Thursday, December 13, 2012

How to hold a Permablitz: Garden Makeover at Asaba Art Square

Blitzers: Phil Cashman, Cecilia Macaulay,
Masayo and Yuji Saito, Benjamin Davis and one massive Yuzu

The main duties of a winter Permablitz, in a garden designed two years ago are as follows:

*  Pull up, chop up and compost any shabby plants in need of re-incarnation. See you again in spring!

*  Fill now-empty pots with soil and compost, ready to receive the seeds of spring. If we don't do this way ahead of time, there are too many steps involved for one little brain, too many mental barriers to the 60 second act of putting in seeds. What then happens when May comes, we just give in. We spend money on big seedlings, and throw away a bunch of plastic pots.

* Share things we have grown in our own gardens. This makes us feel proud and resourceful, and encourages us to keep going.

* Use our bodies like kids. 

*Teach each other things: what plants are called, how they like to be treated, and the cool things they will do, when the time comes.

*Enjoy each other. Maybe appear in each others lives as friends and allies, and inspire each other to do intrepid things.

Seeds bred by the amazing Phil Cashman

Sweet and glossy tatsoi, grown and given by
United Nations University's Benjamin Davis

2010 Summer: creating the garden with an enthusiastic 13 year old Kyohei

Summer 2012, with shiso and herbs for the cafe

2012 winter: Kyohei is now 15.
Mrs Asaba pays him to teach little kids after school at her Art Studio
He is joyful, hard-working,  and knows how to make everything turn out.

Ringo the housemate continues Asaba-san's training:
how to upload photos to Facebook.
Nice life.  71 years old.

Asaba's cat Kufu sits atop the family shrine.
Yes, the Egyptian king. Well named.

Things that would be happy over the winter:
tatsoi, pansies, a bit of lettuce to remind us this really is food.

Collecting composted leaf litter from the mountain,
It is dark and crubley, laced with white threads of fungi.
Compost re-activaor, soil conditioner, plaything.

So, who can help me translate the Permablitz guidebook? 
There will be an explosion of blitzes, come spring.
Its in the air.


asuka tsuchiya said...

Thank you for your mail magazine.
that's really nice.
I enjoyed it.
the Gardens you desined is beautiful.I love them.
If i have chance i want participate
your Workshop.
see you

Daniel Kwok said...

These articles and blogs are truly enough for me for a day.
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Lazy Susan Ltd said...

Garden makeover? Fabulous! There are a lot of things that readers can learn about Permablitz in this post. Thanks for this write-up.