Monday, June 26, 2017

out back ~ it has begun

Permaculture that is...

Finally, about a week ago, I started off small and made this little garden bed for my barrow. 

I found one sturdy cardboard box, just the right size, and placed it in the barrow.


Added to it some bits of wood, old rotting is best.


On top of the wood I placed a layer of straw, then watered. On top of the straw went composted soil, then watered again. To finish off, another layer of hay. (Sorry forgot to take photos of the process). I planted some pansies in the bed and added a little bit more water.


This is how it is looking now.  The pansies are reaching for the sunlight. I have not had to water yet and the soil is still quite damp.


Chop and drop...this is taking place everywhere!


Out in the garden there are some unused raised garden beds.  This is an opportunity to practice what I have been learning. So I set to work on one of the beds and dug out the old soil, placed a layer of cardboard in the bottom. On top of the cardboard went some rotting wood, leaves and sticks. Whatever I could lay my hands on.


Next a layer of lucerne hay was added.



Then a layer of manure and compost (haha nearly forgot the photo again).


A layer of straw.


Another layer of manure and compost...


On top of the final compost layer I decided to put another layer of cardboard, follow by a thick layer of straw. I have not planted anything yet as I cant make up my mind as to what should go in there!


On Saturday, hubby was away so I set to work and started rearranging the orchard.  I had sat up the night before roughly planning what I had in mind...the hardest part was getting started!


Before photos...



And after...


Doesn't that make a difference? I am loving the way this is coming along and I have spent the last three days eagerly wanting to get out back and do more!


I have run out of the cement bricks, and it still needs a tidy up here and there, but all in all I am very satisfied with my effort.
The day was a beautiful sunny 22C (71.6F), perfect for getting my hands dirty.


 Chop and drop...


  Such a beautiful finish to the day...


On Sunday morning a fog rolled in at about 8.30am. Once it cleared though it was another beautifully warm day.



This is the very same spot I took the above sunset photo. I could not see the town at all.



Pea-straw at the ready...this will go around the fruit trees.  I am waiting to see if we get some rain before putting it down. I would prefer to have wet soil.  Also added will be old chicken, horse and cow manure, spread over the soil before adding cardboard and straw on the top.



 Chop and drop!


The fog started to clear and the sun shone through.


Yesterday and today were spent pruning back the fruit trees. This was long overdue and we still need to cut back the tops on the apricot and nectarine tree, this will be done over the next day or two.




I attempted to make an arch out of the trimmed trees. A little bit wonky, but it will do...I intend to keep practicing ~smiles


The mango tree, chopped and dropped. Using nature as it is meant to be...this is a strawberry mango tree and by the pale colour, I think it may need some fertiliser to give it a boost.


The mulberry tree is cleaned up and trimmed.


So is the fig tree. Every time I walk past this tree, I spy another bit to cut off.  I have had to put the pruning shears away!


Just the height on these two to be done now. They are too tall to reach any fruit at the top. I do not really mind because I share those ones with the birds.


This will be chopped up and put back into the garden as mulch.



A wreath made from the pruned mulberry tree. It is now happily hanging on my front door.


Oops I almost forgot...Hubby has been busy adding this IBC container to the veggie garden. It will fill with rain water from the nearby tanks when they overflow, so the garden will have access to rain water. How cool is that? At long, long last!



Apart from all the busyness, the first spider lily for the season is starting to unfold.


I found out that geraniums are really pelagoniums. Did you know?






 Cute as a button little helper...




And here is one just for you Harry.  I found this fellow sun-baking in the warm sunshine.  Unusual to see them around at this time of year. Strange weather we are having...I have a feeling the cold days will be here soon, hopefully with some rain, as we haven't had any for a while.


Have a great week everyone!

xx

33 comments:

  1. lol - I always cringe when I see a fine old tool used in a way that will degrade it, but I hope your flowers do well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol Gorges. Sorry about that, but the poor rusty ole girl sits there going to rack and ruin, so I thought I would give her back some life. She will look all pretty very soon :)

      Delete
  2. Wow Tania, I take my hat off to you. Thankyou so much for sharing all of your happenings as I'm reading with keen interest and learning from you. We have a few little garden beds out the front which are just weeds and overgrown at the moment. I never thought to use those as practice. What have I got to lose? As long as I use what we already have I'm going to give it a go with the cardboard and compost etc.
    I think you've made a great arch too by the way. I hope it stays.
    Little Harry is a real little cutie.
    Really enjoying your posts.
    Kylie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why thank you Kylie.

      It was really a matter of "just do it". That first step...I had spent countless hours strolling around the internet looking and learning. There came a point in time where I had to actually do some of what I was learning lol! Now you cant stop me!! I have been outside again this afternoon, pottering and enjoying nature...it is so good to reconnect with mother earth.

      If you are interested in where I found some great information re the no dig beds and more, just go here https://deepgreenpermaculture.com/ Plenty of DIY info, you will learn heaps :)

      xTania

      Delete
  3. Tania the permaculture principles are so very interesting. I particularly like the first one about observing your property. I learned so much at our permaculture workshop and have more of an understanding as to why 'weeds' might grow in a particular area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't they Nanna Chel?

