Thursday, August 16, 2012

An Edible Spiral Garden

I finally got 'round to one of those jobs I've been wanting to do for ages.  Remember those bluestone rocks that were dug up outside our place? 

Well they'd been sitting in our front garden for months.  But on the weekend we got cracking into action and the whole family hauled the rocks to our backyard to make a spiral garden. What incited this sudden garden activity you may ask? No, it was not the result of the iron tablets I'd been consuming. Merely a prickly conscience a consequence of this blog.

The lovely Bek from Bek's Backyard offered me some strawberry plants. She didn't go home empty-handed mind you - I gave her a couple of comfrey plants for her kindness. And on Saturday arvo I discovered a lovely package of strawberry goodness freshly delivered to my front door. I was a wee bit embarrassed. Bek offered the plants way back when I posted about the bluestones. She suggested I make a garden with the stones and pop the strawberries there. But the bluestones have sat in my front garden ever since. I am way full of good ideas and good intentions that sometimes don't eventuate. And now I was sprung bad with my messy front garden (actually I take no responsibility for that - the front is Monkey Man's domain) looking even messier with a whopping big hole dug down down the side, half the fence missing (we have a plumbing problem) and that neglected pile of bluestones.

So I was spurred into action. Those strawberry plants would not survive long un-planted. And I didn't want the lovely Bek to think badly of me! So the whole family started lugging the rocks 'round the back. Surprisingly (given my last pocket money post), we didn't even need to bribe the Monkey Boys. They just uncomplainingly helped! Later that night I did see Littlest Monkey admiring his muscles in the mirror so I'm sure our comments about how fit and strong we were all getting had something to do with it.
And over the following couple of days I got muscle-sore puffing and pulling the rocks into the right spots and digging and hauling loads of dirt from various nooks and crannies in the garden. Then I dug through some bags of manure and 'cos I'm the impatient type and couldn't wait for my seeds to grow I went off shopping for some seedlings.

Now I had done some research into these permaculture herb spirals but in true veggiegobbler style I broke some of the rules. The traditionalists I'm told have a theory about the way the spiral ought to run according to which hemisphere you're in. But I wasn't about to go re-arranging things once I was happy with my setup. My spiral runs in a way that I thought would look good. Also I remembered that I was supposed to lay down wet newspaper under my first layer of rocks to stop the weeds. Naturally I remembered this after I'd hauled the first layer of massive rocks to position. And I wasn't about to re-haul them for the sake of a few weeds.

I did place my spiral garden close to the back door which I'm hoping will be handy. And by coincidence it runs right into my pond which apparently is a good thing. The pond mind you is looking dreadful but that's a whole other story. The idea is that these rocks will warm up in the sun and provide a lovely growing place for herbs. Also, you can access everything easily and grow a whole lot of different stuff in the same place - dry, drought loving plants up top and water loving boggier things down low.

I'm not just growing herbs - naturally, the strawberries went in. Although I suspect the slugs and snails who'll no doubt live in the rocks will have a feast if I manage any of these. And I also popped in some veggies. From top to bottom I've got: olive herb (don't know much about this but it smelt good), oregano & thyme (these two like it drier I think), spring onions, chives, strawberries (they're up the back and just get morning sun which I think will work for them), perennial basil, perpetual spinach, lettuce mix and parsley.

Anyway, I'm mighty pleased with it. Thanks Bek.
Wokee likes the smell of the manure and those rocks provide a good launching pad to the adjacent chook run.
View from the back - strawberries and chives


  1. That spiral is going to look great once the plants grow. I am impressed the monkeys managed to lift the rocks.

  2. I'd be mighty pleased with that too - looks amazing.

  3. Looks awesome!You've done a great job with those rocks - now its garden art! Thanks for the comfrey, it will be going into the garden this weekend!

  4. That is so inspiring. I am always trying to think of gardening ideas to do with little kids at the farm stay - this one is a 'must do' activity.
    The other great thing is that bluestone has lots of minerals in it , so any little bits that have chipped off will help the herbs grow if they are small enough for them to access it.
    Looks lovely , can't wait to try one.

  5. Around and around she goes, where she stops, nobody knows! Looks great! Always love to see picks of those gorgeous boys.

  6. Yee har! Love it! Am rather garden embarrassed myself at the moment. Was so guilty I went out in the rain today to lump
    All the compost into the beds. But I'm stumped for what to grow cos the chooks are everything and I can of grow stuff in set places cos I've not enough beds for rotating. Ah that old chestnut. Show us your chooks please! It's been a while. I miss em.

  7. I think sometimes we all have to be spurred on to get a job done.
    It looks really good already.


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