Last Saturday I travelled to South Hobart to spend the afternoon in a ‘show and tell’ exploration of a garden established and maintained by a Permaculture advocate.
Our host talked about how the initial planning of the garden was based on a personal needs analysis; they wanted a garden which made them resilient, one which used their entire very steep block to the maximum and one which fed bees and birds as well as them.
I have not thought deeply about what I want from a garden, and this visit is inspiring me to stop and consider; in this way, undoubtedly I will realise changes in my garden are necessary. My defined needs, once I have them, can be used as a guide for change. At least I might create a garden where I don’t feel overwhelmed by all the activity that currently I deem necessary.
We met in the carport and our host detailed the history of the block and the evolution of her garden. Then we set off up steep steps moving ever upward through the precipitous property. Our host was fulsome in explanations and details of the plants, planting, harvesting and any other matter that was of interest, with questions encouraged. I was impressed by the diversity of plants, something I am trying to encourage in my own garden. This permaculture based garden was a luscious profusion of growth at every turn and from every vantage point. In addition, a wide variety of plants have been grown deliberately so that flowers bloom all year around to feed the bees and birds.
The most useful takeaway for me – and it may be useful for you – is to seal the bottom of terracotta pots, place in the ground up to the lip, fill with water and top with a ceramic saucer the diameter of the pot.
Alternatively, one such pot can have its bottom sealed, and another inverted above and glued to the rim, dug into the ground, filled with water and topped with a ceramic saucer to stop evaporation.
This piece of ‘equipment’ will be an asset in dry Bellerive where I live, and will be an important method to keep my soil damp and my plants moist.
Clutches of chickens had a deep run that extended from one side to the other of the property – a luxury hotel for them. In addition , plump little quails happily pecked around their enclosures.
At the conclusion of the tour, over cups of tea, guests exchanged and shared produce; seeds, seedlings and cut plants. We all came away better informed with new ideas, and confidence that no block, however steep, is unworkable. Inspiring.
Permaculture Tasmania has a tiny annual fee and, from that, you learn about such garden visits and more. It is worth joining if you are local. But mainland and overseas blog followers will want their own local organisation – I feel confident that if you hunt a little, then you will find your own Permaculture organisation.