Step to it......
It may not look like much has changed at the community garden, but it has been buzzing.
One of the community corrections gang is a qualified plumber, so it has been great to have his help laying the main irrigation pipes, and hooking up to the water tanks.
We have planted out the steep slope at the base of the "utility area" to stabilize the bank. They are all tube stock of local species grown by Jill Dawson from Our Native Garden, and are super healthy. They have been in for 4 weeks now, and already starting to flower. Jill gave us a great tip to suppress the weeds. She suggested we use water soaked shredded paper around each plant (up close to the stem) to block out any light from the weeds that would inevitable grow. Together with layers and layers of soaked newspapers and a generous layer of mulch, it seems to be working well.
The recycled concrete drain pipes have been driven into the ground to build a retaining wall to help support the bank. We are going to smooth off the rough edges and plant into the pipes. Should look great with plants trailing over the edge.
The real success over the last few weeks has been the building of the main steps from the lower level to the "utility space". Being a gardener on a slopping block, I really value the importance of a good step. These ones are fantastic.
A community garden is about "community" as much as it is about "garden", so I want tell you about the people who are part of our garden community.
Les has his back to us in this shot, and he has been a driving force in getting the garden built. He wasn't happy with how the steps had worked out first time round, so ripped them out and started again. So at 5.30am he was mixing concrete, read to re-lay the steps.
Elaine is getting an update from Les, and is our project coordinator and mentor from Sustainable Gardening Australia. She has been instrumental in getting our garden and four others built through the "Community Gardens in Bushfire Affected Areas" project, and is passionate about community gardens and the benefits they bring. Unfortunately the government has pulled the funding from SGA, and Elaine is the last staff member remaining. Thankfully she is staying on to see our project to conclusion at the end of the year. Even though she will not have a "business" connection to the garden any more, we all hope she will still feel a personal connection to what she has helped build.
So what next for the garden? We have the planning permit through to start a build the pergola / shelter on the lower level, so that looks like the next step!