My Productive Backyard
Kathy grew up on a small mixed farm in southwestern NSW. Out of necessity, the pretty was relatively self-sufficient in their meat, eggs, milk and vegetable needs.
Growing up in this environment and living in a small rural community was a natural progression into tertiary education in Agricultural Science, majoring in economic Horticulture crops such as fruit, vegetables and cut flowers.
In 1993 she ran her first community vegetable gardening course and, over the years, has delivered courses and helped set up vegetable gardens at many schools, community centres and community gardens.
in the Garden
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This is my version of the ultimate space efficient ideal kitchen garden design for maximum food production. It can be used in a variety of spaces where it is necessary to get maximum production from minimal area. This plan is specifically for an enclosed...
Often when we are thinking about sustainable food production, we can become focused on the annual vegetable garden, and although I believe it is an integral part of any productive backyard, I also feel that we should not neglect those perennial plants that will...
Perennial vegetables are a great way to supplement your annual vegetable production with very little effort. You plant them once, then get a harvest year after year with very little maintenance. They are generally more drought tolerant and need less care than...
Here is a quick overview of the basic pruning requirements for the most common cool climate fruit trees. You can read my other posts on Pruning Fruiting Trees and Pruning: Equipment Needed here. It is always a good idea to have someone show you how to prune and point...
For successful pruning to occur it is important to use the right equipment. Using the right equipment for the pruning task you have will mean that the task will be easier for you and the wounds inflicted on the plant will heal quickly maintaining the health of your...
Pruning is the process of removing parts of a plant for health reasons or to encourage certain types of growth. Not all food bearing plants require pruning, whereas some species benefit greatly if pruned correctly and pruning requirements are often specific to the...
Photo sourced from nurseriesonline If you would like to try growing your own fruit such as peaches, apples, blackberries and raspberries now this is the time to get into nurseries and check out their bare-rooted stock. Even in the smallest of backyards there is...
It has been nearly 12 months since I installed a steel and mesh enclosure over my vegetable garden. My initial reaction was “wow how easy is it now to access and work in the space” but with time I have started to see the advantages of the structure for use in vertical...
Home grown organic blueberries are just delightful. Compact and super easy to grow, blueberries are a must for anyone interested in growing their own food. Blueberries are a long-lived plant and whilst they are expensive to buy, they will give you a lifetime...
The Secret Garden
Located in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, just 2 hours drive from either Sydney or Canberra and 1 hour from Wollongong.
The Secret Garden is the love child of Kathy Finigan, a horticulturist with over 30 years of experience. Established in 1994, the garden has grown to cover the entire 5 acres of the property, spanning different aspects and faces of the property to give completely different growing climates, accommodating a range of plants.
Whether you are engaged or getting married, have an important event or want to get some beautiful photography done, The Secret Garden is the perfect location. With many different areas in the garden, no two photos will look the same.
Workshops & Speaking
Whether for your community group, circle of friends or an event, Kathy can deliver workshops or speak on organic gardening and growing on a wide range of topics. Use one of our existing resources or develop a completely custom workshop for your audience, and harness Kathy’s passion for growing to inspire others to grow their own!
From plotting out areas on your property that would be best suited to vegetable growing to designing a beautifully designed garden, I can offer my 30 years experience on your own property
If you have ever struggled with your garden, then I would love to help you do better! Whether its a specific plant or whether you want a complete review of what you are growing, I can help.
Come and tour my property in the Southern Highlands of NSW and gain inspiration for your own property, as well as an understanding of how a productive backyard can exist with a decorative garden in complete harmony.
From set up, to design and execution, I have worked in community gardens up and down the South Coast of NSW and I want to bring that passion for growing to your area.