Sunday, 14 April 2013

Garden Work Weekend Update (or 'Mud day!' as Finn called it)

A good sign of success is that there was a queue for the shower yesterday, so muddy and wet were we all from a day of digging, smashing, lugging and bashing. Although today was a quieter affair, we still got loads done and the garden is starting to shape up! There is much work still to be done, but making all this progress is a great start.

I'm going to spare you my usual lengthy narrative, and thanks to Toby's mad camera skills, resort to spamming you with pictures instead!

But before that, a list of acknowledgements seems appropriate, since we received so much help (sorry if I forget anyone). Thank you to Heather, Lis and Julia for the loan of tools, it made everything so much easier, and thank you to Todd, Toby and Ryan for doing masses of work. Ryan didn't even know there was a work weekend, he was just visiting for his birthday. He got stuck in nevertheless. What a legend. Thanks to Toby for taking pictures or we wouldn't have a record of all the frenzied activity. And thanks to Finn, for doing more digging today than you would imagine a 2 year old would be up for, and managing to do it in an actually useful fashion. Between that and his tendency to shout "grow more plants! grow more seeds!" I have high hopes for his future.

On to the pictures!

Day One

There was a breeze block wall on top of this stone one only hours before.

That's some of it in a heap centre-left, next to all our sexy recycled paving materials!

Lifting concrete to make a home for the compost bins.

Flick is a professional digger, and she found a clay pipe stem!

Knocking down the wall revealed next door's rubbish heap - which Toby promptly sorted and bagged for recycling :)

Victorian flagstones under the concrete show how much the ground level has risen.

Day Two

Start of day two: so much ground to level!

Marking out the edge of the patio so we can start not standing on the beds.

It's a family affair :D

Finn asked Toby to take this picture. Quite right too.

The future shed floor is now levelled!

A nice tidy garden, with newly housed compost bins!

Cleaned tools at the end of the day. Woop!
Our newest treasure - a buried shopping trolley!

Monday, 8 April 2013

More Work Weekend Information

Hello again!

I promised I'd be back with more details of the work weekend, and here I am. Although this is all subject to change, I just wanted people to have an idea of what we were going to be up to.

Below is a picture of me clutching the demented brilliant permaculture design I've done for the garden, further details of which will be in a future blogpost. This is what you'll be helping us to realise :D

Crinkled, but awesome. I promise it makes sense!
So, these jobs are all ones which don't cost any money, which after the palaver of the garden wall is quite a relief for us. These jobs are therefore more likely to happen than the costly ones.

- scrub left hand wall ready for painting (may need to buy a couple of stiff brushes)
- knock down breeze block wall to the right
- put breeze blocks in hole left by building the new wall (makes sense when you see it)
- break up concrete where compost bins are going to go
- save big bits for paving and put small bits in garden refuse bags to re-use on the green roof
- move compost bins
- break up as much of the rest of the concrete as we can manage, concentrating on the edges where beds are going to be
- mark out main parts of garden plan
- level lawn and create slope between lawn and patio

It's all brilliant stuff, and also all necessary before we can get to the really fun bit, which is of course the planting!

If we do find some cash to spend on the garden immediately it will most likely be on fencing as we currently have a couple of impressive drops from the new wall and steps. There may also be some painting, but don't hold your breath for that one.

What do you get in return? Besides a warm glow, you'll get lunch, dinner, somewhere to stay if you need it, and lots of love and gratitude from us. You'll also be helping to make an awesome permaculture garden which we hope will be used for open garden events in the future, and as a demonstration of small-scale urban permaculture, as well as a nice place for us to hang out with you when you visit.

So, who's coming? Email us at and let us know.

- Hannah

Thursday, 4 April 2013


It exists. It's beautiful. It's FINISHED!!!!!!

I don't have a photo of the beauteous steps to hand, but believe me, they are beauteous!

Now that all the excitement of the wall building is over, we have the new, extra exciting excitement which is THE GARDEN. The first of what will probably be many work weekends will be on April 13th-14th. This first phase will involve much in the way of smashing things up, demolishing things, and lugging stuff about. For the less Hulksmash amongst you, there may be painting, and there will definitely be playing with the toddler and making tea.

We can accommodate people overnight if need be, and there will be lunch and dinner for volunteers. Please let us know if you're coming so we can plan food. You'll need sensible boots and work clothes, but we have the tools required. I'll do another post with more details about what we'll be getting up to before next weekend.

- Hannah