Digging Dessert

Doesn't the idea of planning and planting a dessert themed garden just seem such a delicious one to pursue? Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, clusters of rhubarb, a wandering passionfruit vine.... are all part of the envisaged dessert themed garden I am currently in the process of creating, here in our neck-of-the-woods.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I have started to work on an area of garden in our backyard that I have duly named "The Dessert Garden." Although there are areas of our backyard that also have fruiting vines and trees alongside vegetable beds, this area will be one that solely has fruit producers within it.

For a long time this particular area of the backyard has been used as a bit of a catch-all area. When you are busy on landscaping projects like we invariably are, you often find you need to put odd bits of timber, etc for other garden projects somewhere. It can all soon pile up and become a bit too scruffy and messy, and then that specific area of the garden eventually demands some attention itself!

There has been lengths of timber, an eclectic group of potted up plants and even broken pieces of concrete...... Well quite frankly, a range of both old and odd bits and pieces that have lurked a little too long in what became the catch-all area in our backyard. However! The time has come to de-junk this area and give it its very own makeover! It has duly been grandly named, "The Dessert Garden" and is now on its way to looking a lot better and being a source of fruit-filled deliciousness itself!

Here are some photographs to let you all have a peek at what has been achieved so far. I will share more photographs over time and reveal more of the bigger picture of this garden area as it gets sorted out and set up (Its much nicer to share the changes being made, than a whole bunch of photographs of miscellaneous and scattered timber off-cuts and stacks of broken tiles and rocks, right?).

A dessert themed garden just wouldn't be the same without a whole bunch of strawberry plants being planted out in it, in my opinion. I have begun planting out the pots of strawberries I have been collecting from various sources. Some of them were gifted to me by family and friends, others I have purchased when they are on sale (it is even nicer to buy things on special and priced down when you can!).

I have noticed there are a variety of strawberry plants that are able to be purchased, so I will do some research to see what each variety offers. It will be interesting to find out more about them and work out what will work best in our very own dessert garden; sticking with one variety or perhaps planting out a diverse range.

I have started to plant out what I hope will turn into a substantial hedge length of blueberry bushes. So far, I have planted out two varieties of blueberry.

I understand they do better if you plant out a variety in an area, so here's hoping that it will indeed make a difference in the long run. May the quantity and quality of the resulting fruit being fantastic!

I have tried previously to grown blueberries, and have not had much success. I am hoping this time, with a diverse variety positioned near each other, it will all prove to work out much better. I will aim to keep you all posted on how it goes!

In amongst the eclectic mix of plant pots, have been a number I planted out with previously separated clusters of rhubarb. I have found it doesn't take long for a cluster of rhubarb to get established, and each cluster can then quite easily be split up to create another and then another. These can be potted up and put aside, ready to be re-planted out in other garden areas. I hope to establish a really good border of rhubarb over time in our newly set up "The Dessert Garden."

Rhubarb has been in our experience a good staple to have growing in a garden. We often choose to include it in with other fruit in a fruit crumble or the like. I am planning to underplant some fruiting vines with a good length of rhubarb running along them and acting as a garden border also. That way each cluster of rhubarb can act as good ground cover, and by doing some deliberate companion planting, it will also allow for us to make good use of all available space.

When you feel like rhubarb in a pie or fruit crumble or even as a breakfast side, it is so easy to go out to the garden and simply twist off by hand a fistful of stalks. Once the leaves are broken off, and either put back on the garden directly as groundcover or put into the compost pile, you are good to go indoors with your harvested stalks.

A quick rinse under the tap, and the stalks can then be chopped up into inch length pieces and popped into a pot to boil away and soften. Yum! It makes me what to go harvest some rhubarb right now, just writing about it!

So, these photographs showed you the first steps being made to dig in and get a dessert themed garden sorted out here in our backyard. I love the fact that you can get so many plants quite cheaply, if you keep an eye out for discounted specials at places like The Warehouse, or even hardware stores like Mega Mitre 10 often have things at budget friendly prices also. Family & friends are often generous and kind about passing on things like clumps of rhubarb too.

It will be fun to share more of the progress being made in The Dessert Garden, as it occurs. Weather permitting, I am hoping that there will be time to get out and get digging this coming weekend. Such is the weather at present, that you just can't plan too far ahead or get your hopes up too high.

Still, the days until it is officially Spring are decreasing every day (only 13 days to the first of Spring to go, Folks!).  Digging for dessert, step by step no matter how long it ends up taking me, can only be a good thing, from now on. Happy gardening and home-making, Everyone!

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