ABOUT HIP HITE GARDENS
OUR CUSTOM SOIL DEVELOPMENT FOR YOUR INDIVIDUAL REQUIREMENTS
There was a good deal of interest from customers regarding a suitable soil mix for the boxes. Because the gardens are supported above ground, the need to retain moisture was paramount. A mixture was developed using Organic Sandy Loam and Horse Stable waste containing manure, urine and wood shavings. This is a rich medium for growing plants in the boxes and if earthworms are added, they will breed and assist the soil condition.
Another mix was assessed using Sandy Loam and Spent Mushroom Compost. This mix has proven to have tremendous results and considering the components of the compost (peat moss, straw, nitro pill and trace elements), easily retains moisture and maintains a good environment for earthworms.
HIP HITE GARDENS HISTORY
2011 – THE BEGINNINGS IN BERMUDA
The concept of a garden at hip level was born in Bermuda whilst John and Vivienne was living in the family homestead, “Hollisville”, located in Smiths Parish. The soil on most of the island is only around 4 inches deep and sits on limestone rock. It is difficult to grow plants away from the low areas where the soil is much deeper.
Vivienne took a fancy to growing vegetables in a raised square foot type garden bed but didn’t fancy the sore back and knees that she encountered. She said to John that it would be great if she had the garden at her hip level, otherwise, she wouldn’t bother with the gardening bit.
John thought about this and came up with an idea to recycle the many 4 feet wooden pallets that are burned on the island. He started making small boxes about 30 x 20 inches because of the size of the recovered timber, and added legs to these. He made the garden about 3′ above the ground and Vivienne was happy. About 20 of these were made and great success was had with growing a variety of vegetables.
2012 – A NEW START IN AUSTRALIA
They decided to return to Australia in 2012 and settle.
After a few months in Australia, the urge to recreate the gardens got hold of John and he started to make larger 4′ and 6′ gardens with the same technique.
The pallets were longer in Australia and were readily available. After moving back into his house in Newcastle, he constructed a group of 6′ gardens and lined them down his concrete driveway. Various additions were carried out, including a sliding trellis which allowed climbing beans and peas to be grown.
It soon became apparent that there was considerable interest from neighbors and the local community regarding the gardens at hip level. The Garden Boxes were becoming bigger and some good results were had with the production of vegetables.
2013 – MARKETING THE CONCEPT AND MODIFICATION TO FIT THE AUSTRALIAN MARKET
John decided that he would try to market the concept at the local Newcastle Farmers & Growers Market by operating a sales stall each Sunday. It was decided that to give the boxes a more professional finish, new timber would be used and the current format was born.
There have been many modifications made to tweak the boxes and they are now able to hold about 180kgs of soil mix in a 6′ box and about 225kgs in an 8′ box. A new concept in Planter boxes for shrubs was also developed and is now available.
This Garden box is able to be dismantled and re-assembled to allow shrubs with large root masses to be easily placed on the base and the box re-assembled around the root mass. This technique minimizes back strain and is proving popular with people planting citrus trees.