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Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I'm helping our community centre develop/look after their gardens.
I'm planning that regular kids' gardening and occasional workshops will keep maintenance under control...
It's vital that things are designed for maximum effectiveness and minimum work.
This means that I've had to do a bit of design 'rejigging'.
The raised beds were built some time ago, and filled with a poor-quality commercial 'soil' mix.
With my long, dry, windy summers and warmish winters, raised beds can create major irrigation issues.
We dug out the beds down to the native soil, forked them overs and added blood and bone, used coffee grounds and a lot of compost.
The kids and I will plant a cover crop and spread pea straw over it next week.
Undoing other people's hard work sucks. Partly because it feels a bit rude, but mainly because it's just boring and depressing!

I need to keep things really simple and clear:
I'm painting bright, kind of 'naiive' signs to go everywhere expaining everything
Most of them aren't put up properly yet-it was raining really hard toward the end and we ran away

Today we turned a very small area out the front that was planted with young fruit trees into a really, really tiny food forest.
A food spinney maybe?
It's hard to tell, but there'll be very clear paths so that kids etc can wander/harvest without stomping on everything.

I'll do a separate food forest sign with more info, and a blackboard saying what's ready to harvest.
You can squeeze a lot in a small space if you're really keen, although I think this is pushing it a bit on the large plants...
Here's a rough plant list:
fruiting plants
2 apples, 1 peach, 2 feijoa, 1 mandarin, 1 lemon, 1 Chilean guava, 2 thornless blackberries, 1 boysenberry, 3 passionfruit, millions of strawberries, rhubarb
herbs/support plants etc
lemon balm, bee balm, mint, oregano, lavender, rosemary, sage, thyme, angelica, comfrey, red/white clover, rocket, garlic chives, Egyptian walking onions
Flowers/bulbs
Daffodils, amaryllis, bearded iris, columbine, calendula, sweet peas, corn poppies, dahlia
And a load of others I've forgotten...

There's a really big stump in the middle, and people are keen to use it as a base for a picnic table.
I can envision using a big cable-reel end as a top, but I'm a bit...stumped...about leg-room in such a limited space
Ideas?


 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 778
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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Looks really great Leila. Good work. Your herbs, bulbs and support species are like a who's who for what I have in my forest garden.

Maybe to clear up leg room you could cut the stump into a plus sign or cross shape. +
By taking out those quarter sections with a chain saw or something it would clear up space under the table, and yield some wood chunks for later use.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
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Zach Muller wrote:
Leila Rich wrote:There's a really big stump in the middle, and people are keen to use it as a base for a picnic table... I'm a bit...stumped...about leg-room in such a limited space

Maybe to clear up leg room you could cut the stump into a plus sign or cross shape. +
By taking out those quarter sections with a chain saw

Thanks Zach
The tree was taken down as it was rotting out-
I'm not familiar with chainsaws at all; do you know if rot is an issue for cutting?
I was wondering about cutting into the stump, but I imagine for the amount of work,
We should just 'suck it up' and hire someone to cut it basically to ground level?
Then we just screw a cable reel to it.
Viola, table!
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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A few update photos taken today.
I redid most of the signs-I have a tendency to try and squeeze way too much information on-
just tell them what it is, and stop Leila

the tiny food forest's coming along-it's finally clear that there's a 'garden' and a 'path'.
The bulbs have finished, the apples are blossoming, the strawberries, mint, clover, dandelions etc are pushing through the mulch.
The kids have planted tons of sunflowers, and beans by the ugly new fence-hopfully they'll swallow it up soon!
I'll plant tomatoes by the stakes next week.

Digging out all the dead, dry, wormless commercial 'soil' was a real pain,
but the amended native clay soil stays moist and has heaps of fat pink worms
The brown piles are used coffee grounds. 'Spread thinly' is not a concept kids understand!
One end is garlic, we'll plant tomatoes at the other.


And I'm not bothered about a table now-kids love climbing on the stump.
 
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