Gardening in Brisbane
Visiting Brisbane gardens
Welcome to our article 2 (52)), Gardening in Brisbane
Let us talk about gardening
Dear readers, as soon as we mention gardens and gardening, we visualize in our minds, these places with all these nice plants in flower, that we would like to visit and enjoy their beauty. Most people find great pleasure when they visit a well-kept garden, because it is really relaxing, and a pleasure to walk among those healthy well-kept plants and flowers, when they are in flower; or even just walking in the green leafy and colorful vegetation is a pleasure.
Now, we have called this article, gardening in Brisbane, so, first of all let us have a quick look at what Brisbane gardens are like, even if the photos that I am going to use here will come mostly from the Internet, since these days I am not able to visit these places very much, but I can tell you that gardens are very relaxing places, therefore, it is good for any of us to visit them; you see, when you come back from the gardens, you would feel refreshed and a better person. I hope that you would have that same feeling yourself, if you visit those gardens that are available where you live. Anyhow, there are three main Gardens in Brisbane city that are worth visiting:
(1) Brisbane city Botanic Garden, (this is the first garden in Brisbane, they used to grow food for a start)
(2) Mount Coot-tha botanic garden (this is a new Garden, created after Brisbane city botanic garden was made smaller, from a new university and a bridge that spans the Brisbane river)
(3) New Farm Park garden, also called the rose garden, because of the many roses that grow there.
Here under we are going to paste a few photos of these gardens, starting from New Farm Park garden. But, apart from showing you these few things that we can show you about Brisbane gardens, we are writing this article, because we want also to write about gardening in general, and our own effort about our own kitchen garden in our back yard.
Some photos in New Farm Park Brisbane and other gardens
This is a beautiful Rose Garden that I have taken from the Internet
I wish I could have this rose garden above
After having shown you a few gardens’ photos above, I would like to say what I think about gardens and gardening. Gardening has several sides to it, one of them is that we don’t have to do the gardening ourselves, because we could enjoy what the others have already done for us, and is on display, look at those photos that I have posted above, I think that I am one that loves nature when it is at its best; I believe that Mother Nature is just wonderful when it shows all its beauty, like in the photos that I have posted above; but above all, I wish that I could have a rose garden like that above this next here, and it would have some of those beautiful roses and flowers, and I wish that I would get up in the morning and walk in my rose garden looking at those wonderful flowers; but this could be just another one of my dreams that is going to remain only a dream, because it is not easy to make a garden like that. Anyhow, we are free to dream anything we want, so, I can dream about my garden, if I want, even if it remains only a dream.
The great attraction that we have for flowers and trees in flower
Some views of Brisbane city botanic garden and Mount Coo-tha
Now that we have shown you a few photos of Brisbane gardens, New Farm Park garden, let us also visit Brisbane city botanic garden and other important gardens in Brisbane. To start with here-under is a link that I have taken from the internet in you-tube that talks about Brisbane botanic garden, let us hope that it works for you. (Just hover on the line below and follow the instructions).
It is nice to find on the Internet these links, they make it easier to explain a few things that are hard to explain.
Anyhow, here-under are more photos of the botanic gardens in Brisbane.
Some photos of Brisbane botanic gardens
Brisbane Planetarium at Mount Coo-tha botanic gardens
The Mount Coot-tha Look-out is something else to visit up there
This trees in New Farm Park
Let me explain the above and other natural things
Now that we have shown you some garden photos above, and Mount Coo-tha look out. Let us talk about some other sort of gardening, which Mother Nature does by itself and sometimes they may even seem strange. Now beside this text there are a couple of photos that are just a natural happening, these things do not require much gardening skill, since they happen in the wild, and it is just Mother Nature way that helps these plants grow, so, let us just look at them. One photo I believe has been taken in New Farm Park, since I know that trees like that are growing there, this photo shows these strange trees that have roots coming down from their branches, these roots hit the ground and grow, they grow so big that you cannot tell anymore, whether they are the first tree that was planted there, since they all seem like a tree trunk, I believe that Mother Nature sometimes is very strange, but it is interesting to note those things.
