While in Hamilton, I’ve had the privilege of speaking with individuals who have been inspired by the Sustainable Backyard at Hamilton Gardens. Kim Duggan was the first person I spoke with, and her story appears here.
“We’ve lived in Hamilton for 6 years. We used to go to the Sustainable Backyard and ooh and ah over it. The more we looked at it, the more we realized there wasn’t anything particularly technical about it. We realized that we could do it ourselves. Then we started a family and thought we needed to move out to the country for more space. We wanted to grow food and plant an orchard.
But we kept visiting the Sustainable Backyard, and it showed us we didn’t need to move. Our whole garden space was 800 sq metres, but we realized we could still plant an orchard. We took the Sustainable Backyard’s idea of mixing fruit trees and veggies and flowers and did it at home.
The other thing we really liked was the paths. We did chip paths like the Sustainable Backyard which was really good, because we didn’t want to do more expensive paths with cobble or concrete. We also realized the garden needs to be right in your face if it’s going to be properly maintained. I always liked the flow of the Sustainable Backyard so we did something similar with our own path, so people could use the whole space and look after it all properly. We finally got to a size we quite like. It supplies our veggies for 6 months a year to our family of 4. My next step would be adding the bees.
One thing I really like about the Sustainable Backyard is there are stages to the garden. As a beginner you can see things that will work. And every time you go back there’s something more. Eventually I began thinking, “Actually espaliering fruit trees wouldn’t be that hard, and raising chickens wouldn’t be that hard.”