The weather was just right for the blitz and there were approximately 30 people that attended with a couple of young girls and one boy, Juan, who enjoyed the day. Madeleine who lives in Sydney was here for a week and attended the blitz on her first day in Melbourne. After we assembled to introduce ourselves and did some warm up exercises everyone broke into groups for the various projects that were to be done. Simon set up a time motion video in the kitchen window that was placed so that it covered 90% of the backyard. It was great to see some familiar faces from other blitz’s that I had attended and there were a large number who were attending their first blitz.
Michelle did a workshop on how to wick raised garden beds and Mara did the workshop on the hot compost banana circle.
In all we managed to set up and create 8 raised wicked garden boxes with vegie seedlings planted in three, one wicked bed for the choko which was planted later and a berry box that was planted on the day with a raspberry bush, also 2 wine barrels were wicked, one for the bay tree and the other for herbs which are now planted. The Fox proof chook run has the main infrastructure set up; we did run out of time so the chicken wire was not completed. The recycled gate and most of the recycled picket fence also went up but once again we ran out of time and pickets. The hot compost banana circle was completed and looks fantastic. A bush was trimmed back so the bay tree could be set in place and edging was put around the bushes to create another garden bed. Wheels were added to the wine barrels for easy manoeuvrability. Bricks and edging from an old veggie patch was removed to make way for the wicked garden boxes. The excess soil and sand was shovelled from the nature strip into the boundary of the house.
Lunch was a spit roast with a variety of salads and pumpkin soup. A special thanks to Jude, Nadine and Edwin for preparing the food. At the end of the day a number of people stayed on to enjoy beer, wine and nibbles.
A big thank you to Mara and Michelle for all the work they put in before the blitz and on the day of the blitz to ensure that it all came together. There were a lot of projects and everyone worked hard to achieve the fantastic transformation of the backyard.
Saturday 21 April was our very own permablitz at the rental property I share with my 4 other housemates in Preston. The weather was very cooperative! It started out a cold misty morning when the delivery truck came by with our 4 cubic meters of mushroom compost and mulch, but soon the sun came out for a very nice day. Volunteers started rolling in around 10am and started straight to work digging the fence for the chicken run and weeding the marrow by the peach tree. There were fewer people than we expected, but that turned out to be exactly the number we needed to get the job done.
After a false start just before Christmas last year (we had to pull the plug as numbers were too low), we were all set for 4 March. Response from volunteers was good, but it rained the week leading up to our blitz and poured down the day before.
Nevertheless, we had a good number to start in the morning. After some warm-up exercises facilitated by Kaz (Permablitz volunteer designer) we started. Seila ran a workshop on how wicking beds are set-up, while others assembled the other corrugated steel raised beds. Under Seila’s expert guidance the work progressed smoothly.
As it approached lunchtime, the weather fined up and more volunteers arrived. A break for lunch was enjoyed by all. After that a group started assembling a compost bin and the posts to espalier apple trees were installed. Meanwhile work started on rejuvenating existing garden beds and removing some ornamental shrubs to make way for more vegies. The four wicking beds were competed by 3pm at which time we stopped for afternoon tea.
After that focus was on planting vegies in the new wicking beds and cleaning up. Those who were able to stay enjoyed a well earned beer or glass of wine.
An excellent result all up taking into account the weather challenges! Special thanks to Sarah Gorman and Kaz who were the volunteer designers, Keith Rhodes who facilitated, and Seila for his wicking bed expertise.
Brave, hardy, honourable and strong.
From the happy hosts: As Saturday’s heat began to build, twelve people descended on our house. They quickly set to work, moving dirt and fruit trees, pulling out tree stumps, and constructing garden beds.
Interspersed with the hard work we heard laughter and conversations, and saw connections made and contact details shared. The magic of Permablitz seems to be that everyone gets what they want from the experience. As they left, several attendees, after having just spent a day applying their energy and time to transforming our garden, thanked us for having had them along!
Our Permablitz really began several months ago with the design team meeting at our house. Special thanks go to Leah for her great rendition of the final designs. We’re thrilled with the result and look forward to having everyone back again in 9 months to see how their baby (garden) has grown.
Thank you to everyone who came along. It was magical to see our yard transformed right in front of our eyes. At the end of the day we sat back in our new seating area, in front of our new pond, overlooking our new garden beds and breathed a happy sigh as we shared a beer to celebrate.
And from the Chief Designer: It was a great day at Matt and Emma's with a gorgeous brick edged vegie bed and perennial beds for arising from the bare earth. Despite hot weather the blitz team swiftly moved several cubic metres of soil and mushroom compost into the new beds from the adjoining laneway. Following a delicious lunch there was a workshop on installing a small ponds, and those who stayed until the very end enjoyed a taste of babaco (cool climate paw paw relative) and a well deserved cold beer! A testimony to the effective design (by Ryan, Leah, Thomas and Kat) was that despite the tiny garden (10m x 5m) the vegie bed ended up surprisingly large and should provide most of their fresh vegies, with plenty of room left around the edges for at least 5 espaliered fruit trees, fruiting vines, shrubs and herbs, paths, as well as a cosy seat for two to relax in their new oasis! Well done everyone!
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