Finally, after what seems an interminable wait, we are in our new house. Despite living in Brazil, the house we have bought could have been transplanted from a typical British terrace in any city in the UK. The first thing that practically everyone who has visited has said is that it feels like a very English house. Some people think it was my idea to buy this place, but it wasn’t; when my wife first saw it she fell in love with the place and had to convince me to make an offer.
When looking for a new place to live we looked at a lot of places, both flats and houses. We were siding towards a couple of apartments because most houses we saw used up all of the space with the house and left nothing for a garden. It seems to be very common for houses in Curitiba to take up all the land with the building and leave nothing for nature. We asked ourselves what would be the point of having a house if you couldn’t have a garden. You would get all of the downsides of a house without many of the positives of having an apartment.
This house, though, has two gardens: one at the front and a slightly larger one at the back. I say gardens, but in Britain they would probably be called ‘yards’ as they are pretty small.
We have small gardens, but I have big plans.
I want to grow some vegetables and herbs in the garden. The herbs will probably be in their own plant pots and placed on window sills, the tops of walls and even bolted onto the sides of walls. I am in negotiations with my wife to taking over a part of the front garden to plant some vegetables like lettuce, leeks, carrots and what not.
I want to do this because I like the idea of cooking food that I have grown nd knowing it is all 100% organic. I also like the idea of getting Mr T to help me and show him where food comes from and engage him in how plants grow. I am under no illusions as I know there is a fairly good chance he won’t be interested at all, but at least I will have given him the opportunity.
My wife wants the garden to look nice. She wants flowers and colour and smells and all that stuff. I have no problem with this, but as space is limited we are going to have to think very carefully about how we manage both objectives.
One possibility that we have found so far involves using old pallets for a vertical garden.
There are also videos on youtube about using old plastic bottles to create vertical gardens.
What my wife and I do agree on is finding plants that naturally repel certain insects, like mosquitoes and other things that bite. I get nasty reactions to certain types of insect bite, and it looks like my son has inherited that particular trait from me as well. We’ve been told that Marigolds are good and Citronella are good for this, as is Catnip but I am not sure how easy it is to find Catnip here in Curitiba. I’d love to grow some Catnip just for the idea of growing drugs for cats, but we’ll have to see.
I mentioned earlier that one of the reasons to plant stuff is to teach my son about the birds and the bees, so to speak. He, of course, gets a lot of input into what we will end up growing and so far the one thing he wants is sunflowers. I am very happy to plant these, but we will have to wait a few months as winter is coming.
What he really wants is a swimming pool. I think a paddling pool might have to suffice.
Anyway, those are our tentative plans at the moment. We are all really looking forwards to getting our garden going and I suppose ony time will tell if our plans come to fruition or not.
If anybody has any tips, links or general advice for how to make the most of limited space I would really appreciate any comments you might want to leave below.