Today I want to update you on the latest changes in my little garden. Besides putting in the new patches with various new plants, we added, improved, and remodelled a few other things as well.
We started "building" this deadwood pile before we put in the first new plants. Basically, we began to pile up every piece of untreated wood we had in our little garden and of which we didn't have any other use. For example, the little wheelbarrow I used as flowerpot, which was starting to rot. When we got the big lots of deadwood for the high beds on the left patch, we also took smaller pieces and added them to our deadwood pile. Furthermore, I put a lot of my foliage in this corner.
Deadwood Pile © Earth.Life.You
Some of you may ask: "Why would I even want a deadwood pile?". For us, it was a suggestion from Victoria (the planner of our little wildlife garden). A deadwood pile offers a habitat for many different insects, common toads (if there is water nearby) and even small mammals like hedgehogs.
We built our pile in the most shadowy corner of our little garden because there are hardly any plants growing anyway. And let me tell you it is working very well! I've seen birds like the great tits or garden warblers hopping around the pile a lot and, of course, Mona the mouse can be found here very often too, looking for insects and clearly finding some. It's really nice to watch how much life has entered this dark little corner.
Our Wild Corner © Earth.Life.You
I decided to leave this corner entirely to nature now. We've planted a little hedge and some wild strawberries here about two years ago. And a Bulgarian geranium grew here on its own. Now I will just watch the development of this little dark corner.
DIY Green Wall
About two weeks ago we built a little DIY green wall! The idea for this green wall is in my head for about a year now. Since our outside wall is just a boring grey colour and it gets really hot on our patio in summer, it seemed like a good idea. Greenwalls are preventing a wall from heating up too much because they offer shade and actively cool the surrounding air due to evaporation and are therefore beneficial for the outside climate on the patio and the inside climate in the apartment as well.
Building our DIY Green Wall © Earth.Life.You
We ordered two wooden scaffolds and attached them with ropes and bamboo sticks to the wall. A lot of people are worried that green walls will damage their facade, but it really comes down to what plants you use and how the creep-aid is installed on the wall. We used a mile-a-minute vine, which doesn't stick to the facade. We had it in another place in the garden for two years now, so we knew beforehand how this plant is growing on the creep-aid. In its old place, it hadn't enough space to grow (Let me tell you, it really lives up to its name!). So we repotted it and put it in front of our wooden scaffolds.
At first, I wasn't sure if it would survive the repotting because all its leaves began to get limp. But only a few days later it started growing again. You can literally watch this plant grow! Let's see how far it will get this year!
Development of our DIY Green Wall. 14.04., 25.04. and 1.5. © Earth.Life.You
Last but not least we remodelled our vegetable patch last week. We only put in part of it two years ago, but there was another high bed from the previous owners with a few foreign plants, we didn't want to get rid of at the time. So we built our vegetable patch around it. We noticed that these plants couldn't really cope with the heat in summer anymore. You couldn't water them enough and this corner of the garden definitely gets the hottest. So we decided to remove the plants and expand the vegetable patch.
Old Vegetable Patch © Earth.Life.You
The problem is, although wooden high bed borders are normally surprisingly long-lasting, as soon as you want to move them, they'll break... We discussed buying or building two real high beds (about a meter high) but decided against it because they are utterly expensive and other than being good for your back they don't really have a lot of benefits. Instead, we just used the bed borders we had left from the wildlife garden transformation and built a bigger vegetable patch.
New Vegetable Patch © Earth.Life.You
The hollow in the middle is for us to stand in so we can easily get to all the plants. This year we planted chard, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, paprika, chilli, zucchini, mini cucumber, mint, parsley and two different kinds of raspberries. Tomatoes and chards have been a success in the last years. With the other plants, the successful harvest varies. But we are really new to growing our own vegetables or gardening in general, so we are still in the learning process!
Insect Watering Station
Uh, I almost forgot the insect watering station (just an old plant bottom plate) I put out on the patio. It's been very popular, especially with the bees. Since it's way too dry in Vienna recently insects and small mammals really appreciate every water they can find. So, if you have the chance, please place a watering station in your garden or balcony as well.
Drinking Bees © Earth.Life.You