An Uphill Struggle

An Uphill Struggle

Anyone that has immigrated to another country or started their own business (I’ve done both) will know what an uphill struggle is. This one is a bit more literal but it’s still a grind. It’s really hard to work on a steep slope and most crops favour a nice flat piece of ground with lots of sun. With a north-facing property, I have the added challenge of an over-shadowing property.

Some crops are quite happy to live on the hill – strawberries for one. I planted two strawberry plants a couple of years ago and today I have a whole patch – much to the delight of the birds that visit the garden (and myself if I get to them first). I rescued an established rhubarb plant from an old property near by (it must have been 20 years old, it was enormous) and that really took hold too.

Originally, there was just lawn and mowing it was a dangerous pursuit (and general waste of time and energy). When I terraformed the hill to support growing ‘anything’ I quickly learnt that if I wasn’t quick, the hill would literally be washed (or rained) away so I made haste with getting as many roots into the ground as possible (think natural retaining wall) – I wasn’t picky so there’s quite a few shrubs and non-edibles which turned out to be the perfect mix to support biodiversity.

I included a gravity-fed water feature too that’s connected to my water capture system which added both aesthetic appeal and additional water storage opportunities (at the bottom of the hill next to the greenhouse). Where possible I’ve also added a few small tiered areas which have been given over to food production and blends in nicely.

Sure, there a fair few weeds too, but the bugs and bees aren’t choosy and the other plants do a good job of choking them out. Anyway, hill or no hill you can make the seemingly impossible possible if you just try!