Saturday, August 6, 2011

August 6th

Grateful for the opportunity to feed an addiction today.

I'm blessed to live within a short drive of a few gorgeous bookshops and today, I introduced Ben to one of my favourites.  As always, I find it impossible to walk out empty-handed.  Ben's much the same.  How ace is our score!

The other thing we did today, was accidentally start our garden redesign.
It began in the afternoon, with the suggestion of a wander to nut out a few plans we had whirring round in our heads.  Ten minutes later, we were chopping down a tree.  Then making piles of sticks and twigs to dry for kindling.  Then creating piles of leafy branches for a tip run.  It was nearly two hours later and we realised we hadn't even made it to the part of the garden we had intended to visit!

Allow me to explain our plans.
Our block is north facing.  We have a front garden which is rectangular shaped.  We have a front side garden which is long and skinny and we have a squarish back garden.

We have been toying with the idea of putting three raised veggie beds in the front side garden.  But I also want an orchard again.  It seems every house I move into, I plant an orchard.  But I'm never there long enough to see the trees bare fruit.  But I don't want just any kind of orchard.  My dream (which I have yet to manifest into reality) is to have a chook run inside a fenced off orchard.  It's a perfect permaculture relationship.  The chooks eat the fallen fruit and bugs, while fertilizing the soil with their manure.  The trees provide shade and shelter for the chooks (which are naturally forest dwellers, they are fearful of open spaces).  The fencing keeps the chooks safe from foxes and cats and it also eliminates the need to individually net trees when they begin bearing fruit.

I couldn't quite work out how the fenced orchard was going to work with our current block.  The back garden is south facing and doesn't have quite enough sun during winter to ensure trees would thrive (although the chooks would love the shade and there is already a semi-structure in place that could be used towards a chook house).  The front garden has a few mature trees and a phone line that would obstruct an effort at fencing at the height we would need for the trees.  And the veggie beds are going in the side garden.... so we hadn't really made any plans towards anything.

Until today.  When I'm not quite sure how, but a divine intervention had us swapping the positioning of the orchard and the veggie beds.  The front garden is much better suited for the veggies because it has full sun all year round.  And the front garden is sloped towards the house, which would mean the water would run away from the trees - but raised beds wouldn't have this issue, because they would be built level.  The side garden is still somewhat sloped, but more gently.

This was our front side garden when we moved in nearly a year ago.

This was our front side garden prior to today's efforts.

This was our front side garden after our clearing efforts.

It was so GOOD getting rid of that bloody Ivy thing - whatever it was, growing over the beautiful bluestone wall.

The front side garden from the opposite angle.  The far left hand corner is where the chook house will be (close up below).  A local guy makes them for the produce centre where we buy our cat food, so we're going to give him a call and see if he'll custom build one for us.  I want guttering and piping that leads down into the chook's water reservoir, so the girls will always have fresh water when it rains.

Huge day of clearing and planning!  It was fantastic!
Can't wait for tomorrow - time for treeeeeeeees!!

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