My New Organic Garden on the Island

View from island Iz on some other islands
View from island Iz on some other islands

Springtime is finally back in my country, still somehow shy and not as warm as springtime usually is on beautiful Adriatic coast.

For many weeks birds happily sing and make love, air is again full of fragrances of spring flowers, everything is in charming blossom...

So what do in springtime ? The best is to fall in love, of course, but love has many faces so this springtime my love has been dedicated mainly to eco-gardening - growing own flowers and vegetables can be so romantic (especially if your soulmate is digging together with you)..In my Hub My life on farm, 2,5 months ago I mentioned that my boyfriend and me just started to create organic garden - on one smaller island in Adriatic Sea (Iz)- where he inherited the land, so here are few pictures of our challenge and accomplishments.

Land has not been cultivated for 30-35 years , so we did not come there to bed of roses... I must admit though - it was a bit like fairy-tale - property looked like part of "Sleeping beauty" castle after 100 years... but there was no prince of charming to use the sword and cut them all for me - I needed to be prince as well and with precious help of machetes and all other possible sharp tools, we cultivated enough of land to grow our first small garden... ( cleared from the bushes, wild blackberries, ivy and wild fruit treas which were everywhere around).

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On the first photos bellow, you will see "paradise" of 35 years old blackberries (in February still not green) and other happy wild plants which covered all property, so it was not possible to even pass through. (view is on small garden house, which was used as storage).

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When we first time came there....

Wiew on small garden-house through the bushes of wild blackberries
Wiew on small garden-house through the bushes of wild blackberries

"Sleeping beauty" fairy tale was alive...as nightmare

After 2 months of very active weekends situation changed. Machetes have done their jobs properly and helped us winn the first battle against bushes of wild blackberries.

Please - do not say that machetes are for men only - I was always the first one who was entering in the tunell of unpleasently sharp bushes - my boyfriend was all the time following me... (princes are not as they used to be, LOL).

Afterwords we did a lot of digging and using various secret tools which farmers for many centuries use - for cultivating the land (or as weapons in rebellions) - further actions were done with rakes, hoes, pitch-forks etc. It is not easy to clear the land which was for decades not in use. Of course, tractor cannot be used on this island - soil is full of rocks underneath, so all work was done by our 4 hands.

On the following photos you can see what happened after 7-8 weekends of work: I hope you will like the change -  Sleeping Beauty finally started to woke up, and - voila:

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The same view on small garden house as above....

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These photos were taken 3 weeks ago, peas are now ready for harvesting...as well as spring onions. Garden is small thes year, but this is just beginning....there is a lot of work to do there...for many years.

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Next step is to start to take care about 40-50 olive trees which my boyfriend has on some other parts of land on the island (on Croatian islands, everyone has smaller parts of land placed here and there, it is such tradition), and start to produce our own (eco) olive oil from autumn. Original olive oil has uncoparable taste to anything what you ever bought in supermarked. It is pure poetry ! Of course we are planning to plant much more olive trees....as soon as we cultivate enough of land for that purpose....so it can become small bussiness over the years.

Of course, we need to renew house so it can become suitable for living. After so many years of non-use, inside is still horror - but step by step, all work will be done (mainly by ourselves).

Please, wish me a lot of luck and plenty of energy - I really need it!

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Me, happy gardener

Burning of old karma (blackberries and other wild bushes)

Me as Free Mason

Removing old stucco from the inside small house walls
Removing old stucco from the inside small house walls

Comments 51 comments

Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

It's a beautiful place you have acquired, and getting more beautiful by the day, thanks to your efforts. This was an uplifting read :)


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

So happy to see you here Paraglider, thank you ! It requires a lot of work, but that is life ! One day we will permanently live there, so let us be prepared...


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Tatjana: I had a smile from ear to ear,and was ooh'ing and aaah'ing at the before photos and after photos of your house and farm, it looks beautiful!!! I can imagine the hard work, because Phil and I have been working non stop in renovating his cabin in Mt Hood for the past 2 months in order to sell it and rent it, and when we come home, its to work on our online business. We listed the cabin last week and within one or two days, folks started to rent the cabin as its a skiing area. There is still more work to do! But like you say, that is life!

One of these days I will learn to garden like you, had planned to but the cabin work came up unexpectedly as we need to pay of a high business debt.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Wow, Mary...it seems you were also very busy...and successful. Bravo !

Gardening is so easy, when you will have time one day, you will be pleasently surprised.

Hugs to you and Phil.

P.S. In few hours going to my garden to harvest first peas....


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK

This looks great Tatjana! What a beautiful place to be. I hope your harvest is a good one!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Oh my dear!!!!!!! How utterly charming you've made it!!!!!!!! My goodness!

