Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Permablitzing Kenmore

You can see why I was more than happy to be the guinea pig permablitz garden! This garden is an exercise in the importance of planning, planning, planning. Check out the interesting ‘garage garden’. Apparently the driveway was too steep to use, so the then owners decided to turn it into a garden – rendering the double garage unusable without extensive renovation and waterproofing (the amount of water that raced through there back in the May floods had to be seen to be believed). The garden was planted out - with declared weeds. These then had to be removed, leaving unsightly stumps and not much else. An efficient drip and spray watering system was installed to water those weeds – unfortunately, because of current water restrictions this is not allowed to be used either (okay, that one was hard to foresee, but for anyone thinking of using one, well worth considering now!).

With all the benefit of these prior learnings, I thought the best thing I could do was to call in an expert to help me plan what to plant and where. Scarlett Patrick from Brisbane Local Food was fantastic with the help and advice she gave - even taking time out from her own house-painting to come out to my place to have a look. She has some awesome gardening tips on her own blog too - check out her no-dig gardening powerpoint, and the photos of her regular garden harvest - you can find it on her profile page at
I think she was a bit daunted when she first laid eyes on the site, but quickly advised composting, mulching and came up with some ideas for edible plants that are relatively easy to grow and will hopefully thrive. So a big thank you to Scarlett for her generous time and advice.

Next thing, I co-opted my eldest son and we got stuck in and started weeding – a very hot experience last weekend I must say. I concentrated on the herbaceous weeds whilst he applied muscle and machinery to the woody weeds that were sprouting up everywhere. The most common one appears to be chinese elm which seems to be rampant around this area. I think the cobblers peg has been unchecked for a long time and it has taken months of continuous removing and binning to even make a dent in it. I’ll keep you all posted as to how successful we are at keeping this down. We made great headway and finished the day off with a thoroughly enjoyable water fight (buckets only of course!). Next post, I'll upload the photos of the prepared areas and the types of plants that Scarlett recommended.

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