Is there anything more Australian than playing in your own backyard? (Well maybe Vegemite on toast or cricket on the beach, but apart from that it would have to be close, right? ) It’s that little patch of space that every Aussie gets to call their own. It’s safe and predictable but also has the potential to become anything you decide it could be.
As you can see our backyard is on the large side. (Okay, let’s be honest it’s bigger than most city folk’s entire house block.) This is an awesome thing for playing hide-n-seek or doing fifteen cartwheels in a row, but seriously not so much fun when it comes to mowing. I’m not a fan. But sadly the kids don’t seem as interested in outdoor play when they have to wade through waist-high grass. (My kids are just not that hard-core.)
But I am a fan of having space. Space for the girls to do gymnastics, set up camps and run races. Space for me to grow flowers. Space for the resident nature boy to plant trees and encourage wildlife. And even space for our crazy boarder collies to pelt around full speed and come to screaming stop at our feet.
There is also space for veggies. I love the idea of a veggie patch brimming with vitamin rich goodness to feed my family. Unfortunately I like nightly watering a little less so. My patience runs thin by the end of December and I usually only end up growing a couple of zucchini and tomato plants – because they can basically take care of themselves. My ideas are good – but my follow through leaves room for improvement.
As a rule I’m much better with flowers. I love flowers. They make me happy. I like nothing more than sitting on my decking (in my deliciously cozy egg-chair) looking out over my garden beds of gorgeous flowers. They almost seem to sing peace and harmony to me. Bizarre I know, but none the less true.
While where on the subject of crazy singing flowers daisies are my favourite. I think it might be because they just seem so ridiculously happy all of the time. Or maybe because they too are really low-maintenance. I have been known to walk by people’s gardens and casually reach in a pull a cutting out to bring home. I guess it’s a little on the naughty side but it’s also a really cheap and interesting way to make sure your garden is full of colour.
And then we have the chooks. Our three ladies are aptly named Lara, Hannah and Bok Bok. I’ve gotta tell you chooks really make a backyard come to life. When we first got them they used to roam all over the place – which was all kinds of awesome. But eventually I got sick of them pecking on our glass back door and pooping on the decking. So now they’re confined to their pen where they spend their time happily scratching in the dirt and laying amazingly fresh eggs for us.
How’s your backyard? Anything stand out as making it special? If you are a backyard aficionado like me you might be interested in BLOOM over on facebook. It is all about bringing back the backyard and reconnecting the family with the outdoors. After all, when you think about it, that’s where so many of our fondest childhood memories are made.