Some rough garden plans...

So we have spent the last couple of months talking about what we want to do here, looking at the land in the most brutal time of the year, looking at what structures we have, what we can salvage and repair and what has to go.

There is a couple of sheds that will need to go, but about half can be repaired, re-using the old materials we have here.  The easy thing to do would be to rip it all out and start fresh, but that's not our way.

This old block doesn't make a lot of sense really, its quite higgeldy piggeldy.  So the challenge is to make it make sense to us in a way that provides us lots of produce, provides a safe and interesting play space for the boys, a place for our family to spend time together and a place for our dogs to be dogs and a space for our chooks to roam free, separate from the dogs.

With the dogs we need to keep the veggie patch fenced off.  So it will stretch the entire way down one side of the block.  There is a variety of growing conditions in that space.  Ranging from full shade, protected, medium shade, well protected to full sun.  We wont be using beds as such, but improving the soil the whole way along that stretch and co-planting things that work together.  there will be a section for composting hidden right down the back and also there is pre-existing green house which we will convert to a glass house at a later stage.  It already has water, it is close to the house for easy view and maintenance and I will pass it all the time which is important.  Our sitting area will look over it which is essential to keep it well maintained.

Most of the edging around beds and the various zones will be old recycled red bricks.  There are piles of them on the property.  For now we are just beginning to put them in place and get a feel.  When we are sure we will cement them in so they don't shift about.

We have huge pepper trees along the back fence which provide a wind break.  This area is impossible to grow anything under and we will simply bring in bark chips, and make it a natural play space for the boys.  There is a big tree to climb and we have allowed space the whole way along the back fence for the dogs to pace and patrol the boarder.  Its their natural behavior and including space for a dog track around the exterior of the yard will help us all live peacefully together and save my garden.  1m will be plenty of wide enough for them to run and do their thing, and from experience they will then mostly leave my garden beds alone.

In the rear right corner of the block there will be a native garden.  It will be planted out with Grevillias and native plants to bring in bees, birds, insects and so forth.  It will also have logs in it and be designed as a natural play space for the boys.  A bit of a "Bush Garden" if you will.  Coming off of that area will be a fire pit and a timber framed pergola which we will grow a vine over.  Currently there is an small asbestos roof shed which will need to be professionally removed.

There will be at least one patch of lawn which you can see colored green.  A place to run, to picnic, kick a footy and so forth.  Close to the front of the house will be a couple of small 1/4round beds for just a few of my favorite flowers, also the bird bath and Grants hilariously kitsch fountain will go there, in pride of place. 


The big patch to the left will be the chook run and orchid.  I would like to plant an avocado, perhaps a mulberry still or a couple of apple trees, at least one of the almonds will need to go.  We will need to be able to pull a trailer in there and park the van.  The chooks will have a huge space to scratch, explore, eat any dropped fruit and it will work well for us I think.  They are also safe from the dogs there and we will be able to lock them in their shed at night to keep them safe from foxes.  

In front of that area there is another shed and there will be more bark and so forth there to provide Grant a little work shop in the old shed.  He will keep his wood roach set up in the two sheds along the side.  It will work well being near the chooks as they scratch through the waste and pick out any worms that co-habit with them, and also the shade of the pepper tree will provide relief from extreme heat.  They are sensitive things.  As we are digging up squares of cement Grant is saving them to lay on the little sheds floors.  I may well put a second compost area in the orchid area to work on composting the chook and bug manure.  It is strong stuff.

Good friends of our gave us their old cubby, its in great condition and just needs a coat of paint!  We were thrilled and so very grateful for their generosity!  We have hidden it between some trees to try and create a "secret" feeling shady space for them.  We will grab some big gum-tree rounds and make steppers and jumping logs around the area, great for balancing.   

So this is our plans so far.  I'm not sure if that will be enough productive growing space for us.  There is a large un-coloured area on this design you can see, which is where the clothes line will go.  An easy walk from the laundry and full sun.  I'm hesitant to put lawn there, but also unsure if we will be able to viably manage any more productive growing area then what we already have.

What are your thoughts?

