A very busy month!
The spring is almost over and everything is super green and growing incredibly fast. You can see a difference each day. The trees have leaves now, all of them and this happened during the last two weeks. The birds are singing, building nests or they are already done with this, I don´t really know. But it is incredible. The nature is doing her very best to blossom, grow and grow and grow. I love green. It is very inspiring to see everything grow so fast. We humans often have this longing for control. I have it too. Digging, designing, planting in a pattern that I choose. But if I would be gone for a week, nature would not mind. It just keeps growing. It´s so amazing. There is no control needed for it´s grows. It´s very natural. But sure, living in a city and wanting to eat our own food it makes sense to plan and choose which seeds to plant where 🙂 Sure it does. That has been what I have been doing the last month.
Mathieu was digging the pond and I was running around, planing, planting and watering. We finished the hugelkulture garden beds together, we planted the kiwis, the grapes and the hazelnut tree that we got as a present of Desirée´s dad (Big thanks for that). It´s all growing. We added organic matter and some minerals while planting. Always add organic matter 🙂 And hazelnut trees need a companion hazelnut. They are not self polinating. The nursery is almost empty, only some little peppers and eggplants left that I will put into pots for the front yard pretty soon. We also organised more rain barrels, built a climbing structure for the kiwis and built a new vermicompost because the first one did not really provide a good home for the worms (you can read the update of the post here). We also installed a sprouting area in the cupboard on the terrace, which was something I always wished for!
The front yard is getting there. Today we planted gooseberry, red currant and a berry that is a mix between these two plants. In-between we planted some vermouth because this herb is said to support currants. The hugelkultur garden beds are almost all full of seeds, some of them are already sprouting. This is my favourite time in the garden now. Seeing everything grow. I will put the plans for the companion planting online soon.
The highlight last month was definitely all the help I got from Mathieu, who stayed here for a month. The best pond digger ever 🙂 So the pond is done. It´s huge and it holds the water. Which is fantastic. I am dreaming less of hugelkulture garden beds and ponds now that they are ready. I had some serious nightmares about the pond leaking and all this kind of things. There are so many things that I learn here. You would not imagine what amount of things you need to concern about, when digging a pond. For example that there is a huge mount of earth when you are done. I could have guessed that, but I was still suprised. What to do with this? It´s big and sandy and in the way. But we will find a solution for that.
And also the garden beds gave me something to learn. The fourth principle in permaculture is „apply self regulation and accept feedback“. Combined with the first one „observe and interact“ I learned the following: Never put anything that can grow without light into your hugelkulture garden beds“. We have a serious Lilly of the valley monster in our garden. This very beautiful and very toxic little plant propagates through the roots AND the pollen. And they are so very resilient. I did not know these things before but got to know them when the little plant started to show up massively in the garden beds (you can see them on the pictures). We buried the monster in the garden beds, thinking it was just weed that would decompose over time, but it came back 🙂 So we dug it out again…
One more very nice thing to report is that the school which begins directly behind our back yard fence decided to put two bee hives between our property and the school. The bees are situated around 50 meter from our yard and that is so fantastic. Who would have thought that we will just get bees so close to our yard. We will provide lot´s of food for them and they will hopefully pollinate and help a lot with the yield by doing that.
So during all this productive and very green times there has been also some ups and downs. For sure, life is like this. Sometimes it gives you lemons, when you actually asked for oranges. Even if they might taste better in the end. Permaculture, the way I got to know it and the way I have been wanting to live it is all about community. It is about coming together, working together, it is about exchange. But as I am only here since two month and my parents (as much as I love them) are not that much into gardening I had some motivational issues due to the lack of community. In these times it helped me a lot to see that this is only the beginning. I am doing this project and writing this blog to learn. And I definitely learn a lot. Much more than I could have wished for. I also had a lot of help from Marina and Mathieu, which helped a lot with the motivation and additionally we did a bonfire. And community builds up over time. And when this project stands on it´s very green feet, there are other projects to come and I am aiming for community. Definitely.
So I wish all of you reading this a very nice day. Maybe you want to go out and put your hands into the earth, because I read somewhere that there is a connection between earth under our finger nails and our happiness.
Stay connected and have fun with the pictures,