A warm Saturday for us in Repton began a little smokey, but eventually a welcome seabreeze lifted the atmosphere.
started us off with an outline of his garden challenges and endeavours,
describing how he manages water collection & dispersal. We saw two
stainless steel water tanks and Nick uses a small tank as his first
flush diversion. Water from this tank is then used for watering food
crops. The garden has definite drier and wetter zones and little
watering takes place apart from watering in new plants and utilisation
of grey water. An old tank has been converted into a pond that overflows
to provide water into the wetter part of the garden.
identified the various microclimates, he plants with quick growing top
covers & successional understories. Nick starts his shade canopy
with weedy plants such as wild tobacco bush and Senna. This is followed
by quick growing natives such as bleeding heart and then by the plants
from the food forest such as pigeon peas, macadamias and fruiting plants
including the yellow jaboticaba which confused many a fruit loving seed
amelioration techniques were also discussed. The grass was smothered
with sweet potato which kept the soil covered. Organic matter was then
increased by adding chipped tree mulch, and chopping and dropping the
plants mentioned previously mentioned. Nick is an avid composter and
To finish off, we all trooped back up to the verandah for a well earned lunch.
had to cap this event at 20 participants and thankfully most people who
had booked in turned up, because we had a few people who missed out.
Apologies to the people who wanted to come but were unable to book in,
but it is rare that we need to cap our numbers.
After a catchup and quick chat, Debbie ran us through some of the material from the Wild pollinator count.
Based on her professional experience as an entomologist, Debbie was
able to supplement the resources from the wild pollinator count with her
own pearls of wisdom. Some people had brought insects along for
identification and Debbie obliged with not only species, but also gender
and what they had eaten for breakfast.
After our introduction as
to what was required, we were set free in what was a pollinators
paradise. The most common pollinators spotted were stingless bees,
thanks at least in part to a hive on the end of the verandah.
well as a wide variety of native plants to attract pollinators Debbie
had a nice food growing area. I got the impression that she loves figs
After a lovely walk in the sun, it was time to retire to the shady verandah for lunch and a bit more conversation.
Thank you to Debbie for sharing her garden and knowledge with us.
anyone who was unable to attend, Debbie gave me the confidence to say
give the wild pollinator count a go. There is still time this week and
the requirements are not that daunting. There are excellent resources
available online (click here).