News | 8 March 2022
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Five foodie gardens to inspire

Pōneke can be cold, windy and sandy, but that doesn’t stop Wellingtonians from getting out and enjoying their gardens. Come on a little journey with us as we open the virtual gates to five home food gardens around the city.

A vege garden with multiple garden beds, pots and stakes.

1. Amanda, Hataitai 

Amanda comes from a farming background, so keeping the family tradition of getting out in the garden was important to her when it came to house hunting in inner suburban Wellington. 

For her, gardening is about growing the foods you love to eat, particularly the ones that are expensive and hard to find in the shops. She also loves seeing self-seeded surprises pop up in her garden like borage, orache, chervil and coriander. 

She is an expert at growing asparagus, kohlrabi, green beans, tomatoes, courgettes, corn, broad beans, globe artichoke, chillies and heaps of lettuce. Amanda is keeping tight-lipped on her failures, but she will share that she has lots of them! 

A fluffy cat sits under the shade of a plant in a vegetable garden.

2. Hedi, Newlands 

Hedi loves looking at the little changes that happen in her garden every day. She loves spotting that first flower or fruit and the satisfying feeling of eating something that she has grown herself. 

Like most home gardeners, Hedi has had many gardening attempts that have not worked out. She finds weeding to be “the most boring activity in the world”, didn’t stake her tomatoes and sunflowers sufficiently, and didn’t follow the plant spacing instructions on the packet to name a few. 

Her greatest gardening achievements are her endless rhubarb, giant sunflowers and bumper crops of zucchinis and lettuce.  

An orchard of fruit trees.

3. Jenny, Berhampore 

Jenny’s sheltered sanctuary in Berhampore is her “happy place”. She loves being out in the fresh air, listening to the birds. 

 She also likes the sense of community she has found through gardening. She swaps seedlings with others in her neighbourhood and has a very popular feijoa box at her front gate. 

Jenny has a selection of fruit trees that provide her with fresh fruit throughout the year. Her herbs and rocket have also been a hit.  

Some of Jenny’s less successful gardening adventures include her garlic that had rust and small bulbs, and her apples which coddling moths tend to get to get to before her.  

Four different corn cobs in a variety of colours.

4. Illona, Te Ahumairange Hill Wilton  

Having a food garden has given Illona an appreciation for the hard mahi that is put into growing food. Reflecting on the effort that she puts into her garden makes her feel even sadder about the large amount of food waste we produce in Aotearoa. 

She loves being inspired by the different seasons and coming up with ideas her for dinners based on whatever there is heaps of, like last night’s colourful corn fritters. Plus her garden means she doesn’t have to make as many trips to the supermarket! 

Some of Illona’s more established plants have varying levels of success. Last year her plum tree produced kilos of fruit, and this year she had only 25, most of which kerurū bet her to. On the other hand, after only having one pear in seven years this year she has plenty!  

A garden bed full of vegetables.

5. Neil, Paparangi

Having started his current garden 20 years ago, Neil is now a veteran vegetable grower. 

Neil says growing his own fresh food in his planter box is very satisfying. He claims that fresh vegetables from your garden are unbeatable and enjoys giving his excess produce to friends. 

Neil has success growing lettuce but finds all his brassicas (broccoli, pak chow etc) get munched by bugs before they make it to the table.

This story was written in celebration of Local Food Week.