beautiful German Shepherd dog (GSD). I really wanted to rescue our lovely dog, as all our animals are rescues. However, wanting a GSD I knew I couldn’t choose the right dog on my own, and so I enlisted the help of a rescue group. German Shepherd Rescue of Victoria is a charity that is devoted to finding homes for as many GSD as they can. The process is a unique one, you apply online and they connect you to the right dog. I had never seen a black GSD before meeting our girl, and I was instantly in love. She was perfect. A gentle pup who loves everyone, brave, protective, intelligent, all that she needed was some obedience training. It only took us six weeks to jump from basics to intermediate classes. She loves going to school and its a highlight of her (and my) week. She knows the road there and the tail starts wagging and I get lots of loving looks, and once there she is on top of her class, she loves to please. I am very proud of my girl. The grass in our new house was a seed grass, and this coupled with it going into dormancy over winter meant we were left with a mud pit instead of a lawn. Such a shame as my girl loves the grass as much as we do. Its been a long winter as we partitioned off the site and waited for the right time to lay the turf. Last week we laid our Sir Walter, buffalo turf (and our back yard currently looks like a construction site trying to keep the big dog out), an Australian strain which is a hardy, drought resistant and well suited to the Australian climate. It will use less water which is better for our environment as well as low allergenic which is as good for me as it is my girl. GSD e prone to skin problems.
We put in two raised beds, with the aim is to have many more…. but to begin with two is enough. Inside we’ve planted tomatoes, cucumber, corn, lettuce, spinach, capsicum, zucchini, and eggplant. We’ve planted a grapevine which we hope will make a lovely barrier between our deck, the grass, and the fence my girl loves to patrol. In pots, we have our strawberries, rocket, and loads of herbs. Dill, rosemary, sage, Greek oregano, Greek and Italian basil, chives, parsley, coriander, mint, Vietnamese mint, peppermint, just to name a few…. I’ve also planted an olive tree and peach tree!
Here is to fruitful and prosperous new beginnings.