On Top, Down Below – Everything’s Gone Green!
The brassicas are sprouting, the broad beans are shooting up and we’re excited about the planting opportunities on rooftops and in underground spaces .. to honour all this greenery the theme song for this month is Everything’s Gone Green by New Order
It’s taken a while, but we’re proud to announce the brand spanking new Permablitz website! Huge thanks to Lester for the super design skills, and our collective’s own Adrian O’Hagan for many sleepless nights getting it on a new platform. It’s now looking fresher than ever!
Blitzin’ about town
On Sunday 31st May, participants from Hobsons Bay’s My Smart Garden program met at Anne and Lily’s house in Altona Meadows to blitz it – permaculture style!
They pruned, sheet mulched to control grass, built raised vegie beds, installed a chook house and run, and built a pond – powered by teamwork, a hearty lunch and some home grown bananas! Check out all the action here.
Last Saturday morning was the Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre pre-blitz cleanup – It was a wonderful day and the community fun and actions achieved were remarkable! Participants were still smiling days afterwards, which always a great sign!
Now that the pre-blitz cleanup is done, the design team can get the serious task of preparing for the blitz proper! More details to come…
Guild Session #8
Stay tuned for the next in our fantastic series where we talk about designs and permaculture principles.
As a reminder, these sessions are primarily a networking and knowledge sharing forum for our Design Guild members. We welcome all interested in Permablitz or Permaculture to come along and see what’s on offer.
Hero Of The Month
Used beneath fruit trees, Tansy can be grown from seed and is a repellent to moths, ants and borers. It is a member of the daisy family and is a hardy perennial that will reach around 1m (3ft) in height. Its bright yellow flowers are like little yellow buttons.
Also known as Mugwort, Tansy can also be used in other companion plantings including, roses, peonies and near vegetable gardens.
Tansy prefers a humus rich moist but well drained soil it will spread fairly rapidly and flowering from late spring to summer, but it can also be planted in spring.
Propagation is from seed or division. Seed can be planted at around 1cm deep and will germinate within 2 weeks if kept moist. Root division in early spring or autumn is usually successful as well.
Tansy is also said to be a useful addition to compost heaps where it speeds up decomposition. Some gardeners use tansy to make a spray for aphids – it is also used to deter fleas and flies. You can pick the leaves and rub them on the back of your cat and dog because they’ll actually get rid of fleas.
Tansy can be a little invasive as it spreads by underground rhizomes as well as self seeding, so we suggest deadheading flowers before they set seed. In warmer climates Tansy may be cut back in summer and a second flush of growth will bring it back to life.
You can read more about tansy here.
Bits and Pieces
Green up top, green down below!
In Australia, green roofs are becoming more and more popular. The controversial desalination plant in Wonthaggi boasts an impressive green roof of indigenous plantings. In Germany, gardens currently cover 15% of all rooftops, and France recently set down laws mandating that all new buildings must be covered with either gardens or solar panels. Local Governments in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide have also recenty created guides and policies to support green infrastructure, and a handful of local businesses are thriving as a result.
Do It On The Roof and Rooftop Honey are changing the way people view their roofs, not just as places to shelter us from the elements, but as functional spaces that can provide greater insulation for the building, places to relax, additional space to grow food – even provide a perfect home for bees!
While green roofs are a very visible way of going green, in the United States a campaign is underway to reclaim a historic subterranean site as the world’s very first underground park, complete with live trees, grass and flowers – all using new solar technology to direct sunlight through extensive use of mirrors (and tricks!) to underground areas.
New York City has much less green space per person than other big cities, and the Lower East Side is one of the least green neighborhoods in the city. The Lowline project will add a new football-field-sized public space in a community that desperately needs it. Check out The Lowline Kickstarter campaign where this organisation is trying to raise the funds to make this dream a reality.
Brunswick urban garden project
Thirty disengaged young people will learn lifelong permaculture and gardening skills in a new Marist Youth Care project.
Marist Youth Care co-ordinator Rachel Burns said the project, called New Seeds, would transform a barren Brunswick space into “something beautiful that also feeds people”.
“This is really about skills development,” Ms Burns said. “As well as learning about landscaping, gardening and permaculture, hopefully they will also start thinking about sustainable living, environmental awareness and healthy eating.”
In the garden
There are still a few leafy greens that will do well in the cold, and if you’ve got a strawberry patch, now is the perfect time to get those runners out!
Things you can plant in July are:
- Mustard greens
- Snow Peas
- Strawberry runners (and strawberry seeds!)
Til next month, hiding out in the leafy greens of Permablitz Melbourne decentral – keep on planting!