We had rented our house for over five years, before we were lucky enough to buy it. We’d done some no dig gardens, but we hadn’t (unfortunately) planted our fruit trees in the ground. The permablitz was really about putting down roots! The blitz was an amazing day. It was incredible to have all of that energy and love go into our garden and our home.
There were two halves to this blitz. The grass front garden and verge, and the large relatively flat backyard.
There are three of us who live here, Morag, Louisa, our son Huon (now six) and our dog, Sunny. It wasn’t until we started to really get in the blitz preparation phase that we realised our differently we’d approach the task of a blitz. Morag was more focussed on the ‘perma’ and Louisa on the ‘blitz.’ We’d really suggest that families work out their vision and the scope and aims right at the design and development phase.
Morag’s ‘perma’ approach has proved invaluable some time on. We planned to put in a granny flat out the back, so we organised a back-hoe, plumber and electrician to come and put in all of the pipes and wiring so that we wouldn’t have to dig up our blitzed yard. While the back-hoe was there, it also dug out hole for the pond, and moved our very amazing but previously dominating hills hoist. While the plumber was there, he put in some new taps. All of this planning has proven to be really valuable down the track.
We really wanted a beautiful native garden at the front. This has been the most stunning and evolving outcome of the blitz for us. We are on a busy street, so we checked in with council about the verge garden. Someone from the Council came out and inspected verge and told us the exact dimensions. We actually string lined the exact sizes of the verge, path and front garden for the day. This was a good idea, as the council came out and inspected it again after a complaint. While we sheet mulched and planted the garden out on the blitz, we formalised the design with sleepers afterwards. It’s a constant delight, and has really allowed us to connect with the neighbourhood.
The back garden, which thanks to the back-hoe had been well excavated, had a number of projects. An amazing group of swale diggers dug the three swales for three big no-dig veggie garden beds. Another group made a banana pit, which included a group of children crafting. A team began a chicken coop. One group worked on a beautiful pond and habitat. Another planted a scented garden next to the trampoline. And the whole team sheet-mulched the rest of the garden.
Before and after: the frog habitat pond in the backyard
It was absolutely amazing how much we accomplished. The garden was truly transformed. The most enduring and exciting outcomes of the blitz have been those easiest for us to maintain. All of the fruit trees, the scents, the banana pit and the mulching. These elements have had a wild life of their own. The scented garden smells every time someone gets on the trampoline. The veggie patch has had moments of abundance, and moments (as now) when it’s a comfrey patch.
For us, there were a few big things that we started at the blitz which we just haven’t managed to finish or get to work: the main ones being the chicken coop and the pond. Our words of advise would be to focus on one big construction thing, and try to get most of it done in the day.
Overall, we’re so grateful for the blitz. We’re in our garden every day, and think of everyone involved in creating it.