Planted for Bill


Last weekend, an 88 year old mighty pioneer tree died and fell out of the canopy of our world. Bill Mollison was the founding father of Permaculture. He worked together with one of his students David Holmgren in the 1970′s to create the permaculture design system, which helped people all over the world to reconnect with nature, and to find ways of living and working in harmony with the Earth.IMG_1849

Bill grew up in Tasmania and worked for most of his earlier years much like a indigenous person would; he gained a livelihood from his immediate environment, from the rainforest and the sea. He loved the natural world intensely because it provided everything he needed. Then later on in his adulthood, he started to notice that fish stocks were running dangerously low, and that the rain forest was starting to die back in places, which he found really alarming. This prompted his quest to bring the world back into alignment with the Earth, and ultimately this is how permaculture was born. You can read more about him and his life here and here.

Here are 12 quotes in rememberence of Bill – my favourite is “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.”

For me, Bill was a rather funny old character, and I first ‘met’ him as we watched a video as part of my permaculture design course with Brighton Permaculture Trust in 2008. What sticks in my head most about him was the way he said in his Australian accent “..and so essentially, the designer, is the recliner!” as he lay back on his hammock, which was slung between fruit trees and surrounded by an edible forest that he’d created on his land. His phrase has really stuck with me all these years, because it was in that moment that I realised that once you had set up and implemented your permaculture design, essentially, all you did was sit back and watch it grow, and harvest what you needed. unnamed-2I also realised that you can design a lifestyle which is not energy draining and wasteful of resources, and this could be applied to the way I lived my life. It enabled me to live a good life despite all my health limitations.

I wanted to do something this week in tribute to Bill. On social media it was made known that Bill’s family wanted people to plant a tree in memory of him, and so this has started with the hashtag #plantedforbill . I wanted to plant something too, but because of my health limitations I’m still not able to do any gardening at the moment. So in the spirit of my last post about indoor gardening I decided to use the pots I’d just decorated to plant the Aloe Vera babies I’d rescued. So here they are. I added them to my indoor garden. And I also lit a candle on the eve of his death to shine on my plants.unnamed-3

In the spirit of permaculture, I had made the candle holder from an old jam jar. I decorated the top with ribbon which I tied on with a bell and filled the bottom with salt crystals. I added a few shiny stars and sat the night light on top. I stole the idea from a magazine.

I love to keep hold of inspiring ideas and gardening tips that I find in magazines, and paste them into a scrap book. It’s great to be able to refer back to them and use the ideas. Here’s one of my collage pages of inspiring indoor gardens (below). I am now inspired to make a Terrarium too. They traditionally were created in Victorian times for botanists to bring back rare plants from warmer climates. Because the plant is growing in it’s own protected environment, they are less vulnerable to the harsh English climate and to neglect, and therefore easier to not kill – which is ideal for me!unnamed I’m just looking out for some large storage jars so I can start making it. I’ll keep you posted!

Have you planted anything large or small recently? Perhaps if you feel moved to, you could take a picture and post it online with the hashtag #plantedforbill . You can find out more on my Facebook page.

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