Due to unprecedented demand, you may experience a delay in delivery times. We are working around the clock to ensure that your order is despatched as soon as possible. Stay safe and keep gardening!

Due to unprecedented demand, you may experience a delay in delivery times. We are working around the clock to ensure that your order is despatched as soon as possible. Stay safe and keep gardening!

Becoming a ‘hands-on’ gardener again

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Many of our members when we meet are under the mistaken impression that I am out there physically gardening; planting, weeding, watering and mulching.

Well, that was a long time ago when Diggers employed just 6 staff but now that we have 130 staff, I have been forced into ‘cerebral’ or ‘desk gardening’ i.e. managing gardening rather than actually getting my fingers in the soil. Not surprisingly none of our garden staff are interested in working indoors and now I see why.

I have been stuck behind a desk for ten years

Becoming a real gardener again (not a desk gardener) is like entering paradise. I don't have to consult anyone; I can draw up a plan, select and plant my favourite plants — as Vita Sackville West was fond of saying “everything is choice and well chosen” — before enjoying the trembling anticipation of fulfilment.

This is my fifth garden and although none of my plantings have ever been a wholehearted success I am perpetually optimistic.

We now have an 1880s double-fronted Victorian house on Ruckers Hill in Northcote with a view towards the Yarra Valley and the Dandenongs.

We are a 15 minute bike ride from the city, Melbourne's botanic garden and the MCG. Every street I ride through has 100-year-old, shady street trees, as beautiful as any boulevard in Paris, and the High St street food is the best in the city.

This charming house is perfectly located on 800 square metres of soil so the garden is a perfect size. I have just planted a herbaceous border (over the front lawn) between a Jacaranda and Chinese Lantern tree. Along the sunny north side I planted Mermaid, Albertine and R. laevigata Roses, intermingled with cottage garden Lupins, Hollyhocks and Delphiniums.

My granddaughter and I planted her favourite vegetable, Sweet Corn, and we have naturally seeding Silverbeet, Potatoes and Arugula.

My granddaughter

Our neighbours have high hopes and we mustn't disappoint

The garden has two gigantic, 100-year-old Washingtonia Palms and the most beautiful Pomegranate I have ever seen, which produced about 800 fruits (that we plan to list for sale.)

So the garden is large enough to find a place for all my favourite plants and we are just 500 metres from our grandchildren.

Our borrowed landscape features gigantic Moreton Bay Figs and our neighbours have loads of old Orange, Peach, Almond, Avocado and Lemon trees.

It seems from the chats that we have with our neighbours and passers by that our gardening passion is infectious. They have high hopes and we must not disappoint them. And so the indescribable pleasure we are enjoying from gardening again is akin to a lifestyle currently described as wellness doing the rounds of the internet.

I guess our greatest gardening pleasure this winter has come from connecting directly with nature. The birds are singing at daybreak; mushrooms emerge every morning through our copious spreading of Zoo poo.

Starting the landscaping

Why is gardening falling in popularity?

Our passers by, mostly hipsters, are sharing a displaced pleasure in the sense that they, by juggling the work/family imbalance, are as disconnected from life itself as I felt being a desk gardener rather than real gardener.Apart from the extraordinary pleasure of being a hands-on gardener, again the benefits will astound you. Dr. Mercola in the US describes the benefits of gardening as follows:

1. Happiness: it seems that gardeners in the US record 80% satisfaction with life compared to non-gardeners (of which only 67% are happy).

2. Health: gardening improves health from the exercise needed as well as by reducing stress, attention fatigue and the risk of dementia, which drops by 30-45% compared to non gardeners.

3. Better nutrition: in the US it costs about $70 to buy seeds and plants for one person but it returns $550 in fruit and vegetables with better nutrition.

So one has to ask why is gardening an activity that is falling in popularity when it gives such pleasure and healthy wellbeing?

Clive Blazey (8 Nov 2016)

Pomegranate at Northcote

Sign up for our email newsletter

FREE 2016 SEED Annual

Email info@diggers.com.au to request a free copy of our 2016 Seed Catalogue. Just remember to include your name and address. Help us preserve heirloom varieties by growing them in your garden. 

More

"Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller caused cancer"court says

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

‘The Good Life’ … the birth of Diggers

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

10 things to do in the garden this long weekend whilst everyone else is watching the Cup!

