Sunday, September 16, 2012

Simple Living

I often ponder on the things in our life that are most important. The three I always come up with are family & friends, health & happiness.

Our family is very close anyway, though we don't always keep in touch with extended family members as we should. Everyone is so tied up in their own lives, caught up in the daily struggle that is life. My close friends live right here in my town and can always be relied upon.
I find Facebook is a great way to keep up with family and friends that don't live nearby.

Our health is good, with only the occasional back problems, but nothing serious and nothing that some exercise would probably help. We eat well, though I do need to cut back on the sugar and alcohol!

So how do we define happiness? I'm generally a happy person, I always look on the bright side and enjoy simple comforts such as a warm bed with a contented husband beside me and plenty to eat and drink. I love to look out on to beautiful paddocks of flowering canola and enjoy hearing native birds in my garden.
But, more than anything, I really enjoy being able to make my own products, be they food products or skin care products. I get a lot of pleasure in producing something for a quarter of the price I would normally have to pay. Even greater joy knowing that it's far superior to anything I can buy.

Now if only I could grow a decent garden. I'm not a gardener's bootlace, and don't really enjoy being out in the dirt plucking at weeds and pulling up metres of couch runners that invade and seem to go down in the earth as far as China. But, I am encouraged in seeing what my dear late niece has achieved out at our farm house.

She has made very simple gardens with succulents and drought tolerant plants with the odd annual here and there. Bits of rusty farm equipment, old tin cans and bent up metal buckets are used to enhance and  decorate the area. She carted dozens of rocks in a wheelbarrow from the paddocks and has used them as both features and as borders for her gardens. A fantastic fire pit has also been created out of rocks.
There's no lawn, just gravel that has been pressed in and raked to remove loose rubble. Most plants were gifted cuttings. Water from the bathroom and kitchen is collected in a bucket which is dug into the ground where the outlet pipe ends. This is used to water the garden as there's only rainwater available and that is too precious to waste.

Such creativity and enterprise has made me re-consider my garden. It's a hodge podge of bushes, a few trees and two underused vegie patches. Lots of lawn, (which I must start to mow myself instead of waiting for Steve to do it) which I will reduce. A bit of green lawn is lovely to look at in summer, but we have way too much to keep watered, mown and weeded.

So, I will be making some changes in the next few months and hopefully producing some home grown vegetables and overhauling my garden space to make it more practical to maintain and more in tune with our climate and environment. Watch this space!!

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