I can readily identify with your challenge and your effort. First my dear husband bought a 25 acre "jungle" on a lake about 70 miles from our home and we were in the process of clearing the underbrush and planning its resurrection; - then I gained control of the ranch I'd inherited, - 500 miles from home and 6573 acres of rough, neglected West Texas rangeland: - canyons, cacti, falling fences and rusted water pipes (the life-line of the place, - to carry water from the one well to troughs throughout the place) The pump was in need of replacement and with 712 feet of rusty pipe down to the underground stream!

And no house. We spent many years working on it all, and built a cabin under the old sheep-shearing shed's big awning roof, in order to use the concrete pad, since no concrete mixer would come the 100 miles from the nearest town to pour new concrete - at least not without being paid a king's ransom!

Now my darling has passed on and I've been unable to get down to it alone yet. But it's my heritage! I will get down there!

I'm so impressed with what you've done. It's already a show-place, truly - your sleeping beauty!

And your prince charming had better treat you right or some determined little lady from Texas will come over there and set him straight!!!!! (provided you'll insruct me in the art of using a machete!)

Wonderful hub, my dear!!! Thanks for sharing the poetic odyssey of your hard work and vision!!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

You definitely found a paradise there. I could envy you and thank you for sharing all this. I enjoyed reading your hub. Kepp writing more.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I am so impressed Tatjana! The before and after photos are amazing. I love how you used the roof tiles as a border for the garden beds! I've seen a lot of garden renovations over the last ten years and yours ranks among the top most charming. I look forward to next season's photos and story. Best of luck and best wishes for continued success.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Awesome job Tatjana, each one of those veggies will taste better than anything else you've ever tasted... just because you made it possible for it to grow. Best of luck and success with the olive trees too. Wish we could grow them here in Canada too but...

great hub

regards Zsuzsy


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

I love fresh peas right out of the garden. You are amazing and the transformation from before and after are impressive. Thanks for showing us what can be did with a lot of work and perseverance.


Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 6 years ago from Ohio

Beautiful results for your hard work. I enjoyed seeing the transformation.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Hi Tatjana - here's to much happiness for both of you on the island. Love the red roof tiles, the whitewash and the pictures of the shoots - everything looks so happy!


Polly C profile image

Polly C 6 years ago from UK

Loved this hub Tatjana, and Croatia is a country I am very fond of - two of our best holidays have been enjoyed there. Your pictures are great and make me want to go again! :)


jimmurdoch profile image

jimmurdoch 6 years ago from Switzerland

Wow! What a transformation! And what joy that brings I am sure. Well done!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I always took you to be a hard worker...But a wielder of a machete, a Free Mason, and a farmer? Awesome hub, Tatjana-Mihaela. How do you manage to look so happy while doing back-breaking work?? Your eco-garden looks incredible. I'm sure that you will "reap" the harvest of what you sow. You deserve to.

Dohn


kamran 6 years ago

hmmm..beautiful garden


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much, Amanda.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

I am trully grateful and deeply touched while reading your beautiful comment, NellieAnna. You are certainly inspiring...and I wish you to find way how you can go back to your ranch (at least to spend there part of year).

YOu are very brave lady, thank you for your warm support.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much, Hello, Hello.


Misha profile image

Misha 6 years ago from DC Area

You look quite happy there. And beautiful. And I am quite happy for you :)


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Misha, your comment and compliments mean a lot to me, thank you. I am really happy when I am there.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you very much Zsuzsy for encourangment - olives are doing fine in this moment....


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much, Elayne.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 6 years ago from West Virginia

You have done a beautiful job. I love your gardens. They are so beautiful.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you very much Kay!


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much, Green Lotus - I used for garden decoration what was first available there - rocks and old roof tiles...so these are just first steps... next year I will change some things, there will be more land cleared up till then.

Love and peace.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much, Shalini - after years of horror - change is so big that people regularly come to look what we have done new in the garden and how garden is prospering.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you very much, Polly C, I am glad you liked my country.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank for the compliments, Jimm.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Hehe Dohn, I am more happy when doing something like that, then while listening problems that other people have...because I am sure that there will be results from my work. Thank you for encouragment and nice words !


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you, Kamran.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Misha, your comment and compliments mean a lot to me, thank you. I am really happy when I am there.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Dear LG, I am very happy to see you here. Thanks for the nice words...


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

What a beautiful place you live Tatjana, and you look so happy and relaxed. i am very impressed by the transformation of your garden from overgrown to allotment. It looks great. Keep up the good work, and thanks for the information on making olive oil at home too :)


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 6 years ago from Utah

I love gardening. Yours looks beautiful.


