With any garden overhaul there is a question about how much re-modelling should take place. At one end of the spectrum, new plants can be added around existing garden structures without fundamentally altering the original layout of a garden, at the other end, the whole site can be razed and re-contoured, shaped into something completely different to what has been before.
For our back garden, we have opted for something in between these two extremes: some existing structures remain, but there is a reasonable amount of earth working in the middle of the current lawn to make for better water flows and passive water capture.
One of the challenges for our garden overhaul is how much of the original garden to keep the same, and how much to change. This post shows how we added in a water harvesting feature (a mini swale) within an existing landscaped area, to enable the establishment of new plants - some local bush tucker species!
If ever there was a plant that can make you feel like you're the greatest gardener, it has to be the Jerusalem artichoke. Give them a little water, forget about them, and then after their cheery yellow blooms fall (they're a relative of the sunflower) and the plant dies down for winter, there's a secret haul of sweet knobbly tubers just below the surface.
News from our own garden plus advice about permaculture, plants, growing food and sustainable gardening in Canberra.