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Sarah-James and her husband Ian are originally from Ireland; having lived here in Perth for about 10 years. Their gorgeous red-haired girls Fay & Ivy were born here, and the family have settled into their home in Queens Park.
You can see from the photos here that there was NOTHING in the yard when the O'Tooles moved in. Sarah says she was attracted by the 'blank canvas' but soon found out how much work was going to be required to get a garden to thrive. She says that with their origins, when house-hunting they weren't even familiar with the term 'reticulation' or what it meant. But they have certainly come a long way!
A couple of small raised vegie boxes in the back yard have seen some success with tomatoes and herbs, and they have a passionfruit worthy of envy growing very well along their side fence.
Their back yard has a great area for the kids - who have the best monkey bar set EVER. Their back yard is very liveable for their young family and their garden is protected from the dog; who I didn't get to meet but was described as 'enthusiastic'.
Sarah said she joined the program to get a little more support and knowledge about how best to grow vegies. She would love to share this knowledge with the girls so they can appreciate and enjoy home grown produce.
The site chosen for the garden is at the back of the house in a fairly narrow are against the fence. It should receive adequate sun, and in summer will most likely need some protection from reflected heat from the house, paving and fence behind it. It is well located though a barely a metre from the tap!
So far, the protected & warm nature of the spot has meant it's not suffering in this cool spring weather.
The base soil is fairly typical bassendean sand - fine, grey and fairly gutless; although it does look like some organic matter has been added over the years.
The neighbours have a palm tree growing over the fence about 3-4 metres away; Sarah has some young citrus trees about 6-7 metres away and there is also a large Kurrajong tree on a neighbouring property approx. 10-12 metres away. It is possible that root invasion from these trees will happen in the bed eventually; depending on what other sources of nutrition and water are available to the plants.
I hope you'll follow Sarah's journey with her new garden! Below are some photos which show the progress they've made so far.