This is a mandala garden that we designed based on permaculture principles – minimal digging and using natural waste materials like tree trunks and newspaper. It’s easy and everyone can do it!
As I walk around the city of Singapore, I can’t help but constantly observe the grass, the soil, the trees, and the insects. It’s a job hazard and a rather enjoyable one. I have even become pretty good and figuring out soil fertility and moisture with my feet when I walk barefoot.
Recently I have been noticing swales. For those of you unfamiliar with it, swales have become synonymous with permaculture as they were popularized by Bill Mollison and other advocates of permaculture. In short, swales are water-harvesting ditches, built along the contours of a landscape. They slow down water runoff, trap the water, and allow it to infiltrate into the soil. However it’s not something new; traditional farming societies have been doing it for thousands of years. Terracing is but another form of swaling. To learn more about swales, click here.
There are actually quite a lot of swales around the city. Who is the hardworking permaculturalist? Continue reading
When we started work on Project Green Valley, it was but a barren piece of land with grass growing on hard sun-baked clay. I remember wondering where so many fist-sized stones came from. They were actually hardened and dried pieces of clay. The soil was in bad shape and there was a lot for us (and nature) to do before we restore fertility. After about a year, this is how it looks.
The way it is today, Project Green Valley requires almost no watering. Even if we had to water, we would draw from the pond and not rely on tapwater. There is little need for weeding because the soil is densely planted with no area of exposed soil. The strong sunlight grass needs would have been filtered by the other taller plants by the time it reaches the soil. Continue reading