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Vegetable Gardening in the Suburbs

Thornless Blackberries

This garden is a magnificent example of what you can achieve in your backyard. Vegetables and fruit trees are nestled between roses, shrubs, and plants and flowers of all kinds. It is astounding what has been packed into this garden space and grown in just a short three years.  I love that it is unstructured and enormously productive. There is no “vegetable patch”. the whole garden is a mix of productive and pretty.  Every plant looks super healthy, the trees are positively dripping with produce.

The garden features a berry patch that made me catch my breathe. This “berry patch” made me realise that I will need to add many, many more new canes to my own collection next year. Anne’s bushes were completely covered in fruit and a small amount of fruit was laying on the ground.  I admit that I wanted to scoop those glorious berries up! From my garden this year the kids picked a few berries each every day, there was no opportunity to take a bucket or bowl out to collect them! Maybe next year. 

I realise as I write this that I must apologise to you the reader. I failed to take any photographs that show the overall garden and put it into perspective. I was so excited by the discovery of each massively productive plant that I was taking pictures of them individually…. Hopefully you get the gist. 

This garden was started by Anne, from scratch just three short years ago.  Anne is a friend of my mother-in-laws. I visited this garden on our recent trip to New Zealand. We dropped by to collect two very generous, stunningly beautiful, and fragrant tubs of roses. The petals were to be thrown after the wedding ceremony of my sister-in-law on the happy couple. 

Anne has spent many years traveling the world and recently settled in New Zealand, to be near to her children and grandchildren.   I asked Anne what she does with all the fruit and vegetables as there is surely too much for one person??? I was wondering if she had any preserving tricks that I could learn.  Her response was that she is a glutton for fresh food. She loves to eat home grown, seasonal food, and eats alot of it when it is ready  🙂 My mother-in-law tells me that she also shares her bounty with her three sons, friends and the old people at the home that she volunteers at.

Vegetable Garden

Some birds were investigating the thornless blackberry plant during our visit. I must have looked uneasy as she laughed and said that there is plenty to share. I was bursting to shoo them away!! 

Anne has many fruit trees grafted with multiple varieties in her collection. Her plant collection is truly envy inducing.

Fruit Trees

I am sure that I missed many but some of the plants I spotted in Anne’s garden include: 

  • Apples (numerous varieties)
  • Apricots
  • Blackberries (thornless) – shown in the first image grown over an arch
  • Black currents
  • Blueberries
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Fig
  • Feijoa
  • Grapes
  • Herbs – a huge selection
  • Lime
  • Mandarin
  • Passionfruit
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Red Currants
  • Silverbeet
  • Strawberries
  • Thyme (multiple varieties)
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Vegetable garden


Tomato Bags

Are you wondering what the secret to such a productive garden is?

Anne shared that she believes that it is lots of sheep manure and water.  

I am so pleased to have been able to visit Anne’s garden and I look forward to seeing if I can go and take another more leisurely look next time we visit New Zealand. Thank you Anne for sharing your garden. 

In the meantime I have been patiently waiting for more sheep poo to be put out onto the nature strip….

Do you incorporate vegetables into your regular garden space or do you allocate separate space for productive plants?





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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Laney | Crash Test Mummy January 10, 2014, 4:33 pm

    Wow, what bountiful garden! Then again it is NZ, the land of milk and honey ;). I’m guessing it was the North Island with that list of fruits?

    My husband has his raised vegetable gardens humming along. We’ve been eating salad out of them all summer. He asked if we could convert our front verge into vegetables the other day. I want a native garden bed. I think we’re doing to settle on a mix of natives and pumpkins! The street will think we’re crazy 😉

    • Kyrstie Barcak January 13, 2014, 4:39 pm

      Hi Laney, thanks for dropping by. I should have said where the garden is sorry! It is on the South Island, just near Blenheim. I love that your hubby is going to convert the front verge, that is great!

  • Jodie September 4, 2014, 10:06 am

    Garden envy here!!! How fabulous. I almost convinced my husband that our new apricot tree could go in the front yard, until he happily dug me a hole in the back garden ; ) Now I still have to fill that spot in the front…..hehehe! Thanks for the constant inspiration.

    • Kyrstie Barcak September 4, 2014, 8:15 pm

      Oh thanks so much Jodie, I really appreciate your support. I can think of plenty to go in the front yard! K x

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