Weeds of Bronte Gully

Permaculture principles in photos

Principle 11: Value the marginal: Though lgbtqia+ communities are often on the fringes of our society, this exhibit of donated, recycled and found materials, knitted and sewn by Sydney Yarnbombing Collective community members celebrates lgbtqia+ communities. Our beautiful rainbow friends are placed front and centre in this exhibition geared towards #PrideMonth2022.

Principle 4: Apply self-regulation & accept feedback: Tomatoes are generally grown in the warmer months in Sydney, but after an observation by a horticulturist visiting England that these Rouge de Marmande tomatoes grew well in their summer, we tried them in Sydney’s winter, and — SUCCESS!

Principle 3 Obtain a yield: These native figs (Port Jackson, Ficus rubiginosa) are bountiful in our area, and are a great food source for wildlife and people.

Principle 11 Use edges & value the marginal: These dandelions are treated as weeds, but are useful in a multitude of ways. Found in disturbed soils, all its parts, from the flowers to the root are edible, and some parts are also medicinal.

Principle 11 Use edges & value the marginal: A fenceline is the perfect place to attract pollinators to our garden. It keeps unwanted forces out, but invites wanted friends in.

Principle 8: Integrate rather than segregate: We value our wild spaces for their services, the resilience they offer, and for the beauty and serenity they bring to our lives.

Principle 4 Apply self-regulation & accept feedback: Mint grows as a weed in our garden. So now every time we plant it to plant it, we ensure we keep it in pots, not directly in the ground. The pots keep the mind from growing wild, and allow other plants the space to grow..

Principle 4 Apply self-regulation & accept feedback: Plants convey feelings better than humans at times, we look to them for inspiration and acceptance. The cycles of life that come with the season, the spring of our rebirth, the summer of bounty, the autumn of breaking down, and the rest and recuperation of winter are all equally important in the cycles of life.

Principle 9 Use small and slow solutions: Borage, which is plentiful in our community garden is planted on all borders, and self-seeds throughout the garden. It is one of the best attractants of pollinators.

Principle 4 Apply self-regulation & accept feedback: Sometimes a break from the everyday is all we need to recharge the batteries, and begin again afresh.

Principle 2 Catch and store energy: The humble pea belongs to the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family, and as such can capture atmospheric nitrogen in league with certain bacteria in the soil. When chopped and dropped prior to flowering, this nitrogen can be released by the roots and used by other plants. When allowed to go to flower like this the nitrogen is repurposed for the plant.

Principle 9 Use small and slow solutions: This corymbia ‘Summer beauty’ is the smallest gum we could find for our tiny, tiny verge. It may be small but it packs a mighty punch in terms of the services it provides for our garden. The bees and the birds love it, and visit it constantly when it’s in flower.

Principle 5 Use & value renewable resources & services: This kookaburra understand the value of a dead tree. The tree in itself may no longer be alive, but it thrives with life within its hollows and crevices. A perfect hunting ground, and perch.

Principle 2 Catch and store energy: Sunflowers act as nature’s solar panels; they track the sun in a movement known as heliotropism. Their seeds, pollination services, and sheer beauty are a boon for every garden. Additionally, they cleanse the soil of toxins, and are used in land remediation in places where toxic chemicals have spilled into the environment.

*Note this photo was chosen as the cover for Sydney Community Gardens calendar 2012.

Principle 7 Design from patterns to details: The spiral inflorescences of this Grevillea ‘Superb’ are a boon for birds throughout the area. Spirals occur throughout nature, from the great spirals of galaxies, to draining water, snail shells, and whirlpools. We use spirals in design to slow the flow of water, strengthen buildings, and create more accessible spaces for garden beds.

Principle 4 Apply self-regulation & accept feedback: Sometimes a break from the everyday is all we need to recharge the batteries, and begin again afresh.

*May need to revert to original photo — as the software used for this photo can’t be used commercially.

Principle 3: Obtain a yield is about getting something for your labour. This could be a meal, or an experience, or in this case, the enormous satisfaction of knowing you took part in the planting of a rainforest, which now provides life for thousands of critters, and a place of respite for humans in a busy city. Bronte Gully Bushcare — 10 years after planting.