Sunday, July 27, 2008

More detailed keyhole 'mandala' vegie garden

I've finally drawn up a more detailed design which I hope we will be able to use within 2 months (my hubby will be away for 3 weeks next week! So this doesn't give me much time to do all myself with 3 kids underfoot).


You can see 8 beds, with 4 double keyholes, two 'extra' beds (I've reserved those for kids, but also will use them for those perennials (herbs and such)) and a pond in middle.

The reason for those 8 beds is the chook dome!

I've tried to keep the beds to about 3 metres diameter so I can build a 2.5 metres chook dome with something like old lawn mower catcher to cover the keyhole section in each bed. This is to ensure beds are rotated as required and that I only have 2 chooks working on a bed for a couple of days inside the dome. I do hope it would work - in theory it should work! lol...

The pond will be situated pretty low than ground level - we do get rains around here and grass are usually soaked so thought to use pond as a point of draining water from surroundings into pond and if it overfills, it will then drain away through a pipe under beds to the north part (the part pipe are already in ground, next to the trellis anyway).

We've decided that we will go with the brick-type retain wall for those beds - most likely between 45cm to 50cm high. The ground will be pavered, sloped gently toward the pond, and the pavering will be of recycled bricks and pavers wherever we can. For the pond, sandstone will be used as it is part of the environment nearby and we do want to encourage small birds (wrens) and frogs to stay around nearby.

I've convinced my hubby we should include window shade structures - I am thinking of wood posts and fixed horizontal louvres to block summer sun while allowing the slats to be at a certain degree (approx. 31deg for us here) to welcome winter sun in. So we would need to put the posts in before we put retaining walls around. This would take up some rooms in bed considerably, but I intend to use posts as means of support for those climbers anyway.

So at the moment our schedule would run as:

  1. Remove plants and grass
  2. Dig both pond and pipe
  3. Have the pathways digged out and layered with sand/recycled base
  4. Put posts in for the window louvres structure at the south part of the garden and the entry point's arch way
  5. Put in pond lining and arrange pipe to be attached before covering the pipe
  6. Pavering to be done
  7. Fix pond to have it done
  8. Build retaining walls
  9. fill up beds
  10. plant!
Wonders how long all that would take us to do! I will try and post the progress report of this over time anyway.

Cheers till later!

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