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Monday, 29 May 2017

Earthsong part 2

I was back at Earthsong to give a payment of labour to my garden angel Cathy today. Cathy got me weeding a swale - a ditch that hold rainwater run off from the tank. The swale was infested with kikuyu and creeping buttercup. Managed to get most of it out of the mud and planted day lilies there instead. It also is planted with oioi, a small papyrus, and bog sage. Now  the weeds are dumped in the hot compost and the rest that is not kikuyu and creeping buttercup in the cold compost. As I was working by the pathway several people passed by and they all said hello.

Cathy's garden is of course intentionally designed permaculture garden that's always a work in progress. She'd got flowering lemon grass, vireya rhododendrons, tamarillo in a pot, a kaffir lime she doesn't use, a horseshoe shaped hedge, loads of vegetables in the ground and in waist high raised beds, a cavendish banana, other exotic fruits in pots, iresine, small flaxes and lychnis. She is going to share a passionfruit vine fence with her neighbour and designed her garden as well. Some of her plants are frost tender so she whips out the frost cloth for them. I cannot remember where I stowed mine away and if I need to use it for the lemon tree or perhaps the new guinea impatien but it looks like I may have to hunt for it soon or buy a new one. Just in case!

On the south side she had flax, ajuga, some tree ferns and azaleas. One word, we can grow most things anywhere if we create the right microclimate for them and group them with like minded and companionable plants.

I was thinking on this today and had more design ideas for my backyard, while I did dare to pick Cathy's brain a bit more on what to plant and where. She suggested espaliering dwarf apples on the chicken wire fence, and perhaps another citrus in the northeastern corner. Riverpark is on a former apple orchard so maybe more apples will do well? I only have one at the moment a ballerina apple in a pot. I did have it planted in the ground but it looked a bit odd just with one perhaps should buy several more.
I had the idea that I would plant more blueberries  although three I planted down the back fence didn't take I think it was because they were too close to the fence.  Theoretically they ought to grow and fruit, it's boggy, it's acidic, and it's cool.

Will have to study up on it further.
Work done today included - shifting azaleas near the camellia, shifting the ferns into a group together, shifting the prostrate rosemary, manuring with sheep pellets and planting up the vege bed, which has now spring onion, silverbeet, chinese cabbage and parsley.  I am going to start keeping proper notes and records in the Growing Veges book Sarah the Gardener gave me.

The APW Design brief is due next week so I better start thinking and collecting photographs of my progress. I've started making sketches and site plans and asking designer orientated questions. And all this before winter begins and it's too cold and wet to do much.