Lyttleton Gardens: a Wholistic, Productive Garden Project

Just thought we'd show you some photographs of our ongoing productive garden project in Lyttleton Gardens. A few months ago, Cam and I (Manu) embarked on a mission to turn the side garden and the little orchard behind the shop into a healthy, productive vegetable patch and food forest.

The space was very overgrown and grasses had taken over much of the side vegetable garden. The entire site is on a slope and rainwater had eroded much of the soil along paths. The mini-orchard has a wonderful variety of established fruit and nut trees, and our aim is to slowly transition from an orchard to a food forest system by incorporating a diversity of forest layers: edible or medicinal ground covers, shrubs, climbers and leguminous nitrogen-fixing plants.  

We also enriched soils with compost and covered them with thick layers of woody mulches in the orchard, and grassy mulches in the vegetable garden. We're on a very small budget, and are gathering materials from local stables (lucerne, horse manure), coffee shops (coffee grinds), and kind customers (leaves and clippings).

Grapes are in the foreground and shrubby fuchsias at the back. We have planted some pumpkins here as a seasonal ground cover, goji berry and loganberry as climbers and bush beans as nitrogen-fixing legumes. Wood shavings and compost protect the paths from erosion.

Grapes are in the foreground and shrubby fuchsias at the back. We have planted some pumpkins here as a seasonal ground cover, goji berry and loganberry as climbers and bush beans as nitrogen-fixing legumes. Wood shavings and compost protect the paths from erosion.

This is the gate from the orchard into the vegetable garden, where you can get a glimpse of some lemon balm, fennel and feijoa. Again, wood shavings from a local cabinet maker protect the paths, and we're hoping to inoculate them with mushies eventually!

This is the gate from the orchard into the vegetable garden, where you can get a glimpse of some lemon balm, fennel and feijoa. Again, wood shavings from a local cabinet maker protect the paths, and we're hoping to inoculate them with mushies eventually!

We regularly aerate our compost heap, which turns all waste from the shop into beautiful, rich, wormy black goodness for the garden.

We regularly aerate our compost heap, which turns all waste from the shop into beautiful, rich, wormy black goodness for the garden.

In the vegetable garden, we've built new raised garden beds using the no-dig method, along the contour of the slope to slow water run-off and aid infiltration. Still quite young, but here we have broadbeans, dahlias, lamb's ear, yarrow, wild rocket, chinese broccoli, endive, strawberries, lucerne, mesclun lettuce, comfrey and fennel. 

In the vegetable garden, we've built new raised garden beds using the no-dig method, along the contour of the slope to slow water run-off and aid infiltration. Still quite young, but here we have broadbeans, dahlias, lamb's ear, yarrow, wild rocket, chinese broccoli, endive, strawberries, lucerne, mesclun lettuce, comfrey and fennel. 

The garden bed we wove a few months back with Gillian from Branching Out is filled with mystery flowers from our compost as well as french tarragon and chives. Stay tuned to find out what these flowers are! They are just starting to bud.

The garden bed we wove a few months back with Gillian from Branching Out is filled with mystery flowers from our compost as well as french tarragon and chives. Stay tuned to find out what these flowers are! They are just starting to bud.