Gardening in a small space isn’t necessarily a barrier to growing lots of your own food. This couple in urban Sydney have an abundance of crops that head straight to their kitchen.
Owners: Matthew and Lucinda McManus
Climate Zone: Warm temperate
Style: Inner-city chic with a focus on vegies
The two main vegie patches in the front garden are raised beds edged with weathered steel, chosen because it takes up less space than timber, as well as for its aesthetics. They have added automatic watering to keep irrigation consistent.
Lucinda says she tries to practice crop rotation but also likes to cram things into the bed, which makes it more complicated. Strawberries are growing next to kale, pumpkins, tomatoes, herbs, brassicas, salad greens and onions.
Two feature trees in the front garden are also growing in raised steel beds, and underplanted with herbs such as olive herb (Santolina rosmarinifolia) and creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum cv.).
In the rear garden there are pots of herbs and succulents, walls covered in Boston ivy (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), a small patch of lawn and paved areas. Built on a slight slope, there are three more steel planters that serve as a retaining wall to the highest point in the garden, where Matthew has a collection of different barbecues. It includes a wood-fired oven, where Matthew cooks up a leg of lamb and some root vegetables, and a Japanese yakitori grill, where he cooks prawns, leeks, asparagus and sweetcorn. He calls the area the barbecorium and it sits under the shade of a huge jacaranda tree (Jacaranda sp.) around which the decking has been built.
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