Much love,
Emma
xx    



 

18 comments

  1. I think it looks great! We moved onto 8 acres last June and although we have all that space, I have no idea where to start! I keep telling hubby we need to start making/drawing plans, hopefully we get around to it soon!
    -Kelly

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    1. At least you will know your land well, the light and the areas that are hot/cool and so forth so when you do start planning it will be comprehensive! Its actually a permaculture principal to watch and monitor your land prior to planning to make use of the natural zones upon it! :)

      xx

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    2. True, I better start taking more notice then ��
      - Kelly

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  2. Looks great! You are definitely making the most of the space you have. I would be inclined to put lawn under the clothesline, at least for the time being. If it looks like you would be able to manage more garden beds after a while then it's not too hard a job to rip up the lawn to put in more garden beds.
    Cassandra xx

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    1. Yes that is what Grant wants to do. At least it is green will keep the dust down and provide clippings for the chooks and compost. And the boys do love to run and tumble about...I hope we have enough veggie growing space. It looks like quite a lot to me, but I'm unsure if it will be enough you know? Grant thinks it should do us for a while. I just dont want to "un-do" what we have done and fences are a pain to move.

      xx

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  3. Love it! I agree, lawn under the clothesline. Just place a path to it as that will be the part that gets warn down and muddy. Can't wait to see the progress

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    1. Good point, nothing worse then clean washing dropping in the mud! ;)

      xx

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  4. Woohoo Emma! I love the special places for the boys. What a wonderful plan. Just thinking about your clothesline space and to grass or not to grass. When we lived in Alice Springs, hot, dry and dusty, we put gravel around the line area with concrete steppers as a path up to it. On the advice of a friend, I planted lavender all around the base of the hill hoist. Once this grew it provided the most glorious scent and the sheets came in smelling divine. Just a thought for you. We also had one toddler at the time so even the nappies came in smelling lovely!

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    1. Oh I LOVE lavender. Off to the side of the washing line is a gap between the two sheds where we will put a big sandpit. Around the edge I plan to plant lavender there too as it is hardy and possibly jasmine. It tolerates being picked for all sorts of sand creations! It might be nice to plant around the base, I have never thought of it before! :)

      xx

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  5. Looking great Emma. My goodness, you've really done your research and have wonderfully practical ideas. Oh, how excited does it make you feel to see the little red brick garden edging as a beginning to all of your plans? It looks beautiful.

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    1. Yes we are excited, though its hard to do the work in this heat which is frustrating.

      I hope it will be practical, its really the veggie growing space that has me concerned, Im not convinced it will be enough, I think I might make it bigger again...hmmm....

      xx

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    2. I had a book called "One Magic Square" by Lolo Houbien (spelling?)which I passed on to my daughter who lives with limited space. The book explains how to grow enough food for a family in one square metre, and then to expand to more square metres. I didn't follow it exactly but it showed us that limited space gardens can still be very productive, with planning, selective and continuous planting. It is available at your local library through our South Australian Library reserving system. :)

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    3. I too, have the Book "One Magic Square" by Lolo Houbein and it's a great way to plan your vegie patch. She gardens in the Adelaide Hills and is written for temperate climates in particular South Australia I followed some of her principles and had great success. There is also another school of thought I was trialling before we sold our property in Freeling and that was Square Foot Gardening introduced by Mel Bartholemew (spelling ?) which was quite successful.Both are well worth reading.If you GOOGLE up "SQUARE FOOT GARDENING" you will find all the information you need.I have acquired a patch in a communal garden here in Warrnambool and will be applying the No-Dig principle to my patch as its quite sandy.Your plans look fantastic and I'm quite envious and excited for you. Best of luck with it all and what great resources you have with the recycling.

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  6. A lot of thought has gone into your plans. I wish you luck with it all..Oh and of course have fun.

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    1. Thankyou! It is so much fun seeing it all come together, we have learnt a lot from past gardens, hopefully we design this one closer to the mark!

      xx

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  7. The cubby looks a beauty! Your garden plans....you know it will change and morph as you go along - enjoy the journey.

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    1. It is a little ripper! I have asked Grant to help me fir shutters and a door to make it weather proof. To protect the stuff inside. :)

      Yes, I guess it will to a degree, thats the joy of gardening. But the core structural stuff will be difficult to change so that's the stuff we need to get right. :)

      xx

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  8. It's great to have a plan to start with, and you're so fortunate to have flat land! Flatter than our land, anyway. Don't be too worried about not having enough growing space, as I'm sure you'll find areas you won't be using. Like against a fence or along the pergola - you can even plant along any footpaths you put in. Edges are great for planting stuff, and if its a regularly used footpath, you'll always come in contact with the plants to see what they need.

    I also think if you used raised containers (like long ones) your dogs won't be likely to dig them up. Put their nose in and grab a few tomatoes maybe, but the soil should remain in tact. You can also turn them into wicking beds, which drastically reduces the need for water.

    I would actually be planning around the future pergola, because if you plan to grow a vine over it, you start to create prime growing space in and around it. In summer, plants will benefit from the dappled shade, and in winter, they'll benefit from the vine dying back and gain the heat from the concrete slab. So you can look forward to extended growing seasons, just using the pergola.

    Anyway, have fun. :)

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