on growing a garden


There are lots of special things that enrich your day when gardening.
They mostly relate to the relationship between time and change.
Things grow, change through time, and to witness the slow unfolding of change demystify stiff solutions, defined resolutions.
When things change they do so by transporting whatever they are into new things, new being, new paradigms.
Resilience, validity, transformation, are all part of time+change.


Tending is growing, the plants in it are growing, the people around it are growing, in number and interest.
I love the little bushes of fireweed (Senecio spp), a plant no one planted, but because we are here ‘managing’ the grounds, they had the chance to grow: they would have been mowed otherwise.
So this little clusters of bright yellow flowers found a sanctuary. They are declared noxious weeds in many parts of the east coast, illegal being, not even refugees, outcasts rather.

diego's tending photos, 4 august 2010

I’m writing this from a place where fireweed is heavily legislated upon, on a property 3 hours south of Sydney, see here, and yesterday we had a presentation from Maarteen Stapper, a Biological agronomist, who amongst other things said that the current shortsighted legislation around ‘weeds’ miss the point. Plants grow to heal the soil, and if you rather have more complex plant structures growing in your fields then you should take a hint from what is growing, because it tells you the deficiency in the soil, no point to poison the plant, actually you shouldn’t at all, but rather leave them, the pioneer flora will slowly remediate the soil structure. If you don’t want to wait, he said, then look at the telling signs the weed is providing: Fleabane (conyza) say the soil needs aeration, Nettle (urtica) says the soil is too rich in calcium, Thistles too much potassium ( i seem to remember..) and so forth. Fix the deficiency, facilitate a healthy ecosystem of bacteria and microorganism below the ground. That is not done with chemical fertilizers.

So the garden grows, and so the interest and we slowly witnessing an overgrowing participation.
Betty is spearheading her own patch, she already enlisted the help of a number of students, soon to come.
come down, watch it grow, by slow interaction of living organisms.

on how to reshape a garden

Lucas replanting the lettuce

Yesterday we spent the day in wonderful company at Tending. Our good friend Heather visited us with gardener extraordinaire Cecilia Macaulay, and all together we ventured in to the reshaping of one of the garden beds.
Cecilia is renowned for her intimate and permaculture-aware garden solutions, advising and running workshops on the subject in Australia and Japan, see her blog here.
The lovely personality was a welcome addition to a rather windy day, and gave impetuous to the reshaping of a circular garden created a couple of weeks back.
The careful selection of sandstones blocks available on site allowed for a more dynamic visual achievement which incorporated also the Kaffir lime, the Thyme bush and the Oregano into a little landscape.
How wonderful is to have such a generous offering of time and energy by all participants (big smile)
Big cheers for Jes as well, for taking pictures and general great company, and for Betty, who came along with a donation for the compost bin.
Come and check out the changes during this Saturday’ SCA open day!

Also big smile to the resident Mynah, who came to check our doings as soon as we let down of the shovel:

and as soon as we finish