Here we go round the Mulberry Bush – a guided tour.

Always wanted to learn about how permaculture works in our little suburban garden? Two pop-up small group tour dates have just been planned. There are only a few tickets available so snaffle yours here.

garden office

Also coming up soon – a short Introduction to Permaculture (2.5 hours including a tour and a bit of planning and problem-solving for your own garden) and Making Mini Wicking Beds (hands-on and family friendly). Subscribe to the blog or follow Nadja’s Garden on facebook for more events.

Posted in permaculture design

Spring Seed Propagation

The wee lad and I enjoyed a spot of seed sowing today, under our eastern pergola, where the morning light gently fades through the day and where the plants are nicely sheltered from westerly winds.


This reused tray has good-sized cells for plenty of root growth. Labels made from slashed milk bottles (a Stanley knife job) and written in soft pencil.

We gathered all the seeds we wanted to grow for this summer, most from organic Australian growers such as Love that Seed and Greenpatch, and a few saved from our previous crops or from friends, and divided them into: Continue reading

Posted in permaculture design

September-October in our garden

Springtime moves so fast! And seems to go in all directions at once – wind from everywhere and then nowhere at all – hot, cold, wet, dry – and suddenly everything is blooming and seeding and exploding and chirping and laying and swooping. It’s all wild and colourful.


Peak hour in the nest box.

Eggs are back on the menu. The willy wagtail has been returning to direct traffic when we’re working in the garden. And the wattlebirds have started feasting on the burgeoning population of bees, who in turn have been foraging on all the flowers. Continue reading

Posted in permaculture design

July? nope… August Garden Guide

My Undoing.


It started out well…

Let’s just say July didn’t go entirely the way I had planned. First, the incredibly inspiring, sustainable-living folks I was really, really looking forward to meeting on our winter family holiday couldn’t be there after all.  Next, I couldn’t be there either, as both a pet and a family member needed TLC around home while recovering from accident and surgery respectively. So I waved goodbye to husband and child on the first day of school holidays and pulled my boots on.  I thought, on the upside, having a relatively quiet 10 days here would provide me with the ideal opportunity to catch up with my garden to-do list, starting with distributing a small truckload of compost and mulch – compost for the fruit trees and mulch for the garden paths – after I cleared out the tonne of soursobs. With plenty of tea breaks, of course, and a little pruning along the way.  But… Continue reading

Posted in permaculture design

June Garden Guide

In this edition…


  • Welcome to winter
  • Soil reconditioning
  • We’re all going a bit weed-mad
  • Chooks & Compost
  • June veg planting

Continue reading

Posted in dirty fun, permaculture design, planting, soil, vegetables, weeds, winter

May Garden Guide

In this edition…

  • IMG_20180418_090252.jpgHot and smokin’: Multi-functioning the pizza oven – turning the chilli harvest into chipotle seasoning; making pizzas (hey, who would have thought?); and overnight baked beans.
  • When shading isn’t shading: using shadecloth to capture light for subtropical fruit trees.
  • Preparing for winter (when we haven’t had an autumn): what to plant and what the garden needs right now.
  • All school holidayed out? One last thing to do in the garden with the kids.

Continue reading

Posted in autumn, children, community, Food, fruit, maintenance, microclimates, recipes, trees

A ‘RetroSuburban’ Case Study of our suburban patch.

lush frontOver the past month I’ve been digging deeply into David Holmgren’s recently released book, ‘RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future‘. The book is based on the premise that for most households, making the most productive use of a promising suburban block is a more realistic way to apply permaculture principles than moving to acreage in the country. It features a ‘RetroSuburban Real Estate Checklist‘ (follow link for spreadsheet) to assess a property’s fitness for sustainability – and a series of real-life examples, also included on this page of the website.

east sideI’m using the book and the checklist to help structure a review of how our property retrofit has come along over the past 10 years and where we could take it from here. Making our progress quantifiable allows for comparison with the properties featured in the book so that we can gauge how we’re going a little more objectively. This month, my case study takes the place of the usual monthly garden guide (so please search the archive if you’re wondering what to plant and what garden jobs to do in April). If you’re thinking more broadly and long-term, read on 🙂

Andrew and I will also be speaking briefly about our retrofit process this Thursday evening (April 5) at the Joinery’s community dinner and film night featuring the documentary ‘Living the Change‘ – follow the link for details and tickets. Continue reading

Posted in books, building, climate change, community, courses, events, permaculture principles, planning