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Life on two acres of arid dirt, on the edge of the Australian outback.

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!