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10.12.2014 admin
To get the ball rolling, Eric enlisted the aid of his niece Rosanne to design a garden that would meet the needs of the restaurant and to provide areas for the community volunteers to cultivate whatever they chose as appropriate. While the layout and excavation is just the beginning of the community garden, another important aspect was deciding what sort of plants would be suitable, given the aspect of the land, the prevailing weather and seasons, as well as what would be required by the restaurant. As development progresses, Grand Ridge Brewery staff will undertake the ongoing management of the community garden to ensure that it meets the fundamental design criteria and it’s hoped that the basics will be complete before Spring arrives. I’ll continue the story in subsequent parts, detailing the development of the community garden, the people involved and the produce that is grown in the garden.
CopyrightUnless otherwise attributed, all photographs have been taken by the author and copyright applies. I've been in the photography game professionally since 1979, but have bounced around doing many and varied things (not related to photography) over the years. In my later years, that passion has become stronger than it ever was in the past, invigorated by working as a news and sports photographer and being able to photograph and write about activities in my other professional capacity.
Now that I'm semi-retired, I want to put the extra time that I have, hopefully, to some useful purpose. Showy but easy to grow, Siberian Iris bears brightly colored, large blooms in shades of yellow, red, blue, purple, pink, white and orange. A small ground cover ranging in height from 6 to 20 inches high and spreading upwards of 2 feet, Calluna prefers moist, organic, sandy soils.
Its growth habit is upright and arching developing a fine texture in the garden, well suited for use in garden edges and rockeries.
This week we’re sharing some of our favorite drought tolerant, long-blooming and low-maintenance flowers and flowering shrubs. Red Valerian: Another medicinal plant known for the calming and sedative properties of its root.
Lavender: This Mediterranean native can be used in home cooking, in teas, dried and used in crafts or potpourri – the possibilities are endless!
Gaura: A compact plant with long clusters of small pink or white flowers suspended on long, thin stems that give the appearance of shooting stars.

Erysimum: Perhaps better known as wallflower, this plant blooms in late winter or early spring, extending the bloom period of your garden. Arctotis: Another plant with soft, silvery gray leaves and bright daisy flowers in shocking colors, from fuchsia to orange to yellow including bi- and tri-colored varieties. Natal Plum: Drought tolerant with interesting small, glossy green leaves cupped closely to the stems. Hebe: A New Zealand native, this genus has a number of species with different forms, all suitable for use in Southern California gardens.
Euphorbia: A relative of succulents, these herbaceous plants are evergreen and come in a variety of colors from burgundy to blue-green to yellow-striped to white variegated.
Pittosporum: Non-flowering, this native shrub is a good choice for hedges, adding shape or covering bare spots. We are a locally owned and operated retail nursery and garden center based in North Park, San Diego. Here at North Park Nursery, we like to carry products that are a little off the beaten path.
The first Australian community garden was established in 1977 in Nunawading, Victoria (the garden state).
And to make this idea work, Eric agreed to send Rosanne to a Permaculture Design Course, which would assist in the design and creation of the community garden. In the mean time, the search for a cadre of dedicated gardeners to become involved in making this project a success is underway. Much of the bouncing around has had to do with earning a decent living by taking opportunities as they arose and pursuing other professions, but my passion for photography has never left me, despite my varied work. I enjoy recording history, amongst other things; as well as writing about my experiences, so a blog seems to be the ideal way to combine both.
Fertilize with low-nitrogen fertilizer when planting, and refertilize with low nitrogen fertilizer in the spring. The variation of leaf colors, green, yellow red-orange and even silver, found in the hundreds of cultivars make this plant worthy of application in many gardens.

Some of our pages include a look at before and after pictures of lawn conversions and an article on water-wise grass varieties and drought tolerant sod alternatives.
An herbal plant with traditional medicinal uses, it has fragrant foliage that smells like a combination of sweet licorice and mint. These short, stout flowers come in a wide range of colors and are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. Shasta daisies are clumping flowers with large, profuse blooms and glossy, evergreen foliage that lend themselves both to a drought-tolerant or native landscape, but also to creating a water-wise cottage garden. Small, semi-cupped, soft pale green leaves mimic the look of English peas, as do the traditional purple-and-white flowers. Flowers are often chartreuse or deep burgundy and appear in clusters at the ends of stems in strange, alien-looking shapes.
Tolerates pruning and can be made into formal shapes including balls or hedges, much like boxwood. One of our highly skilled horticulturalists would be happy to help you select the perfect plant for your garden. While still studying, Rosanne roughed out a design and then engaged a local landscape gardener, Alex Loudon-Shand, to begin the process of marking out and excavating the garden’s foundations.
There will also be raised garden beds, to enable wheelchair access and participation and, when the garden is ready for planting, an experienced gardener will guide the volunteers on the planting and maintenance of the garden. Knowing that Mirboo North has many very enthusiastic gardeners, I suspect that there won’t be any shortfalls in volunteers. Selections include Salvia clevelandii, Salvia discolor, Salvia leucantha or natives like Salvia apiana. Once the markings were complete, Alex commenced the excavations; however, given the sudden onset of very wet weather towards the end of July, the excavations have had to be put on hold for the moment.

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