Sanci permaculture garden

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The Sanci permaculture garden is associated with the Surrey Hills house.

Our garden is a more recent endeavour and what you see are the beginnings of a sustainable, productive garden. Peter and I are not experienced gardeners and both have busy jobs and outside work activities – Lena looking after our 3 year old and Peter with his many activities aimed at saving the planet (eg. local climate action group, environmental advocacy and political advocacy for the environment via the Greens) and sporting interests. However we aspire to be accomplished gardeners one day and have had expert help with establishing our garden vision from Fran Penna of "Franipeni" an expert "personal garden trainer" especially in permaculture.

Contents

[edit] Front Garden (west facing)

Designed by Wendy van Dok, grey water and water efficient garden expert, and maintained and added to by the team at Your Gardening Angels.

Circular design, no paving, intended to maximise water capture and maintain the presence of the 60 year old + Crepe Myrtle in the centre and to provide a parking space for a trailer (radial plantation pine planks).

The Crepe Myrtle provides excellent shade in summer for the west window and being deciduous allows winter light and warmth, however limits what can be grown beneath to shade tolerant plants.

Understory planted with Correas (native fuschias), Plectranthus, and Cotyledons. Around the outer perimeter of the path are a native dwarf Dianella revoluta (‘Petite Marie’).

Along the boundary with the neighbouring house and across the front is a hardy hedge of Rosemary, Tuscan blue variety, and along the house wall are young saltbushes and clumps of Dianella revoluta.

Along the driveway boundary from the letter box: Westringia (native Rosemary), Limonium perezi, Dianella revoluta. Around the cast iron urn are liriopes and catmint (insect repellent) with a Cordyline banksii x pumilio var(Red Fountain) inside the urn. At the opposite corner are two Melaleuca Fulgens trees (red and purple in Spring/Summer). Mulch is eucamulch.

[edit] Driveway

Driveway and house entrance
Driveway and house entrance

I like some exotic flowers so tried to create a feature of espaliered Camellia hiemalis (red) which are fairly drought tolerant once established (& one Michelia near front door), underplanted with Dwarf Mondograss – however both got severely burnt in hot summer and will require preventive shadecloth for those 40+ degree days if they are to survive.

On the opposite side we have a large purple Phormium (Anna Red) and then some smaller Phormiums (Maori Maiden) and Dianellas at the rear and Liriopes in the front – all of which have tolerated the heat well. In the large red urn near the entrance is a birds nest fern.

[edit] Airlock

Big enough to fit a bobcat through and good for bikes and prams etc!

[edit] Rear garden (facing east)

Rear garden viewed from above
Rear garden viewed from above

Constantly changing because of seasonal nature of most fruit and vegetables. Landscape design and work by Peter Campbell (owner) and planting design, advice and planting by Fran Penna (Franipeni). Traditional permaculture ‘zoning’ not strictly adhered to because a small area to work with – all is in fairly close proximity. Brick paving necessary because of steep run offs. Side planted out with hardy giant and regular Liriopes – very tolerant in these tricky areas without much direct sunlight. A Euphorbia Wulfenii marks the end of the side path (flower attracts bees).

Grey water plumbed from house and directed in underground pipes along south boundary (however not connected yet). Steep sloping block terraced to maximise gardening space and rainfall capture. Olive tree underplanted with: Thyme, Geranium Ivy (geraniums add colour, attract bees, ‘antipest’ properties) and an Eggplant.

Vegetable beds with variety of plants including dwindling tomatoes, French Sorrel, Chillies, Sage, Thyme, Basil, Celery, Cauliflower and Zucchini (which has been prolific but more recently afflicted with a white mould from the rapid change in hot to cold weather). We will put more in as seasons allow and have had lovely Sugar Snap Peas, Snow Peas, Lettuces and Carrots over summer.

A Kaffir lime tree, near grey water tank, is under planted with parsley and perpetual spinach. Mulch is pea straw finely cut- birds love it – little fence barriers stop them flicking it all out of the garden beds!

Gravel area is utility area for grey water pump and decking is over the grey water tank (now capturing fresh water from shed). Rear patch in front of water tank (13500 litres) will eventually have an orange tree in centre. To be trained up the trellis are a male and female Kiwi Fruit (Hayward variety). Bay tree (badly sunburnt) in one corner. Behind water tank is a compost bin, worm farms (one going at present), excess topsoil and other building left overs! Annex for potting and garden equipment.

Paved area for outdoor entertaining, euca-mulched area for water capture – will one day plant out with native grass. Dwarf peach tree at one corner underplanted with thyme varieties and spearmint, Clematis vine up clothesline (flowers bee attracting).

Waltham cross grape to train up house and common mint grown in gap in paving. Vietnamese mint under decking where there are another two water tanks (4500 litres each). Old lemon tree in raised garden bed (relocated after renovation and miraculously survived thus far) was underplanted with nasturtium (helps resist pests) but these died back with heat over summer. Lettuces and spring onion and chives here were quite good croppers before the heat wave. Sultana grape to be trained up and eventually along fenceline and silver beat at base. Along fence is fine for greens such as spinach or rocket.

Black Muscat grape at other end of fence. Corner plot will eventually have a dwarf apple tree once bare rooted stock available - foxglove behind and nasturtiums in front are good companion plants to ward pests from apple trees. Currently pumpkin is growing in this spot – suffered in extreme heat but coming back now. Raised curved garden bed has a variety of berries and strawberries. Back shed trellis for Passionfruit vine. In front, Rhubarb, another berry, Perpetual Spinach and dwarf Tahitian lime.

Decking near house has two Michelia’s (scented pearl) in pots (pruned after heat wave) - one day will be replaced with something fruiting/half wine barrels with herbs/lettuces. Similarly upper decking could sustain pots with pears or olives etc as it is very sunny but water capture and time to tend to them, at present, slows us down with these developments.

Inside the house, eco-friendly features: double glazed windows; suspended concrete slab for thermal mass, insulated with polystyrene bats; north facing roof windows; appropriate shading for summer; recycled timber flooring, door frames and furniture; plantation timber veneers on cabinetry; thermal chimney; floor, wall and ceiling insulation; solar panels and solar hot water; atrium (Bulleen Art & Garden & Tim Hamilton landscapes Fatsia japonica, Raphus palm, palm (pots), Nandina, Liriropes, Native Iris, Water Lilies (understory); comfort glass (thermal efficiency) in old front windows; low flush toilets, efficient shower heads; low energy/water using appliances and gas stove.

[edit] Nature strip

This is a future project – will one day be replanted with drought tolerant Australian natives to eliminate need for mowing a lawn.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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