I adore my little urban oasis, my tropical cottage garden, where I happily garden like a granny. The lovely Faux Fuchsia coined the term “tropage” to describe it. Isn’t that perfect!
We live in the inner west of Sydney and my entire garden area is miniscule. I grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand on farms and rural properties. When we lived in the suburbs, our garden was so big we had a gigantic full sized trampoline, vegetable gardens so big they could double as market gardens and enough lawn space that we could stage running races with the neighbourhood kids, or even race our bikes.
Plus an enormous outdoor covered entertainment area, an open paved area, workshop and sheds. We would play with our German Shepherd and Corgi dogs, and we had a walk in bird aviary too, as well as a walk in terrarium for our pet red eared turtles. This was before we moved to my dad’s work – the open range zoo!
My little garden area has some similar features – except the pets have been downsized to pet dwarf rabbits. The undercover entertaining area holds the barbecue, the bunny hutch and two folding wooden chairs.
The vegetable garden has been reduced to a strawberry plant and potted herbs on a wall garden. My potting shed is reduced to a bucket and folding wooden table stored in the garage.
When Boyo was younger, we managed to squeeze in a swing, a play tent, a bouncer, ride on toys and a sandpit – but running on the spot is the best way to stretch your legs in the small space!
One of the things that makes me happy is when I get to garden like a granny. I adore pottering around my darling little courtyard garden space. I love to propagate plants like my succulents, aloe vera and bromeliads. I even cheerfully weed and prune and sweep. I know right?
I like to rescue flotsam and jetsam to work back with my garden space. I’ve layered colourful pots with vintage birdcages, wooden frames, stone sculptures and an iron towel rail. Vintage wooden framed windows, an old easel and lots of wire birds and lanterns add to the eclectic retro cute vibe.
Wooden pallets have been turned into garden planters, and I thrifted some gorgeous 50s metal baskets for the retro cute vintage look I love. My adoration of eclectic extends to the furniture. A little round metal table, bright yellow plastic loungers and wooden folding steamer chairs work back beautifully together.
I love to rearrange my furniture and cushion arrangements. Repurposing furniture is such fun – plus totes greenie of me. Although the Welshman does tend to roll his eyes and look concerned when he comes home to new furniture configurations. Firstly, he lives here too and he wasn’t entirely, shall we say, consulted. Secondly, as someone who has all over joint pain and reduced sensation in my hands from autoimmune disease, moving large heavy pieces of furniture on my own? Not so smart.
But my garden? You can roll the really big pots on their base if you tilt them a bit – I keep meaning to invest in little wheeled contraptions for them. Relocating wall garden plants is easy peasy lemon squeezy and really, nothing makes your garden look more glam than a good weed and water. Trust me. It’s like adding luminiser to high points on your face. People won’t notice you’ve done it – they just think you look amazing!
I decided to rearrange my wall garden on Friday. I had a pile of things to do but sometimes the soul is more important. And my soul needed to rearrange something. Pleased with the result!
One of the things I love most about my tropage garden is the gorgeous scent. When the Chinese star jasmine, the frangipani and the gardenias are in full bloom, the scent is just heavenly. Not to mention oh so pretty to look at, obviously.
Except for the very coldest days of winter, we treat our little tropage garden like an extension of our living space. It’s a great place to curl up and read a book, and we often have lunch outside. Boyo likes to hang outside after school, especially now we have the darling Lord Carrot hopping around the place. We’re hoping his sick little brother, Bowie Bonbon, will pull through his illness and join him there soon.
Do you like to garden like a granny too?