Regaining balance

DSC_0264Ok, so doom and gloom have been my prevalent mood for the past six weeks… Forgive me, I was a tad swamped by the ’empty-nest’ thing. My son has grown and flown. Our old family pet is dead. Drought and insects plague the garden.

Moving quickly along to the good stuff. First the teaser.


I have been sewing – nothing to show you yet, so you have to wait. I will share this much – its green, has zips (many zips) and is organically steampunked, I have had so much fun!

My new garden bed!

What can I say… appeal to a man’s innate laziness and miracles happen. Not that Grumpybuilder is lazy, completely the opposite, I just showed him a way to not only halve his mowing (thus saving fuel), but to make the mowing that remains much easier. He even listened to my ‘hippie’ gardening ideas, i.e. permaculture.


The area selected is self watering. It is the soakage area from our septic tank. I have watched for two summers while the rest of the garden dried and died, this patch of grass grew! Was green. Difficult to mow because it is so verdant. So this morning we laid cardboard over the problem area. I have been saving cardboard for months so we had plenty.


Grumpy has brought home enough well rotted cow manure and mulch to cover the entire area thickly. However he can only bring it here one trailer load at a time. The area can just rot down over winter, and I will just have to maintain the edges.

Corn I thought. That is just tall grass, shallow roots, so it will not damage the septic tank drainage pipes as a deeper rooted tree or shrub would. Also corn likes full sun, this strip of former lawn is north facing with no over-hanging trees. In New Zealand north facing is sunny, south is cold. Grumpy has made it so big that come Spring I can plant much more than just corn, what you see is just half of what he has for us. I am already planing my crop rotations along this wonderful length.DSC_0280

My plan so far:

Into this lovely ribbon of wriggling microbial energy I will broadcast mustard greens, these can grow over winter. In the spring we will dig them in and I will plant potatoes. I have a psyllid problem so the potatoes will be an early variety ‘Swift’. They will be harvested before the dreaded psyllids arrive. The potatoes do the digging, so as soon as that harvest comes out of the ground the corn will go in. I will modify the three sisters planting this year, the climbing beans were a sucess, but my circular planting pattern meant that later in the summer I was unable to reach the beans growing in the middle – this year I will make a long narrow pattern. The squashes can roam over the ‘lawn’ reducing the mowing to nil.

And I will plant flowers! You have probably noticed that my garden is , well, just green for the most part. Spring 2015 will see the introduction of colour! Bee lures.

Oh – in other news, a large metropolitan museum has taken me on as a volunteer, back of house. I love it! I am also sworn to secrecy about what I do. However it makes all the theory I am reading for my Collections Management paper much more accessible and meaningful. So good stuff is happening.

I think I must commit to just a weekly post for a while, daily just isn’t possible with all the reading I must do and I have an Essay to write – due on April 23rd. Just 2000 words, but those two thousand have to be the best stitches I have ever embroidered!

That doesn’t mean I won’t try to post more often, but I can only promise once a week.

DSC_0283Manuka: late flowers and pods setting.

This entry was published on March 21, 2015 at 5:59 pm. It’s filed under Garden, Gardening, Permaculture, Pets and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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