Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Let's cut to the chase!  What a lot of us were interested in was - can you seriously convert an inground pool into a huge underground tank?  Here is the before and after - 2016 at the top (with James doing the Timewarp) to today at the bottom.

It is now a very useable space that doubles as an amazing water storage.  Here's the secured access point and a quick look inside. 

On arrival, we saw the very neighbour-friendly footpath garden. 

The larger productive side of the patch: 

The smaller more ornamental side; 

The rear of the yard and giveaway table: 

Gayle has an amazing ability to reuse all sorts of things in the garden from ceramic water filter jugs to old pool fence panels: 

It's been really amazing to watch the yard evolve from December 2014 until now - incredible changes aimed at reducing their environmental footprint.  Thanks very muchly to the Dallistons for their welcoming, kindness and preparedness to share the journey.  

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absolutely Thanks so much Dallistons for the awesome visit and to Andy for the writ up and pics !!!! what  great day !

Thank you for the pix and report Andy. I do wish I had been able to be there; better not to spread germs around though.

This is my 'before' pic from 12th December 2015:

I am fascinated to see the result. I had some crackpot notion the garden was on top of the lid :-\ sensibly it's not. So the rainwater is right in the pool, not in a liner. A seriously excellent result all round!

It's pretty amazing Elaine.  Glad you shared this pic. 

Gayle, the changes to your garden are just incredible. Well done you! The end result is a garden of great beauty, productiveness and local fauna friendly. A real credit to you and thank you for having us all over to share it with you.

The photos are great and I love to see the changes that have been made since I visited last.  Gayle you and your family have done an amazing job transforming your yard since the pool conversion.  Congratulations

Cathie, Mary-Ann, Colin and Lissa have not changed one bit! The verge garden truly inspired me. It's hard to imagine the garden as a working site no so long ago. Everything looks so healthy and where it is meant to be. Congratulations on a really successful garden. Well done on recycling all the pool bits, e.g. the fence for vertical gardens. I love the macramé too. I started doing that too now. Just need to find somewhere to hang them. 

Gayle, we are so sorry we could not make your garden visit.  We are housebound at the moment. It is very good to see the way you have improved your garden by covering the pool. So many options now to think about.

Your footpath garden looks very inviting and calm, a bonus for the street.  Thanks Andy for the photo's, it is great for the ones who cannot make it on the day. 

Thank you everyone for coming to see the progress. It's always interesting to see how other people interact with your garden and the different things each person notices. 
Great seeing the old photos. When I look at them all I see is that fence. Taking them down made such a difference because they cut into your sightlines and limit the way you move around the garden. Incidentally, if you know anyone wanting to take down their pool fence, you have to go through the full certification process and get it taken off the pool register first. Converting to a pond would mean that you keep the fences. 
More about the conversion process is at 

A big thank you Gayle and Ken for your wonderful hospitality, you have certainly impressed us all, as well a big thank you goes out to Andy for getting this report underway, we can always count on you for some good pics. I am including some more pics Graham has taken.

What a beautiful day the sun was shining and the birds were certainly singing. From the Verge to the Back Garden you could see the love that has gone into the refurbishments of this space. There are many paths that lead to one surprise after another. You will find small birds nesting in the trees and Blue Tongues in the Gardens. Native Violets has been the Ground Cover of choice and Gayle is very happy with it both on the Verge and the main garden.

The transformation of Pool to Water Holding Facility, well what can I see, you must watch the video on Gayle's profile page, to see just what has taken place. The area has become one that is used almost everyday verses one used as a pool once or twice a year. It was fun to think that many of us were walking in the deep end on Sunday, a bit of a lark.

The use of the pool fence and rails to make the Vertical Gardens and Garden Poles for hanging pots, this was a wonderful way to recycle. The tiles from the edge of the pool have also been used as stepping blocks and look very impressive.

Thank You to all our Members and friends who attended and for the overflowing goodies on the share table. Also a big Get Well Soon to all Members who would have been there but due to illness and to other members who couldn't make it.  I hope our little bits and pieces fills you in on Gayle's GV.


Interesting to read about ground-cover native violets. I use them too yet I find they prefer the shade. Are Gayle's out in the sun more or just for the shady spots?

They tend to be in a little of both. If I am correct I think Gayle said that the ones on the footpath are in more sun and dry out more but rejuvenate very quickly. I personally use that as my water indicator in one of the garden, if they want water they tell me, though a bit too much lately.

I've been surprised at how resilient the native violets are.  I'd always thought of them as a fragile shade plant until I read someone describing them as a weed that once you have, you can never get rid of because any garment left will regrow. Much the way I feel about couch grass. 

Anyway since then I have been much bolder about where I plant it.  At the base of a pot plant they are a great water indicator as Dianne said.  They are also really well in the pots on the back fence despite the wind.

In the edible part of the garden, they thrive with the moisture and sun up to about midday. 
On the verge - which faces south - I thought they might go ok very close to the hedge but they spread forward really well even in summer.  I think then, when the verge was in more sun, they had some shade from the cosmos flowers.  The soil on that part of the verge is that fine clay which goes like concrete when dry.  The violets seemed to cope with that sort of soil providing they have a thin layer of mulch to start with. Also because it's a downward slope, the clay close to the concrete footpath doesn't drain well - which I think is why the gerberas curled up and died. 

So it's probably moisture they need more than shade, and even if they die back (feeding the soil), they'll probably come back after some good rain.

As well as a living mulch, they also provide flowers all year - very useful for habitat gardens.


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