DESIGN UPDATE FEBRUARY 1995

One of the large eucalypts 3 blocks away was felled in 1993 - others not so large remain and are in same place, but allow more light to reach garden in the late afternoon.
Large area of glass now well-shaded by arundo panax & bananas.

No more gypsum has been applied, & for the last 2 years almost all the mulch has been produced from within the system. I still add a little seaweed from time to time, & collect some leaves from surrounding streets.

This year a compost tumbler has been installed, to supply potting soil.

The only weeds are soursobs - if you can call them that. They nurse seedlings through the cold weather (Living mulch reduces frost damage) Guinea pigs & birds eat the corms if exposed. I use the flowers & leaves sparingly in salads, & the whole plant is an excellent dye-stuff.

Snail & slug damage is almost non-existent - at least five blue-tongued skinks now live in the garden, & I have a hard time finding any snails big enough to eat.

At least 18 different species of birds now visit the garden, more than 66% of them natives. They do eat furry caterpillars - Iíve watched them. They strip the fur off first, by pulling the caterpillar bewteen their toes!

Disappointingly, it has proved necessary to raise the height of the front fence. A high fence has been constructed from mattress springs, which keeps out cats very effectively, from the front. The back is still somewhat vulnerable, because of a neighbourís adjoining shed, but the prolific vegetation & the use of wire net- ting acts as a deterrent to all but the most determined moggies.

Rats now need to be actively controlled in winter, there is an abundance of food, & the local rat telegraph obviously works well. I donít mind them, but if they got out of hand, the Council might demand I clean up my garden, so I trap them (with the assistance of the E.S.Group) when they become obvious.

So far(touch wood) the possums havenít bothered about my fruit - or perhaps the birds have driven them away. Wattle-birds and honeyeaters are very possessive of their larder.

People have become very interested in the garden, some taking great pride in it. Cuttings, seeds, names of plants, & advice are often sought. Our little com munity has become more interactive as a result, we also share Sulo bins, produce, swap rubbish, & recycle quite actively.

Guinea-pigs were introduced to the system this summer (1995 ) & are already breeding. They convert produce I cannot use to protein, & will be used for meat.
They also produce excellent fertiliser.

A SE facing skylight has been designed and installed in the living room, & is quite successful. Prolific summer growth keeps the house relatively cool in summer, while pruning, coppicing, harvesting, & natural leaf fall allow access to winter sun.

I now have a trailer for my bike, a hand-cart made from an old pram, & have customised my shopping trolley, so I can now accomplish most tasks without having to run a car.

Last year I taught a PDC at a local community centre, & two of my neighbours did the course. This I did in addition to a number of short courses, talks & workshops, & the co-ordination of the Permaculture Network in S.A., plus community work and writing a fair number of articles for various publications.

In March I retire from the Network, & do not plan to teach this year. With the extra time to spend on processing my harvest, I should be able to supply 60% of my needs within 12 months, if my health remains good.
In any case, with more time to focus on those needs, I can access assistance through the local PC group, which is active & mutually supportive. I couldnít have achieved what I have without them, or without the interest & support of the wider community.

Return to original design notes.......Return to Garden Description

Welcome!....... Re-earthing the Cities....... The Story of the RainbowWeb....... Sustainable Solutions
You Can Save the Earth!.......Deep Ecology and Re-earthing....... Further Reading
Rough Guide to Site.......Site Map
Permaculture Links

Australia - This is an Australian website - Contact Margaret RainbowWeb

URL - http://www.users.on.net/~arachne/design95.html