garden flowers nov 2013 (6)   Well, it’s a bit of a gardening fest here right now. I’m crazily trying to get as much done in the garden as I can now the cooler weather has hit. Winter is my busy time in the garden especially when I’m starting out in a newish place. I love being outside when the weather is crisp and the sun is not nearly so freaky and hot. There’s been a lot of planning and re-planning of my garden since I first set eyes on this block full of grapevines and mess.  I’ve drawn up many a plan – some I’ve stuck to, some not. It’s a continual thing, establishing a garden. Don’t you reckon?  It’s always changing and growing and ideas just keep building and sometimes I get so overwhelmed with all the planning that I just say: Stuff it! and plant things in random, spontaneous, unplanned places. That’s never, ever a good idea. I’m still replanting every tree I planted last winter. I think there’s only a couple to go now and 3 will get to stay put….I think?   DSCF6641   Anyway, my thoughts today are with no dig garden beds. When I started the garden at the purple house in 2005 I had been doing a lot of research on no dig gardening and permaculture and I liked the concept of it, especially considering I wanted a huge garden, back then. Every garden I made was done using the no dig principles. Mostly the soil on that block  was  nice but there were some fairly large patches that had a lot of decomposed granite fill dumped and rolled on  by a previous owner. Those patches of ground were heavily compacted, hard,  clay in some spots and lacking in organic matter and worms. Until I no-digged them. After only about 6 months, those areas of my garden started to become really fertile little spots. I had Pierre de Ronsard roses growing up my verandah like a scene out of The Day of The Triffids. Worms moved in, the soil darkened and became much more loamy and lovely and happy. And, it was so easy – well, compared to digging them all by hand, that is.   [April 2010 again 020 - Copy[4].jpg] Day of the Triffid roses [purple%2520house%2520vegie%2520garden%255B6%255D.jpg]   Fast track to the end of 2012. We’d just moved into this new little tin house. We were surrounded by dirt and dust and not a garden insight. The grape vines and paddock grass were all that was alive and well and they were so alive and well that I thought we would soon be engulfed by the mess. I still think we might be! Slowly but surely I began building some gardens. First the veggie beds – raised beds surrounded by railway sleepers. Then next were the gardens around the house. For some strange reason I’d forgotten about my whole no-dig thing. I dug everything by hand and got so annoyed at the slowness of it all ….. and then I got sick. Some weird virus {I think?} took over and I spent a couple of months with absolutely no energy, tingling down one side of my body and a head full of fog and vagueness. That was my first autumn in this new house and I felt so disappointed at the lack of work I’d achieved during that crucial time of setting up the garden. From that point on the feeling of being swallowed whole by this wild, messy 3 acres plagued me.  I felt constantly disappointed at how slow everything had been growing and how little I had done around the place. The grass in the paddock continued to grow and grow and grow and the thoughts of: What have I gone and done? continued to haunt me, mostly at night when I couldn’t sleep. DSCF6665   But then, one day, not all that long ago now, I was chatting on the phone with my aunty about gardening and trees and how overwhelmed I was feeling about the slowness of everything here and the mess that still encroached me and the unfinished stuff in the garden and that I can never seem to get done. I was blabbering big time. She shared with me the story of how she’d set up her latest property from scratch and how she did it. It was all no dig!  A light bulb moment. Why had I not been doing that here? Weird how my brain works sometimes. Baffling! So, I decided there and then that it would be back to no-dig for me too and since that moment I haven’t felt nearly as overwhelmed. I feel like I can achieve so much more by going back to this style of garden building and I know that it’s also great for the soil and perhaps my back will hold out just a little longer too;) So, I thought I’d share with you how I do no-dig. These can be some of my ‘before’ photos – real and unedited so don’t look too closely at the mess around the place. Pleasey?     no dig garden bed feather and nest style  2014 (14)no dig garden step 1(17)no dig garden (1)no dig garden 4 no dig garden 5 And here’s a bit of a view from a different angle. This is definitely a ‘before’ photo, OK? Note the fascia board looking delightfully unfinished and the crap hanging around the verandah right now. Let’s hope that in 2 years time this will be a happy ever ‘after’ picture.            home new garden beds 31 may 2014 (15)   So tell me, how do you garden? Are you a dig it all over kinda person or do you like to go the easy way, like me? Happy Sunday!   Kim x