Parr's Permaculture Design

Parr's Permaculture Design

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Melliodora Garden Tour - November 2011

David Holmgren's home, Melliodora (named after a species of Eucalyptus tree) is based in Hepburn Springs near to Daylesford. 
One of the co-originators of Permaculture and author of many books, David has a 2.5 acre property which produces around 1.5 tonnes of fruit and veg each year for personal use (consumption, gifts & exchange). Early on in the talk he mentioned that there is obviously much labour required to set up the garden in the first instance but then when your garden becomes so efficient at producing and you need to harvest it all... that takes even more labour than the initial setup.  Something to take into consideration when you buy acreage for production! 

Passive solar design house in the background, well tended veggie beds at the back door. 

A few of the notes I took away with me from the tour:
All the wood on his property is untreated. Treated pine can leech chemicals into the soil, and ultimately be taken up by the plants you are growing (and eating!), so best stick to untreated wood. 
How long does it take to grow wood? We need to make sure we use the wood for at least as long as it takes to grow it, that way we ensure that we're making best use of the resource.

After a few different trials, this a-frame style trellis is the best version in one instance for tomatoes, and another for climbing beans. To treat tomatoes as a vine seems to be the way forward.
The planks are the walkways for maintenance and harvesting, compacting as little soil as possible. 

Bamboo does grow in Victoria, only certain varieties which are of the thinner diameter. Here's an awesome trellis design made from bamboo harvested on-site. 

Hand tools vs power tools.  Maintaining tools is an important job (a stitch in time saves nine). Hand tools are easily maintained with little effort, whereas power tools more often than not rely on continued assistance from the manufacturer to keep them working well.  To stick to hand tools as much as possible gives greater resilience to peak oil, the knock on effects of our dependance on oil is something worth keeping in mind.

Cold frame: a very simple use of old glass and pot plants to give a simulated greenhouse effect for seedlings. 

Perennial guild (collection of plants that will live harmoniously together): Potatoes, horseradish, asparagus & scarlet runner beans.

Fig trees are not ideal next to veggie garden, however artichoke thrives under/near a fig tree, as they grow in winter when the fig is dormant, and visa versa. 


  1. hi parr
    I am Basit from india ,i want to congratulate you for your nice work and i want to know your name and more about you ....also i want your help in designing a permaculture farm for me in India.

    my mail id is

  2. Nice Blog! Well most of your content and image is original and informative. /many thanks for sharing this, cheers

    Treated Pine Posts