Thursday, May 27, 2010

St Kilda Melbourne Community garden on Chaucer Street

The St Kilda community garden is open from dawn to dusk.  The site was once a bowling club, so it is BIG. The buildings must have been pretty ordinary by the time the bowling ceased and the garden began in 1998. About a hundred individual plots, each with a letterbox for internal mail. The council supports it with a paid staff member, so there are rabbits and chooks in runs as there is always somebody there to look after their welfare. The local pigeons were very happy too, giving the compost bins a good going over and not the least afraid of the camera or the human holding it. Lots of outdoor art with mosaic walls, painted murals, a "pirate ship" play area, grape-vine arbours, pizza oven and lots of places to get out of the rain and sun, as well as a big collection of tanks dotted about. Right next door is the St Kilda fun fair with the chuckwagon roller-coaster rumbling away. Two mums and their kids came in with their lunch and a couple of gardeners were checking out their plots.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tasmania and more

On holidays in Tasmania near Devonport. Visited a community garden in town. Pictures tell the story.
Glenn Albrecht, phiolosopher and passionate environmentalist, has developed a concept of  solastalgia to describe the pain or sickness caused by the inability to derive solace from the present state of one’s home environment. It applies to the population-wide issues of invironmental degradation, but also to the small personal issue of perhaps not being able to garden anymore, or seeing the green spaces in your suburb filled in with buildings or roads.

That's the looking at the problem bit, but we can't sit around having a pity party. What to do?
Soliphilia: The Antidote to Solastalgia  
the love of and responsibility for a place, bioregion, planet and the unity of interrelated interests within it


Friday, May 7, 2010

Grevilleas, bird hedges and the neighbours

This little gray tabby and white puss watched on as I planted a grevillea hedge to screen the fence and bring in the birds. Don't think there will be a dinner in it for this sleepy feline or the white one which nervously watched, ran away, came back and finally couldn't stand the strain anymore and was gone. Our own brown bomber has been sneaking up on pigeons and doves and other birds for years when they come to the water bowls on the ground. Never gets within coo-ee. The Indian Mynahs really drive him nuts as they shriek alarm calls while he strolls up the yard, hissing and cat-swearing in total frustration. Birds don't have bird-brains but finely honed survival instincts.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day 2010

Our first formal committee meeting at 31a Church Street. We are now incorporated as Church Street Community Garden Inc. Decision time - how will we organise ourselves, how similar and how different from our Villiers Street site? Got a thing for Thyme, a penchant for potatoes? Consensus is that individual wishes can be slotted into a communal framework  First Saturday in the month at 9am is the regular meeting and working bee. Mowing, watering and weeding will be done by any member dropping in, just note it on the whiteboard (when it has been attached to the shed wall ) so we don't double up.
New member Chris came for the first time today. He regularly gardens at City Farm Community Garden on Kooragang Wetlands, Ash Island Hexham.  Steve, who came with him, is another enthusiastic gardener and will bring seeds and excess herbs from his home garden to swap and share.
May 8th will be a big dig and plant day to shape and define the three round beds, one for the formal parterre, one for the informal veggie/herb/flower space, and the other for the Living Gazebo.
Everything we have planted so far is doing well thanks to the cooler weather and the small bit of rain.  New leaves  are appearing and seedlings popping up. Now for the slug and snail invasion!  Whenever you plant something there are a million hungry mouths waiting to move in and munch.  Smidge did a tour of inspection and Kerry's Zebediah did a Mach 1 gallop, although being at the end of a lead kind of limited his distance.

This site has many links and lots of information

The NCC site is now out-of-date as it refers to Villiers Street. Other gardens in Newcastle get a mention but the list is not exhaustive. 

This is a small piece about Guerilla Gardens