Yankee Gardener profile image

Yankee Gardener 6 years ago from Maine

What an amazing transformation and some serious work went into that project. Great job!


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you yo much Cindy for the encouragment, I appreciate it very much.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you Healthy Hanna, I am glad we share our passion for gardening.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much for your kind words, Yankee Gardener.


Raven King profile image

Raven King 6 years ago from Cabin Fever

Wow! It must have taken a lot of hard work! I see great progress in the before and after pictures. Iz is a lovely island I wonder what changes will it make for a person who is used to living miles away from the ocean how will you buy your groceries and other supplies. Will you take the ferry for shopping?

I wish you the best on your new garden!


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Hi, RK, very glad to see you here!

There are shops on Iz...with everything what anyone would need, and regular connection with Zadar by catamaran and ferry... but we will not move permanently there for some time - (so we will continue renting some flat in Zadar, as we do now, but something much smaller and cheaper, because I will be needed to spend there more and more time..My bf is still working in Zadar, but actually he can perform all his work from home, so he just needs to convince his boss that his office can be anywhere.,, so he can permanently move to Iz)

Next week we will bring by ferry one old car there (new one will stay in Zadar), so after some building - work and extension of small house - it will be possible to live there on very comfortable way.

I do not have any problem to adjusting to village life, I have experience with that already (by my choice) plus - I passionately adore see, love even winter winds....plus Iz is only 25km from Zadar...plus, like I mentioned above, even when we will be staying there permanently, we will continue renting some small place in Zadar, so our connection with "civilization" will not cease.

Thank you so much for nice wishes and your concern.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

REally a lovely place and you are making it lovelier! I do wish you lots of energy and joy in tending your lovely place.

Love and peace

Tony


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much, Tony, Love and Peace


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

So when are you going to tell us some more? :-))


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Very soon, DG.... I still did not install Internet there, so I am online only when I come to Zadar (2-3 days per week)... what is very little time for everything I need to do.

Thank you for encouraging me....


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Tatjana - wow, what a project! The idea of producing your own olive oil is awesome. I loved this hub and wish you both the best in your efforts. I hope that you did not remove all of the blackberries, they are so delicious and good for you!


Mr Nice profile image

Mr Nice 6 years ago from North America

Kako si lijepa,

This Island & your house looks awesome & you look like a very handi young lady. You are only wearing Safety glasses & forget to use a mask. I believe you should wear a mask too because the old stucco might have Asbesto & that is very dangerous. I will keep in mind if I ever need help.

Can you sell the other house to me, I am very good & helpful neighbor.:D You look very peaceful, happy & beautiful.

Awesome, beautiful & thumbs up. Thanks for sharing the pic's & info about your Island house.

Do you need some laugh, then visit my hub.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Sexy-Funny-Upskirt-Pranks

Always Love, peace & happiness for you...


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Hehe, Tony, we desperately DO need handy neibhour to help us to sort out especially that BIG stone house (I still did not show photo of it). We started with small one at first because small house should be easier to fix. But we will bild one floor more as well. Big house requires a lot more of actions...so if you are ready to work very hard... set up your offer. LOL:

You are wrong Tony - we never used azbesto in the walls in Croatia. I have to use glasses, otherwise my eyes would be full of sand and other stuccho particles which hurts a lot. You should see me mixing concrete...that is real job.

Of course I will be checking your Hub later on,

Love, peace and virtual Hugs


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much Dolores - hehe blackberries is just not possible to destroy easily. Well, we cleaned only one smaller part of land around house, not all.

Thanks for visit and comment.


Mr Nice profile image

Mr Nice 6 years ago from North America

Kako si Tatjana,

I didn't offer hard work, I just said I am helpful....hahaha

Well, your Island house area really looks very peaceful. An excellent future retirement place if you have electricity, water, telephone & high speed or wireless internet....am I expecting too much. I don't think these are now basic needs....???

You are very hard worker & I think with the help of your BF you can manage to fix the other house too.:D

How is your BF? Is he behaving like a man now?

When your Island house is ready, may be I can organize a group (Hubbers) trip to your Island house.....hahaha.

Don't be scared I am just kidding.:D

I am just curious to know..How big is this Island? What is it's population? Any other info you want to share about the Island. Keep us updated with your Island house. Enjoy rest of your weekend.

Love, peace & happiness for you.....


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

What a great labor of love, I really enjoyed your experience and the garden is lovely, amazingly breath taking. You've done such a great art work here. I admire you energy and know what an huge moment this must be for you and the wonderous earth thanks you. Hard work is good for the soul. Thanks for sharing. Peace :)

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