Paul Cezanne

Yet, here we are.

Perusing the neatly presented garden on the day we picked up the keys. The previous owner had scraped the weeds back from the beds, making it look very tidy for prospective buyers, and I have to admit, I like they way it looks.

Clean lines, no clutter of vegetation, neatly clipped lawns – all these things appeal to my sense of order.

Front garden on Day 1

As wonderful as it is to be able to put down roots in a place and call it home, I have to admit to being a little daunted at the total responsibility of managing this wee garden. An irrational angst in me swings between paralysis that restrains me from messing up a perfectly good blank canvas, and a frustration that we don’t already have a thriving food forest.

Back garden Day 1

Observe and interact is David Holmgren’s first principle of permaculture and I have to regularly remind myself of this. Sometimes inaction is the best action to take, although inaction does not have to be completely passive. Observation, noticing and understanding patterns in time and space, discovering systems, allow ourselves to take a holistic sensory image of our surroundings.

Taking time in these early months will give us a better understanding of the environment and micro-climates we are living in, which will all feed into the overall design for the garden.

Inspecting the neighbour’s fig tree

It will take a little temperance, in terms of wanting to get stuck in and dig. But with winter around the corner, now is the perfect time to observe and contemplate.

As for those clean lines and bare soils…having rented here the year previous, I already knew that just below this exposed soil lies an army of oxalis bulbs already plotting their return to the surface. And I plan to let them, in the hope that our future chickens will have a penchant for oxalis bulbs and do the work for me.

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