Got up this morning to misty sunshine but sunshine never the less. I sat out on the terrace having my morning cuppa. I love this time of the morning, birds singing and the animals going about their business. It feels like I haven´t posted anything in ages. We have been so busy here that blogging has been very low on the agenda. Since it has been so long and so much has happened I have decided that I will write a post about one or 2 of the things at a time. I intend to post at least every 2 days until I catch up. 
So now, where to begin.
While we were away in England it rained here for 7 days. Brilliant for our water store and for the garden. As a consequence of all that rain the weeds have gone bonkers. We decided that the permaculture bed would only be weeded when we planted up. This would allow for a natural ground cover to help the soil to develop further. Over the last year we have developed the soil by adding straw and horse manure to the mounds. Our problem here is keeping the straw where we want it. The wind can be very strong here and just blows it off of the mounds. We have found, putting it in the trenches (swales) watering it for a fortnight or more and then putting it on the top of the mounds seems to work better for us.
We have cleared the 3 lower trenches and placed new straw in the swales ready for planting. We drew up a plan for planting that included trees, artichokes, fruit bushes and vegetables.  We have planted the fruit trees in their positions to develop more shade for the veggies. We have planted squash for ground cover, lettuce and strawberries too. We have also planted herbs and peppers for height and a little more shade.

The bottom part of the bed

The top of the bed

You can see in the photos that it looks a mess. This is one of the things that we have really had to come to grips with. I have always gardened in rows and kept the weeds away so this is a real change and challenge! One big bonus is that the weeds are used to feed the rabbits. They love them and we have managed to cut their feed bill right down by cutting the weeds if we are not clearing for planting.

This is the garden where I built all the lovely paths!

As you can see, we cannot even see the paths let alone use them. The strimmer was brought out to play today and after about 30 minutes we had found some of the paths again. The trouble is that the weeds are so wet that they just stick to everything as you are cutting them. I guess this will be an ongoing job every day until all the paths have been cleared again. We have found plantains growing in huge numbers in the garden. We are picking these and using them as a vegetable for our meals as well as giving them to the animals. They are very similar to spinach so weeds are not always the problem we think they are.

And then there were paths!