photo esssay


A gorgeous day, sunny and somewhat humid, like when big storms build-up. The rain of the past week did wonders for the garden, everyone walking in today was aghast by the growth and health of the planted so far.
I decided to end the day with a photo essay of the plants, the protagonist of much that happens at Tending, point of discussion common to most.

cherry tomatoes, flowering

Cherry tomatoes, just flowering in Betty’s garden

celery, as it says

Celery, this sort is very good to make stock with, as being very tasty, says Betty 🙂


Violets, very happy ones. Today we planted a few more too, one punnet came from Heather, and a few more bushes from Betty (together with warrigal greens, basil, bay trees and.. oops, don’t remember now)

blackberry nightshade

a resident, Blackberry nightshade. No one planted this one, but it’s happy none-the-less


No one planted this one either.. fireweed


Lettuce. The recent rain made the garden we did with Cecila back in August boom with goodness


The sugarcane responded quite well, eventually

potatoes, happy ones

this is just going off! Tending will offer potatoes to all in a few months!

text, by the roll

Liz Days grass text is ready to go. Next week she will have an opening at Casula Powerhouse, this blog will post the details in the next few days.

So, great to see lots of people popping in and catching up with Tending’s development: Heather came to do some planting and watering, Ingrid to catch up with Heather but missed her, nevertheless she pops in Tending regularly watering herself. Koji on the way out of the wood workshops, with some unusual display devices for his upcoming show, stopped by for a chat and a look, while Liz and Robert were busy carting away rolls of grass. And then there was Reto, who’s comments are always sharp, and Betty, with coffe and biscuits; Charles who just wanted to have a look, and Kate who had a look already, but was keen to see where it was all at. And then others who I don’t remember names, or didn’t introduce myself.
We also have a resident bird, a myna. I cannot tell weather is male or female, so, at this stage, let’s call it Charlie?

Tending away

manure galore!


Indeed, for our Tending Day on Sunday we hauled a hefty load of manure to the garden.
This is how it went:
Lucas organised the pick up of goodies from the Mounted Police stables, in Crown St, Surry Hills, and luckily we enlisted the eager help from Kyla, whose parent’s ute acted as the cart for the strongly scented booty.

So here we are shoveling the shit:

It's poo day at Tending

This was great manure, as horse poo is (together with cows poo) one of the best fertilisers, not too harsh (as chicken droppings can be) and easy to compost.
It is important not to apply such nitrogen rich material directly against plants, as the fermentation process might upset the growth, this is also very important when dealing with chicken manure, which together with the heat produced during the fermentation process also has a very high quantity of phosphorous and nitrogen, a bit too much for the plants if applied too handsomely.
Read more about manure in cultivation here, and below is the steaming pile at the stables (note also the flytrap just behind it).

It's poo day at Tending

So here it is, a nice sizeable pile of manure to rest for a couple of weeks to then enrich Tending’s garden beds

It's poo day at Tending

Believe it or not, that took most of the morning, but the rewarding task was happily celebrated with green tea and pies and dates, as more guest joined us, noticeably Kirsten, 1/3 of Milkwood, who came along to visit Tendings, and Heather, our most constant supporter, and Nick Keys, another researcher from SCA, which planted a pot of red seeds in collaboration with Heather.
What else. We turned the compost bin, to aerate and speed up the process, we pruned the sick branches of the Kaffir lime, and we even managed to go to the Writer Centre to meet with a number of local activists, the Friends of Callan Park, which had organized an ‘open park’ event with posters , guided tours and tea stalls.
Over all we drank lots of tea, and achieved some great stuff, while the plants slowly but surely show themselves, like this potatoes from our chicken wire and tyre experiments below:

It's poo day at Tending

It's poo day at Tending

More images from the day here.

One last thing:
me and Lucas are really enthusiastic about Heather’s enthusiasm, who keeps sending us emails with amazing links to all sorts of related material, so much -valuable- material that we decided to make a new page up there, and call it Heather’s corner, and it will be a sort of depository of links, and connections possibilities, de facto ‘rooting’ Tending within a wider gardening/activist/artistic context.
We hope you readers might find as interesting as us.

Green Cheers!