International Permaculture Day

So not only was May the Fourth International Star Wars day it was also International Permaculture day. Permaculture was started in Tasmania in the mid-1970s by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and is now practiced worldwide. Essentially, permaculture combines natural landscapes and edible gardens that sustain themselves and the gardener. According to Organic Gardening he ultimate purpose of permaculture is to develop a site until it meets all the needs of its inhabitants, including food, shelter, fuel, and entertainment.”

There are three core ethics – Care for the Earth, Care of People, Limiting Consumption and Fair Distribution of Resources – and twelve guiding principles.


We are only just beginning to learn about Permaculture and are considering what we can adapt in our own garden to try and follow these principles. On Sunday we went to Nadja’s Garden, a garden in Adelaide’s Southern suburbs based on Permaculture principles to make it more sustainable.  It is a fabulous garden on an ordinary suburban block. It’s filled with fruit trees, raised and in-ground vegetable beds, a vertical garden, beehives, a worm farm, natives, a pond and a wood-fired oven. Our garden pales in comparison!

Nadja is a garden designer and has done a magnificent job of her own place. I am in awe of her design talent.


One idea we both liked was the vertical garden beds. They are water efficient as you only water the top then each bed waters the one beneath.


One day we might install some along the fence that borders the pool. It gets full sun and is wasted at the moment.


This is one of my favourite photos of our good friend Martin, as you can see there is lots of lovely sunny space on the fence behind him. Just right for a number of vertical beds!

One idea I really loved in Nadja’s garden was her frog pond. Great for growing water plants, attracting beneficials, and as an area for comfrey and other herbs that are so useful in the garden. In the front garden we have a wasted space that due to the Golden Elm, Ornamental Plum and the hedge fence gets little sun. A few bulbs pop up every Spring and there is a daisy and rose clinging to life, but otherwise it’s just weeds and grass.


I think it would be the perfect place for a pond. It doesn’t need to be deep and could make the area both pretty and sustainable, something it isn’t at the moment.


All I need to do now is persuade Jamie that we need a pond 🙂



About A Kailyard in Adelaide

A Kailyard in Adelaide! We are working hard to be domestically sustainable in the foothills of Adelaide. As we both work fulltime this is not an easy task, but we do our best growing much of our own produce in our yard and in our community garden plots. We reduce, recycle and reuse as much as possible and try hard to not consume mindlessly. We have 5000 l of rainwater, a 5 kw solar system, and use a green energy provider for all our excess needs. Rachel: Mother, partner, teacher, writer, reader, crafter, cook, gardener, artist. Jamie: Father, partner, lecturer, therapist, would-be-politician, gardener, photographer, music lover.
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12 Responses to International Permaculture Day

  1. Reblogged this on Nadja's Garden and commented:
    Many thanks Rachel & Jamie Ryan for your reflections on our garden at Sunday’s open day!

  2. Carmen says:

    Love your idea of a pond. I also LOVE Nadja’s garden plan. What a great inspiration. Have a wonderful day! Carmen

    • Rachel and Jamie says:

      Thanks Carmen, hopefully one day you can visit the garden, and us of course! Nadja’s plans are beautifully done.

  3. paha siga says:

    Do be careful with watering only the topmost post in a vertical garden. I have two-storey flower pots and if I water only the top pot, the lower one may get watered… or may not… it IS visibly dryer that the top pot, also after rain.

    • Rachel and Jamie says:

      Hi Kati! Apparently these particular pots are designed so that the water runs from one pot to the other. They are quite shallow, probably best for herbs and lettuces.

  4. Reblogged this on The Coastal Affair and commented:
    Happy Belated Permaculture/Star Wars Day! This quick rundown of permaculture principles reflects a lot of what Anna and I want to do with our gardens when we move to California.

    • Rachel and Jamie says:

      Thanks for re-blogging our post. Good luck with your new ventures. We shall follow your blog with interest!

  5. I think this is a pretty accurate account of Nadja’s beautiful space. Her frontyard is a veritable hodgepodge of interplanting and companionship. I dropped by her place yesterday to meet the lady (and her family), the garden, and to collect some cuttings.

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