The garden is alive and flourishing thanks to the recent downpours.  The mandala garden’s hidden gems are not now so hidden while life in the ephemeral frog pond is robust and noisy.  Our latest working bees have been focused on containing the couch grass, pulling out nut grass (easy jobs at the moment) and whipper snipping edges and paths.  But we’ve also managed to be productive and have seeds sprouting (greens, tomatoes, chillies) and seedlings repotted prior to planting out, while a dozen turmeric plants have been planted in the food forest.  It’s been amazing to see the new growth on the basil plants after they were pruned back 3 weeks ago.

The trellis around the mandala garden will soon be finished so the grape vines will have somewhere to climb.  We’re also about to provide some better drainage to the frog pond as the front of the property is low-lying and boggy in parts especially after the recent downpours.  The food forest is cool and shady thanks to the rapid growth of the nitrogen-fixing popcorn cassia trees, which can grow (and have done) up to 2 metres per year.  They’re ready to be ‘chopped and dropped’ to provide a green manure and mulch in the forest.

Everyone is welcome to come to the garden on a Wednesday or Sunday to see what is happening and lend a hand.  On Sundays we always have a “team leader” who can show you around and introduce you to the community of plants and people and provide you with morning tea.  For the rest of February, we will be in the garden from 7 until 9 am however, with the cloudy weather we have been freer with the times and sometimes work a little later.  In March our work will start at 8am.


This is a picture of a chilli plant like the one in our mandala garden – about 50 cms in height and positively dripping with delicious green chillies.  There are plenty of chillies to share, to get seeds from, or to pickle or freeze.   The whole plant disappeared one night in January with just a hole in the ground to show where it had thrived.  We hope it survived its displacement and that the chillies have been enjoyed. And we ask that garden plants are allowed to thrive in position – help yourself to some of the bountiful produce when it’s available and take cuttings when the mother plant can cope. That’s what a community garden is all about after all.