At this time of year (Spring), my thoughts turn to all things green.
As the days lengthen and warm up I find myself spending time once again mooching around my little city garden.
For 18 years I designed, created and maintained fairly large country gardens. My first two were mostly cottage/vegetable gardens. But my third (and last) garden was an epic attempt to make an Australian garden that was water-wise and attractive.
It has taken me 5 years of living in Sydney to finally feel at home in a city garden - to come to terms with the new climate, the new plants and the different soils.
One of the inspirations that helped me to understand gardening in smaller spaces was Indira's book. She lives in an apartment in Sydney and only has her balcony to work with, but her ideas and information about Sydney specific variables has been invaluable.
I love that she has divided her book up into seasons, so I can easily find what I should be doing when. She talks about her successes and failures, interspersing her stories and pop-out sections with easy to make, tantalising recipes using produce she has grown herself.
My Sydney garden is a bit of a hodge-podge garden that reflects five years of indecision, mistakes and some successes.
I love flowers and scent. I have natives and roses side by side.
I love to celebrate all four seasons, so my plant choice includes those that will flower or change colour at different times of the year.
I love to grow things to eat, but so far my successes have been limited to herbs, cherry tomatoes and eggplant.
I don't have alot of money to spend on plants, so most of my plants are cuttings from friend's gardens.
The thing that Indira and I share though, is a passion for the garden - the idea of being able to feed yourself and your family and of adding flavour to your meals. As well as creating a micro environment where birds and skinks and bees can find a home and where humans can kick off their shoes and feel earth between their toes.
I love watching my little garden change with the seasons - my garden has once again become my retreat, my haven, my solace. It just takes time.