Another photo shows just some wild flowers; this photo was taken from somebody that travelled to Northern Italy, it shows some wild flowers that grow up in the mountain there; this goes to show that Mother Nature can do things on its own and does not need us to make a display.
Now that we have explained some Mother Nature ways, which does not need our help to happen, we are going to talk about some simple gardening that we would like to do ourselves.
Thinking about doing some gardening
Then let us talk about it. At the beginning of this article we have talked about, some public gardens that you can visit in Brisbane; but what about if we want to do some gardening ourselves, or even just a small kitchen garden for ourselves, that we can have in our own back yard; since in Brisbane all stand-alone houses have a back yard.
We would like to do that to stay outside and try our skills, and at the same time enjoy the relaxing atmosphere that gardens and gardening produce within us. So, if we want to do some gardening ourselves, what would be the first thing that we need to know about gardening, we should ask ourselves?
First, if we would like to do some gardening, there are a few things that we need to know or think about it, before we even start gardening. Of course, we need some local knowledge, so, it would be a good thing, if you know someone that has some local gardening knowledge, because local knowledge helps a lot. You see when we talk about gardening, if we know anything about gardening, the first thing that comes to our mind is the weather, and the second thing is the sun shine, then the seasons of the year, when to grow certain plants, then, the average temperature of the place, where this gardening is going to take place; because these things will influence what sort of plants we would be able to grow there, and the time when is most likely that they will grow well. If we don’t know that, then we should learn as we go on planting any plants. Of course, today when we by any seeds there are instructions that say when is the best time to plant them, and this is very helpful. Anyhow, let us talk about gardening.
Map of Australia climate and some flowers grown in Brisbane
My cottage poinsietta
Let us talk about gardening
Now, I am writing this article about gardening from Brisbane Australia. The city of Brisbane is situated in the subtropical region of the Southern hemisphere of the earth, here I have mentioned the Southern hemisphere, so that my readers are not going to be surprised, when I am going to tell them that while I am editing this article, I am getting ready to plant some winter plants; (now while I am editing and adding a bit more text to this hub) You see, this is the month of May and the Month of May is spring in the northern hemisphere, so, it is a bit of a shock for any reader in the Northern hemisphere to hear that I am planting winter plants, I know all this because I have come from the Northern hemisphere myself. But as you know the seasons in Australia are the opposite of the Northern hemisphere, but even knowing all this is not enough, because there are a lot of other factor to consider, which it is hard to explain in a few words; this could be overcome by having some local gardening knowledge and trying out things for yourself.
In Brisbane, the climate is a bit on the hot side so to speak; with this warm climate, we should be able to grow all sorts of plants and vegetables all year around, at least in theory we should be able to do that, but here I am telling you that it is not all that simple, because any place on earth you go to, it is a bit different and has its own ways how to grow plants and vegetables. So, we need to learn all those things before we can grow plants, or our own vegetables the easy way. But let us not despair because we can always copy the gardening people around us. Of course, gardening and gardens could also be enjoyed in other ways, as we have shown in the photos that we have pasted in this article.
Anyhow, I wish I could grow some flowers in my home garden, beside my vegetables, because I like flowers, but I may have to let it go, because it takes more time and effort to grow them. As I am an old man now, to grow too many things will take a long time and effort, so, I might have to let it go and be happy just to grow a few odd flowers, and some kitchen garden like tomatoes and vegetables, and a few other things that are already growing there, so, let us talk about what we have available and what we could do with it. Let us talk about the back yards of our houses we live in, where we would be able to grow our own things, and what is already growing there.
Plants growing in my backyard
What I am growing in my home backyard
Now, here let us start from the beginning once again, to give our readers a better description of what we are talking about: Most of us who own a standalone house on a large piece of land, like what we have in Brisbane Australia, or any other city in the world that have a similar setup, would usually have some land, which we could use to grow some vegetables, or other things as well. You see here in Brisbane, most of the cheaper and more affordable house are built on a piece of land, which is about 400 square meters, usually the house is 100 to 150 square meters and the rest of the land is vacant land, we call this land our yard and it can be put to other uses Now, some of us just like to have a beautiful green lawn in the yard, and we are satisfied just to have this green grass, and you know it is very enjoyable on hot days, because that green lawn makes you feel cooler in those hot days; of course we have to mow the lawn to keep it at its best, but that is easy done with a lawnmower.
Of course, there are some of us that beside keeping a perfect lawn, may like to make a beautiful flower garden and grow many types of flowers, here and there and also decorative shrubs; this type of decorative gardening is done usually in the front yard of the house, as most of the houses in Brisbane suburbs, are set well back from the road: in the new suburbs of Brisbane this is usually 6 meters, in the old suburb this distance could be different. Anyhow, even if we use the land in the front yard for flowers and decorative shrubs, we still have the back yard, where we can try to grow anything at all, in our spare time, if the land is fertile enough, and we like gardening.
Now, I and my partner may not be the best gardeners around, but we like to try to grow a few things in our back yard, when we can. So, when we have spare time I would go in the back yard and try to improvise, by starting our own garden patch, this might be just an idea that has come to us while we were visiting some friends, or we went to the greengrocer, and found everything very expensive and of poor quality, and then when we saw that they we selling seedlings as well we thought that perhaps we should try to grow our own vegetables, herbs, tomatoes and other kitchen garden stuff, I believe that a lot of time people start gardening for this reason.
Anyhow anyone of us has his own gardening story, of how and why we are trying to grow our own stuff in our yard, some of us have also had some experience before as we might be coming from a farming background, so, we have some knowledge of how a few things could grow, for this reason we are willing to have a go at gardening.
Beans, broad beans and others
In our kitchen garden
To tell you the truth I have always done a bit of gardening here in Brisbane, sometime I have had a good crop too, but it has always been a struggle, because of the hot climate and also because my soil is not good enough for gardening continuously, I have used some fertilizer but it does not help very much; now, because it was not easy I have done gardening only sparingly.
But, today in my old age as I am going to retire soon, I am going to do more gardening in my back yard, I am not going to do a great deal about fancy flowers and other ornamental plants, perhaps I will plant only a few here and there. You see, I would like to grow some of my own vegetables, tomatoes, herbs and a few other things in my kitchen garden. I know for a fact that my soil is not that good as I have already said above, so, I wonder what I could do to improve it without spending too much money. In fact, I don’t like to spend any money at all if that is possible, therefore, I should see how it could be done and then decide my next step.
So, I wonder how the other people do it and what it could cost. You see if it costs too much, there is no point of spending money, when you are better off financially, if you go to the greengrocer and buy what you need. If that is going to be the case in the future, then I am going to continue to do my gardening in a small way as I have already done before.
Therefore, I wonder how I could improve the soil, and which the best way to do it; here I have to say that when I was young I have worked in my family farm in Southern Italy, so, I know a few things that could help, but would those same principles apply here in Brisbane Australia, where the climate is a lot hotter, here plants are going to need more water to keep them growing; I know for a fact that there would be a lot more diseases in this hot and humid climate, so, I really need a good enough soil where plants would grow fast enough and healthy enough, so that we could pick our produce before the disease sets in, for any vegetables, and also for tomatoes, capsicum, egg plants etc.
The last few years I have already tried to grow my own vegetable and tomatoes etc. But so far, I have been able to be successful only in springtime, and as soon as summer comes everything starts dying out, so now I wonder what I could do to have also some produce during the summer times.
My kitchen garden broad beans that I am growing this year
Growing zucchini marrow plant
In my kitchen garden today
What I am growing just now in my garden patch are some purple king beans, that we are going to pick them up green, also some broad beans, and they are doing okay, as you can see from this photo beside here, I had also some winter vegetables which we have already used, but now summer is coming and I wonder what I could plant. The problem here in Brisbane is watering, not only plants in summer need a lot of water, but sometime we have water restriction. The water restriction is used to save water even when there is enough water in the dams, because the climate and the raining season are very unpredictable these days, so, the local government want people to save water, for that reason the price of water continues to go up, and people lament this increasing cost of water which adds up the cost of living, so we must be very careful how we use water.
