Monday, 10 May 2010

Things are happening in the garden.

Things are happening in the garden. Some energy is moving for me.

Lets see. Andy is letting me keep the shed which has been sitting in my drive for 6 weeks. i have got quite attached to it. I opened it for the first time a couple of days ago and discovered Andy M, the original owner and generous donator had it kitted out with all sorts of hooks for hanging tools off. Also has gutter and down pipe for collecting water which I have been put to use already.

I have almost completed removing grass from circle mandala bed. This has been a labour of love. It took a real persistence to move the bag of gravel. I know putting a lot of work into the set up is important, it will mean less and less work later.

A little log table and chair ensemble has been placed at the back end of the Mandala area. I had Iona in mind but found myself enjoying a cup of coffee there earlier.

More plants have been planted, another seat and general tidying up. have discovered all the glass should fir the greenhouse somehow.

Am hoping to start sowing out own harvested runner beans tomorrow in the toilet rolls collected just for that job.

This Saturday in session 5 we will be practising designing. Then in session 6 we will review all the sessions and have a garden party afterwards.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Foraging and Forest gardens

We sweated working today! Although the theme today was Forest gardening which essentially is a no-dig food growing system, we did some digging and it was hot! We are creating a mandala veg bed for annual which will be partially raised. Today we made a start by removing the grass.

We foraged and made nettle soup for afters! Yum.

After carefully exploring an overgrown patch of garden half a meter by 2 metres and finding about 20 edible plants I announced that the other 2 plants there were weeds to which I was told that most people would call almost all the plants there weeds! Lets see if i can remember what we found: Nettles, chard, purple mustard, strawberry, daisy, rocket, plantain, ground elder, cleavers, rose, hawthorn, pansy, violet. i just had to go out with my torch to see what I missed. Lovely new moon slither and lots of stars, Lovely....there was also corn salad, dead nettle and hedge garlic. These were all in the little patch. It is a fantastic time of year to eat leaves. The apple tree next door, which is lending my garden several bowers is about to burst into flower.

I noticed a blackcurrant plant was in leaf and flower today and watched it being pollinated by a bee. Mmm.

Not so many children today, a very different dynamic.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Next session this Saturday 17th: Forest gardening

We will be exploring the Permaculture technique: forest gardening and using plants. This will include a forage walk in the garden and applying permaculture principles.

Since our last session things are taking shape very slowly in the garden. I have laid out a circle for the mandala vege bed and planted a beautiful cherry plum. I had a wonderful walk in woods near Kearsney yesterday and pigged out on wild garlic (ramsons). I have never seen so much in my life. A few plants are now in my garden.

I have decided not to take on chickens just yet as for all the work and cost there will not be much return. With basic calculations it seems it would cost less to buy the eggs I need without all the commitment and set up. Great to explore and definitely something for later when I have more of a community around me.

Next date

Saturday May 15th afternoon.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Evolving Design

The kids had a great time.
And measuring out the map geometry grid.

Another packed session left the garden a little bit closer to being realised. More soon.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Chickens and guttering! News update.

Guttering and BBQ arrived today from Andy who is moving up North shortly. One of the next important jobs is to get the water harvesting started. The guttering for the summer house is gratefully received. As for the BBQ, it could be amazing. I just hope I will get lots of friend round for some tasty food this summer and we have a rain proof veranda, if it does rain. But do I really need a BBQ? It seems very indulgent.

Andy also brought a shed over for the other Andy who will need to come and get it quick before I take it over. It looks like a useful sort of a shed!

The ideas are starting to shape up. The front garden raised beds may be arranged as a mandala. There is space for at least another 3 fruit trees in the front and definitely a cherry and a peach in the back. I also have my favourite garden foraging must have plant...Lavatera. But where to put them (3). This week I hope to have some worked designs.

Clare has offered me two chickens. I have checked with the neighbours and they are DELIGHTED. Of course I have said yes. This is synchonicity! The very day Clare offered I was just thinking the area by the side of the house would make an ideal chicken run!I am a bit anxious, more about the level of commitment to being at home but I think the neighbours children will be pretty good at helping out.

Next Saturday will be session 3 of our 6 create a garden from scratch. We will be doing more on Permaculture design techniques.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Equinox Saturday

Another exciting session. In the learning bit we looked at Permaculture Design tecniques and how to apply ethics to each system we design and how it can be applied to our choices too. We explored some Permaculture principles. I talked through a previous workshop session in which we applied Permaculture design to the problem: what if the supermarkets run out of food? Using the principles a couple of key points become clear... local resources meet local needs. Our food needs to be local to be sustainable. We need each other, our knowledge, support and community. The problem was turned around into the goal: An abundance of food for everyone, everywhere all the time. We also looked at SAD, the design technique I learned as a Landscape Architect: Survey, Analysis and Design, we also looked at Zoning and sector anaylsis and I completely forgot to mention OBREDIM! Next time. I thought this was a juicy session.

With 10 of us and 5 children we achieved a lot. The work: A load of yorkstone slabs were moved round the back ready to be utilised in a patio, this was a big heavy job and a strong team of 3 tackled this with what looked like ease, I am sure it must have been hard work. More glazing on the greenhouse got done, although this seems be problematic. Most of the glass that has been stored does not appear to fit and some of it is broken and it is tricky to put in. One suggestion was to tear it down and erect a polytunnel! We will see. Meanwhile seedlings will find a place on a sunny windowsill. There was further cleaning of windows in the summer house and finally another team of 3 tackled the shed stuffed full of wood to be sorted. It seems rats or some creature has been using this as a toilet and was pretty disgusting. YUK! I had hoped to carve out space for the bikes and tools. Just the tools! Today I thought I would empty it and store everything under the wendy house as the shed is damp from the ground and there is a roof leak that needs attention. The shed may collapse if I take everything out though! One other job was to sort through the multitude of accumulated pots.

There is a seed collection building up. Sally contributed some herbs and seeds. just planted some lettuce. I have aspargus seedlings waiting to have a home too. My favourite quirky nursery in Challock turns out to be organic and sells loads of edible plants and seeds. Will take Andy there to get his fruit trees before the season turns.

Equinox Saturday