Sunday, 23 February 2014

Backyard progress

A while ago we scored a haul of free rocks.  They've now been used to edge more of our garden beds.  It seems to be a good solution for reducing the amount of mulch the birds kick all over the grass (or what's left of the grass, given it's summer) as well as for making paths between the beds.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Sustainable Living Festival 2014

The Sustainable Living Festival is a yearly event held in Victoria that aims to inspire and empower everyday Australians to accelerate the uptake of sustainable living. It's goal is to 'raise awareness and provide tools for change by showcasing leading solutions to the ecological and social challenges we face'. This year the festival is comprised of over 200 events across Victoria. These include markets, workshops, talks, films, forums, art, interactive events ... the list goes on.

One of the highlights of the Festival, the Green Market, was held on 14-16th Feb in the heart of Melbourne. Lining the banks of the Yarra by Federation Square, the Green Market is a showcase of stalls promoting all aspects of sustainable living.  Permaculture Victoria (formerly known as Permaculture Melbourne) had a strong presence at the Festival, hosting a stall and giving free public talks. 

I had fun volunteering at Permaculture Victoria's stall which also encompassed the Natural Beekeeping group. We volunteers spent the day chatting with members of the public about permaculture and bee-friendly beekeeping. 

There was a constant stream of people in and out of the stall and it was really nice to share our enthusiasm and have the chance to talk to people about all aspects of permaculture and keeping bees. 


We had honey available to taste and people were amazed at the quality and the different flavours of the honeys that came from backyard beekeepers. 

It was interesting to see the number of people wanting to get their own suburban hive - it seems the interest in backyard beekeeping just keeps growing.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Backyard Inspiration

The internet can be a great source of inspiration when it comes to planning your garden. In particular, it's pictures of lush, productive gardens with a mixture of flowers and edibles that catch my eye......




If you like a more formal look then potager gardens are very eye-catching. I do like the way they pack lots of vegies in.  

(source of photo unknown)




Our own garden is much more relaxed and low maintenance.  The garden materials are all recycled or second-hand and the vegies don't grow in rows.  While we have some beds dedicated to vegies, we also have vegies growing throughout the rest of the garden  amongst the fruit trees and flowers.  We tend to let some go to seed and pop up where they want. Then we decide whether or not to move them. One result of this strategy has seen silverbeet become a perennial in our garden. It has done an excellent job of colonising our front yard .... and that's just the way we like it. All the more to share with our friends and neighbours.

And finally, how can you not want to wander through this garden?


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

In the garden .....

Some more of what's happening in the garden at the moment.

The fig tree has really put on a good show this year

Little golden nugget pumpkins are growing

As are the zucchinis

A good crop of Meyer lemons is on the way

The bees are enjoying the flowering fennel

A native iris blooms near the base of a carob tree