The Seasons are changing.
The nighttime grows colder, longer; quieter.
Morning’s coming later; creeping in with the mists of the sea, over the wetlands towards Our Garden.
The chickens sleep in a bit longer now. So does Merlin, aka Blue, the resident peacock.
The horses don’t seem to mind or even notice: like old friends of Time, they do not even rise to greet each other anymore. They just carry on, as usual, knowing they share an unspoken understanding.
Our Garden, still new to us, is fresh under out feet.
We walk it and watch it and see what it shows.
Observe and Interact
By taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
With the cold and mist comes heavy morning dew. In a drought, this is especially most welcome.
The mulch is doing such a good job of keeping the moisture locked in.
The difference between the sandy exposed soil and the moist, dark soil after we scratched away the mulch to compare in the early afternoon. This is just moisture from this morning’s dew.
Dew and rain collects along our fence and drips down onto the soil.
Let’s take a look around…..
Looking south-westish, towards the sea from the furthest back corner of our new plot, before we put up the “phase one” fencing, which now runs across the middle of the 300sqm property.
Looking back at the spot I was standing in to take the above picture. Morog (wild “African Spinach”) growing on the right with apple trees from the left and to the middle.
Facing Northish, looking back at the Morog.
The South Easter winds come from our right and we had to consider this when designing our fence.
We opted for a wood-offcut fence that still allowed for sunlight.
As you can also see, we had to level up along fence, from behind the tree.
Behind our fence, you can see that it dips down quite a bit. The water run-off was severe and ended up being channeled along the concrete slab that runs parallel to us on the right.
By leveling and retaining the soil up along the fence we hope to capture and direct the flow of water more efficiently.
Facing South Westish now, looking towards our gate.
We used an old fashioned auger to make deep enough holes for our fence posts without disturbing more soil than needed, which would have occurred had we used a spade.
We also had chickens to consider when designing our fence.
We chose 1.8m high fencing so as to control the entry of our resident feathered friends.
They have done a wonderful job of fertilizing our soil and we are happy to have them around.
They are now our border bug control and we we will allow them in on occasion, once our nursery beds are protected from their scratching.
We have started planting nasturtium for the chooks to feast on outside our gates.
The nasturtiums are also companion plants to our entire garden.
They will attract and trap the aphids that would also be attracted to our kale, cabbage and broccoli.
And the chickens will be attracted to the nasturtiums and therefore the bugs.
The Horses have also done a great job fertilizing Our Garden.
We have collected horse manure from the paddocks below us.
We also cut back dead leaves from our Banana Forest
And brought in stored leaves …
… and palm fronds …
… and boxes.
These will be used along with other brown and green composting materials such as veggie greens and green garden cuttings to create self-composting beds – including an adapted banana circle design.
We will also be setting up composting systems and strategies to ensure ongoing soil health.
The boxes and veggie greens were used when we set up our earth worm farms, which you can read about in the post below:
It has been a blessed journey for us so far and we look forward to showing you what we have been up to in the coming weeks.
We will be sharing how we have been creating self-composting, water wises beds and pathways, starting a medicinal and indigenous garden and implementing companion planting beds for perennial and seasonal winter crops.
We look forward to hearing what you have been up to in your winter gardens.
Till Next Time,
Stay Warm and Keep Gardening!
Shireen & Kathy
- New Neighbours, Wonderful Weeds & Spring Planting ~ July ’17 Round Up
- Self-composting beds & New life ~ June ’17 Round Up
- DIY Worm Farm in a Bath
- Banana Citrus Circle Pit
- The Add-As-You-Go Compost Pile