A Garden Space for All
My Aunt Shona’s garden is a garden for people, pets and animals alike: with a sizeable shared native and exotic garden at the front of the unit complex and a prosperous courtyard oasis out the back, the bustling urban setting of this Queanbeyan property all but dissolves into the background of this thoughtfully constructed canvas.
Shona has enclosed her private courtyard garden to protect both her feline companions and the resident wildlife – she has constructed netting (surprisingly unobtrusive) over the top with holes large enough to let in the full complement of light available as well as the host of beneficial insects evident in the neighbourhood. Shona grows a range of plants including ornamental, productive and medicinal. Most of the plants are potted and strategically placed to take advantage of the sunny aspect and space available, particularly that which is vertical in nature. There is also a narrow in-ground garden bed, burgeoning with dwarf varieties of pumpkin – ‘Golden Nugget’ is performing with zest.
Shona waters her back courtyard by hand as she enjoys spending time pottering with her cats and is better-able to monitor watering requirements. All kitchen leftovers and garden refuse feed her thriving compost bins. She also saves the seeds of many plants growing in her garden, including those of the ornamental poppies which have been shared amongst family for a number of years. In fact, when I initially glanced at the spent flowers of the poppies that were artistically secured in luminescent mesh bags for harvesting, I assumed they were the inflorescence of some exotic annual I wasn’t familiar with.
My aunt’s exceptional cats are far from overlooked in the design of her outdoor living space: aside from enclosing the area, she has created several cosy nooks for sun worshipping, and has also dedicated a corner to their sensory pleasure - the thriving cat grass is the most prosperous I have seen growing in our climate, ever.