Friday, July 16, 2010

Tools in Self-sufficiency

Last weekend lead to an impromptu lesson in

#1 How to use a chain saw!!!!
#2 How to split wood!

After watching the big guns give it a go - Lisa and I had a crack at it and following some encouragement from a passing neighbor who shouted out his car window "harder harder"... we had some serious success and got the wood into some great sizes for the fire.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Back Sprial Garden

Now the front key hole garden has taken shape I have focused my energies on the back spiral garden. It took shape this weekend and I was able to navigate a lot of the roses to find a path way that would give me access and at the same time nurture what is already planted.

After finishing the initial spiral I stood at the front of the garden - under the plum tree and knew already that I would be much too tempted to walk through the middle - rather than walking the full length of the spiral in order to do a little weeding or picking.

Then AHA an image dropped in ! The chokurei symbol which I had been inducted into during Reiki 1. Is is absolutely perfect for the garden. It allows a long spiral path for meditative walk and instant access to the center - or right across to the top of spiral near the olive.

I am absolutely thrilled with using this healing symbol and maintaining a functional space.

An example of a Chokurei


What a dynamic duo.
This episode of Grand Designs reminded me - take the drama away and just make it happen!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Aloysia triphylla or Lemon Verbena

It is this time of year when I am ever so grateful for having dried the Lemon Verbena leaves cut during summer to make a warm tea. I always knew of this tea's high Vitamin A content - and that it was good for the skin but wasn't aware of its anti stress and spasm qualities as well!! Aha perfect, will be tucking up on the couch with a cup soon. I am very lucky to have a neighbor who I garden for that lets me take her cuttings and am hoping my weee little verbena will take off this summer - where to put it once it is out of the pot is something that needs some thought. I have just removed a fuscia from the yoga room window perhaps the verbena can tolerate this sunny spot.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


After being ravaged as seedlings the Kale has finally taken off!! As for the broccoli it bolted - but is now providing a nice bit of white to keep the cabbage butterfly away - although I think they've all gone for the winter!

Key Hole Garden

Well a weekend of no rain - meant getting the roses pruned and also finishing off preparations for the front key hole garden! I am determined to have produce in it by spring and the soil from the compost and piling cutting is looking great! After seeing the food forest at Southern Cross Permaculture Institute I got thinking about natural edging methods. Listening to Rick speak about the food source created by dead trees and hard cuttings I have decided to use ALL of the woody prunings that have piled up in the back garden as an edge. I am also going to use this method for the back keyhole garden also. So to make this work - I have edged the boundaries to make a ditch and cut the prunings into lengths to be stacked continuously around the circle and also around the edge of the 'keyhole' beside the pavers. This provides a use for a huge amount of waste - which would otherwise end up on the nature strip and will hopefully house helpful insects and healthy bacterias. I am yet to discover how well it will keep the weeds away - but if it is thickly stacked enough with plenty of small mixed in with large cuttings - hopefully it will work well. It will also work as a water catching mote when it rains! I am rather thrilled with this as I haven't seen it anywhere else - but like all good ideas - probably it has been done before ! Most of all it just looks lovely - like a big nest in the middle of my garden waiting for life!

This brings to mind on of my favorite artists - Andy Goldsworthy and his use of 'nesting' spaces: