By default, this post is about edges.
It’s a bit of an update on how the wormwood hedge is going and my interim water saving measure for the impending summer ahead.
Long term readers may remember my various ravings about wormwood. I planted a hedge out to use as a border to repel the kikuyu grass from our neighbours garden and to define a border so that I can gradually reduce and eventually eliminate kikuyu in areas of our backyard.
I made a simple observation of noticing how densely packed a wormwood bush will grow when pruned and how easy they are to propagate and how drought hardy they can be. I thought they might make a great hedge to keep the grass back. No shade for the grass, perhaps it will hold back. Would it work?
Well, it is still early stages, but in the photo above you can see how a late summer planting of virtually ‘sticks’ of wormwood, are coming ‘alive’ with the winter rains we’ve had. I will allow them to grow to a reasonable height (probably half a metre to start) and then begin to prune them back to encourage the dense foliage that packs together. This is what I am hoping will create a hedge that is too shaded for grass to encroach into. One or two bushes that are bushier than others are showing promising signs already of creating a dead spot for grass, but I think its going to take a good metre or so of depth to the hedge to do the job properly. I am confident enough I planted more out today to get them out of pots.
In the photo above there is a retaining wall holding the grass back also. What I don’t want is for the grass to start growing up through the hedge and making a difficult mess. So for the interim I am monitoring the grass and pulling out runners where necessary.
The other little project I quickly set up yesterday was to utilise the pond liners and large water container I have. These elements are all part of the grand plan, but in the meantime with the warm weather and garden beds already showing signs of drying out I set them up to provide us with filtered grey water through the warmer months. Our greywater goes into the drum through rocks, sand, pebbles, sticks and into the pond liner where I have put Lebanese watercress, gotu kola and some canna lilies which I have managed to propagate to a reasonable quantity from four that I was given initially. The gotu kola and watercress will most likely grow rampantly and fill the whole liner with very fine, fibrous roots which will do a decent job of filtering water. Then as more greywater enters the drum it overflows into the main tank below where we are going to put some minnows once we catch them!
From there I can simply siphon water out or dunk the watering can in and water where it is required. The tank is still filling slowly and I’ll begin to utilise water on the new garden bed to water in the mulch and get it breaking down quicker. Then I can start to use it on vegetables once the filtering system is in full swing. I have a water pump in the large tank on a timer that pumps water to the drum to aerate the water and filter it over and over.
Fruit Tree Compost Pile
I have also taken the remnants of cardboard boxes, paper, cloth and green waste that I’d stockpiled and made a heap over which I have placed many of our fruit trees and other potted plants. This will get watered in one large pile. It will hopefully ensure that our fruit trees make it through the hot summer with a decent watering and the run-off water will contribute to the pile of stuff underneath and assist with breaking it down. By the time I come to actually plant the trees we should have a good pile of composted material underneath.
I have been really tempted to plant trees out, but I’m not one hundred percent sure that it will be in the best spot so I am holding out until autumn now as I can’t stand to lose any more trees from summer conditions and low watering. So they have been piled together to save water and time and I will plant them once we have the right landscaping to accommodate them. Then it will be super exciting. How patient I have had to be!!!
So within these three separate topics – the hedge, the water filter/feature and the fruit tree compost pile there lies the magic of the edge. That overlap between one habitat and another. There is grass and garden and hedge in between. There is the world of land and the world of water and air. There are potted plants and the world of microbes going about their business underneath.
Between these small worlds are other creatures. Air borne insects – dragonflies, hoverflies, bees, wasps. There are honeyeaters nesting in the hedge on the other side of the garden. There are guinea pigs sheltering in the hedges. There will be fish and frogs. Lizards and skinks. Worms and beetles.
Edges bring extra magic to the garden. Create edges.
A vigorous and health little crop of barley, field peas, purple vetch and kale. A small jungle of edges.