Rayna moved into her Braybrook property in 2007 and her yard received a permablitz makeover in 2010 by Permaculture Out West. Rayna is now a member of this group who meet regularly to support other members of the community to create their own special gardens.
Rayna’s garden has been designed around three elements – children, edibles and native restoration – by using native grasses. It now includes a native grass nature strip, a mini orchard a tree filled backyard and a brood of chickens called Molly, Milly, Silver and Susan which provide white, brown and even green shelled eggs for the family to enjoy. The beginning of a food forest now provides produce for Rayna and her family to harvest fresh ingredients right before a feast is prepared.
The native American method of The Three Sisters gardening is used in this suburban backyard. Mounds of soil in the garden bed are planted with corn which will grow upright, pumpkin which grows over the soil to limit weed growth while providing shade to the soil keeping it moist and, lastly, beans which will find their way through the pumpkin to climb the corn stalks. This is an effective way to garden and in this one patch, Rayna, her husband and children each have a corner they hope will outshine the others.
A silky oak features and its branches and leaves provide good mulch for other areas of the garden. A snow gum and fig tree were planted as a reminder of the children’s naming day ceremonies.
A tree house provides great opportunity for the children to view the native birds that flutter throughout the tree tops before they scurry down to contribute to the garden themselves. The whole family enjoy bringing this garden together and sharing it with others. They are even happy to open their home to the public once per month to provide greatly discounted seedlings so that others may take a little of Rayna’s garden home with them.