A quiet celebration of Permaculture

The weather in Sydney is sensational at the moment. Cool evenings and warm sunny days and the weekend was a perfect time to visit some local food gardens and catch up with aquaintances as we celebrated National Permaculture Day.

A year ago we visited a local Permaculture garden and walked away totally inspired and excited to get our own garden started. On Saturday we went back to that same garden to take another look and the minute we arrived we knew exactly why we had felt the way we did 12 months ago.

The garden is unbelievable. At just two and a half years old it is full of fruit, herbs and medicinal plants which grow from the very edge of the road verge right down to the back corner of the block. Almost every centimetre of the 880m² is covered with some sort of food including the recent addition of 6 chickens who are just starting to provide eggs.

Libby the owner loves her garden and is also amazed at the progress over the last couple of years.  But inspite of it’s abundance the garden is still taking shape and in her own words ‘is just starting to hum’. Gardens are like that, things take a while to get going but the combination of time and the significant rain we’ve had in Sydney over the last year has had a very positive outcome on plant growth, and Libby’s garden is no exception.

Chris and I were very interested in learning more about Libby’s espaliered fruit trees as we have plans to put in a few of our own. Like Libby, we’ll use them to section off parts of the garden and take advantage of some unused vertical space. This apricot is just starting to take shape and besides looking gorgeous will be very easy for Libby to pick. Other espaliered fruit growing in the middle of the garden will mean she can pick fruit from both sides of the plant rather than struggling with ladders.

The espalier wires sit away from the wall so the plant doesn’t grow directly against the brick. This prevents the leaves from burning and is especially important on this north-west facing wall as it absorbs and radiates a considerable amount of heat at this time of year.

I took the top photo last May and you can definitely see the difference in plant growth over the last 12 months.

The vegie gardens are located in a warm sunny spot are also close to the house for easy access. They’ve just been planted out with winter crops but in no time at all will be full of food.

We couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend our 12 month Permaculture anniversary wandering around this fascinating garden with its diversity, vitality and colour.  As we sat enjoying Libby’s company over a cup of tea little could she realise the impact her garden has had on our lives. How things have changed for us over the last 12 months.

Next post I’ll be looking at….what makes a Permaculture garden.

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