Gardening in the round

This peculiar round structure was the first thing I noticed when the real estate agent showed us our house. There it was in the middle of the front lawn, covered with grass and weeds and hosting an indignant brush turkey who was obviously freeloading. I had been looking at Brisbane’s rental properties for weeks, holding out hope that I’d find one with an innocent patch I might claim for vegetable gardening. And there it was. I was leased.

You may not realise this but circles are a special shape in the world of gardening. In the language of permaculture, they have the best time and motion efficiency. For the past few months my circle has been planted with a green manure crop of fenugreek, mung beans and clover, biding its time and waiting for the real planting action to begin. This weekend we finally found leisure to dig in the green manure, errect a little fence and let the girls enjoy a working holiday. Their first few hours were spent in orgiastic dust bathing.

Being situated right at the front (where most Australian houses have only a modest bit of rockery and a letterbox), this garden is visible to all who care to notice it. I love to see the reactions of passers by, like the man who was obliged to wait patiently while his two dogs longingly eyed our chickens, or the daily throng of school children saying “Look Mummy, chookies!” or the couple who regularly stop their exercise to offer encouragement and check our progress.

The round bed will have to wait a little longer before my visions of a bountiful mandala planted with flourishing organic veggies are realised. For now, it’s proving a great conversation starter and a dream holiday location for the chooks.

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1 Response to “Gardening in the round”


  1. 1 Arthur August 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Great stuff Ally and helpers. The success of your green manure crop should inspire you to greater things and prove to you that you CAN have success in growing some of your family’s food needs. The feelings associated with harvesting then eating your own produce is difficult for those who have never had the simple pleasure of doing so to comprehend.
    Message to blog followers – get digging!!


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