The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Saturday Spot: Our Virtual Keyhole Garden.

April 26th, 2009 · 8 Comments

This Saturday we are looking at a virtual spot: We are in the planning stages and you will have to watch this project unfold as the weeks and months go by.

With the world celebrating Earth Day this past week we got to thinking about gardening and growing a couple of our own vegetables again. We have done it before:


We have a significant problem with the local elements:



Just as soon as our vegetables are ready to eat a bunch of baboons will swoop through our garden and eat everything in sight in a fraction of a minute – and then they are off to greener pastures, so to speak.

Another problem is well it’s been a bit dry, in fact less than a whole lot of rain… blue leaves are the rainy days, green for sunny and each branch represents a month of this year.


This is our back wall at the end of last winter:


And this is our hideous back wall now:


It will go green again, it always does. But we do need some rain, yes we could irrigate, but water isn’t free! Any water we recycle for the garden goes onto our fruit trees. Needless to say we need a plan for our garden so that any vegetables we do plant will actually get water…

We have been very inspired by DK Books and Usborne Gardening Books.

These books have been popular:


But this one has heaps of appeal, the little hoods, want to be growing their own vegetables.


And this book is the cherry on the top – it’s got recipes and gardening – totally brilliant. It is so inspiring that we can’t wait to get planting, these are the kind of recipes: pumpkin bread, ratatouille, spinach gnocchi… and for dessert: strawberry fondue, blueberry muffins.


I always thought a trench garden would be a great idea but I don’t think we have enough space for one.

An alternative is a garden in a bag. The link takes you to a video that shows you how a couple of kids and their friends can make a vegetable garden in a large hessian bag. You pack the bags with a central column of rocks for drainage and then soil and compost round that. Then you cut slits in the side of your bag and pop your plants into the soil. This looks like such a fun idea and we may well try it…

But this is what I am hunkering after: A Keyhole Garden, follow the links for lots of information on how to make one. They have pdf instructions for every step of the way. Download this video to see how it’s done – really worth the couple of minutes to watch it.

We do recycle and produce about one bag of garbage a week but what annoys me is that most of our garbage is compost-able so we need to address that and I think this project can deal with that.

I have had this project on my to do list for years literally and as we are coming up for the end of our first school quarter we are going to get this project going… We have a sunny spot, where the grass does grow, just not at the end of a long dry summer. We live on a mountain so we have heaps of rocks, soil may be a bit awkward to come by (!) and compost no problem.


So we are going to work this up and plant this up and we will let you know how it goes.

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Tags: House Tour · Outside · Saturday Spot

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Christine // Apr 26, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    The idea of baboons and penguins in one’s "backyard"!

    We had a fox last year, but I think it died. . .Which is a shame as our rabbit population is getting out of hand. Yep, that sounds exotic, doesn’t it?!

  • 2 se7en // Apr 26, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Hi C, We haven’t had penguins in the garden yet, maybe a certain five-year old pretend one! – they are at a local beach about 5 minutes away! We do get baboons raiding our garden a couple of times a year and if we ever plant anything with a bulb a porcupine arrives and eradicates the entire garden “silently” overnight! We do have other wild wildlife: snakes and scorpions and such but they don’t disturb our garden so we don’t mind them too much!

  • 3 Heidi // Apr 27, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Regarding a compost tumbler in limited space: x2 1-gallon drums welded together.
    Only difference is that I would wall mount the tumbler.

  • 4 se7en // Apr 28, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Hi H, thanks for the tip!

  • 5 Saturday Spot: Our Keyhole Garden Continues… | se7en // Oct 18, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    […] Saturday Spot: Our Virtual Keyhole Garden. […]

  • 6 Saturday Spot: Our Keyhole Garden Begins… | se7en // Jan 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    […] = ‘se7en_hoods’;A couple of Saturdays ago I posted a post on how to make a keyhole garden and that we would keep you posted on ours. Well nothing happened because we were quite simply in […]

  • 7 Sylvia Anthony // Jun 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Just to say that your link for downloading the video on keyhole gardening doesn’t exist anymore. I must say that your website is really exciting. I’m a grandma and I just want to try so much of your recommendations, but don’t have little children anymore!!!!! I will certainly pass it on to those who do have little ones.

  • 8 se7en // Jun 17, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Hi Sylvia, Thank you so much for letting me know… I will get round to fixing it!!! And especially thank you for stopping by – I so appreciate it, I love meeting our readers!!! Have a lovely weekend!!!

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