View from the Deck – Edible Garden Awards

Recently I was able to be part of the Edible Gardens Awards in two City Community Boards – Lyttleton-Mt Herbert and Shirley-Papanui. Great evenings and wonderful to meet these people who put so much into their plots of land.

BUT like all evenings it got me thinking. We live in changing times.

When I look back at early photos of houses in Christchurch and Canterbury there were no flower gardens and only vegetable and fruit gardens. There was no place for ornamental plants except in the park.

Move forward 100 years and we see the increasing growth of ornamental gardens, the front garden, setting off a nice house. Out the back there was the traditional vegetable and fruit garden. I can still recall ours from the 1960’s.

More recently we see the need for presentation of a nice section, landscaped with trees, shrubs and ornamental plants and little else. Hang on, where is the vegetable patch and fruit trees?

All the people who entered the edible gardens award were so proud of their garden it did not matter that it did not look ornamental but that it was productive. Mind you some of them were spectacular production gardens. Nice fresh food from the land. Not to mention the fresh eggs and pet rabbits.

What might our gardens look like in the future?

I leave you to ponder about how we can merge ornamental gardens with edible gardens? How long will it be before our ornamental gardens are more edible than ornamental? What sort of interesting designs will people come up with? When will pumpkins be used as ground cover under roses?

Gardens are going to be a lot different in the future as the next generation think about the origins of their food and take production into their own hands with their green fingers.

Alan Jolliffe