Saturday, April 24, 2010

Two days before moving day, Balcony Garden finds new mates

The passionfruit sits in a 70 cm tall pot, taking from the soil all the energy it needs to grow up strong and flowery, to give me shade, privacy, flowers and fruit. Getting it down will be a 3 part challenge - soil, plant and pot all descending seperately.

Last day on Cecilia's Balcony Garden, with the water tank viewable behind the illustrated door.

Disassembling a loved home and garden feels like felling a rainforest, it took 8 years of refining to get it this way, and 2 days to reverse all that. But nothing lasts forever, and I emerge from this as alive and heathy as ever.

First Plants to go of to their new home went to Lahta's Balcony garden in Carlton - pond with iris and native water lillies, Camillia tree from Eliott Goblett, a few Orchids with plump flower spikes, Lots of herbs and more, with the goldfish going along for the ride.

Lahta the balcony garden Farmer digging up my pet plants

Great biodiversily Lahta, its already attracting lizards.

Dan Palmer and Kath Consider what to take

Dan Palmer of Very Edible Gardens came to take a 3 meter Persimmon, an 8 year old lime tree, and bales of straw, all for his new Rental Permaculture Sharehouse in Williamstown. I hope they enjoyed the ride, with their ears flapping and tails wagging as never-before-scenery flew by them.

Proof that Engineers are the best people, Ron Noonan of the Williamstown Garden Club turned up with his trusty trailer, and trundled away with my favorite pets - lillies, fig tree, 2 meter lily pilly, Rubarb, Six meters of Passionfruit vine, some 4 year old asparagus (16 more years to go), the massive birdcage, and the dear old water tank.

I'd love to see how everyone is going, sprouting, fruiting and flourishing. I miss you guys, you were my mates, and gave me nice surprises every day.

Host a murder in your very own garden - Natural pest mangament isn't much fun either.

Mantis on asparagus leaf, with prey

My ability to cushion myself from unpalatable truths is impressive. I didn't really think it would be so distressing to see my praying mantis killing and then EATING my green catapiller.

I'm meant to rejoice in the biodiversity that established itself in this garden, at last.
I've trained myself to squash the catapillers, but to see someone else delight in the whole process is kind of nightmarish.

Just the day before, Galligher brought in a pretty big lizard, minus its tail. The lizard is now back in the front garden, where hopefully it continues to eat whatever bugs it pleases (without me seeing, please).

The dear little kitchen mouse that Rugsy the neighbour's kitten caught was not so lucky. My wise nephew Joshua had to give me some telephone counceling over that one.
Not knowing what to do about the mouse problem, I hadn't actually discouraged Rugsy.

Eating is not an innocent activity.
Being alive is not an innocent activity.

Easy for you, Rugsy.
Mothers, gardeners, who else? You can't be generative, responsible and blameless at the same time, it seems.

If you find a way, Id love to hear it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Permaculture, World Vision, and food security with John

Heather, Anderson, John McKenzie, and John's
'mobile-food-from-scraps' bagged bean plant.

A great way to have a party is just to let people you like hold their party using your house.
The other night the magnificent Heather arranged for Permaculturist John McKenzie to lead a conversation on Permaculture and its role in Overseas aid and Development.

Edamame (young soy bean) Ikebana, grown by Heather,
to boil, salt and eat with beer after a hard days work, Permablitzers behind.

With all my House-moving preparations, I wasn't able to attend, but my WWOOFers Stephanie and Mark told me they were moved by John's knowledge and insights into ways to make aid really work.

I was so happy when John took my box of Permaculture Magazines and other goodies off to their new life - all the less storage to pay for.

John's lovely son Anderson scored pumps and hoses for his aquarium, purchased my mini solar panel, and other goodies. He seems like a kid with projects and things to get excited about, loose himself in when life gets tough, as it always does.
John and Anderson came with a bundle of lettuce seedlings to share with all participants.

Leaving my home to wander at my age gets you pondering freshly on what real success might be, and if its within your grasp or not. I don't know how John's food gardens are going, but I get this feeling that if you have created a boy like this one, thats all you need to do to know your life has been a great success.

Thank-you Heather, for your crisp organizing and enthusiasm for John's work, creating a treasure of an evening for us.