By The Diggers Team

Botanica Europe - French and English Garden Tour

By Talei Kenyon

Botanica New Zealand garden Tour

By Jill Woodlands

Fathers Day Competition Winners

By The Diggers Club

Free air conditioners in our gardens

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Grow a Garden - Your New Years resolution for 2017

By The Diggers Team

Grow Your Own From Seeds Corporates Don't Own

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Growing your own food is the quickest way to solve climate change

About 25% of global CO2 emissions are caused by us buying food rather than growing our own.

Having someone else grow our food is going to kill us!

A century ago only about 10% of us had sedentary jobs but today that figure has risen to 90%.

How did your garden look this summer?

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

How science ruined tomatoes

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Humus, humility and climate change

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

In The Garden - Highlights at Cloudehill in December

By Jeremy Francis, Cloudehill's owner and creator.

In The Garden - Highlights at Cloudehill in November

By Jeremy Francis, Cloudehill's owner and creator.

In The Garden - Highlights at Heronswood in August

By Robyn Fox, Heronswood's Kitchen Gardener

In The Garden - Highlights at Heronswood in September

By Robyn Fox, Heronswood's Kitchen Gardener

In The Garden - Highlights at St Erth in April

By Tina Thanos, St Erth's kitchen gardener

In The Garden - Highlights at St Erth in August

By Tina Thanos, St Erth's kitchen gardener

In The Garden - Highlights at St Erth in May

By Tina Thanos, St Erth's kitchen gardener

In The Garden - Highlights at St Erth in September

By Tina Thanos, St Erth's kitchen gardener

Is gardening the secret to a long and healthy life?

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Is Gardens by the Bay in Singapore the world’s most interesting garden?

Is Gardens by the Bay in Singapore the world’s most interesting garden?

Let’s pretend we believe in climate change, but not at the expense of GDP

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club.

Monsanto’s DDT was banned in Australia in 1987. When will Monsanto’s Roundup be banned?

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Our gardening missteps

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Plants as Lovers

Many of us gardeners are obsessive plant compulsives – we can’t take our minds off them.

Should hydroponically grown food carry an ARTIFICIALLY GROWN label?

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Summer Gardens at Cloudehill

By Jeremy Francis, Owner and Creator of Cloudehill

Teach your children well

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Thanks for 40 years of valuable support for Diggers

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

The best things in life are free

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

The corporatisation of our food supply

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

The potential collapse of organic gardening in Australia

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

We have been fighting Monsanto for 20 years

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Welcome to the university for self-taught gardeners

We gardeners are a critical lot and are very hard to please.

WHAT’S ON - OCTOBER

WHAT’S ON – STAND OUT GARDEN EVENTS AROUND AUSTRALIA

Where does your gardening inspiration come from?

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Why a plant based diet leads to a longer, healthier life

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Why gardening organically is so important for gardeners

At Heronswood we haven’t used artificial chemicals for over 20 years.

Why is it taking so long to revere our prehistoric rainforests from Gondwana times?

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Related Articles

Botanica Spring Garden (Japan)

Clive Blazey visits Japan for the Botanica Spring Garden tour

Castel Ruggero (Chianti, Italy)

Margaux's family create perfect harmony, “A living personification of my mother and father”
Back To Top
Member Exclusives
THE FAST FEAST COLLECTION
THE FAST FEAST COLLECTION
SEEDS: SFFC
Forget fast food and grow your own fast feast! This is a collection of our fastest growing cool season vegies and greens suitable for sowing and growing now. Collection includes enough vegetables to feed a family of four in a 2x1m plot, with 14 packets of seeds that will have some produce available for harvest in just 4-6 weeks right through to ...
Member $49.95
Checking stock, please wait..
BUDGET BREAKER (aka LOW INCOME OFFER)
BUDGET BREAKER (aka LOW INCOME OFFER)
SEEDS: S260
Make a limited income stretch further with this collection of our highest yielding varieties. Grow 2 tonnes of food for under $20!* This collection has helped over 3,500 Aussie Battlers and the unemployed get started. With 13 packets of seed you can grow 120kg pumpkin, 21kg beans, 824kg tomatoes, 560 lettuces, 268kg cucumbers, 42kg carrots, 22kg...
Member $39.95
Non-Member $49.95
Checking stock, please wait..
2yr membership +FREE vegie seeds
2yr membership +FREE vegie seeds
Membership: MNE2VS
Grow the best tasting vegies with free Beetroot'Bulls blood', Carrot 'St Valery', Broccoli 'Romanesco' and Silverbeet 'Fordhook' seeds (one packet of each, valued at $21).
Member $79.00
Non-Member $79.00
Checking stock, please wait..