I’ve never heard so many Sacred Kingfishers around the place before. It’s unusual yet fantastic. I’ve also started noticing the Citrus Swallowtails are emerging as are the Vine Moths now that there is an abundance of fresh, green, tender leaves on the grape vines. I have also heard many cicadas at the new garden and haven’t noticed one at our home garden.
In the garden the potatoes are doing really well. Though dotted with the occasional 26 Spotted Ladybird (more info here from Aussie Organic Gardening) they are looking really healthy and strong. With the recent rain showers and sunshine they have put on massive growth over the past few weeks. Some are even about to flower.
Since deciding to hold back on the garden design for a while I have had multitudes of further ideas beginning to clarify themselves and gift me with new ideas and fresh ways of looking at things. I am taking note of these ideas and being patient, preferring instead to simply observe what is going on at the new block and how plants are adapting to the extra sunlight afforded by the slope.
I was given a Chestnut Tree from my Dad and having now seen what a wonderful medium sized tree they can make I am pondering how we might make best use of this pretty little thing. It was only just breaking out in leaf buds the other week and now look at it!
The following article by Bill Mollison on Phases of Abundance has somewhat softened my approach to the garden design and reminded me to keenly observe what is going on in the garden and the surrounding environment.
In an effort to save effort, I have also planted out some of the potted plants into the soil as a temporary measure for summer. They can grow larger and will be easier to water. They can then be relocated once the next phase of the garden has begun. These consist of mainly aloes, geraniums and sugar cane that I hope will bind the sand and protect the vegetable garden beds.
We are now starting to harvest some good bunches of silverbeet and some of the flowers that were planted as seedlings are about to bloom.
Mollison breaks the phases down into three.
Year One: An Abundance of Species
Lots of plantings in order to find what will grow best at the site and with the conditions. This is where we find ourselves currently.
Year Two: An Abundance of Propagation Material
Some plants won’t survive the transition. Once the plantings that have shown endurance and resilience have started to establish themselves you can then use them to propagate further plants to build the site up. This can be done quite cheaply. I have jumped to this stage from our previous garden in order to get cuttings and plants for the larger area I need to cover. Now we are moving back to the first phase again to see which of these plants favour the new site conditions – extra slope means more sunlight, sandy, dry, coastal conditions…
Year Three and on: An Abundance of Yield
From here we build upon the successes of the previous couple of years and await the further establishment of some of the larger trees species as they grow and mature. Vegetables that have been propagated will now hopefully be yielding and would have also hopefully been propagated further to increase quantity.