Monday, October 4, 2010

Before and After

Well its time for the after shots (Scroll to the original post "Walking the Land" for the before shot)

The warmer weather has gotten the back Permaculture plan into action!
Walking the backyard last week - I was absolutely thrilled to realised that all the elements I had envisioned - have come into manifestation. These include

1) 4 veggie Beds
2) A Spiral Garden
3) A miniature orchard
4) An aquatic garden in the form of a dug in bath tub

I have also created a 5th veggie bed along the fence which is being used for carrots and raising seeds such as beetroot at the moment. I have planted in my 4 varieties of tomatoes (a little earlier than recommended - but still it has been so darn hot that I haven't regretted it). I used plastic bottles - top and tailed to provide a mini hot house and to stop the black bird and brown birds from stratching the seedlings out during their dig for worms. I have also planted a chilli from seed my cousin gave me. In fact everything this year has been from seed so far - which is something I have never been organised enough to do!

I have been thrilled by the pile of weeds which I covered over with black plastic sheeting - it became gorgeous soil over winter. I have dug a large trench and filled it with the Winter/Spring weeds - of which there was a bounty after the rains. I also found some garbage bags which Mimi has used to heat up weeds from under the Pear - these were prime compost - at it was about 1 year old and still very moist. In the back corner (of the Yoga room end) I have put weed mat down and allocated this area for chopped wood.

The two grafted apples I have decided to plant in the spiral garden and these will accompany a new purchase - Pink Lady which is nearby the 4 veggie beds. I am trying improving the soil of the veggie beds with potatoes and legumes. I have also planted legumes beside the bath tub where I have created a small bed - which in my whimsy I imagine housing a family of frogs! It may never eventuate - but a home for them I will still make.

The very back is my next challenge - under the olive and down the side - the last frontier.


  1. nice work, a couple of suggestions re bath tub:
    forgs might be tricky as they require pretty specific water quality conditions, an alternative suggestion for mosquito control is to get a few murray perch fish, they are extremely tolerant of variable water conditions and are very efficient at mozzie control.

    Also a fountain of some sort will help airate the water, keep it circulating around and moving which is also another good form of mozzie control as they do not like moving water

    VINC have a good collection of indigenous aquatics at very reasonable prices if you are looking for plants, but keep them in their pots as most aquatics can be quite invasive.

    Regardless of what you do I reccomend putting in some form of shelter for whatever organisms you do end up getting in there. Tree branches, old ceramic drain pipes, even plastic tubes will all provide good habitat.

    Make sure you put all the plants in prior to adding any organisms and some gravel on the base makes a good substrate. Gravel on top of the pots also helps to prevent soil escaping, waiting a bit allows the suspended sediment to settle, allowing mor oxygen in the water.

    Good luck with it.

  2. I have got a pump going and have a lovely old ceramic drain pipe in the bath - tree branches is a great idea and gives me a place for the larger branch cuttings and a lovely piece of birch that I haven't been too sure what to do with. So far I have a couple of sedges, a buttercup and water lilly - which is optimistic given that I hear they like more still water - but couldn't resist giving it a try. I am planning some canna lilly's (transplanting) around the edges and have already placed a cala lilly which is doing quite nicely. I would like to put in mostly edibles long term. There is a build up of algae - turning the pump up seemed like a good idea until I came home to half the water having been pumped "over board!: tonight. I will look into what plants will help with that - suggestions welcome!

  3. fish will help with the algae, but apart from that, it's the nature of the beast, you just have to skim it out. However, providing shade over the tub will reduce the amount of algae as it does not like to grow in shady positions, needs the sun. Get some shade cloth and make a little canopy for the tub with some garden stakes.

    edibles, water chestnut, water spinach, lemongrass, chives (in shallow water or emergent tub)

  4. Just can't bring myself to put fish in to such a small pond space... so will look into shading solutions. I walked the area this morning and think that if I transplant the cana-lillys along the right side of the bath that it will block a lot of the north side sunshine - Direct Summer Sunshine over head would be better resolved with a shade cloth canopy - sure to have some shade cloth about the place! Lemongrass? Hadnt considered putting it an emergent tub - over summer it is a brilliant idea TA