For this reason, I have worked out that I need to divert some of the grey water from the bathroom, straight into the kitchen garden patch in order to save water, I believe that the water from the bathtub and the vanity basin does not constitute a health hazard, when it is used just to water the ground and keep it moist, I have no problem to divert this water myself as I am a good handyman and know how to do these things; once I have done that, not only I would save the cost of the extra water, it also would save time, because every time we use the bathroom to have a shower etc. a small part of the kitchen garden in being watered. There are also other things that I am going to do, but that remains to be seen. I know for a fact that once the broad beans have been picked up, I am going to bury the stalks under to ground, because they are good for the soil, I am also going to collect all the grass clipping from the yard, and any other vegetable matter that could improve the soil, I could use some fertilizer and other things, these are the things that I believe could be done, if I want to have a kitchen garden.
But I have to do some more thinking and research soon to decide my next step, how to improve the soil, and also how to keep some pests away.
Trying to improve the soil
What I have done lately is this, I had some compost that I have made from lawn mowing that I placed in a large container and also leaves that I have collected from my lawn and other vegetable matter, now, I have put this compost in large buckets to be used in my kitchen garden, usually I would have spread the compost and would have dug it in, but this time I have saved some in the buckets; what I am doing now with this compost I have saved is this: I pick up one of the buckets full of compost, the compost in the bucket is not very compact, so, I fill it up with water, the water in the bucket absorbs some of the compost nutrients and becomes like strong tea, with some of this water I water the plants in the garden and it seems to work well, it is a bit like when you water your plants with a soluble plant food.
Now using this same idea, I am asking myself what could be done to use this idea and improve the chances of growing a better kitchen garden. Well I am still working it out, if I could make it easier for myself.
At this point of time, I believe that once I have diverted the bath and vanity basin water into my garden, I will let some of this water through a small and shallow trench that has been filled with some clean vegetable matter, like lawn clippings and other vegetable that do not smell and this water should slowly drain into a lower part of my vegetable garden, using this way it could be possible to water and fertilize the garden at the same time, just by using what is freely available, this adding of organic matter in my garden, should somehow also improve the soil. So I am going to try it out soon. This idea may or may not work properly but it is worth to try, so, I am going to try it and see how well it could works.
Having now tried this for a short while, I can add here, that my idea of using the waste water to water the garden is working well, but because at some stage we had heavy rain that lasted for three days in a row, it did not make a lot of difference then, but it is a very good way to water the garden in times of draught.
Here I need to add another observation, while I am editing this article, it is March 2016, this summer it has been hotter than usual, the temperature has been averaging 32-33 centigrade for several weeks, I believe that it is hotter than in the past, I have not been able to grow much in my kitchen garden, the only thing that we have been able to grow, were some snake beans because of this hot weather, so, I am waiting now for the temperature to go down, so, that I can start thinking what I can plant for the cooler season, which in Brisbane is a short season and not cold at all, so, I need to plant my plants, as soon as is becomes cool, and hope they grow well, before it becomes hot again.
So far from my observations, I believe that it is hard to grow vegetable things in Brisbane, except in winter time, but winter here is very short. I believe that this article is becoming too long, so, I better stop. I might come back to edit this article, if I learn something else that could help growing vegetables.
See you soon in another article, that I am going to call, dreams of our lives.
Some gardening links and my links
- Frank Menchise
My own website domain in Yola, there is my life story and also farm work and gardening.
- Gardening Australia
This is just another link that is full of information
- My life my struggles
These are my life struggles, as we all know there are a lot of times when during our lives we have to struggle, so this hub is telling you about my life struggles, it is all part of my life story.
- My farm life views
I want to tell the story of my life just the way it was, and if it resembles somebody else story it is just a coincidence, because I want to be true to myself and the rest of the world with my story.