This week saw the end of year for our native gardening course. It is run by TAFE NSW as an outreach course one morning each week, which has been perfect for me as I wasn't able to attend the college. Our small group has been weeding, planning, planting and mulching on a steep slope, which was initially covered thickly with weeds.
As well as the practical work, we spent time each week in the 'classroom' learning about and discussing native plants, soils, pests (the garden type!) non-chemical weed control, encouraging wildlife, choosing site-appropriate plants, pruning, composting, seed saving, water issues, mulching etc.
I have learnt so much this year, and met some lovely people too. I will be going back for one term next year, as I started in term 2, and hope that we can finish the site.
The photo shows some of the site - a 'swale' area was incorporated to reduce soil erosion and water runoff, and has worked really well. There is an area beyond the native grasses almost as wide as the front area, also planted with appropriate native trees and shrubs.
Unfortunately I don't have a 'before' photo, but the whole hillside was thick with coreopsis, dandelions and other weeds.
No chemicals were used as the area is adjacent to a pre-school and other childrens services, and is home to numerous wildlife such as lizards and frogs.