After a couple of weeks of gorgeous unseasonal March sunshine, today is a lovely damp and grey, sometimes drizzly day, good working-in-the-garden weather and in the garden is where I find Liz Lelong. She lives in Petty St, just a few streets from me in West Hobart.
Liz has created a wonderful market garden in her suburban quarter acre. After several years of intense work it is now her livelihood.
We locals buy our seedlings from her Petty Street driveway, September to March, every Sunday morning and she carries fresh produce in her big basket down to the city restaurants. She is friends with a gardener in South Hobart and they work together to supply the up-market eating places that take pride in using local produce.
Gardens are always a work in progress and today Liz is building new beds and there is more work to be done on the big greenhouse. The greenhouse has been an epic enterprise. Bought second hand and slowly re-built in its new home – concrete and brick footings first and putting the house together like meccano (Remember meccano? Sort of like Lego for those of you who are young.) then a whole-of-street exercise in helping to lift the structure onto the base. It will be a wondrous thing when finished.
The garden is rich with brassicas and carrots, eggplant and beans, apples and pears, greens whose names I can’t remember and the last of the tomatoes, And the most beautiful Barnevelder chooks.
I come away from Liz’s place (which she calls Eve’s Garden) with the recipe for the Welsh cakes she gave me with my cup of tea. She also was my sock-knitting mentor a couple of years ago. A woman of great gifts, of kindness and green-thumbery.