Blitz 139 in Thornbury
Thornbury: A boutique blitz in the Northern suburbs, was an absolute cracker. The host, Sheryl, had quite a bit to say about it all…
As the blitz approached, 25 people had booked in after starting with a limit of 8; it got away from me a bit! Come Sunday though I was able to offer those on the waiting list a spot and most came. Tom Danby offered to help at 7.15am so I asked him to be a facilitator as it was Elias’ first blitz!
Because the forecast was for occasional showers I borrowed a marquee which was erected under the Hills Hoist when it drizzled in the afternoon. The weather was mostly good and everyone ate their lunch in the sun in the garden, which was great!
19 wonderful people made the blitz a positive experience, plus Elias, the designer, and myself. The other designer, Marsha, was unable to attend due to starting a job in another country. Greg was the last to leave and helped Elias finish off one of the wicking pallet planter boxes.
Due to the large numbers I was worried about whether there was enough food to go around but it was fine. I acted as an overall organiser to keep people engaged and tasks done. There were a number of teams organised with people moving between them as they wished. I was so busy I forgot to eat lunch!
Another Sheryl (Wiffen) was in town for a conference from Woollongong. She has done 9 blitzes and was invaluable with pruning etc and taking photos of the process.
All up we:
- used a chain saw to cut down 3 trees and prune others on the Friday;
- built 2 pallet planter boxes and filled 1;
- drilled holes in worm tower;
- put paving path in front garden for bike/walking access;
- weeded front garden bed and planted daffodils and geraniums ;
- took bhutan pine needles from front and used as weed inhibiting layer under pallet boxes;
- built garden work bench from a pallet;
- transplanted 2 trees;
- pruned apple, plum, lilac, and camellia trees;
- cut back overhanging growth on street;
- put 2 water barrels on mini pallets near rain tap;
- built 2 compost bays out of recycled zincalume near back fence and added manure, compost & fallen leaves,
- completed major ivy clearing and put on nature strip and in green bin,
- moved and set up cast iron bath on pavers;
- concreted 2 posts in front of bath to hold bamboo screen for privacy;
- edged driveway bed with bricks;
- thinned parsley and planted out echivaria and mother in law’s tongue along driveway;
- halved aloe vera plant;
- pulled out stuck grey water diverter and put cap back;
- started bracing work on pot plant ladder;
- dug out concrete path to clothes line which was buried under buffalo grass;
- salvaged the many bricks in the garden and stacked the broken ones for use later;
- moved .25 metres scoria from truck in street to pallet box;
- and dug, sifted and moved earth from back of property to pallet box.
Still to do:
- finish other wicking box by filling with scoria, then permeable membrane, then dirt and pipes;
- cut front down pipe off near roof, re route under eave in driveway and install a rain chain;
- clean and fix down pipe to feed existing rain tank near shed; fix 2 water barrels with taps, connect them to each other, then a pipe to the wicking boxes;
- put brackets on posts in front of bath so can install bamboo rod for privacy screens;
- plant out fruit, herbs and vegetables already in pots in garden into wicking beds;
- plant out 3 pots of rosemary to create hedges as wind breaks in garden;
- graft plum tree onto root stock;
- and finish pot plant ladder and place it near seating area.
It really needs another day to finish off but I need time to recover from the preparation required to make it all happen. We used a lot of found recycled material and resources on the day: many pallets, sheets of roofing iron, PVC waterproof banner sign for waterprooof layer for boxes, bricks, shadecloth blind for the permeable layer for the boxes, 2 plastic water barrels, and old underfelt from my house. Some of the plants that will be planted in the wicking beds are from Transition Darebin monthly Urban Food Swap.