At a recent visit to ‘that’ large hardware store, a pallet of fruit trees caught my eye – mango, cherry, persimmon, pomegranate and fig to name a few. Now we are a fig loving family, especially the six year old, who declares she loves them as much as blue cheese (God help us!).
As I delved into the green gloss to explore the varieties in front of me (Brown Turkey, Black Genoa…hmmm), a low, soft Mediterranean voice behind said, “The white fig. Only the white fig. They are sweeter.” I turned around to THE most gorgeous couple standing behind me, eager to share their knowledge of this succulent fruit.
When graphic designer Liz Knapp and husband Greg decided to make a sea change to Newcastle from their farm in Main Creek Dungog, they brought a bit of country life with them and the results are stunning.
Liz, a mother of two, and owner of design company Artful Scribbles, says she didn’t originally set out to re-create a country feel in her garden but plants that were dear to her, such as Gymea lilies, and an eclectic array of farming equipment and furniture came with them which helped to give this garden its relaxing rural atmosphere.
The Victory Gardens team has been gathering as much local information as possible about community gardening as we embark on a process of establishing a small edible garden in the Hunter St Mall in Newcastle Australia.
Growing is underway in the Hunter St Mall
In the several months it has taken to realise such a dream, we have engaged with many community gardening enthusiasts, change agents and place makers who have offered a hand and their knowledge, to help set this inner city garden off on the right foot. It feels good to have tapped into this generous and lively community as we approach spring and the launch of the garden in September.
I reckon we live in a pretty stock-standard Aussie suburb.
Lambton is one of Newcastle’s older suburbs having formed around the Lambton Colliery in 1871.
It’s a pretty suburb with lovely parks and a real sense of space. Wide suburban streets feature, some tree-lined, some not, a cycleway and plenty of playing fields.
Down the laneways and back streets of Lambton you’ll see a mix of old and new houses, a smattering of trampolines, the odd chook shed and choko vine. I have regularly walked these streets for more than eleven years and it has struck me in recent times that Lambton is changing.
Before we begin, a little confession! We felt very indulgent taking a break out of our busy, but ordinary lives, midweek, to explore a couple of exciting examples of urban homesteading in Sydney.
The justification being that it would be a lot easier to explore the wonderfully popular and interesting kitchen gardens at The Grounds of Alexandria and Koskela in Sydney’s inner city, without the weekend bustle.