      I cant believe how much I have learned over the last couple of weeks. The planning bit was a little off putting, but when I actually sat down and did it, it wasn't so bad. I have never been as observant of nature as I am now. I knew about permaculture, but never knew how good it is! The more I learn the more it makes so much sense...

      I read that weeds are designed to pop up where little else grows. Like a fill in plant to help hold the soil together. Where there is a blank space a weed will grow, how sweet is nature's design :)

      xTania

      Delete
  4. Look at all your work, WOW! I have really enjoyed seeing how you are starting to implement Permaculture at your place and what that looks like in your context. Here, I am trying to do similar on a standard size block in a city suburb. Thanks for sharing what you do. Meg:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Permaculture will work anywhere Meg. I am very hopeful that it works here. If I do things right, I am sure it will succeed.

      Thank you for reminding me, I must tell my Sydney dwelling girl to look into it :)

      XTania

      Delete
  5. Wow so busy I need to do a big chop back. It's going to have to wait till I get back home

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Angela, hope you are enjoying your traveling adventure. Thanks for dropping by :)

      xTania

      Delete
  6. looking good! i plan to do future vegie patches similar to what you have done here, mainly using lots of dead twigs & papers in the bottoms.
    love the orchard! well done!
    thanx for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lots a great work in the garden Tania. Who needs to go to a gym hey? with all this activity. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely no gym needed! I have found muscles I never knew existed lol! I have been out there again today plugging away, and now I have blisters lol! :)

      xTania

      Delete
  8. Looks like you've been very busy....the sunset looked beautiful too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there Kathy,

      Thank you for dropping in on my blog and letting me know you were here :)

      Wishing you a lovely week.

      xTania

      Delete
  9. My goodness Tania you have been busy. I love chop and drop. I often place the cut branches of the tree prunings into a pile to dry. I then run them through my little mulcher before putting onto my garden. It makes it easier for placing around small plants. Have fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jane,

      We don't own a mulcher, but we have one on order and will be picking it up in about three weeks. It will be very handy and save on blisters on my hands from chopping with secateurs!

      xTania

      Delete
  10. Tania. I will have to use he chop and drop principle behind my hedge where I trimmed it back into a narrow walkway along the fence.
    Fantastic work and I LOVE your orchard plan. Looks good x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Alexa.

      Good luck with the chop and drop!

      xTania

      Delete
  11. Thanks for the great Lizard picture. I love those guys. When I was a kid, I had a pet horned toad that lived in his little tank for many years. His name was "Pistol Pete." That was in the late 1950's. We don't have lizards here in North Georgia, other than skinks. But my daughter has "exotic" lizards like bearded dragons, up at her place in the North. I always send her the pictures you post of Australian lizards, as she is a great fan of them.

    Your place always looks so nice. So well ordered. My wife is up with my daughter this summer, and I am struggling to keep everything squared away here. At my age, I can work a few hours out in the heat and humidity, and then I have to stay inside where it's cool and dry.

    Thanks again for the picture of the lizard, Tania.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Harry,

      This guy wasn't very energetic. It has been really cold at night, but nice and warm during the day and it is well into winter. I think he may be a little confused with our climate. We have had a tiny bit of rain overnight to freshen everything up.

      I can imagine that it would be hard to do anything in the hot humid weather you are having. That kind of weather drains your energy. We have it here occasionally and it is Blah!

      So great to hear from you.

      xTania

      Delete
    2. I'm getting too old for living in the forest on top of the mountain. My wife wants to sell out, and go get a condo on the beach in Florida. She says I would never have to do maintenance, or mow, or fix, again. I admit it is beginning to sound good, but I am afraid if I go live around people I will murder someone that aggravates me and have to go to jail. :-(

      Delete
  12. Your garden is looking lovely! I've been trying to practice the chop and drop when harvesting my rhubarb out in the side garden. I figure any amendments to the soil are good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Debbie,

      I am finding the chop and drop method makes so much sense. Normally we chopped plants back and take the branches etc away. We have done it wrong for so long, but now it feels good to be doing the best we can do to help our mother earth.

      xTania

      Delete
  13. Such a lot going on at your place, it puts me to shame! I did say to Gus the other day, that I want to start a compost bin (one of those small rotating ones, I think) and get our soil built up. My garden is overgrown with weeds and looks a sight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joolz,

      Compost would be a great way to improve your soil. Your plants will love it!

      Glad to see you have arrived home safely.

      xTania

      Delete
  14. Wow, who's a busy missy? You've done so much! Your place is looking fabulous. Love the sunbaker and the little helper <3.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Robyn,

      Yes busy is good! I can get a good nights sleep knowing that I am achieving goals in my garden. The fresh air and sunshine help :)

      xTania

      Delete
  15. I see my place, in yours. :) All that chopping and dropping, organsing better access, and even the variety of trees. You've got some lovely old ones there. My fig is still a stick, lol.

    Well done, and I look forward to seeing how things mature.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris,

      Thank you so much for dropping by, your input is very much appreciated.

      I have achieved very little lately and it is frustrating me. I just want to get out there and get it all done. But it all takes time...and patience :)

      xTania

      Delete

I love reading your comments! Through them, I have learnt that there are some truly lovely people out there. Thank you :)