We transformed a steeply sloped lot covered in invasive blackberries into a low-maintenance retreat with food crops.
As we built the studio building, we installed a 2000 gallon cistern in the front yard. A pump recirculates the rainwater through the waterfall to keep it oxygenated. We use the rainwater to water the garden on the roof of the studio, and to flush our toilets.
In an effort to keep maintenance to a minimum, our front yard is all flagstone and patio. We built this pizza oven ourselves.
Our roof has been built to take the weight of a garden, estimated to be 60 lbs per square foot of soil and water. We mixed our own rooftop mix, using Perlite for aeration and to reduce the weight of the soil.
We planted native species and drought-tolerant plants and shrubs - ferns, Oregon Grape, thyme, Virginia creeper, Heather, Lavender. We mulch to keep evaporation to a minimum.
Gravel covers the ground above the rainwater cistern.
On the south side of the studio, against the wall, our fruit trees and raspberries, plus crops like potatoes, absorb the reflected heat.
Theme gardens like our medicinal perennials and a dye garden for dyeing fabric for my fibre art each have their own beds.
In the greenhouse, we grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil and cucumbers - all the hot weather crops.
Materials I used for this project:
- Local granite
- Organic seeds (West Coast Seeds)
- Shrubs and Trees (Sunshine Coast Nursery)