Vegetable garden

Veggie Patch

All good Easter Bunnies need a vegetable patch, so I thought it was a good time to tackle the topic of growing vegetables.  Well, I bit off more than I could chew,  so consider this Part One.

Let’s start with the easy bit.  Some inspiration.

Wood planters.  Source:  Remodelista.

Wood planters. Source: Remodelista.

Photo by Anna Fasth at  Tradgards Design.

Photo by Anna Fasth at Tradgards Design.

Concrete kitchen garden.  Photo source:  Skarp Agent (unverified).

Concrete kitchen garden. Photo source: Skarp Agent (unverified).

Source:  Style Room

Source: Style Room

(Header photo source:  Victoria Skoglund.)

Good looking, hey?  Looks are important because our vegetable garden is going in our front yard.  I like the simplicity of several black boxes in a row, but I’d also like to soften the look of the front yard so gardens with varying heights and angles appeal to me too.  There are plenty more swish vegetable gardens to see in my Pinterest file.

I’ve grown herbs and a few veggies before but on a very small scale.  The more I read, the more I go round in circles considering aspect, soil, garden bed material, climate, pests and even who’s friends with who in the vegetable world.  So I’ve narrowed my plan of attack down to these three options:

  1. Continue to study up and plan a technically correct vegetable garden.
  2. Bribe my Dad with an airfare, give him a budget and let him loose in my front yard.
  3. Wing it.

I’m currently favouring the last option.  In the mean time, here are a few resources that I’ve found interesting:

  1. Yates – my hard copy of Yates Garden Guide is in storage, so I had to resort to the web.  This site has a lot of Australian based information.  I signed up to trial their virtual garden, but it lacks the detail to be useful.
  2. Garden Angels – How to Grow Your Own Vegetables video series.  These cheerful and short videos start right from the basics of building your own garden bed.
  3. Online Garden Planner.  The trial version is free.  You can map out your garden space, getting an idea of scale.
My veggie plan as drawn on  the Online Planner:  work in progress.

My veggie plan as drawn on the Online Garden Planner: work in progress.

And because I’ve failed dismally so far to put together a “This is how I’m going do it” plan, I am referring you to the talented Steph from Saltbush Avenue.  Not only did Steph do her research and develop a great vegetable garden plan that included the most adorable illustrations, but she’s harvested her first crop and is now teasing me with photos of home grown veggies.

Have a great Easter everyone and don’t forget to leave a carrot out for the rabbit.



Flying visit to Western Australia

Oil blue tile.

Latest kitchen mood board featuring oil blue tiles.  Fingers crossed that Myaree Ceramics still have these in stock.

I have 3.2 days in Western Australia next week, with the First Little Pig as my sidekick.  Readers who have patiently followed me since last January will know that I can do a lot in 3.2 days.  It’s all in the planning.

  1. Go straight to block.  Gaze and enjoy the moment!
  2. Go to block again.  Get serious with camera, measuring tape and chalk.
  3. Enjoy socialising with old friends.
  4. Meet our site supervisor on site.
  5. Reselect tiles for our splash back, laundry floor and powder room floor.
  6. Meet with landscaper to discuss driveway, front fence and plans for the front yard.
  7. Hit the shops.

W.A. shopping hit list:

Essential shops:

Design Farm – are the W.A. suppliers of these beauties:

Picture:  Coco and coco-mini pendants by Cocoflip.

Picture: Coco and coco-mini pendants by Cocoflip.

Boardwalk lighting‘s – online gallery shows Coco pendant look-alikes.  Depending on my splash back choice I may want 3 of these pendants, so I might have to resort to replicas…

“If I have time” shops:

District (formerly Table and Chair) – Rumour has it they are the W.A. dealers for Jardan furniture.  I’d like to check out their sofas.  Subiaco.

Remedy – Armadillo rugs, Eucalypt Homewares and other nice things.  Fremantle.

Japingka Gallery – Aboriginal art.  Fremantle.

Perhaps locals have a few secret spots to suggest…  I’m sure I’ve still got 0.2 of a day to spare.

Front fence

And because there is always some home dilemma going on in my brain that I like to share, here’s my latest front fence short list:

Option A:  Upright railway sleepers or other hardwood a bit like some of these:

Pictures:  1.  Living Style Landscapes.  2.  Inspired to Give (unverified) via Pinterest.  3.  Arch Daily.

  • Pros – Coastal look.
  • Cons – Could be tricky to install, might not age gracefully, might not work with an automated gate, nor a front yard that requires a small amount of retaining.

Option B:  Rendered fence with decorative steel panels:

Pictures:  1.  Tim Davies Landscaping (unverified) via Pinterest.  2.  PLR design.

  • Pros:  Should last.  Looks great.
  • Cons:  Could get pricey.

Help me decide before Monday!



Making an entrance.

Source:  HomeDSGN.

I’ll take one of those, please.  Designed by Tim Steward Architects.  Source: HomeDSGN.

We’ve been playing around with ideas for the front entrance and yard.  We needed to make a decision about the floor surface for the patio.  To cut a long story short, we’ve decided on timber decking.  It will match the interior flooring when the front door is open, and will tie in with the deck at the rear of the house.  I showed this stunning picture to my live-in handy man as a model for the patio decking.  Always ambitious, he’s already planning not only the jetty-style path, but the water on either side too.  We’ll see….

You might think it is a little early to worry about the front yard, but with site works commencing in the near future, we wanted to think about how we would deal with the small slope (about 70 cm over 10 metres) from the house to the verge.  So out came the colouring pencils and graph paper.

The front yard plan.

The front yard plan, with plenty of scope for change later.  

I struggled to think how this was going to work in 3D but this is what I’ve surmised:  The driveway will slope from the garage down to the verge.  We will flatten the front yard by dropping the ground level in front of the house and increasing it towards the fence line.  This way we can avoid complicated plans and approvals required for retaining walls over 50cm high and can add interest to landscape in front of the house by including a step down from the patio to the path, maybe even some water.

Looking out from the front of the house, it should look a bit like the next photo, except where the decking is – think of a vegetable garden in raised beds.

Via Pinterest.  Original source unknown.

Via Pinterest. Original source unknown.

Finally, I returned to one of my recurring dilemmas, the front fence.  I eliminated some of my favourite ideas by putting them on the mood board, only to discover they didn’t compliment the house facade at all.  Now, I’m planning a more subtle fence – hidden behind the trees.  At last, I have a mood board for the front facade and front yard that I’m very pleased with.

Front facade and yard.

Front facade and yard.

You can find the colour and material details of this mood board on the Colour Selections page.  If you want more inspiration for your own front yard, check out my ever-expanding Pinterest files:  Outdoor, Front fence, Front yard, PlantsVeggie patch and Driveway.

I can’t wait to get my garden gloves on.