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Archives for April 16, 2013

Dig in to design wall at community garden

Dig in to design wall at community garden

By Fran Bardsley, covering Education, East Oxford and Cowley. Call me on 01865 425439

Annie Davy at Barracks Lane Community Garden, which is holding a competition for people to redesign a rotting wall

A CONTEST is being launched to design a new wall at a community garden in the heart of East Oxford.

Barracks Lane Community Garden is offering a £200 prize for the winning design for an innovative and interesting way to replace an existing retaining wall.

The wall, which is made of timber posts, is rotting and needs urgently replacing.

Annie Davy, one of the garden’s founders who is organising the competition, said: “The wall was put in place eight years ago and there was a bit of a design fault in terms of the material used so it is actually rotting.

“Also we need it for accessibility for disabled people to use the lower end of the garden, including the Parasol Project which meets here.”

In the past, the garden organisers worked with Oxford Brookes University architecture students on a design for a green roof shelter.

This time, it was decided to open the contest up to anyone who could come up with ideas on how to replace it.

Oxfordshire County Council has given the garden £3,500 to spend on the new wall, which must be in place by the end of August.

The garden will provide the prize money from its own funds, and has some extra budget to add to the grant if necessary.

Ms Davy said: “We don’t want to be too prescriptive about the design because we want to see what people will come up with.

“It could be a wall that could be added to with things growing on it or up it, or it could be a more artistic design with the community adding to it.

“We are looking for something in keeping with the garden’s objectives to encourage community involvement but also to encourage biodiversity and people diversity.”

While designs are welcomed from anyone, Ms Davy said the person would need to have technical understanding of landscape, design or architecture and would need to consider drainage.

She thought the contest might appeal to students building up their portfolio, or established architects or designers keen to have something in a prominent public location.

To get the criteria and design specification, email Entries must be received by Monday, May 13.


Myron Blatz


8:02pm Mon 15 Apr 13

Barracks Lane Community Garden agonizes over how best to replace an old wall – meanwhile, thousands are being murdered in the Mid East and Africa, and North Korea continues on its perilous journey up the escaltor of global nuclear confrontation.
Myron Blatz

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REMINDER: Want to design the perfect garden? Sustainable West Seattle has …

REMINDER: Want to design the perfect garden? Sustainable West Seattle has the answers tonight, April 15

The Sustainable West Seattle April Forum “Successful Gardening with Nature Part 2 – Designing the Perfect Garden” is set for Monday April 15.

The forum will be held at 6:00 pm at the West Seattle Community Orchard at South Seattle Community College. You’ll find the orchard on the east side of the north parking lot.

Before you start planting a garden, start planning. Successful food gardens are well planned to take advantage of natural features such as sun and shade as well as structural features like walls, concrete and fences. A good plan incorporates not only what you want to grow, but includes the benefits of plant-to-plant interaction, pest control, aesthetics, and ease of gardening.

West Seattle Community Orchard, South Seattle Community College
6:00 pm Meet and Greet, SWS announcements
6:15 to 6:55 pm – Tour the Orchard with Q A regarding the orchard plan
7:00 to 8:00 pm – Food from local gardens and drink will be served, followed by a power point presentation with local gardens being shown as well as permaculture design principles being presented. The three dimensional garden will also be described.

Whether you’re a seasoned backyard farmer or a newbie contemplating your first tomato plant, join the company of others who want to grow their own food and learn a few tips from successful gardeners.

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.

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Live Screen vertical garden presented during Milan Design Week – Gizmag

During this year’s Milan Design Week we got to meet with young American designer Danielle Trofe, who showed us the “Live Screen,” a vertical hydroponic garden design. Trofe was promoting her work as part of the Salone Satellite, which ran parallel to the Salone Internazionale del Mobile and involved hundreds of emerging young designers under the age of 35 from around the world.

Taking inspiration from the idea of having an indoor living wall, Trofe designed the Live Screen to offer regular households a self-irrigating planter system. The screen features a series of small oval-shaped pods that branch off from a central trunk, concealing the irrigation pump that distributes water to each plant.

“The system uses vertical hydroponic technology which allows people to create their own urban gardening at home,” Trofe told Gizmag. “And the self-watering system makes the process of growing your own plants so much easier. Hydroponic gardening is also one of the most energy efficient and sustainable practices in use today.”

The vertical hydroponic system which is incorporated into the Live Screen adopts a simple method which nourishes plants without the need for soil. An energy-efficient pump distributes water from an internal water tank up to the highest plant tier. From there, gravity delivers water to the lower plant tiers. Clay rocks can be put into the bottom of the pods to protect the plants’ roots and since the system doesn’t use soil, many soil-borne diseases can be avoided.

The system also allows plants to grow faster and thus yield higher quantities, making it ideal for growing edible plants such as herbs. However, Trofe does insist that the system is capable of producing larger fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes and capsicums. In addition, the Live Screen offers users easy access to the water reserve tank, allowing them to to check water levels, test the pH or add nutrients to help keep the plants healthy.

The Live Screen is not only an innovative solution for urban gardening but would make a great piece of furniture for a variety of spaces including offices, cafés and living areas – offering interior greenery without the fuss.

The promotional video below illustrates how the Live Screen could work in the home.

Source: Danielle Trofe

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