The pile of woodchips has been sitting for nearly two years and getting richer and darker. The worms really got into it around autumn and have broken quite a bit of the leaf matter down into a dark, damp soil.
The grass has also encroached over the pile to take advantage of the smorgasbord of nutrients and moisture that is available. I have mined some of this mulch to add to our garden at Petit Paradis for the summer garden. I am somewhat confident that it will assist in holding water in the container gardens - how successfully I am not sure. Even an average summer in Albany with the January easterlies can suck moisture from the garden regardless of summer rains.
While I was bagging some of this magnificent soil I was contemplating the future garden at the Tillellan site. Renovation works started about two weeks ago. Excavation works for the back retaining wall will start soon hopefully, as there are the lumber remnants of the trees that stood on the back of the block to bury into swales. The excavator operator does not yet know of the pivotal part he will play in the future garden. But the builder has been briefed on what is to come.
As far as a design for the garden is concerned I have moved away from the initial design I had envisioned for several years. I will need to meet the families food needs whilst also allowing for the increasing amount of room required for the increasing numbers of animals. Plus allow for the possibility of a future residence at the very back of the block, which was part of the initial plan and was to come first. In the first instance, we are now focussing on the renovation first so that we can move in, and then the possible second residence.